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.
In January 2014 the States will debate proposals giving further details of the implementation of the new Waste Strategy, which was approved in 2012. These include plans to begin exporting waste for off-island treatment and introducing a new charging system that rewards households that recycle and reduce waste. The new arrangements should be in place from 2016, once the required legislation and on-island processing facilities are in place.
An overview of the Waste Strategy is provided below, and more details of the proposals to be debated by the States in January 2014 are available via this link.
What is Guernsey's Waste Strategy?
In 2012, following extensive public engagement, the States approved a new waste strategy. This prioritises measures to minimise the amount of waste that requires treatment and disposal, and includes new services and facilities to make it easier for islanders to reduce, reuse, and recycle more. It is proposed any remaining waste is then exported for energy recovery and disposal.
Why was the strategy chosen?
The Waste Strategy was developed through extensive public consultation, and all available options were considered. The one chosen performed best when considering all the factors islanders said were most important, which included dealing with waste using the most sustainable means available. The chosen strategy was also the least cost of all the short-listed options, over the life of the Waste Strategy.
How much will it cost islanders?
At present, Guernsey households pay on average around £105 per year for their waste to be dealt with. That is equivalent to less than the price of two litres of milk per week.
The current estimated cost of the new strategy is around £200 per year.
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, and the last available one, Mont Cuet, is nearing the end of its life.
A new method of waste disposal will inevitably cost more. However 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 will strive to ensure these are kept to a minimum.
What is the cost to export waste?
Public Services has received expressions of interest from several operators who would accept the island's waste, including indicative prices. These wil be published in a forthcoming States report.
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 wish to find out more information on the new Waste Strategy, a copy of the proposals approved by the States in 2012 can be downloaded here February 2012 Waste Strategy States Report [5Mb].
If you have any further questions regarding the waste strategy, recycling, or other aspects of waste management then please contact Public Services.
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.