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Burning rubbish in Sark sparks debate

Sark | Published:

A COMPLAINT about the burning of rubbish in Sark has sparked debate about its impact on tourism and the environment.

Smoke spews from the Sark incinerator.

Sark resident Natalie Pearce contacted the Guernsey Press with pictures of the incinerator in Sark ‘spewing out horrendous putrid smoke’.

‘This happened at around 11am as two boats full of tourists were due to arrive. This is a regular occurrence.’

After the images were posted on social media, it sparked a passionate conversation about whether the burning of the rubbish is deterring tourists from visiting the island.

Mrs Pearce added: ‘I do think it affects tourism, it was the first thing we noticed when we moved here three years ago. The smell was atrocious – I could hardly breathe walking past it.

‘However, I in no way wish to blame or accuse Chief Pleas for the problem. I simply wish to see positive solutions invested into the island of Sark. It has been my home for the last three years and I would love to see it become a leader in environmental protection and conservation, something which I know many residents agree on and a foresight that is perfectly achievable.’

Some of the potential solutions suggested have been:

Raising funds for a new incinerator that can generate electricity

Negotiating with Jersey to export some rubbish there

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Coming to an arrangement with Sark Shipping about sending recycling products to Guernsey

Raising money for a recycling facility in Sark

Providing incentive for local businesses to cut down on single-use plastic including both grocery stores

Finding a time and a team that could burn the rubbish at night to avoid boatloads of people facing the sight and smell upon arrival.

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Tourism and Public Health Committee chairwoman Sandra Williams said: ‘It’s difficult to say if the rubbish is affecting tourists.’

The incinerator is not usually lit until 6pm or after the last boat, she added.

Chairman of the douzaine Edric Baker declined to comment.

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