A pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) system for residual waste will be introduced to Guernsey householders in 2019, with charges to be confirmed.
Most households currently have weekly residual waste collections, but this is expected to become fortnightly when PAYT comes into play, alongside new weekly food waste and fortnightly glass collections being introduced in September. Blue and clear kerbside bags for other recycling will continue fortnightly.
The States of Guernsey committee for the environment and infrastructure and the States’ trading supervisory board have been asked to prepare further proposals for implementation of new charges. These are expected to be debated in April and the charges confirmed.
Payment will be required per black bag of waste using prepaid stickers. This will be equivalent to putting a stamp on a letter to pay the cost of postage.
An annual fixed charge could also be levied per household, to reflect some of the fixed costs of the household waste and recycling services provided by the States; this would determine the cost per bag.
Current proposals include:
- To fund from the States’ capital reserve some or all of the £32m investment in new waste management facilities at Longue Hougue (pictured) which start operations in September. This cost was originally to be funded through a loan, to be repaid from household and commercial waste charges during the next 20 years
- Putting all the cost initially on bag charges. Households would then pay between £3.50 and £4.50 for each bag they put out. If an annual fixed fee is levied, it is likely that the PAYT charge would be less than £3.50 per bag
- STSB previously indicated that an annual £115 fixed charge would result in a bag charge of £2.50
Once all the new services and facilities are introduced, the average cost per household is anticipated to be between £5.75 and £7 a week, depending on what decision is made on the capital funding. The total includes the charge for collections, paid to parishes.
Currently, Guernsey households receive an annual bill from their parish to pay for the cost of collecting and disposing of their waste. The average annual charge for 2018 is expected to be around £130, but will be calculated for each household based on the ‘tax on real property’ value of their home.
From 2019, when the new charging system is introduced, only parishes will charge for the collections. The States will then recover the costs of any subsequent processing, treatment and disposal.
No date has yet been set for the start of the PAYT regime, but it is expected to be January or February 2019.
In the UK in recent years, since austerity and the flatlining of recycling rates, there have been several calls for the introduction of PAYT by councils and key figures in the recycling industry.