Public Services unveils waste strategy plan

June 24th, 2010 by States of Guernsey Public Services Department

GUERNSEY’S new waste strategy will be based on the widest public consultation the island has ever seen.

The public, businesses, parishes, private waste contractors, and other key stakeholders will help shape the island’s future waste management through a programme of workshops, exhibitions and extensive communications. These will form a key part of the ten step process being used to develop the new strategy, which is based on a method that has been used successfully for similar projects in the UK but adapted for Guernsey.

The Department also plans to set up a community group to oversee the main activity in the consultation process. This forum is likely to include States Members, as well as representatives of the public, parishes, businesses organisations and environmental groups.

Public Services Deputy Minister, Deputy Scott Ogier, who is heading up the development of the new strategy, said the forum reflected the inclusive nature of the programme.

‘We have spent the past few weeks working on a process that will enable us to deliver a new waste strategy that reflects the views of as wide a cross-section of the island as possible. It is really for the community to decide what involvement they should have in that,’ he said.

‘The hope though is that the process will be as inclusive as possible, so that islanders are not just part of the process, they help to drive it. It will not be our process, it will be the community’s, and it will not be the States waste strategy but the island’s waste strategy,’ he said.

The public workshops will provide input at key stages in the process. This will begin with defining the criteria to be used in assessing any future waste management solution.

Further workshops will provide input on potential solutions that should be explored and any that should be ruled out at an early stage. Public feedback will also be sought when options are evaluated, and on the final decision-making.

The results of each of the workshops will also be communicated through exhibitions and other communications, to enable further feedback from the public.

The Department is planning to begin the workshop programme in September, to avoid the summer holiday period. However the process has already begun, with presentations to a number of groups outlining how the new strategy is being developed and inviting initial feedback.

The groups have included Chamber of Commerce and the Waste Industry Forum, which represents local waste management contractors, both of which have had presentations this week.

The Department will also be meeting with parish Douzaines, the Construction Industry Forum, and other groups in the next few weeks.

Public Services will also be using the intervening time to work on identifying potential options that could form part of the new strategy.

For example, last week Deputy Ogier attended the main UK waste industry conference in London, along with staff from the Department.

‘There are a number of key elements of the process which we can progress now that will speed up the later stages,’ he said. Deputy Ogier said the Department needed to work quickly, but also ensure the answers arrived at were the right ones.

‘We are serious about consulting with the community, and having them actively part of the process. That might mean taking a little more time, but we have to do this right,’ he said.

Public Services hopes to return to the States with a draft waste strategy in the first half of 2011.

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