Replacing waste containers is costing island thousands

REPLACING lost and broken food caddies and glass bags is costing the island thousands of pounds a year, but one parish official has said the States cannot be expected to solve all of the island’s problems.

The kerbside waste collection system was launched two-and-a-half years ago.

Since then about 5,000 food caddies and 9,000 glass bags have had to be replaced.

Guernsey Waste operations manager Sarah Robinson said that while a lot of those had been due to wear and tear, rather than being misplaced, it was looking to reduce costs.

She was responding to a social media post from former Vale deputy, Sarah Hansmann Rouxel who lives in Braye Road.

Former deputy Sarah Hansmann Rouxel. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29280548)

She said Tuesday mornings were invariably hunt-for-the-bin time and often involved dodging cars and rescuing bins from the road outside her home.

Black shards of plastic were strewn along the road and not just the one where she lives.

‘How do we fix this and stop wasting money?’ said Mrs Hansmann Rouxel.

Vale constable Richard Leale said a steady stream of people called at parish’s douzaine room when it was open seeking replacement caddies and bags.

‘We give out more caddies than bags and that’s probably because the caddies go out weekly,’ he said.

‘They are very light and get blown easily in the wind. Most people find their own solutions and I think that’s better than pointing fingers.

‘There maybe something else we can do but at what cost? We can’t expect the States to solve all of our ills.’

Other than supplying the containers, Miss Robinson said Guernsey Waste had no direct involvement in the provision of household waste and recycling collections. This was done by the parishes so if people were concerned about the way containers were being left, they should contact them.

Guernsey Waste meets contractors regularly to discuss issues.

Vale constable Richard Leale. (29280551)

The vast majority of households still had their original caddy, but it was appreciated that some do go astray.

‘By and large islanders are keen to look after their kerbside containers, and we have seen them come up with a lot of clever solutions,’ said Miss Robinson.

‘Everything from hanging hooks on gate posts to building special receptacles for them. That is something we really encourage, but everyone’s circumstances are different, and there is no one size fits all arrangement.’

Guernsey Waste would like to keep the number of replacements to a minimum.

It helped to put your house name on your caddy and make sure it was clearly visible. That way there was a good chance that if it did go missing and someone else found it, people would get it back rather than it being abandoned.

‘We are more than happy for everyone to customise their caddies any way they see fit,’ said Miss Robinson.

‘There are other things we can also do, or not do. For instance, if the weather forecast is particularly bad one night, we should perhaps think about whether we can hold onto our food waste until our next collection.

‘And when we do need to put out a caddy, we shouldn’t do that until the evening of bin night, and then try and retrieve it first thing the next morning, The less time they are left out the better, particularly when they are empty.

‘And finally we would ask that if your caddy does unfortunately go stray overnight, if you can have a quick look for it around your near neighbourhood that can help. They tend not to travel very far.’

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