'Kerbside recycling will cost us our jobs'

REFUSE collectors fear losing their jobs when kerbside recycling is introduced next year.

Clint Blondel with his refuse trucks. Collectors are worried kerbside recycling will take away their rounds. (Picture by Tom Tardif, 1283586)
Clint Blondel with his refuse trucks. Collectors are worried kerbside recycling will take away their rounds. (Picture by Tom Tardif, 1283586)

REFUSE collectors fear losing their jobs when kerbside recycling is introduced next year.

They have also warned that the scheme would cost islanders more than the current set-up.

Four small businesses handle rubbish collection for all of Guernsey - except St Peter Port, which is handled by States Works - but it has not been decided how they could be factored into the new kerbside collections.

Planning is under way for the new scheme, which is due to be introduced next November and would see dry recyclables and food waste collected from more than 25,000 households.

The Public Services Department has met parish representatives and waste contractors and acknowledged that concerns had been raised.

Bin collectors told the Guernsey Press they feared the changes would cost them their refuse rounds.

Comments for: "'Kerbside recycling will cost us our jobs'"

Sarah Lowe

I'm not sure why it would cost them their jobs...not that I'm particularly knowledgeable on the topic, but I would have assumed that for all the reduction in 'rubbish' collected, an equal amount of recycling would therefore need to be collected....can't they collect the recyclables instead? Is it not feasible that some of the vehicles are cleaned out and used for the recyclables instead? Not sure if there is an issue there with the vehicles not being suitable but i fail to see how jobs would be lost, just slightly different jobs.

Tokyo News

Why will it cost them their jobs??

Surely it will make more jobs, have more rounds.

Monday - Plastics

Tuesday - Cans and Bottles

Wed - cardboard


I know he's a bin man but if we keep it simple like this then surely he can see how they will all benefit!?

Paule (Guern in UK)

Tokyo News

Firstly I am more than a little astounded at your comment of " I know he's a binman but if we keep it simple surely he will see the benefit.

Can you be any more condescending?

Where i live we have had two weekly collection for household waste one week and recycling the next and it works very well but only to those who bother to separate their refuse.

In our blue bin goes plastic/cardboard/paper/cans etc and another bin for bottles and jars,then the next week it is other household waste.

There is also another brown bin for garden waste which is optional at a cost of £35 per annum.

Unfortunately a lot of people do not bother to separate thier waste and put any old thing in any or the nearest bin that suits,not wishing to sound a xenophobe it is in fact the case where i live that it is foreign nationals who do not use any kind recycling bins provided by the council, however i believe it a simple case of communication and many of those who live near me do not speak nor understand english.

I have suggested to the council that a simple letter in polish/latvian/lithuanian to those tenants to explain what to do would be the way to go but it seems my suggestion has fallen on deaf ears.I mention those particular nationalities as they are the predominate mix in the council accomodation here in Norwich.

Back to the thread.... Why doesn't Mr Blondel apply for the contract to remove the recycled waste and make up for any lost business, unless of course this has already been issued to another contractor.

Tokyo News

Thank you for agreeing with my case in point. We should be condesending to the foreigners who live over here if they can understand it then a bin man should be able to as well. I beleive certain days should dictate how bins are collected - otherwise they dont get picked up.


Perhaps the four small independents should amalgamate to form one large company to keep out the big UK firms

Guern abroad

Why not work with the States to do this service too, don't just wait to be approached do the approaching and be proactive.

Make it viable for the work to stay with a local company.

Rob Ozanne

I was once, and my father before me, the contractor to the St Peter Port Constables for household refuse collection. All bins were collected twice a week are they still ?

I remember when Lloyd Le Page started his waste paper collections, why he didnt go bust I dont know. I left the island in 1974.


Still twice a week

States House

Do these people not think before they get their picture in the press? A lot of people are about to lose their mortgage relief but they want sympathy because their business model is not sustainable.

While they are finding problems and whining about losing work, someone else is actually using their brain and finding solutions and planning their new kerbside recyclable collection business.


Here in Bristol green boxes emptied every Thursday and wheelie bins of landfill waste ie black bags non recylce is once a fortnight. I think he is talking RUBBISH!


I do not see why the monetary aspect of this scheme should generate such concern. Do such people have the capacity to realise that if they fail to take substantial action to mitigate what's becoming an increasingly adverse situation the 'costs' incurred will have a severe environmental and ecological effect ?





This is a classic illustration of how ignorance and small-mindedness hinders one from adapting their livelihood in response to an ever-changing world. Hopefully, such individuals will achieve some sort of spiritual enlightenment by realising that their current trade runs counter to the community's aim to prevent an already adverse situation from being exacerbated, and adopt a career that is more forward-thinking in nature.

