Monday 19 November 2012
The introduction of kerbside collections will make it easier and more convenient for islanders to recycle, and provide the most cost-effective solution to the island's waste.
Public Services is currently assessing the various options for the new scheme, to determine its recommended solution. As part of that process it has met with parishes and their waste contractors, to identify key issues and requirements.
It has also gathered feedback from islanders, to gauge the views of those who will be using the scheme. This involved a range of different households, from large properties to flats, located in both built-up areas and rural parishes, and islanders of various ages and family sizes.
This information has been used, along with other technical considerations, to model dozens of options. Each one is a combination of several factors, such as collection routes and frequency, the different materials collected, type of vehicles used, and containers provided for islanders to put out recycling for pick up.
Public Services Deputy Minister, Deputy Scott Ogier, said the Department was well aware of the issues that exist, and was taking account of these in determining the best solution.
Islanders should not be unduly concerned over the scheme's cost, as this would offset the high price of having to deal with waste by other means. It was also a key part of an integrated strategy approved by the States, which will use a combination of measures to tackle waste.
Taken as a whole, this strategy had been the most cost-effective of all the options considered.
'We recognise cost is a concern for many islanders, and that is reflected in the importance it has been given in all our work on the strategy and now kerbside,' he said.
'What we have currently is a very inexpensive method of waste disposal, which is effectively burying rubbish in a hole in the ground that someone else has conveniently provided. We have done so for decades, but it is now generally regarded as the least acceptable option.'
'We need an alternative, and inevitably it will cost more than the cheap but unsustainable practice we have used until now. That is the bad news. The good news is that the new waste strategy we are in the process of implementing is not only the most sustainable solution, environmentally, it will also involve the least cost in the long term.'
The new strategy prioritises measures aimed at reducing waste and recycling more, to minimise the amount that requires other treatment. The preferred option is currently to export this residual off-island, which is likely to be the most expensive element of the whole strategy.
'The more we reduce and recycle, the greater the savings on other elements of the strategy', said Deputy Ogier.
The meeting with parishes was also attended by housing organisations and landlord representatives, and 75% of participants rated the evening as good or excellent. A report was sent to all Douzaines last month, with a request for any further feedback.
The waste strategy includes new recycling targets, rising to 70% by 2025. Deputy Ogier said this was challenging but achievable, and would rely on the involvement of the whole community.
'We have made enormous achievements in recent years. The people of Guernsey have shown their commitment, which is why we can be confident in our future targets. However any regular visitor to the bring banks can tell you we are not going to achieve this relying solely on the current facilities,' he said.
Introducing a kerbside scheme also had to consider the frequency and efficiency of residual waste collections.
'We would expect all the parishes to be happy with their current contractors. However we need to look at whether the current system is still the most efficient, cost-effective service for islanders,' said Deputy Ogier.
'Parish-based collections have existed for 50 years or more, and any system in place for that long has to be reviewed from time to time. This will identify if improvements can be made.'
Public Services expects to complete the technical work by the end of this year, and will make its recommendations in early 2013. This will include detailed costs for the preferred scheme, and the proposal for implementation.
Public Services Department
Jim Anderson - Projects Liaison Officer
Tel: 01481 234684;