You can’t have ‘nearly’ kerbside
Monday 18th February 2013, 3:00PM GMT.
SUGGESTIONS by Public Services that it might not, after all, be possible to provide a full kerbside recycling service have left many islanders amazed – and not a little angry.
With the facility due to start later this year it appears a little late in the day for PSD to wake up to the fact that there’s no such thing as silent glass, at least when it comes to putting it into the back of a bin truck.
One of the problems with the island’s waste strategy is that it is less about what this community needs and more about which lobby group can shout loudest.
PSD got it wrong when it decided the only audience it needed to concentrate on was the 45 local deputies when it came to selling its earlier strategies.
Having got a bloody nose – and costing the taxpayer millions in written-off research and earlier initiatives – the department went the other way and consulted with everyone it could raise to ensure that what subsequently emerged offended the least number and, as a result, is probably skewed by the ‘minimise and recycle’ lobby, which is far more active in promoting care for the environment than the probable majority who just want their bin emptied.
That bias is no bad thing, however, and the bring banks daily demonstrate that there are thousands of islanders who take seriously the need to reuse increasingly scarce resources.
The downside, however, is that when kerbside, regarded as the holy grail of the waste strategy, is diluted, very many islanders feel let down.
If the experiences of St Peter Port douzeniers are anything to go by, they are right to be disappointed.
In the heart of Guernsey’s ‘flatland’, with its multiple occupancy and transient lifestyle, the rubbish left out shows that the recycling habit is far from universal.
Door-to-door collections will resolve that and a bit of noise – if timings really cannot be adjusted to mitigate the perceived problem – is a small price to pay for the extra recycling.
There is also a wider point. What credibility does ‘kerbside’ have if it’s only partial?
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