Malta registered a 4.8% drop in the amount of solid waste generated in 2018, but construction waste – which accounts for nearly three quarters of the amount – bucked the trend with an 11.8% increase.
The total amount of solid waste amounted to 2.59 million tonnes in 2018, of which 31,945 tonnes is classified as hazardous waste. The amount of hazardous waste actually fell by 34.1% when compared to 2017, mainly as a result of lower amount of chemical waste and discarded vehicles.
Construction and demolition works contributed 1.87 million tonnes of waste, representing 72.7% of the total amount.
Consequently, the majority of the solid waste generated ended up backfilled in quarries, with backfilling increasing by 8% to 1.43 million tonnes. Conversely, however, disposal of waste at sea was much less, falling from 425,000 tonnes in 2017 to 120,000 tonnes a year later.
A total of 382,387 tonnes of waste were either recycled or recovered, representing a 16.5% increase over 2017. 297,523 tonnes of waste ended up in a landfill – a 2.4% increase when compared to the previous year – while 4,960 tonnes of waste were incinerated.