Integral to the success of the crusade against anthropogenic climate change is the capacity of all members of the community to participate in activities that will contribute towards a more bright future. Although one may see a light at the end of this perpetual tunnel, from behind is a wave that is engulfing them with their narrow-mindedness . Therefore, if one wants to escape this all-pervading atmosphere of injudiciousness, a major prerequisite is education on topics of environmental concern. Hopefully, that will persuade such ignoramuses to engage in this remedial enterprise against environmental change.



Oh dear.Better get your tin helmet ready



I trot along to the bring bank with my rubbish like a dutiful little citizen but doing this my entire life will not offset one hour's worth of the current industrial pollution in China.

The primary issue of this debate is what is the most cost effective long term waste strategy for Guernsey.



True. Very true. However, although your personal endeavour to behave like a climate crusader may be inconsequential, do you not think that if everybody was persuaded to engage in this cause that global climate change may be mitigated ? I do appreciate that large corporations may be reluctant to invest in anything that hinders the remunerative nature of their trade, but we are at the beginning of what scientists believe to be climate tipping-point. That is if the community as a whole doesn't make an effective collaborative effort to allay adverse circumstances, we may manoeuvre ourselves into a situation wherein further mitigation of climate change becomes impossible thereafter.

Hence, it is essential that businesses like this align themselves with this remedial enterprise, their temporary loss of trade notwithstanding. Theoretically, it could be argued that the increased demand for 'greener' ways of dealing with waste would enable these individuals to generate commercial ventures that are even more profitable in nature than their current trade.

PS, I am surprised that people don't appreciate the environmental and ecological value of such enterprises, but express greater concern for the pecuniary aspects of it- how egotistical.



Climate change will happen, it always has and always will. Perhaps it is egotistical of mankind to think it can be in a position of influence or control over it.

The pertinent issue of climate change in my humble opinion is therefore that not enough is being done about future plans to help people adapt to the consequences.

Any hope of delaying climate change would require immediate global agreement of drastic policies and I just can't see that happening anytime soon. It's a noble cause but perhaps ultimately futile.


All that needs to be said on climate change really.


Agree with you Ed. We are all responsible and need to work together on this one.


Further to my discussion is my hope that nobody replies with the banal alibi " the situation will be bad long after I am gone".



I hope you're not basing your global warming stance on the fraudulent Al Gore film you were forced to watch at Junior school



My argument was that I cannot believe the ignorance of these rubbish collectors in the way that they only express concern for the impact of the recycling scheme upon the remunerative nature of their trade and that they have evidently overlooked the ecological value of the latter.


Maybe they just don`t have that superior knowledge you seem to think you have? try having a little more respect for those who have spent many years working hard and who are concerned for their future.


Well said bcb.



I agree that their problems are miniscule compared with the problems of Guernsey and indeed the problems of the world.

They need to adapt to the change of circumstances, there is no point in complaining about it. I'm not sure why they can't adapt by rebranding themselves as recyclers rather than rubbish disposers.


One of the main differences between the old incinerator focused waste strategy and the new maximum recycling one is that the incinerator option required a large up-front 'fixed capital expenditure', the vast majority of which would have left the island for good since we would have bought the plant from a foreign company.

The waste strategy that we are now following on the other hand, will have 'variable costs' that will be largely determined by how successful we become in reducing the quantity of 'residual' waste we create. We will need to create additional local jobs to do that and that money will stay circulating in our local economy which will be a good thing for the island as a whole. As has been commented further up, people already working in the waste collection businesses will stand a good chance of continuing in that field, albeit their jobs might alter a bit.

Dealing with the 'residual' waste is the most expensive part of dealing with waste, so the less waste that ends up as 'residual' waste the better and cheaper the system will be. So, instead of focusing the greater proportion of the cost on dealing with 'residual' waste, more focus and money will be spent of the Reduce, Reuse & Recycling aspects of the strategy in order to minimise the residual faction. The way we collect our waste falls into the Reduce, Reuse, Recycling part of the waste stream and since kerbside collections of recyclables have been proven to increase recycling levels, that is where some of the money needs to be spent in order to reduce the residuals.

There are now too many people in this world for us to ignore the concerns about increasing resource scarcity. It is right that we aim to be part of the solution and not increasingly part of the problem and therefore a waste strategy that focuses on recovering as much material from the waste stream as is possible is the right way to go. It is no longer credible to think that we have a 'right' to destroy everything that we no longer have a need for just because we can.

We need to make this new strategy work and if that means a radical overhaul of the way our waste / recyclates are collected, then so be it.