Deputy Gloria Dudley-Owen introduces her amendment on the Waste Hierarchy

October 4th, 2010 by Gloria Dudley-Owen

Thank you Mr. Bailiff

My thanks to Her Majesty’s Controller Mr. McMahon for his understanding, help and advice in clarifying points on this complicated subject.

There are no cost implications with the adoption of this amendment.

Our environment policy states in part that “consideration of our environment will be core to all policy decisions,” and a new objective has been added to promote sustainable practices.

Our waste strategy must have the environment and human health at its core. To be successful, it must optimize resources and contribute to creating a sustainable society. It is widely recognized and accepted elsewhere that the principles of the Waste Hierarchy sit at the start, and lie at the heart of strategy.

A letter from the States of Guernsey Public Services Department early in April, to members confirmed that the States gave no specific direction regarding the revised waste strategy, which was for disposing of solid waste. Waste minimization featured heavily in the debate.

I couldn’t find any particular reference in past Billets and it was confirmed by PSD staff that “the Waste Hierarchy is not specifically mentioned in any resolutions nor is there a States resolution directing the adoption of the principles of the Waste Hierarchy as the starting point of a waste strategy.’

My amendment aims to address the lack of a specific states resolution.

It directs Public Services and the Environment Departments, to adopt as their starting point all the principles of the Waste Hierarch for the purpose of identifying the best waste management options for Guernsey.

These principles are the foundation for a waste minimization strategy and if adopted as the starting point, will lead to a more successful, coherent thorough strategy which allows a full range of initiatives to be assessed and implemented in the correct order at each stage of the hierarchy.

It is confirmed that it is a good general guide to the relative environmental benefits of different waste management options.

The emphasis and top priority of the Waste Hierarchy is on reducing the generation of waste -Waste Prevention.

Products and materials can sometimes be used again for the same or different purpose – Re-use,

Resources can often be recovered from waste – Recycle or Compost,

Value can also be recovered by generating energy from waste – Energy Recovery – only if none of the above offer an appropriate solution should waste be disposed of -Disposal.

This amendment does not seek to modify the Environmental Policy Plan, the objectives or outcomes, as approved last year and it does not seek to stop the Departments from using whatever specific approach or procedure, such as the Northern Ireland I BPEO guidance, adapted to Guernsey, that has been chosen by PSD/Environment, to develop our waste strategy.

It will add as a pre-condition, a requirement to use the waste hierarchy as a starting point in identifying waste management options.

I have been asked to explain why I have made reference in the explanatory notes to the amendment to BPEO, a process normally applied to planning and the facility.

My question under rule 6 clarified that BPEO is not defined in our legislation as stated in Billet XV111 July 2009, 9.1, p 1228 when Members were asked to approve the States Environmental Policy Plan.

At that time the waste strategy was based on high recycling and either an MBT or EFW plant

This misdescription, might have caused Members to believe that under law, it was necessary to follow the BPEO approach, (p 1231). But it is not.

We should not and nor are we constrained to formulating the new waste strategy by the application of a particular procedure/approach such as BPEO as is implied on p 1231 and 1234 in the summary update and additional 2010 actions.

However, work is in progress and I do not seek to change this.

By agreeing my amendment it is binding on PSD that whatever the outcome of the waste management plan (p1231), is from using the BPEO approach, it must show how the Waste Hierarchy has been taken into account. The selection of relevant evaluation criteria should be written in a clear and understandable form, and important to Guernsey. The scoring aspects of the options, and the weighting are fundamental and must reflect the Hierarchy.

A minimization strategy is strongly supported by Deputy Ogier, he has called for a “radical and systematic minimization of our waste stream, has stated “we are following the Waste Hierarchy of which prevention is at the top and disposal at the bottom”.

The consultation pack states that the WH is the cornerstone of our waste strategy and asks the public to endorse related objectives.

The amendment asks the States to back this approach now.

PSD can build on waste prevention measures already in place without having to wait another year at least, until a plan is brought back to the States.

This is what the public wants.

The Guernsey Tomorrow document clearly showed they wanted to minimize waste. It is already the view of many States members and is the global attitude to resource efficiency and reducing waste.

Public acceptability for what we are seeking to do, is of paramount importance.

It is vital that the States give a steer to rather sceptical public, that we are firmly behind a waste strategy that starts from and at the heart of which lie, the principles of the WH. And that it is at the forefront of our decision making process.

This “ belt and braces “ resolution will bind PSD and Environment Department to adopt the principles of the Waste Hierarchy as the starting point for our revised waste strategy and will importantly help identify the best waste management options that efficiently deliver the best social and environmental, practicable benefits for the public.

They deserve this. It will be a step forward and a commitment by the States that we are listening. We cannot get it wrong for a third time.

I thank members who have spoken in support.  I am working towards helping PSD in the waste situation, in this difficult task and I ask members to support the amendment, to give binding certainty to the measures already being put in place.  Please may we have a recorded vote.

Deputy Dudley-Owen’s speech can be listen to as a MP3 audio file. After clicking on the highlighted MP3 audio file text a new window will open up.  To listen to the audio successfully press the play arrow and drag the slider to the right.  You can then drag the slider to the left to begin the audio file from the beginning.

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