Consultants Outline Plans For Islands’ Waste
By 2019, the Moorwell Alp should have been levelled, waste will be recycled or shipped to the mainland and there’ll be a new incinerator that generates energy.
That was the vision laid out to Councillors at Thursday’s General Purposes meeting by Andy Street from waste consultants SLR. That’s the company engaged by the Council to come up with a strategy for managing waste on St Mary’s and the off-islands.
This is the first time that many members had heard the plan. They’ve been pushing for a presentation from the Chief Technical Officer, Neville Gardner, since earlier this year when the strategy was first presented to Defra’s Lord Taylor of Holbeach in a closed meeting during his visit to the islands.
Mr Street said the Council had been given nearly £6m by the government to improve waste management on the islands and this was one of the only projects to survive the recent budget reviews intact.
That money will allow the first phase of work, up to 2015, to take place, including a new glass crusher and waste compactor. Waste material will start to be removed to allow development of the site, creating an area for the new incinerator together with a waste storage building.
Mr Street said the aim was to reuse as much rubble and glass for future building work as possible, or for restoring other sites around the islands. However, he warned that they didn’t just want to generate new stockpiles of material that would never be reused.
The Council will also complete work on the refuse sites on the off islands, with increased security fencing and site management to avoid fly tipping.
If that work is successful, Mr Street said, a further £6.6m could be provided for a new ‘energy from waste’ plant, separation bays and a composting area. However, he said that money would only be available if they could demonstrate to the government that they could deliver successfully on the first stages of the work.
Commercial waste will also be weighed and charged. Earlier in the meeting, Mr Gardner admitted that the weighbridge at the Moorwell site was working, but told members the £10,000 cost of calibrating it was too much and was unlikely to be recovered in charges.
Meeting Chairman Cllr Fred Ticehurst said the site was a “long-standing historical blot on our landscape” and he was excited by the prospect of an “almost clinical” waste operation replacing it.
But Cllr Amanda Martin cautioned that residents needed to hear the plans soon. She said a public consultation should be about getting the public’s input, not just telling them what’s going to happen.