Resource Use

Kerbside recycling for Guernsey residents

Guernsey residents will receive kerbside recycling collections along with their usual waste collection service from March 2014, Guernsey Public Services has announced.

Although the scheme is voluntary, it is expected that ‘most islanders will take part’ in the free offering.

Designed to ‘help shape the full kerbside service’ –  scheduled to start in 2016 – the interim scheme will only apply to dry recyclables, as the separate collection of food waste will only be made available to residents ‘once facilities for processing these materials on-island are available’.

The council added that glass will not be included in the interim service due to ‘issues associated with its collection’ (which can see broken glass contaminate other waste streams, such as paper).

However, it will running trials during the next two years to see if these obstacles can be resolved, and thus allow glass to be part of the final scheme.

In the meantime, bring bank facilities will continue to be provided for glass recycling.

Interim service details

According to Guernsey Public Services, the new service will be provided by the current waste management contractor, Mayside Recycling. The company’s waste collectors will pick up mixed recycling in ‘special’ bags (to be distributed to householders early next year) so to avoid the need for householders to put out additional bins. Residents will be able to put out as many bags for recycling as they need.

Public Services added that there will be no charge to households for the initial two year interim scheme, as the £2.4 million cost, which includes all collection and processing charges over the two years, will be funded by the body itself.

Running on the same evening as residual waste collections, the system will see paper and card picked up one week, and tins, cans, plastic bottles and containers, foil, and drink cartons the next. The mixed materials will then be taken to Mayside Recycling, which is setting up a new materials recovery facility, to sort and process the various recyclables.

Recycling rates

The announcement came with the revelation that Guernsey’s household recycling rate has fallen in the last year, to 45.9 per cent compared to 46.8 per cent in 2012.

In response, Public Services launched a 'One More Thing' campaign, which aims to help islanders to increase recycling.

It has calculated that if every household recycled the equivalent of a newspaper and a glass bottle extra per week, the island could reach its 50 per cent target.

“Make recycling easier”

Public Services Minister and States of Guernsey Deputy Paul Luxon, said: "Guernsey has done well to get our household recycling rate to 46 per cent, and we can all be proud of that achievement. However we have to improve the service provided to remove some of the barriers that prevent some islanders from recycling more, and help those who are not currently recycling anything to start.

'Kerbside collection is important, as it will make recycling easier and more convenient. And every additional tonne of materials we collect at the kerbside or through the bring banks, is one less tonne going to landfill or requiring another costly form of treatment.

"All the parishes are signed up and as committed as we are to making a success of this. Kerbside recycling is what their parishioners want, and although there will of course be some challenges, by working together, along with their bin men, we are confident we can overcome these."

Read more about the interim recycling scheme in Guernsey