Household waste charges are set to rise in January

HOUSEHOLD waste charges will rise from January.

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What you pay is made up of three components: a fixed charge and a black bag charge set by the States, and a parish fee.

The annual fixed charge will go up £5 to £90, while the pay-as-you-throw charge for a 90-litre bag will go up from £2.50 to £2.70. The price of a sticker for a ‘half size’ waste bag, for up to 50 litres capacity, will rise by 10p, to £1.50.

Those behind the rise say it will average less than 20p per week extra.

Guernsey Waste operations manager Sarah Robinson said charges were reviewed annually, with the aim to break even over 20 years.

This will focus also on reducing costs where possible.

‘We have made considerable early progress, including hitting our recycling target much sooner than anticipated. This has had an initial impact on both our income and our expenditure, but we are continuing to take a long-term view. The aim will be to avoid any sharp increases or decreases, and look to achieve savings where we can to keep charges to our customers as low as possible.’

Income from that bag charge last year was around £3m. below forecast. A shortfall is also expected this year, following the decision to freeze charges in 2020.

The reduction in waste also means costs have been lower than anticipated, which has helped to offset some of the lower revenue. As a result, Guernsey Waste reported an operating deficit of £1.4m. last year.

The increases are expected to raise an extra £255,000 from households next year, while increases in commercial charges should generate an extra £54,000.

When the export strategy was drawn up, it was predicted the average household would pay £6 a week.

In 2019 and 2020, households spent on average around £4.40 per week.

The parish bill was on average about £80 per household.

The amount of general rubbish produced has more than halved since the introduction of new collections and charges in 2018 and 2019.

Before those changes, it was estimated households generated on average more than one and half bags of waste per week.

That was expected to fall to around one bag a week, following the switch to fortnightly pick-ups for general rubbish, and the introduction of separate food waste collections and a pay as you throw charge.

However, households now produce on average only around one bag every fortnight.

In 2019, 73% of household waste was recycled, which was up from 50% in 2017, and exceeded the 2030 target of 70%. It puts the island among the world’s highest recycling performers.

In a recent survey, more than 90% of islanders were using the food waste collections, which is a much higher participation than has been seen in other places.

The standard charge for commercial general waste will increase from £240 per tonne to £246 from 1 January.

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