The small village of Għaxaq has certainly held its own when putting good waste practices into practice, as is evident by the neat door steps and lack of rubbish in the village core.

The People of Għaxaq are in Good Hands

This is the result of a collective effort by the residents driven by the tireless team working at the Għaxaq local council, led by a mayor who is clearly passionate about his work and all the responsibilities that come with the position. The mayor of Għaxaq, Darren Abela is certainly an environmentalist at heart with a hands-on attitude and will to introduce and sustain good waste practices, both in Għaxaq and beyond. First thing he did when elected was to remove all the skips left lingering around the village. Permits for skips are now granted only to those who apply, and who accept to leave the skip outside their own homes.

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It’s Not Just about the Waste

Għaxaq was in the first group of localities to implement the organic pilot project, and this was received extremely well, as it evoked a sense of solidarity, civic pride and enthusiasm in the people. Wasteserv’s spokespersons carrying out informative home visits were inundated with queries.  Large amounts of organic waste were collected right from the on start, with the majority of households participating. According to statistics provided by Wasteserv, 172,000 Kilos of organic waste have been collected from Għaxaq to date, which is equivalent to the weight of 14 standard sized buses.

“With the organic project we saw an opportunity to put pressure on the community of Għaxaq to work together. This has certainly paid off, as can be seen when you look at the positive figures of waste collection” added the mayor.

The second initiative which has firmly put Għaxaq on the map was one presented by the council in 2015, during the participation in European Week for Waste Reduction. This consisted of a simple but very clever initiative to recycle and reuse Maltese stone. In fact, the local council itself used these stones to build boundary walls around fields, immediately tidying up the entire area.The local council also acts as a watchdog for the community, placing signs and posters highlighting bad waste practices. In fact, the increase in the number of bins and doggy bins around, together with funds invested on security cameras in the village core have resulted in a steady decline in illegal dumping. The council’s members are fully focused on following up on wrongly dumped waste.

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Setting an Example

Villages like Għaxaq are setting an exemplary model for good waste management practices within their community by showing how combined efforts and the steadfast involvement of the local council can benefit everyone. We already have a waste infrastructure which allows us to sustainably manage our waste. By availing ourselves of the waste services provided by Government and Local Councils we can create a more sustainable Malta. So get involved and do your bit!

Visit www.dontwastewaste.gov.mt to see what waste management services are available near you.

© 2017 – VIDA Magazine