Should people pay extra for kerbside collections?

November 29th, 2010 by Rosie

The cost of kerbside-collections for recyclable materials should be made part of the rubbish rates that we all pay.  They should not be an excuse for an extra charge.

Kerbside recycling collections would collect the lion’s share of waste.   The ‘residual’ waste (what’s left after recycling) is the element of waste that we should be charged for according to the amount we each produce (some form of Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT), Variable-rate fee system, or ‘Bag and Tag’).

Recycling is what we want everyone to do so we shouldn’t be asking households to pay more for recycling while charging no more to households that generate more residual waste, since it is the residual waste that causes the community a problem.   At every point in the Waste Strategy, the incentive should be to minimise waste.

Guernsey will never get everyone recycling to their full potential while recycling is treated as an optional activity. And not just an ‘optional’ activity, but also one that requires more effort than chucking everything into the bin.  There should be a cost to producing more waste.

Society is aiming for the vast majority of the material it discards to go back into the commercial/ industrial manufacturing system through some form of recycling, composting or re-use and repair.  People should find it easy to put their discarded material into these recycling and re-use streams, and it should be expected of everyone. The cost of running this system will be borne by everyone but in the long-run it will be cheaper than destroying these materials.  Extra charges should be for those who produce a lot of ‘residual’ rubbish that causes a problem for the whole community.

Guernsey needs to be part of the worldwide movement to preserve ALL resources for the next generation. The idea that in the twenty-first century we can each opt to destroy diminishing resources simply because we can’t be bothered to preserve them through recycling is an increasingly out-dated idea.  It does not reflect well on Guernsey.  Guernsey’s recycling rates are not bad for a ‘voluntary’ system, but we will not get to where we need to be by keeping recycling a voluntary activity, particularly if we don’t make recycling the cheapest and easiest way of dealing with your discarded material.

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