The European Commission has just issued a report, based on the waste management efforts of European Union states in 2010, entitled Screening Of Waste Management Performance Of EU Member States - comparing how various states deal with their municipal rubbish.
It might be fair to begin by asking why the Brussels bureaucrats in Director General Environment have taken almost two years to publish this report. The question is relevant because although the picture painted of Malta is pretty abysmal, the fact is that in the two years since it was conducted, we have performed considerably better in this field.
Management of municipal waste is not a subject that sets the pulse racing. Yet, it is a vitally important matter affecting the quality of life and public health of all citizens. As Malta has become wealthier, it has created more rubbish. Each year we throw away thousands of tons of waste, much of it hazardous. Treating and disposing of all this material without damaging the environment has become a major headache. The horrors of the rubbish mountain of Maghtab are now thankfully behind us (within a few years, Maghtab will rise like a phoenix from the ashes to become a national park). But the problems of waste disposal will still remain.