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Guernsey to pilot 'pay as you throw' waste collection service next year
In just under 18 months' time, Guernsey Council will become the first in the British Isles to start collecting waste on a 'pay as you throw' basis.
Collection arrangements for all island households will change from September this year, when new collections are introduced for food waste and glass recycling.
These changes come ahead of the introduction of the new 'pay as you throw' system, which will start next year. It will give islanders time to familiarise themselves with the revised collections before the new charges come into effect.
Food waste accounts for more than 40% of the contents of household black bags. It will be collected weekly, which is how often most households currently have their bins picked up. Only St Peter Port has two collections a week.
With food waste collected weekly, households will be able to reduce the remaining 'black bag' material, so that can be collected less frequently. This general refuse will become a fortnightly service for most, to encourage waste reduction and recycling, reduce overall collection costs, and help households minimise their waste bills.
Glass will be collected on the alternate weeks, and the current blue and clear kerbside bag for other recycling will continue to be picked up fortnightly.
Some of the more built-up areas of St Peter Port will have weekly collection for general refuse, but the frequency of other collections will be the same as the rest of the island.
The new collection arrangements will begin from 2nd September, a few weeks before the new transfer station at Longue Hougue starts operations. That facility will process waste from households and businesses prior to being exported for energy recovery or recycling.
A comprehensive communications campaign will be rolled out before the new collections start, to ensure all households are aware of the new arrangements and how they can use them. Reusable containers for food waste and glass will also be delivered to homes.
No date has yet been set for the new changes, but the changeover is expected to be in January or February.
Currently, households receive an annual bill from their parish, to pay for the cost of collecting and disposing of their waste. The average charge for 2018 is expected to be around £130, but will be calculated for each household based on the Tax on Real Property value of their home.
From 2019, when the new pay as you throw system is introduced, parishes will only charge for the collections. The States will then recover the costs of any subsequent processing, treatment and disposal.
That will include a payment per bag of waste produced, using a system of prepaid stickers. This will be equivalent to putting a stamp on a letter to pay the cost of postage. It will only apply to general 'black bag' waste.
In addition, an annual fixed charge could also be levied per household, to reflect some of the fixed costs of the various household waste and recycling services provided by the States.
The Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure (CfE&I) and States' Trading Supervisory Board (STSB) have been directed to prepare further proposals for the implementation of the new charges. Those are expected to be debated by the States in April, and will confirm the various charges.
The proposals will include options to fund from the States' Capital Reserve some or all of the £32 million investment in new waste management facilities at Longue Hougue. That cost was originally to be funded through a loan, to be repaid from household and commercial waste charges over the next 20 years.
Once all the new services and facilities are introduced, the average cost per household is anticipated to be between £5.75 and £7 a week, depending on what decision is made on the capital funding. That total includes the charge for collections, paid to the parishes.
The States will also decide how much of the cost, if any, should be paid through an annual 'standing charge'. That will determine the price to be paid per bag.
One option would see all the cost initially put on bag charges. Households would then pay between £3.50 and £4.50 for each bag they put out. If an annual fixed fee is levied, it is likely that the pay as you throw charge would be less than £3.50 per bag.
The States Trading Supervisory Board previously indicated that an annual £115 fixed charge would result in a bag charge of £2.50.
Our image of Guernsey Harbour comes courtesy of visitguernsey.com
3rd May 2018