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Waste Strategy

Guernsey's waste strategy looks to encourage islanders and businesses to reduce waste, and provide opportunities and incentives to maximise reuse and recycling. By doing so, we aim to minimise the amount of waste we, as a community, produce; and the fraction requiring costly treatment and disposal. What we do not reuse or recycle will be exported to an off-island facility for energy recovery and disposal.

Why was the strategy chosen?

Guernsey is currently entirely reliant on landfill for disposing of thousands of tonnes of waste generated each year by local homes, businesses, and other sources. The last available site, at Mont Cuet, is predicted to be full by 2022, and therefore an alternative, long-term and sustainable solution is required.

The new Strategy was developed through extensive public consultation, and all available options were considered. The chosen solution performed best when considering all the factors islanders said were most important, which included cost and dealing with waste using the most sustainable means available. It was also the least cost of all the short-listed options, over the life of the Waste Strategy.

When wil the strategy be introduced

The Waste Strategy involves a number of new services and facilities, some of which are already in place, and all of which are expected to be operational by 2017. 

How much will it cost islanders?

At present, Guernsey households pay on average around £110 per year for their waste to be dealt with. That is equivalent to less than the price of two litres of milk per week.  It is currently expected that these costs will roughly double once the new waste strategy is fully implemented. 

Why is the new Waste Strategy more expensive?

The current cost for waste management in Guernsey is very low, primarily because it involves simply burying our waste in landfill. In the last 50 years several former quarries have been filled in this way.  Any new method of waste disposal will inevitably cost more - even if just involved continuing to landfill materials but with some additional, modern treatment. 

Even with all the additional new services and facilities provided in the Waste Strategy, it will still represent a relatively small element of most household's expenditure. Nevertheless the Department is sensitive to the potential impact on islanders of any cost increases, and the need to ensure these are kept to a minimum.

What is the cost to export waste?

In 2013 Public Services received expressions of interest from several operators who would accept the island's waste, who also provided indicative prices. These were published in the January 2014 States report, which is available below, however a destination has not yet been chosen. 

In May 2015, the Department will again invite expressions of interest from operators, following which a short list will be chosen and invited to submit tenders for transporting and treating the island's "residual" waste, which is what is left over after all our efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle.  A destination wil be chosen later this year, ready to start exporting waste in 2017. 

Why spend so much money on recycling or reducing waste?

Overall, it is about striking the right balance between ensuring waste is dealt with responsibly in a manner that does not present a burden on future generations, but also achieving this in the most cost-effective way. 'Up front' measures such as promoting reuse and recycling will minimise the amount of waste that requires export or other disposal, and therefore reduce the costs of these other elements of the Waste Strategy.

Where can I find out more information?

If you have any further questions regarding the waste strategy, recycling, or other aspects of waste management then please contact Public Services.

If you wish to find out more information on the new Waste Strategy, copies of the proposals approved by the States can be downloaded using the links at the foot of the page.  The key reports are:-

  • February 2012 - Outline of the waste strategy development and proposals
  • January 2014 - Investigations into waste export, legislation, and charging proposals
  • December 2014 - Detailed proposals for new legislation and charging arrangements

Waste Minimisation Plan

This report provides information on waste minimisation measures to be introduced as part of the waste strategy. It also highlights measures that could be implemented whilst work is continuing on implementing other aspects of the waste strategy, assuming appropriate funding and additional staff resources. To read the full report please see the downloads section of this page.

Public Services Department

Head Office,  Brickfield House,  St Andrew,  GY6 8TY,  Guernsey
Website: www.gov.gg/publicservices
Tel: 44 1481 234684 Email: publicservices@gov.gg

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