Douzaines slam plans for kerbside recycling

PUBLIC Services is facing a backlash over its kerbside recycling proposals.

Former St Sampson’s deputy Ron Le Moignan is one those unhappy about the kerbside recycling plans. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 1283352)
Former St Sampson’s deputy Ron Le Moignan is one those unhappy about the kerbside recycling plans. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 1283352)

PUBLIC Services is facing a backlash over its kerbside recycling proposals.

Douzaines spoken to by the Guernsey Press expressed concerns about the costs, who will be responsible for billing islanders and the need for compensation for their current refuse collectors.

Questions will now be asked in the States in an attempt to shed more light on the impact of the collection scheme for food waste and dry recyclables.

Kerbside collections are meant to be introduced in stages from around next November, but some douzaines still have years left to run on contracts with their refuse collectors and fear becoming unpopular fee-collectors for the States after the scheme is introduced.

Comments for: "Douzaines slam plans for kerbside recycling "


If it’s going to be run anything like the UK we will need 3 sets of crew and lorries to pay for.

My collection is during the night, so I can put the bins away in the morning after collection, but with more bins to be collected I will have to leave them out all-day until I get home ...not a pretty site if a whole street does it.

I really do have concerns over the whole kerbside recycling issue...especially the cost..... I would have preferred a waste to energy plant myself, but hay its not to be.


Kerbside recycling is just not a suitable option for Guernsey. Apart from the cost, there is the chance that the service will be put out to tender to UK companies. This could put current LOCAL contractors out of business. We have enough problems with traffic congestion as it is which is why all collections are currently carried out at night. The trial carried out in St Peter Port some time ago resulted in tailbacks. I personally think that the current system should stay as it is. People who recycle already will continue to do so and for those that can't manage to do it themselves there are local businesses who will collect for a small monthly charge, this would be a lot cheaper for the householder in the long run than the proposed increase in rates.


Tracey, I tend to agree with you. I was involved with the original scheme that used a combination of States Works and unemployed labour/transport; having been out on the 'round' myself a few times I know from first hand experience how labour intensive the collections were - especially out in the western parishes where there might be one dwelling at the end of a 100 yard long track.

I have always held the view that whilst Kerbside recycling schemes are fine in theory for city/town environments where dwellings have 'kerbside' access, the geography of this island will never succesfully lend itself to such a scheme.

Having seen the latest reaction from the Douzaines and the reluctance of PSD to actually put any figures to the scheme, I am very concerned that it will lead to a total withdrawal of the currently high rates of recycling done by so many (myself included) residents as folks will see the kerbside option as being the 'easy' one.

I hope I am proved wrong, but personally, I would prefer to do my 'bit' for the recycling effort and not have to rely on yet another 'facility' that I haven't requested, put in place at my expense.


Page 6 of todays Press says it all. Also, the public have no idea of the cost implications. Does the majority realise it is actually going to cost them money or do they think the service will be free?!

Totally agree with your last paragraph. We have recycled since the 80's and are quite happy to continue doing it ourselves.


I'm recycling already, which results in a bag or two a month for refuse collection, and I receive no rebate on my refuse rate to the Parish.

Have to watch my neighbours putting out 3+ bags a collection, and no doubt pay the same refuse rate as me, and now I have to pay even more for kerbside recycling!

Where do these 'bright' sparks come from who think up these wonderful additional costs for us? Oh sorry...I'm just a poor tax/rate payer and should know my place. Simpler to have my pay paid directly over to the powers that be than to be continually fleeced to fund unnecessary expenditure/pet projects/losses etc etc.


I know your pain but there's not really much to be done about it for kerbside:

I thought of barcoded bags that are tied to your home address, but that would be expensive to produce and run.

Just keep a tally of bags picked up? You then get people moving their rubbish to the drives of others to make a saving.

My only workable idea is recycling facilities with some kind of basic keypad system that ties your recycling to your home address through a computer.

Deposit X recycling per month? Discount on refuse collection.



When your parking clock gets a bit shabby how do you replace it? You buy a new one for whatever the States has decided is the going rate

Why can't the States sell bin sacks in the same way through shops or garages etc

They would need to be distinctive ( green and white with States crest? or a bit of advertising to defer costs?)and perhaps in two sizes to cater for single person households

Nothing will be collected unless it is in a prepaid States issue bag

When the annual income is insufficient to cover contractor's costs etc just add a couple of pence per bag at the point of purchase


RAY,best idea so far.

when we had a parish meeting to set the refuse rate we were told that the contractor had put double the price for kerbside collection,so we stuck to the normal collection.i do my own recycling and only put a bin out once a month,any thing that doubles my rates is a non starter as far as i am concerned.

Roy Coleman

Oh stop wingeing,a little sad to count other rubbish bags :)


ROY,seeing as money is no object to you, i will divert my rates to you to pay.

do you earn so much that it does not matter how much it costs?


Can you not opt out of having a refuse collection and make your own arrangements for the small amount of refuse you have left after recycling the rest? You would then pay no refuse rate to the parish.I am sure I have heard of others doing this.


