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50% less rubbish

50% less rubbish

Tuesday 10 September 2019

50% less rubbish

Since the new household recycling system was introduced this time last year, the amount of general rubbish people are generating has more than halved across Guernsey.

This has put the island on course for achieving one of the highest recycling rates in Europe.

During the first six months of this year, around 2,125 tonnes of black bag waste was collected, compared to 5,100 tonnes within the same period in 2018. 

According to the States, the introduction of a weekly food waste pick-up accounted for most of the decrease, with more than 1,700 tonnes collected from households in the first half of 2019. This material now undergoes separate processing, to generate electricity and produce a compost material.

Kerbside recycling has also seen a big increase - up by around 500 tonnes compared to the first six months of 2018 - and the amount of glass recycled has gone up around 15% since the introduction of kerbside collections.

black bag sticker

Pictured: Black bag waste fell by over 50%. 

"We have monitored the recycling and waste that households set out before and after the new collections came in. What we saw was a very large shift in behaviour, with lots more using the recycling collections," Guernsey Waste operations manager, Sarah Robinson, said.

She put the changes down to the new collection system. 

"We saw another increase after the new pay as you throw charge came in, albeit not as marked. However, by then we were already seeing very high participation across the board. What it demonstrates is islanders are keen to recycle, and if we provide the right services, and the right incentives, they will use them.”

A survey of more than 1,000 homes in Castel and St Peter Port, in June this year, found that more than 90% of households now use the doorstep recycling services.


Pictured: 92% of houses are using the recycling service. 

In an identical study before the changes to collections and charges, 74% of households used the blue and clear bag kerbside recycling service. In the most recent survey, that figure had risen to 92%.

In addition, 93% of households were separating their food waste collections, and 77% of households put out all three items during the four weeks of the survey.

A separate study in May looked at the composition of waste and recycling set out by more than 200 households in various locations. That data can now be compared to previous surveys, to identify changes since the new collections and charges were introduced.

The latest results show the amount of recyclable materials being thrown away by households has fallen significantly since the changes. Only around 8% of general rubbish was potentially recyclable, compared to around 15% in 2015 and 2018.

In 2012, before the first kerbside recycling collections were introduced, around 25% of material thrown away was recyclable.

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Posted by Tri Whe on
It would be interesting to know once the recycled waste has been processed how much of it was actually recycled and how much transitioned to general waste.
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