HomeTravelElectric robots will soon be cleaning Malta's streets and public places

Electric robots will soon be cleaning Malta’s streets and public places

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New autonomous robots will soon be sweeping and scrubbing promenades and public places across the country. 

A fleet of 73 mostly electric vehicles, including fully automated sweeper and scrubbing robots, street sweepers, rough terrain utility vehicles, and trucks, was inaugurated on Monday.

The vehicles will be used by the Cleansing and Maintenance Department to clean streets, promenades and public places from early January. 

There are two types of automated robots among the vehicles: one can scrub and will be used for street cleaning while the other sweeps and will be on promenades, pedestrian zones and public spaces.

Narrow passageways, beaches and other restricted areas will be cleaned with the help of rough-terrain utility vehicles.

Expect more frequent cleaning 

Tourism Ministry permanent secretary Anthony Gatt said that street cleaning will increase significantly.  

“A street that is usually cleaned once every three weeks will now be cleaned three to four times a week with this investment”, Gatt said.   

He said that more investment in public cleaning and maintenance is needed, as the number of visitors to Malta increases.   

The vehicles are all wrapped with images of the revived environmental mascot Xummiemu and cost €7 million, with €5 million coming from EU funding. 

Tourism minister Clayton Bartolo said the new vehicles are part of a wider push to attract ‘quality tourists’. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo said Malta is likely to smash its records for the number of visitors and nights spent in the country this year. 

The government’s push for public cleanliness is part of a wider government push to attract “quality tourists”, Bartolo said. 

Such tourists not only spend more money but are also more considerate residents and leave less of a negative impact. He said a national campaign is passing on the message that public cleanliness and maintenance need to be taken seriously.   

“If we don’t take this seriously, we risk losing our competitiveness as a tourist destination,” Bartolo said.   

Earlier this month, a survey showed that almost 30% of tourists visiting Malta in the summer of 2022 rated the country’s cleanliness as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. 

Bartolo said enforcement to stop people illegally throwing away their garbage is increasing.  

EU funds parliamentary secretary Chris Bonnet also spoke at the event. 

 

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