No you can't the fee is payable even if you produce no rubbish


This all gone a bit silly

Recycling good for those who can (vehicle drivers)!

Not good for us who can't

So does this mean the end of weekly non reclaimables too?

Sara Thompson

Tackle the problem at source, get rid of the pointless petty bureaucrats who make up the douzaines


Agree 100%.

All this bluster about extra costs is smoke and mirrors. Centralise the whole waste and recycling collection, admin and billing.

At the moment, we have at least 10 waste collection contracts, 10 douzaines administering, billing, chasing up payment across an area that only requires one central hub.

Add waste collection costs to TRP accross the island and centralise the contract managment. Have 2 collections per week across the Island (I think most parishes have that already) one for recyclables and one for non-recyclables.

Go to tender on the Island contract (which wouldn't stop locals e.g. the current waste collectors from forming a company and bidding - they have the advantage of experiance and local knowledge). The cost of closing out existing contracts would need to be taken on the chin but then again shouldn't be a reason to maintain the status quo if better value can be delivered over the longer term.

Next stage do the same for dog tax, abournments, checking hedges and church rates. Then the Island is onto some serious savings as well as 10 douzaine rooms to sell / turn into housing / save on maintainence.

// Rant mode off


Did you read a single word of the above story?


For a start, Sara, it's not the douzaines who are dreaming this up, it's the goverment.

And to be honest, I feel a bit sorry for them on this one. They go down the way of recycling and burning the rest, and the tree huggers all come out and scream that they want recycling.

So they consult with absolutely everyone, including schools and the great unwashed like us, we tell them we want kerbside to maximise recycling. So they do that.

And what happens? Look above - everyone starts harping on about not wanting it, wish we'd burn it, kerbside can't/won't work, don't want to pay for it.

Sorry, but what should they do? Burn it. Too expensive. Kerbside. Too expensive. Geez!

guern abroad

Exactly my thoughts. Plently have moaned and say only work if we have kerb side recycling, and lo and behold it is being seriously considered and then moans again it wont work bla bla.

I am pretty gob smacked by the negativeity of this on this article.

Kerbside recycling is very good. I live very close to a block of 8 flats. They have two large bins rather then one each and it works.

Stop moaning and get on with it. Living in a developed community is waste heavy. Yes processing waste costs whether your throw it or recycle it, fact of a western lifestyle. You want to pay my council tax bill then you would know what is expensive, I pay in a month what most of you pay in one year.


Roughly speaking( very roughly, as the split is nearer 60/40 than 50/50 ) kerbside recycling would double the amount being collected from households .... so I predict the cost of collection will double .... as will the resources ( staff / vehicles ) to collect it ... and probably the time it will take.

And a States department is going to sort that out in under a year ? I'll believe it when I see it ...


Disappointingly sensationalist reporting by the Press. I have not been a fan of PSD, especially their past claims of consultation, but I was at the consultation meeting which was a real attempt at consultation. They clearly didn't have all the answers but they had gathered representatives from all interested groups to gather thoughts from all concerned.

Cost was indeed the prime concern of all participants. Thereafter there was a divergence of opinion on the next priorities. It was recognised that kerbside collection has the potential to change the refuse collection landscape but that was no reason not to explore it further. Efficient collection to minimise costs is essential and many douzaines are not concerned that they would not be involved in raising the funds to pay for a scheme. The current fee collection scheme merely recovers the costs incurred by douzaines for tipping the waste so why shouldn't PSD collect their own money?

The consultation meeting demonstrated how complex any ultimate waste management scheme will have to be. As a skeptic, I was impressed at how well the evening went. The one criticism I would have is the lack of strategy to inform the general public about the overall costs of any scheme. The defeat of a £73m incinerator has left many people that they have "saved" £73m, when in fact opting for the recycling route, it may well cost just as much, maybe more. However, until a scheme is finalised and agreed, it is difficult to say how much it will cost.


So is pay per bag gone out of the window then?


Hopefully not but it might be one of the last strands of the strategy to be changed. The quicker the better tho' because it would be an effective way to make people think about reducing their residual waste.


Ex-pat living in rural, country lanes, with no bin collection sent me into a tail-spin! I had to take by bag, by car, a mile to collection point.

A farmer, taking his bin by trailer,took it upon himself to get the facts. Several firms said 10/12 customers makes it viable for us to plan a route, we start 4am, leave bin outside for scanning, pay monthly, quarterly, annually as you prefer. Pay per bag also an option.

I went for bins monthly and found they got to my area around 11am. Provide mobile number and text sent night before to remind which bin/balance on your account. If home, out it goes around 10.30, back in 11.30 latest, unless breakdown/delay when they send an apology/revised details. Two staff, one hops out, scans barcode, empties bin, gone in seconds.

In Estates, they're in/out in next to no time; depending on width road/parking you're never delayed much longer than having to wait for a neighbour! Farms/Businesses they do willingly as there is room to turn.

Worked well for me for 5yrs, cancelled recently for cheaper option; sack in boot, into crusher at local store or garage forecourts. They collected their bins, free of charge, of course.

