Developing a new waste strategy for Guernsey

July 23rd, 2010 by States of Guernsey Public Services Department


Following the States’ decision in February and March, the Public Services Department has been tasked with developing a revised waste strategy for the island. The recent history of the waste issue has underlined the need for full and proper engagement with all sections of the community in deciding on the long term solution to the island’s waste management. Moreover, the concerns regarding the current ‘landfilling’ of waste have highlighted again the urgency with which the issue has to be resolved.

The programme for developing the new strategy is therefore based on a flexible, transparent and consultative approach, so that all sections of the community can be involved in shaping the Island’s future waste management.

How will the strategy be developed?

The Island’s Environmental Pollution (Guernsey) Law 2004 stipulates that one of the requirements of the Public Services Department, as the Waste Disposal Authority, is to identify the ‘best practical environmental options for the disposal of waste’. This means that in developing a new waste strategy, various potential methods of treatment and/or disposal need to be assessed, in the context of the island’s own individual circumstances. The relative merits of these various different solutions will therefore have to be considered against the criteria that are most important for the community.

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To achieve this, a step by step approach will be used, based on the Best Practical Environmental Option process that has been widely used in the UK for developing similar strategies. This provides a tried and tested, rigorous methodology, but also one that can be adapted to suit local requirements and constraints. It also reflects a general philosophy that whatever option, or options, are chosen, they should provide the most benefits or least damage to the local environment as a whole, at an acceptable cost in the long term and short term.

A key element of this approach is that it is transparent and involves consultation with the public and other stakeholders at various stages, including setting the criteria against which options will be assessed.  A wide-ranging programme of activity will therefore be implemented, including workshops, public exhibitions, and other communications to enable the widest possible engagement.

How does this fit in with the Waste Hierarchy?

The Waste Hierarchy is a commonly accepted principle internationally, and the cornerstone of the island’s waste strategy. The aim is to extract maximum practical benefit from the products we buy and use. It therefore ranks the various different methods of waste treatment to reflect the relative sustainability of each. Waste prevention is top of the list, and disposal the least preferred option.

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One of the key principles underlying waste management policy in Guernsey is to ensure waste is managed as high up the Waste Hierarchy as possible. Since all disposal options have some impact on the environment, the primary best way to reduce this is not to produce waste in the first place.

As part of the waste strategy development, the Waste hierarchy principles shall be endorsed and considered by all as part of the process.

Ten steps to a new waste strategy

The development of the new waste strategy will follow a ten step process, which will provide a transparent methodology showing how conclusions were reached. Workshops with the public and other stakeholders feature at key stages of the process.

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The programme has been designed to enable the widest possible involvement from the public and other stakeholders, such as businesses, the parishes, and the waste industry. This has begun with initial presentations to a number of groups, which are ongoing and outline the various stages of the programme, what input is required at each step, and where widespread feedback and participation will be sought. This initial phase will be followed by the the first round of public workshops, which will begin in the autumn to avoid the busy summer months.

Key milestones

  • Identification of the Waste Strategy Process (February to April 2010)
  • Identification of the Decision Criteria with States Deputies through presentations and workshops to identify the Decision Criteria, give weightings to the Criteria through a questionnaire (May- June ongoing)
  • Consultation with all Stakeholders through presentations and workshops (June 2010 onwards)
  • Working through the Ten Step Process (ongoing to approximately early 2011)
  • Identification of ‘best practical environmental options’ and relevant consultation (early 2011)
  • Green Paper to the States (Spring 2011)
  • Environment Department Report to the States (July 2011)
  • Start of tender process (Autumn 2011)

For further information on the waste strategy development, please contact:

Public Services Department

Sir Charles Frossard House, PO Box 43,La Charroterie, St Peter Port,Guernsey,GY1 1FH,

Tel: 717000

Fax: 725887

Email: publicservices(at)

5 Responses to “Developing a new waste strategy for Guernsey”

  1. rosie dorey

    Quote: “the concerns regarding the current ‘landfilling’ of waste have highlighted again the urgency with which the issue has to be resolved.” ……. if that is the case, this is a very long winded way of ‘resolving’ the problem.

    The article says that ‘waste prevention’ is the top priority. We could start immediately to prevent much of the waste we produce by source separating and collecting from the kerbside. Waste only becomes waste when it is all put into one bin and thus becomes contaminated. Keep the various elements of the waste stream separate and they remain as the materials that they are and most are then fit for recycling in one form or another.

  2. julie Madeley

    We need an overall plan, and it should be well thought through. How about also having an IMMEDIATE plan to increase the scale of existing re cycling of paper, glass etc and how about a small scheme for voluntary waste food collection. We could hire a treatment module to use until the main permanent solutions are sorted out. This could cut down on 2 years of land fill. If necessary a private company could be contracted and the results would be a useful experiment for the long term plan!

  3. Stuart Ogier

    Ban non-recyclable plastics.

  4. Penny Dravers

    This suggestion really only applies to the UK as a whole. What we should have is re-usable plastic bottles with a deposit on them like they do in beautiful, clean, tidy Norway

  5. Anna de Lisle

    There are companies in the UK that will take all the plastic we have to offer – all types. PSD just needs to get its act together…

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