Comment: Silence will cost PSD on the kerbside

PERHAPS unsurprisingly, the cracks appear to be showing in a key component of the island’s slowly-evolving waste strategy with the parish douzaines fearful of what kerbside collections will mean in terms of logistics and cost.

PERHAPS unsurprisingly, the cracks appear to be showing in a key component of the island’s slowly-evolving waste strategy with the parish douzaines fearful of what kerbside collections will mean in terms of logistics and cost.

The reason is that PSD has not been forthcoming in any of its presentations about how this significant change across 26,000 island households is actually going to work.

As things stand, the downsides are starting to become apparent: a UK contractor coming in to take work away from local collectors, a tripling of costs, the douzaines acting as unpopular bagmen for the States as they demand more money from parishioners and the prospect of having to find room for at least four bins for the different types of waste.

None of this may be correct, of course. But in the absence of official clarity of what is proposed, this scenario accurately reflects the concerns being voiced by the parishes.

In fact, one former douzenier was speaking for many when he suggested that PSD knows exactly what it has in mind but is too scared to tell islanders. That also gives some credence to the other suggestion from the parishes that the collection schedule has been put together on the basis of 13 seconds per household.

This situation is unfortunate, to say the least. Islanders are pro-recycling and care about their island and the environment.

They are not, however, immune from cost increases and the private binmen who service the parishes are held in high regard for the quality of service they provide at a time of day when they are all but invisible.

Cutting them off at a stroke would not only be wrong, it potentially leaves the douzaines – and ratepayers – with compensation claims for breach of contract.

Additionally, the thousands of islanders who live in flats and compact accommodation will wonder how they are to accommodate recycling storage bins, and what happens to them if they cannot.

There is a lot at stake over this element of the waste strategy and PSD runs the risk of losing the island’s buy-in because of its self-imposed information vacuum.