Consultants Outline Plans For Islands’ Waste

Waste management site at Moorwell

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.


5 Responses to Consultants Outline Plans For Islands’ Waste

  1. Ray Wornes October 27, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    I knew I could rely on ‘The Cornishman’s’ Clive Mumford to put a rosy glow on the Council’s SLR waste crisis plans and to fail to investigate its true consequences. He chose to ignore the serious concerns of some members of HEART like me who don’t want more toxic incinerator ash and more toxic pollution. The report I heard from SLR is neither technically sound nor environmentally sustainable. Ask the real experts for information and you will find that all incinerator ash is toxic. This Moor Well tip problem is turning into an even bigger environmental disaster for the whole of St. Mary’s and tourism. What you never read was that the Moor Well Alps is to be spread around St. Mary’s into any hole or dip they can find and used as infill and perhaps a construction material. I wouldn’t call this as Andy Street does, “a unique opportunity for Scilly” unless the rest of our environment is completely protected from toxic ash dumping and the Moor Well site has a long-term chance of recovery back to at least brown field status by ending incineration for good.

    This is a solvable problem but only if all the existing ash is containerised and sent to the mainland in a one-off operation where there are many heavily contaminated sites left over from the industrial days and we then separate and transport our recyclable waste keeping the landfill element as tiny as possible. Incineration is the enemy of recycling so stop kidding us along.

    25 years ago I told the Council it needs to transport our waste in a cargo boat. They would not need another toxic incinerator. If handed over to a new innovative Chief Technical Officer, separation, transportation and recycling would be the most environmentally clean, efficient and cost effective option that I know would earn the support of most islanders.

  2. Fran Grottick October 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Surely this is an information briefing, welcome, but not a
    meaningful “consultation”, if plans have already been formulated.
    Or have Elected Councillors still to ratify the decisions?
    Are there any other options?
    Is “MOORWELL” still a key water source?

  3. Pauline Mawer October 23, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    This seems like an excellent idea. ai do hope that everyone will support it so that it can be completed in its entirety.

  4. Sue Williams October 22, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    At last a councillor who believes in letting the public know what is planned. Why was the earlier meeting held in `secret`?

  5. ritchie October 18, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Well said councillor Martin !