A Guide To: Separating Waste for the Maltese Homeowner

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As Malta gears up for the adoption of organic waste separation on the 31st of October, homeowners have received this news with praise and welcomed it heartily.

And it is good news: Leftovers, fresh vegetables/ unused vegetables/ rotting vegetables and bread are the most commonly wasted foods, with official statistics showing that discarded food makes up more than 50% of domestic waste in Malta All of this can actually be used to green up our environment, create new jobs in recycling industry, and reduce the rate at which we fill up our landfills.

But, some have found it difficult to figure out the distribution times of the white organic waste linings and bins promised by authorities, and others have put into questions the safeguards that will be put in place against those who do not dispose of their waste properly, with homeowners living in tourist-heavy areas expressing frustration at the possibility of them getting a fine for garbage bags put in front of their houses by others.

This article won’t provide all of the answers, but it has put together everything published so far, so let’s get started:

How do I get the free ‘white organic bag’ and bin?

WasteServ has been distributing organic bin/bags through Local Councils – and so far – still is. This means you can go to your local council during its open hours to collect the bin and white bio-compostable bags. Yesterday, WasteServ posted a notification that bins & bags can also be collected on behalf of someone else given they have an ID card of the person they’re collecting the bin/bags for.

Alternatively, you can go to the Visitor Centre at the Family Park in M’Skala & Ta’ Qali Civic Amenity Site from Monday to Sunday (until Sunday 4th November) between 0730hrs and 1900hrs.

What about buying organic bags in Malta?

You’re likely to find organic white linings in most supermarkets, home improvement stores, and retail outlets, so no, standing in a queue at the local council isn’t a must. You would, however, be missing out both on a free bin and bags, so keep that in mind! NOTE: The bin being handed out is made of plastic, so feels a little bit counterintuitive, but we’re not going to judge (too harshly).

What do I put in the White Bag?

Organic waste includes all cooked and raw food including bones, fish and shellfish, bread and pasta, rotten fruit and vegetables, fruit and vegetable peels, tea bags and ground coffee, egg shells, napkins and soiled papers, leaves and flowers.

How often will it be collected?

Three times a week. The specific days will depend on your locality.

Check waste collection days in your locality here

If you leave the wrong bag on the kerbside, a sticker with information about the new arrangements will be attached to the bag, which will be left uncollected.

Items that should be put in the organic bag:

  • Bones
  • Expired food
  • Icing sugar
  • Soiled newspapers
  • Cheese
  • Fish
  • Leaves
  • Soiled tissues
  • Sugar
  • Coffee Flowers Meat
  • Cooked food leftovers
  • Fruit
  • Pips
  • Tea bags
  • Dairy Products
  • Fruit and vegetable peels
  • Plant trimmings
  • Tea leaves
  • Egg shells
  • Fruit and vegetable seeds
  • Raw food
  • Vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Honey
  • Seeds

Items that should be put in the Grey / Green Bag:

The grey/green bag is for recyclables, and this includes materials such as paper, plastics, and foil. When it comes to containers, tubs, cans, and cartons, make sure they’re clean and empty.

Check waste collection days in your locality here

  • Card paper
  • Carbon food boxes (clean)
  • Clean aluminium foil, plastic bags, takeaway boxes
  • Cooking old bottles
  • Cosmetic container (clean)
  • Detergent bottles (clean container), Detergent boxes
  • Drink cans
  • Food cans
  • Jar lids
  • Juice cartons
  • Liquid soaps (clean container)
  • Margarine tub (clean container)
  • Metal Caps Milk cartons
  • Newspapers
  • Notebooks, paper, paper bags, magazines
  • Plastic bags (clean), plastic bottle, plastic caps, plastic containers, plastic food packets
  • Shampoo (clean container), shower gel (clean container)
  • Spray cans (empty)
  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Toiletries containers
  • Yoghurt container (clean)

Items that should be put in the Black Bag:

Check waste collection days in your locality here

  • Adhesive tape
  • Soiled aluminium foil
  • Baking paper
  • Broken ceramics
  • Dirty food wrappers
  • Cellophane
  • Dirty take-away boxes
  • Foil coated packets
  • Dust
  • Hair
  • Jablo good items
  • Labels
  • Photographs
  • Nappies
  • Plant pots
  • Sanitary items
  • Shoes
  • Small broken mirrors
  • Stickers
  • Toothpaste tube
  • Used cleaning materials, floor clothes, rubber gloves, sponges
  • Used cling film
  • Wax paper
  • Wet wipes


Glass is collected once a month from your doorstep in most localities, or can be taken to Bring-In or Civic Amenity Sites at any time.

Please refrain from putting glass items in the grey/green bag or in the black bag.

This includes: Glass, Glass bottles, Glass jars

Still not sure about something?

The national waste agency has temporarily increased the hours during which its customer care freephone service on 8007-2200 is available, now extended to Saturdays and Sundays from 7:30am to 5:30pm. The public is also invited to send any questions or comments via Wasteserv’s Facebook page.

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