Monday 05 October 2015
The preferred destination for the island's waste could be decided within weeks after companies were invited to submit formal bids.
The possible destinations include Jersey, which is shortlisted along with four other plant operators or intermediaries. They all have until the end of November to provide proposals and prices that include transport from the planned new waste transfer station at Longue Hougue, and the subsequent treatment at an off-island energy recovery facility.
The Longue Hougue facility will process household black bag and commercial waste left over after efforts to reduce and recycle. This material will be shredded and some remaining metals removed for recycling. This will produce what is classed as refuse derived fuel (RDF), which will be baled for transport.
The destination plant will use the RDF as a fuel to produce heat and electricity, and be responsible for managing any outputs. These include ash and residues from the flue gas filtration. The prices they provide will be net of any income they can receive from the power generated, which means the island will benefit financially from this process.
The new waste transfer station is expected to produce up to 23,000 tonnes of RDF a year for export, starting in early 2018.
The introduction of a pay as you throw system of waste charges will not come into effect until 2017 at the earliest. The Department had previously hoped that the new bag charges could be introduced in mid-2016.
However it is awaiting revised estimates from the companies bidding to build the transfer station, before deciding whether food waste will be processed separately or included in RDF. This will affect the way different materials are collected in future.
Public Services Minister Deputy Scott Ogier said:
"We are only a few months away from confirming the final collection specification. However the parishes and their contractors need certainty regarding the requirements for 2016, so they can start to finalise their costs and refuse rates. What materials are collected separately, and in what combinations, is key to that.
"Once we have that confirmed, contractors will need some time to plan and potentially acquire new vehicles, and parishes will have to negotiate and award new contracts. It was therefore considered premature to try and introduce the new collections and charges in 2016. We will instead make a decision early next year as to when to make the changeover."
Public Services completed a successful glass collection trial in St Peter Port this year, and subsequently asked parishes to submit quotations to provide this service to all households. To introduce this now as part of the current interim scheme would cost more than £1/2 million, which the Department has decided "does not currently represent value for money".
"We believe there are efficiencies and cost savings to be gained through better integration of the different waste and recycling collections and longer term collection contracts. This should make the inclusion of glass more cost effective."
"However the Department appreciates the difficulty contractors have in making further improvements until the exact combinations of other materials to be collected is confirmed. Once we have that information we can look again at glass collection, which it is something we would still like to do, but not at any price."
Public Services also estimates the average household bill will rise by around £8.40 next year due an increase in the Mont Cuet gate fee of 11.5% from 1 January. Deputy Ogier said:
"We have known for some considerable time that waste costs in Guernsey will be increasing from what is an historically low level. It was true with the Suez proposal, and the earlier Lurgi proposal and it is true whatever option we could choose. It is inevitable but we will ensure that in future everyone has greater control over these costs than they do now"
"Public Services has taken the view that, where possible, it is better to smooth any increases rather than store up sharper rises in the medium term. In percentage terms the increases are large, but the amount we all pay for waste services is, for most, still relatively little compared to other household expenditure."