Student collects 13,000 used batteries
While other children were at home watching television or spending their time online after school, William Zerafa, 13, was out scouring the streets in search of used batteries to do his part for the environment.
A student at St Patrick’s School, Sliema, he took his school’s parti-cipation in the Battery Buster campaign so seriously by the end of his mission he had collected 13,000 batteries, sending his school to the top of the league.
“I used to go out after school with my uncle and collect batteries from shops and the streets into a big box,” he said.
He was one of the students assembled at WasteServ’s Mrieħel civic amenity site yesterday to bid farewell to the 71 tons of batteries collected in Malta over the past four years.
Students from St Patrick’s School, Newark Junior School, in Sliema, and the Żabbar, Mqabba and Kirkop primary schools were there too.
Schools alone collected over 14 tons of batteries, which will be exported to Italy to be recycled as it does not make sense for Malta to export the smaller batteries on a regular basis.
WasteServ chairman Ben Farrugia said that by 2012 the country would have to recycle 25 per cent of all the batteries it used and that would increase by 45 per cent in 2015.
The numbers seem to be on track. In 2009, WasteServ collected 13 per cent and this rose to 17 per cent last year. This, Mr Farrugia said, excluded car batteries, which were exported for recycling by the private sector.
Resources Minister George Pullicino said the country was recycling more and more and, in the past 18 months alone, 40,000 units of electrical goods were taken for recycling. That excluded 30,000 TV sets and monitors.
The younger generation seems to be responding well to its responsibility, with St Patrick’s School leading the pack.
Amber Mifsud, 10, from Mqabba Primary had the support of her family and managed to collect well over 1,000 batteries while Kelly Chetcuti, from Kirkop, collected 500 batteries with the help of her mother, who would get used batteries from work.