Richard Bilocca

On Wednesday, WasteServ Malta stated that in last week’s grey and green bag collection, explosives were found dumped, endangering the lives of WasteServ employees and leading to the disposal of 140 tonnes of recyclable waste.

“It is difficult to find words harsh enough to condemn the disposal of explosive materials with the recyclables collection,” WasteServ Malta CEO Richard Bilocca said.

In a LinkedIn post, Mr Bilocca expressed his disappointment and further stated that this was not just an issue of “total lack of respect towards workers, but recklessness on a criminal scale.”

WasteServ had to call in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit of the Armed Forces of Malta to assist it in safely removing and neutralising the hazardous materials. In turn, as a precautionary measure, and in light of the danger posed by the discovered material, a total of 140 tonnes of good recyclable material had to be quarantined and eventually disposed of in the landfill.

In addition, WasteServ explained that this incident could have had more serious consequences, “especially considering the presence of highly flammable materials such as paper, plastic and cardboard.”

Mr Bilocca reminded that hazardous waste such as flares, batteries, electronic equipment and other explosive materials must never make it to the refuse collection.

WasteServ also highly condemned “this gross negligence” and appealed to the public to be responsible. “Situations such as these not only put employees’ lives at risk but posed a serious threat to its operations and new infrastructure.

It also appealed to the public and reminded citizens that such materials can be safely disposed of at one of WasteServ’s Civic Amenity Sites.

“As WasteServ, we are working tirelessly towards meeting the country’s recycling targets. However, we want to emphasise that our success is highly dependent on the cooperation of the public. Above all else, our company prioritises the safety of its employees and its infrastructure,” WasteServ concluded.

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