A public presentation by independent waste expert Alan Watson on 9 February

February 9th, 2010 by Events

The debate about Guernsey’s future solid waste treatment solution rumbles on.  Although the £93 million contract is due to be finalised with Suez Environnement later this year, serious concerns continue to be voiced from both the public and the business community about the process the States of Guernsey Public Services Department undertook to arrive at it’s favoured solution.

Deputy Jan Kuttelwacsher is urging deputies, when the States of Deliberation meets this month, to use the time before the contract is signed to review the relevant facts before committing to the 25 year Suez Environnement proposal.

A group of businessmen led by Rupert Dorey, have consistently argued that the Suez proposal does not make economic sense for a community the size of Guernsey, that the contract puts the majority of the financial risk with islanders instead of the multinational company benefiting from the deal, and that we should be looking at cheaper and more environmentally sustainable solutions to treat and manage the solid waste we produce.

The business group have invited Alan Watson, an independent waste professional from the UK, to run a question and answer session for islanders who remain confused by the contradictory information presented to them.

There are many who argue that the time for discussion is over, that the perfect solution is not there to be found, and that an ‘open tender’ allowed all technologies to be considered. But with a contract that will be the largest ever entered into by the States of Guernsey, and one that spans 25 years, the time to question is now.

G-CAN’s view is that the Suez solid waste treatment proposal is unsustainable in the long term. It does not encourage waste reduction which should be at the core of any modern Waste Strategy and it does nothing to address or improve the collection, separation and recycling of domestic rubbish in Guernsey.  And in an era of climate change concerns the incinerator will be a major emitter of greenhouse gases.

Alan Watson’s Biography

Alan Watson runs a public interest consultants which specialises in energy and waste issues.  He has been a chartered engineer since 1986 and has an honours degree in mechanical engineering. He worked for the UK Department of the Environment for 7 years, and as a senior design engineer for a company involved in heat recovery, combined heat and power and combustion processes.  He has a wide range of experience in the field of waste disposal and toxic chemicals.  He has undertaken research and has presented conference papers on technologies, applications, policy implications and health and environmental impactsincluding toxicology.  He has given expert evidence to UK parliamentary committees. He has been a member of the statutory Environmental Protection Advisory Committee for Environment Agency Wales.  He has been accredited as an expert in combustion processes and emissions in a Florida Court in relation to litigation in the USA.  He is currently a member of the UNEP expert working group on the Best Available Techniques/ Best Available Practices for the implementation of the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants and regularly attend UNEP conventions and present papers at UNEP workshops on chemicals and waste shipments.

1 Response to “A public presentation by independent waste expert Alan Watson on 9 February”

  1. Paul Aitchison

    And now Guernsey has its first commercially operated Waste Incinerator at Vazon Bay. A relatively small plant is now permitted to burn waste wood without the safeguards required under the EU Waste Incineration Directive (which is a condition of the waste management licence). The waste wood can only (according to the licence) be supplied by Island Skips who manage disposal of construction demolition waste which includes wood treated with chemicals that produce poisons when combusted. No Environmental Risk Assessment was carried out, even though required under Ordinance for Planning Permission (which was granted). Full story and pictures on:


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