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Islands shake up waste and recycling services

Guernsey has issued a tender to export waste to an energy-from-waste (EfW) facility, while the Isles of Scilly is to introduce household recycling collections on St Mary’s.

Guernsey’s Public Services department said a formal tender process had begun to deal with between 20,000 and 25,000 tonnes waste from 2017. A preferred bidder is expected to be selected later this year.

It follows a market testing exercise carried out by the department in 2013 that uncovered 18 potential destinations that had “expressed an interest in receiving the islands’ waste”.

An authority spokesman said: “Throughout Europe, residual waste levels are falling, just as they are here. It is being driven by increasing recycling levels, and by people and governments becoming more aware of the finite resources that we are constantly using and throwing away. 

“At the same time there are still a lot of EfW plants. They need material to operate efficiently, which has given rise to a market where waste is being transferred from country to country.

“Waste is being seen as a resource and, while no-one is going to pay to deal with our rubbish for us, we believe there will be enough competition to deliver good value.”

The department is in negotiations over a new waste transfer station at Longue Hougue, Guernsey’s main recycling facility, which will extract metals from household and commercial waste to create refuse-derived fuel.

The Isles of Scilly is also introducing household recycling services on the largest island St Mary’s. Collections are to be introduced by the end of the year.

United Environmental Solutions was recently re-awarded a contract to ship waste from the Moorwell refuse site to the mainland.

The company had previously removed around 3,500 tonnes of waste from the site after the Environment Agency demanded a clear-up.

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