Friday 05 April 2019
The island is set to record one of the highest household recycling rates in Europe this year, with a prediction of above 60% for the first quarter of 2019.
Based on tonnages from the first three months of 2019 - the first full quarter since exports began - Guernsey Waste is forecasting up to 65% of household waste will be 'reused, recycled or composted' this year. This compares to a provisional rate of 50.2% for the 12 months to the end of March 2018, and puts the island well on course to achieve its target of recycling 70% of household waste by 2030.
The biggest factor in Guernsey's increase has been the new food waste collections for every household. This material is now exported, and used to generate electricity.
The shift to fortnight pick-ups for general rubbish has also seen a big upturn in kerbside recycling. A survey in November last year, involving more than 1,800 homes in St Peter Port and Castel, found that more than 85% of households were now regular users of the service. Nearly 90% were using the weekly food waste collections.
Tonnages for the blue and clear recycling bags in the first two months of January and February were up more than 30% compared to 2018. The amount of general refuse has also fallen significantly following the introduction of the new collection arrangements.
Since December, separately collected food waste has been pre-processed at the new transfer station at Longue Hougue, before being loaded into tankers and sent to a plant in southern England. It is used there to generate electricity and a compost material.
In Europe, only Germany has recorded a national rate of more than 60%. According to the most recent statistics published by the EU, it recycled 67.6% of 'municipal waste' in 2017.
The next highest countries were Slovenia, at 57.8%, and Austria at 57.7%. The only two other EU members states to recycle more than half of their municipal waste were Netherlands and Belgium, at 54.2% and 53.7%, while Switzerland's rate was 52.5%.
A handful of local authorities in the UK have reported rates of above 60%, the highest being Anglesey at 69.1%. Only two other councils, both Welsh, were above 65%.
Overall, in 2017, 45.7% of household waste in the UK was reused, recycled or composted.