Guernsey Press

Requete calling for parishes to manage waste faces opposition

ISLANDERS could end up paying more for waste, if deputies back a requete calling for douzaines to be allowed to manage their own waste.

The requete, being led by Deputy John Dyke, proposes changing the parochial waste law to allow douzaines, if they wish, to choose sites other than those specified for waste disposal. (33064597)

Environment & Infrastructure, States Trading Supervisory Board and Development & Planning Authority have all come out against the requete, which is being led by John Dyke.

The requete proposes changing the parochial waste law to allow douzaines, if they wish, to choose sites other than those specified for waste disposal.

Policy & Resources did not give a view, with three members recusing themselves from discussions due to conflicts of interest, meaning the committee was not quorate.

But P&R vice-president Heidi Soulsby said that the matter was discussed at the Parish Working Group.

‘There did not appear to be a significant desire from within the parishes for current arrangements to change,’ she wrote.

E&I president Lindsay de Sausmarez said the committee’s view was that the requete, if accepted, would have a number of negative effects. These included an increased risk, responsibility and administrative burden for the parishes as well as for officers of the States, E&I and the States overall.

One idea put forward is the use of black fly larvae to process the island’s food waste but Deputy de Sausmarez said that the regulatory controls in the island would limit this to being only vegetable matter, with some exceptions for milk, eggs and animal products such as honey.

If the requerants hoped for this process to be introduced, there were significant legal restrictions in place.

The letter concludes that there was ‘considerable strategic risk regarding the viability of existing public waste sites’ and could end up with islanders having to pay more for waste disposal.

STSB president Peter Roffey said the committee’s view was that the present way of dealing with food waste via anaerobic digestion continued to be the best.

It had recently agreed a new contract with the UK’s largest AD facilities operator. If the requete was accepted, it would prevent the future use of sole supplier agreements, even where they were the best arrangement.

‘The consequences of that are serious and far-ranging, not just for food waste but potentially all waste streams,’ wrote Deputy Roffey. The case made for parishes to be able to make their own arrangements was weak, he added.

Should parishes be allowed to choose their own waste disposal provider, they would have to carry out detailed technical and financial evaluations, but many of them had limited administrative resources.

Deputy Roffey added that the STSB had commissioned a leading European provider of waste management expertise to look at alternative household food waste treatments offered locally.

‘They found no evidence of any proposed on-island approaches being proven in the treatment of municipal (e.g. household) food waste or at commercial scale,’ he said.

On behalf of the Development & Planning Authority, its president Victoria Oliver sent in its response, and said that members Deputies Dyke and Chris Blin were recused from discussion of the issue, since they were requete signatories. She said that the DPA was concerned that the requete referred to douzaines using any site which it specified could be used to receive household waste, which would go against a planning policy, IP2, on solid waste management facilities.

‘Proposals for the development of waste disposal or management facilities other than in accordance with the provisions of Policy IP2 are therefore unlikely to be approved through the land use planning process, regardless of whether specified for that purpose by a Douzaine,’ wrote Deputy Oliver.

In addition, any proposals relating to sites for the disposal or processing of waste would need an environmental impact assessment.

The requete is due to go before the States next week.