Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Fall 2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Integrated Science and Technology


Henriette Putzulu Caruana

Michael L. Deaton

Elisabeth Conrad


Waste management is recognised as a major international environmental challenge since it is considered to be the loss of environmental resources. The Sixth Environment Action Programme (European Commission) calls for a cultural shift towards sustainable consumption patterns to bring about a reduction in waste generation. In Malta, the scale of waste generation, presently at 648 kg per capita (MEPA, 2008), and the need for sustainable waste management policies are of particular concern. The main objective of this dissertation was to adopt a systems view to evaluate the current status of integrated waste management in Malta and anticipate possible solutions in response to increased waste generation through the application of scenario planning. Scenarios are developed to reduce uncertainty on possible future outlooks and are constructed with the final goal of contributing towards sustainable development (Swart, Raskin and Robinson, 2004). These valuable instruments enable policy makers to comprehend the present situation, while emphasising any decisions to be taken in the near future. This exercise enabled the formulation of proposed policy recommendations on the basis of the outcome of data analysis of semi-structured questionnaires and discussions with stakeholders and published literature on the subject including case studies denoting successful experiences in other countries where appropriate. Strategic cohesion amongst major stakeholders in the waste management sector was identified as essential to ensure a unified approach towards the attainment of common national objectives and avoid losses of efficiency and effectiveness brought about by fragmentation. Also, the need to raise public awareness and social responsibility applies particularly to waste prevention and minimisation measures because changes in behavioural and consumption patterns are essential to accomplish waste reduction. Source segregated kerb-side collection, increased producer responsibility, waste to energy facilities, and the introduction of economic incentives and/or disincentives were amongst the alternative waste management options considered. In order to comply with Directive 2008/98/EC on waste, EU member states are obliged to prepare waste prevention programmes by 2013. The six recommendations emanating from the findings of this study provide a mainframe for a proposed National Waste Minimisation Policy.