With lockdown being fully lifted, Guernsey's Household Waste and Recycling Centre will be operating "as normal" from this weekend, while a wider review of the island's bring bank sites is taking place as more people make use of kerbside collections for their regular recyclables.
The site at Longue Hougue had reopened under restrictions at the end of April, but most of those measures are no longer required.
Ahead of the full reopening tomorrow, the facility is closed today so Guernsey Waste staff can restore the site to its pre-lockdown layout.
Recycling Officer Tina Norman-Ross said there is a lot of work to do as they're expecting an influx of materials.
“From Saturday we will be back to normal and accepting all the usual materials. That includes household and car batteries, fluorescent lamps, CDs and DVDs, motor and cooking oil, mattresses, televisions, and paint.
“We first have to return the bins to their original position, which we can only do safely while there is no-one dropping off items. The site will therefore be closed on Friday, and that will be opportunity for a good tidy up."
Pictured: The Longue Hougue waste site will be open 6-days a week from Saturday 20 June (file image).
Ms Norman-Ross said the site has been very busy recently, open 7-days a week. From next week, the normal operating hours will resume which will see the site close on Thursdays, but be open from 08:00 until 16:00 on other weekdays and Saturdays, and between 08:00 and 12:00 on Sundays.
There will still be some restrictions in place for reuse items with charity partner GO currently unable to accept soft furnishings, such as sofas and chairs, upholstered beds and headboards or soft toys. It is anticipated that all of these items will be able to be accepted again from 29 June. GO is also unable to accept donations on a Sunday, until further notice.
From 1 August, polystyrene and VHS tapes dropped off at the HWRC will be subject to a charge of £2.50 per black bag or equivalent - the same as for general waste.
Although households can currently dispose of these items free of charge at the HWRC, they are included in mixed waste materials sent for energy recovery.
Prior to 2019, Guernsey Waste was paying around £3,000 per tonne to recycle polystyrene. That was justified because it saved valuable space in landfill at Mont Cuet, but that site no longer receives general waste. Ms Norman-Ross said there is also no longer a recycling route for VHS tapes.
“Now that we are not recycling these items, there is no reason for them to be treated differently to other general waste, for which a charge applies. From August that will be the case at the HWRC, but households can also dispose of these materials in their general waste, as part of the parish waste collections.”
Pictured: Recycling bins at Waitrose (file image).
Charity clothes and textiles banks, which are managed by a private contractor, are reopening from Monday 22 June, with bring banks for other materials set to reopen at Waitrose Rohais, Salerie Corner and at the Longfrie Inn. The others will remain closed for now.
Ms Norman-Ross said that decision has been taken because of the higher number of people using kerbside collections for most materials.
“We know that the vast majority of local households prefer to use kerbside collections, and prior to the sites being closed due to Covid-19 bring banks only accounted for around 10% of the material that we collected. The recent lockdown has required those households to switch to kerbside and we hope that many who have made this switch continue to do so due to the ease of the kerbside service that is provided.
“It was always our intention to review the bring bank system in light of the introduction of kerbside collections, which effectively brings a site to your door. That review is currently underway, and includes examining how we regulate and monitor sites, and which ones should remain, based on their facilities, popularity, location and environmental impact.
“The three sites that are reopening are in addition to the HWRC, which takes all bring bank materials and is open six days a week. We have therefore decided not to reinstate other sites while the review is underway.”
A full list of items accepted at the HWRC can be found HERE.
Pictured top: The Longue Hougue waste facility.
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