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Household clear out driving down recycling rates

Household clear out driving down recycling rates

Friday 14 April 2023

Household clear out driving down recycling rates

Friday 14 April 2023

A sharp increase in people clearing out unwanted items from their homes is in part responsible for falling recycling rates.

Each year since 2019, when the Waste Strategy was fully operational, the household recycling figure has fallen from 73%, to 72%, 71% and now 68%, latest figures have shown.

Guernsey has a target of recycling 70% of household waste by 2030.

The COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 and 2021 impacted on the volumes and nature of waste and recycling being produced, with a shift from commercial to household,” the annual waste report says.

“Rates for many of the household materials appear to be returning to pre-pandemic levels.”

The total amount of household waste was 24,158 tonnes in 2022, up from 22,708 tonnes in 2019.


Pictured: Bring bank sites will be closing at the end of April to save £100,000.

The recycling rate was adversely affected by the increase in general waste dropped off at the Longue Hougue Household Waste & Recycling Centre.

2,998 tonnes of general waste were dropped off, which was 552 tonnes higher than in 2021 – an increase of 23%

This continued a sharp upward trend since the start of COVID-19. 

“This suggests many islanders have taken the opportunity to clear out unwanted items,” the report says.

“It is also known that the Household Waste & Recycling Centre is used by some businesses to dispose of materials, and this is likely to have contributed to the increase in tonnages of general waste deposited at the site although it is difficult to quantify the impact of this accurately. Further work is planned to determine the extent of the issue and address it.”


Pictured: Waste facilities at Longe Hougue.

The reduction in the recycling rate is also, in part, due to the low green waste tonnages.

The amount of green waste is heavily influenced by the weather. In 2022, 3,784 tonnes were composted, down from 4,408 tonnes.  

The combination of green waste and general waste being disposed at Longue Hougue combined to reduce the recycling rate by 2.6%.

The Recycling Rate for commercial waste was 54%, similar to that recorded for 2021.

In total 21,635 tonnes were recycled or composted, while 18,630 were disposed of.

Within this figure was a record setting year for the amount of commercial food waste being recycled. This has gone from 540 tonnes in 2019 to 1,534 tonnes in 2022.

The island exported 22,067 tonnes of waste (excluding food) for energy recovery – an increase of 3% compared to 2021 (21,322 tonnes). 34% was from households and 66% from commercial sources – which is identical to 2021. 

51% was processed through the island’s Waste Transfer Station (2021: 55%), and 49% at private sector facilities.


Bring banks closing to save £100,000 a year

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