Agree should wait for Scheme to be finalised and no doubt will mean quarry filling, landfill or ferry out but that's living on an Island.


Build the incinerator anything recyclable like metal would be removed the rest burnt and recycled in the form of electricity for the island. Thousands less car journeys. no ugly bin sites around Guernsey, problem solved.

Shane Langlois

Firstly, the Press reported what I said rather inaccurately, we are talking about charges potentially doubling not trebling. In the PSD’s last Report the implied target was a system which cost the average household £200pa or less. The current cost for such a household was stated as being about £100pa. Of course what any household pays at the moment varies considerably from the average because those in large properties subsidise those in smaller properties. Depending upon your viewpoint that may be a good thing or not.

The PSD also stated a 50% recycling rate could be achieved with our existing parish collection/bring bank system. We all know costs would increase even if we maintained that recycling rate because the 50% of our waste going into Mont Cuet would shortly have to be incinerated somewhere.

I believe the point many Douzaines are trying to make is that neither they nor the general public as yet know the final business case for increasing the domestic recycling rate from 50% to 60% by means of a kerbside collection for dry recyclables then for increasing the recycling rate to 70% by including food waste in the kerbside collection and constructing an IVC. Even if the business case only stacks up when 70% recycling is achieved it would not necessarily preclude acceptance of the system, there are factors other than financial ones to take into account. However as the Douzaines, at least initially, will be sending out the bills they are understandably interested in the effect of any proposals on the Refuse Rate.

Yvonne Burford

Imagine we had a system at present whereby boxes of recycling were collected from households on a Monday and black bags were collected on a Thursday. Imagine that the recycling was collected free of charge and black bag waste was charged by weight/number of bags. Given that about 80% of the waste a household produces can be recycled it would mean that people who were so minded could largely control their refuse costs.

Now imagine the States came along and said "we are going to introduce a new waste system. In this new system we will only collect your black bags once a week and you will have to drive all your recyclable material to a bring bank yourself. Additionally we are going to charge you for your rubbish based on the size of your house, irrespective of the number of people who live in it and irrespective of how much waste you produce"

I wonder what the response would be.

Shane Langlois


You ask what the response would be. Surely a sensible response to your hypothetical scenario is; “I need more information on relative costs before I can decide.”

Yes, if recycling continues to be paid for by the charge on residual waste (‘black bag’ refuse), you are encouraging recycling. Even more so if the charge was based on weight or volume rather than property area. However encouraging further recycling only makes financial sense if recycling is always cheaper than incineration. That could be true but it is not necessarily so. For instance, it might be that recycling 50% of household waste is cheaper than incinerating it but recycling an additional 10% or 20% is more expensive.

The PSD has sensibly assumed a ‘steady state’ tonnage for the island’s waste arisings over the next twenty years. Notwithstanding the variables, it cannot be too difficult for the Department to give indicative costs, eg “ The average household is currently paying £1.90/week for refuse disposal, if Suez had not been abandoned the charge would have been £X/week and under our new proposals they will be £Y/week”. Given that continuing landfill is not an option, the Suez proposal is the only datum we have to assess the value for money of the new proposals,

You reiterate the popular idea that people could control their refuse costs if charges based on TRP were abandoned. I am no big fan of property taxes but they are redistributive to an extent in that a household in a large property is subsidising the costs of someone in a small flat. Anybody in a smaller than average property could well see the savings they make by assiduously recycling eroded by the loss of that subsidy.

guern abroad

Council tax in UK works on band of house regardless of number of people living in it or how much you cram into your landfill bin.

Waste costs, a fact of western living.


Dig a hole in the back garden and bury it, or have a bonfire.

That’s what will happen if it gets to expensive.


(markB.)That's what many families used to do,years ago, before this Island became overcrowded with immigrants,with the consequence of filling up the place with rubbish.


Why must money hinder one's ability to restore environmental stability ? They are evidently unaware that such negligence will incur 'costs' of an even greater magnitude during the forthcoming decades.


Aj - slightly xenophobic comment, bet you still wished the island was pure guernsey, just think how intelligent your ancestors would be coming from the same gene pool!



Don't knock A.J.It was his ancestors who buried all the limpet shells which archeologists drool over for weeks as they hold up modern day building progress


I am not against immigration per se.Some of my very best friends are Non local. What I have always been dead against is the 'mass immigration'(encouraged by our States) we have had to tolerate over the past 50 years,and the attitudes of those who fell in love with our way of life and then spent the rest of their time here trying to change it!


@A.J. ....

I generally prefer to stay away from threads that meander from the actual topic.

A stream of immigrants have over the past 50 years provided us Locals with a variety of jobs, pensions, a living that would not exist otherwise and, of course there is the convenience of having commodities on the door step. Next time you think about an eye test, buy a flight ticket, buy a health product, nip into a supermarket, rock up to, possibly, your job, think on.


I have always prefered to stay away from making 'personal comments'of any kind and prefer to speak in general terms. We still had all the things you mentioned, way back 50 or 60 years ago, but we were also happy and contented with our lot. In my case I still am.