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Recycling rate ‘good start – but more can be done’

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GUERNSEY’S impressive recycling rate shows that islanders are willing and able to change household habits for the benefit of the environment when given a clear opportunity to do so, Guernsey’s Extinction Rebellion group has said.

Mayside Recycling depot manager Paul Martel, left, and Corey Martel, supervisor. (Picture By Peter Frankland, 28418633)

The comment follows the news that the island’s forecast recycling rate would give Guernsey one of the highest household recycling rates in Europe.

Last year, 73% of household waste was sent for recycling or composting, which was up from 50% in 2017.

It meant the island exceeded the target of getting to 70% recycling by 2030 in the first full year of the new waste strategy.

But the success has left the waste strategy £1.4m. in deficit because people have not had to buy as many black bag stickers as expected.

Extinction Rebellion said Guernsey would not have such an impressive recycling record if it had not been for wise people standing up to demand a sustainable solution instead of the creation of the proposed incinerator which would have incentivised the island to produce more waste and to recycle less.

‘Reducing the overall amount of waste we produce, including recyclable waste, would be a good next step, and for that we need industry to continue their efforts to reduce the quantity of packaging and make what packaging there is entirely recyclable.

‘There are also easy steps that could be taken now such as an immediate ban on local food retailers using Styrofoam containers – like the ones you see floating in the harbour on Sunday mornings,’ they said.

To further reduce waste, XR said taking containers into shops that support reducing the use of plastic bags was a good way for islanders to make more of an individual difference.

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‘We also need to ensure that waste from commercial businesses is also being recycled at the same levels as household waste.’

Managing director at the Guernsey Recycling Group, Mike Grime, was delighted Guernsey has one of the best recycling rates in the world.

‘The Guernsey Waste Strategy was designed on Guernsey residents’ wish to recycle more and they have seized their opportunity to play their part.’

As a waste contractor to Guernsey States’ Trading Assets for household waste, GRG provide dry recycling services for processing the clear and blue bags.

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They have seen the increase in waste from kerbside since the start of the scheme.

Mr Grime continued: ‘The benefits of the high recycling rates have such a positive effect on the environment.

‘We are establishing Guernsey as a leader in the circular economy, ensuring our waste is put to use as secondary raw materials for future products, helping, in our own modest way, to reduce the world’s CO2 footprint.

‘Our sustainability credentials for waste are going to be top of the leader board too.’

Zoe Fitch

By Zoe Fitch
News reporter

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