When waste charges do not add up

PROPOSALS to bail out Guernsey Waste to the tune of £3m. to cover accumulated losses accrued during the development of the island’s household refuse collection arrangements are set to be ‘reluctantly’ agreed.

Islanders have so enthusiastically embraced recycling collections that any idea that the trading entity would at least wash its own face has been in doubt since the outset of the scheme.

It’s one of those difficulties faced when trying to raise revenues and influence behaviours. If behaviours change as a result of charges – then the income goes down. Which is ‘fine’ if it’s just going into general revenue, but impossible if it is keeping a trading entity afloat.

The fact that the charges, income and expenditure were almost immediately out of whack leaves something to be desired in the financial modelling, but also of concern is the fact that a request for the £3m., plus an estimated £1.8m. a year for the future, from general revenue appears nowhere in the wish lists of the Government Work Plan, according to P&R.

The review of operations and funding of the service might have only just been completed, but it has been in train for some time and for the possibility of funding needed not to have been flagged doesn’t reflect well.

And somehow, whether through a recycling bag or taxes, islanders will be paying more to get rid of their rubbish.

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