Let's not throw away our bring banks

SOME 10 years ago Guernsey was on the verge of adopting and installing an energy-from-waste plant.

Then there was an election, and one volte face later, the incinerator was history.

In its place, the States voted through what appeared to some to be an implausibly complex system, dominated by recycling but also shipping waste halfway around Europe instead of dealing with our own rubbish at home. We could have even exported it to Jersey.

When kerbside recycling collections were introduced in 2018, followed by pay as you throw the following year, many believed there would be problems inherent in the system. The States Assembly spent hours wringing their hands about the cost of a bag of rubbish and standing charges, and there was much concern about the prospects of fly-tipping to avoid charges.

Yet, aside from the odd splintered food caddy blown into the middle of the road, the States can hail kerbside recycling as a huge success.

The island now has more than 70% of household waste recycled and nearly every home in the island has used kerbside recycling in some way.

Meanwhile using the Household Waste & Recycling Centre at Longue Hougue has become almost a social activity – so popular at times that the authorities are looking at how to move traffic more quickly into the site and cut queues.

Despite the success of kerbside, some islanders are still more than happy to use bring banks to clear their recycling, and won’t be so happy that Guernsey Waste is now putting them on review.

Lockdown saw the end of recycling at L’Eree and Vazon so that now the only bring banks remaining are at Rohais, Salerie and Longfrie.

We assume Guernsey Waste knows how well used the bring banks are, but anecdotal evidence shows they remain popular, especially for bulky cardboard and glass. It is rare to see the St Peter Port facilities quiet, or the bins empty, and they would be a big loss to the community if removed or reduced further.

Islanders have undoubtedly embraced kerbside and have got behind the pay as you throw concept – but the community needs a bring bank option too.

Most Read

Top Stories

More From The Guernsey Press

UK & International News