Enforcement action by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority and the PARKS project, has yielded good results as a total of 6,812 objects were removed from the countryside in the past 13 months.
A massive 5,867 of these objects were oil drums from fields situated in Outside Development Zones (ODZ), across 26 localities. MEPA’s efforts to clean up the countryside are being supported by a dedicated team, which forms part of the PARKS project. MEPA identifies the sites and asks the owner to remove the oil drums. Usually owners cooperate, but if this does not happen, then enforcement action is taken.
In the last 13 months, a total of 403 call letters were issued, of which only 63 required an enforcement notice, and a total of 4,294 items were removed by the owners. This result was complemented by the fact that during direct action taken by the PARKS team, a total of 1,980 oil drums were removed.
Besides oil drums, white goods, wooden pallets and even vehicles are removed from the countryside. The most common reason for their placement in the countryside in the first place is to ‘build’ an extension to walls to shield fields and crops from wind.