I find that, whereas abroad, vintage and second hand shops are all the rage, here in Malta many people seem to have a hard time with the idea of re-using items that have been previously made use of by someone else. Thankfully, a few individuals have given up their time to start initiatives which will benefit both us and the environment. Today, I will highlight the ones that I am currently familiar with. However this article is by no means exhaustive and I will definitely follow up with more posts in the future.
Initially set up as a Facebook page, Recycle Malta now also has a website: www.recyclemalta.org. The main aim of this group is to connect givers with takers. All items are given or exchanged for free. Guidelines for this group may be found on the Recycle Malta Facebook page or in the About Us section on the website. One thing to remember in a group like this is that one man’s rubbish may be another man’s treasure. So before throwing anything away, and I really do mean anything, check whether someone else may have a use for it. You’d be surprised what some people may create out of what we perceive as junk. Registration for both the website and the Facebook page is free of charge.
On November 23rd Wasteserv, the entity responsible for re-cycling of waste in Malta, launched Reuse Malta. The concept is the same as above – instead of throwing an item away, list it on the website as someone else may get some more use out of it. Registration is free of charge.
WHAT BABY WANTS BABY GETS
This Facebook page is another great initiative. Administered by two mummies, it is a place where anyone can sell gently used baby items. Registration on What Baby Wants Baby Gets is free of charge. The cost of the item being sold is at the discretion of the seller. There are no fees to sell on this page. I have used it myself several times and can totally recommend it.
BARGAIN BASEMENT MALTA
Also on Facebook (which, incidentally, seems to be the perfect platform for these type of transactions) Bargain Basement is a free place for people who wish to sell just about anything – from cameras to handbags, clothes, furniture – it’s all there. Registration is free and, again, there are no fees to sell on this page.
Maltapark is a little bit like EBay – except that no bidding takes place. A seller offers an item at a cost and may be willing to negotiate on the price. Registration is free and there are no hidden costs to sell on this website.
If anyone would like to get rid of any items that are not in a condition to be re-used or re-sold, please make sure to go through the proper channels. All local councils offer a weekly collection of recyclable household waste (paper, glass, plastic and metal). Apart from this, there are bring-in sites in most localities. Bulky refuse (such as refrigerators or washing machines) are also collected by the local council but a prior appointment needs to be made. Apart from this service, Wasteserv offers 5 civic amenity sites, located at Mriehel, Hal Far, Luqa, Maghtab and Tal-Klus, which are open daily (including Sundays) between 7.30am and 5pm. These sites take in items such as computers, car tyres and other bulky items that may easily be transported in a family vehicle.
I hope that increased awareness and the recent increase in amenities will discourage people from throwing their junk out into the countryside. Unfortunately, it is a sad fact of life that, given all of the above, this sort of problem still occurs. Hopefully we will see less and less of it in the future.