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"They'll be hopping mad"

Friday 20 April 2018

"They'll be hopping mad"

Friday 20 April 2018


We'll be paying an annual standing fee and a "bag tax" to throw away our rubbish in future after the States of Guernsey approved the charges for the island's new waste strategy.

Under the new system, the charges approved during this week's States meeting include:

  • An annual standing charge of £85 per household 
  • A sticker charge of £2.50 per black bag of non recyclable rubbish we throw out
  • Parish rates which will continue to be charged under the current plans

Deputy Jan Kuttlewascher was among the deputies disappointed with the decision. He told Express "I think they'll be hopping mad" when we asked what he thinks the public reaction will be.

He added that while the capital funding for the new scheme will come from the island's Capital Reserve meaning there'll be no interest payable against the cost of setting up the new waste strategy, which means the charges levied at the consumer have been minimised, he would have preferred the whole funding process had been covered out of Capital Revenue to make it fairer to everyone:

"As I said in my very short very short speech, these are the charges for now, because future charges will depend on how many black bags are put out because that's a source of revenue. 

"My view now, because we are where we've got to, is that I would have preferred that the whole thing, the revenue side of it would have been charged from general revenue and taxation, so there would have been no charges for the bag, and indeed no fixed charges. That I think would have been the fairest option, but that wasn't on the table."

Jan K correct size

 Pictured: Deputy Jan Kuttlewascher

Deputy Barry Brehaut, the President of the Committee for the Environment and Infrastructure acknowledged that some people will be unhappy with the new charging mechanisms being introduced but he said we should have less waste to throw away under the new system with increased recycling:

"Recycling is part of the waste stream. So many of the recycles are out now. If you strip out on top of that our food waste  you've not got a great deal to throw out.

"Now, if we walk into a supermarket, we pick up a roll of bin bags, we don't consciously think of the price of those I don't think, and then if we fill as many as we like, and in St Peter Port some people put out four bags a week, we don't think consciously about the cost to the community or ourselves.

"Once you consolidate that cost into a ticket and a standing charge then it focuses the mind on exactly the processes you're involved with."

Barry Brehaut PROPER SIZE

Pictured: Deputy Barry Brehaut

That ticket charge and standing charge will be on top of Parish rates but we will be given time for the new system to bed in before the charging mechanism is changed. Deputy Brehaut said staff will be taking a soft approach initially to encourage people to accept the new collection methods. He is also not too concerned about increased incidents of fly-tipping:

"If you remember the recycling initiative, people would put the wrong things in the bags and put them out on the wrong evening and it would have a sticker on it telling them that so that will need to be monitored.

"I think the thing we've probably over-egged is the management of fly-tipping or rather some members have, because we know there is a huge amount of fly-tipping now, but we don't see it as it's invisible, it's in black bags, we don't think about it. I don't think we should talk up the potential for fly-tipping because it almost encourages it for some reason. We know that States Works will monitor that and there will  be a fixed penalty ticket regime for those who are found to be fly-tipping."

 

 

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Posted by Robert Williams on
I can foresee a lot of dumping occurring in future. Surely the best way to make the charge for rubbish bags would have been to put a charge on them at the retailers when purchased.
Posted by Ritchard Guymer on
I have not seen anywhere that the parish rates will be reduced to take into account the reduced level of collections and the fact that the parish will no longer be paying the extortionate gate fees at Mont Chouet tip, will any of the parish's care to elaborate on this.
Posted by Rick Felbabel on
I've not seen any comment from any of the workmen who collect our rubbish - what do they think of having the extra responsibility of checking every single bag for a sticker? Also, what happens if the sticker is missing? good point from Ritchard too re the Parish rates, I suppose we should all write to our parishes for clarification.
Posted by Rick Felbabel on
Another facet to this strategy which tends to go under the radar, is the increased tax burden that will come about through increased benefit payments to cover the cost of rubbish collections for those on benefits. I'm not sure of the actual planned figure, but I believe it to be substantial, being between £500k & £1.5m per year.
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