Islanders Given Opportunity To Hear Waste Plans

Waste management site at Moorwell

Waste management site at Moorwell

The Moorwell Alp will be flattened within three years, there’ll be recycling on St Mary’s although you’ll have to take your separated waste to the dump yourself and there will be a replacement for the incinerator that captures the heat to create power.

These are some of the proposals for waste management on St Mary’s, which will be presented by consultants SLR for your feedback next week.

Under the plan, off-island waste facilities will be open at set times and supervised, following the success of that approach on St Agnes.

The Council needs to show progress with waste management over the next three years.

Defra has given a £6m grant so far and a further £6.6m is conditional on measurable progress.

Andy Street of SLR has spent four years working on Scilly’s waste management issues.

From Radio Scilly

Listen to our interview with Andy Street from waste consultants SLR

He says the removal of the rubbish mound at Moorwell won’t happen overnight but is achievable in the timeline proposed, with the support of the various agencies involved on the islands.

He says the Defra funding is very significant, given the size of the islands’ population, and was one of the only projects to survive the strategic spending review at the start of the new parliament.

And it offers a real opportunity to transform the waste system on the islands, particularly at Moorwell, says Andy.

There’s also likely to be recycling on St Mary’s too, if you take your separated waste to the dump yourself. Under the plans, it won’t be collected at the kerbside as it is on the mainland, but the aim is create a facility that’s well designed and that people actually want to use.

Andy says there are discreet stockpiles of materials currently on the site, and the amount and nature of these have been surveyed. Some have already been removed to the mainland, such as glass and metal, while others could be recycled for use in building projects on the islands.

Anything hazardous will be removed from site, says Andy, and if necessary, taken to the mainland.

The incinerator is old, inefficient technology and this, combined with restricted space, has produced something that would not be normal practice on the mainland.

There are plans to replace this with a state-of-the-art ‘energy from waste’ system, meeting all European standards, but also providing an efficient way to generate renewable power for the islands.

Andy says his team expects criticism from the public over the state of the dump and they won’t attempt to defend that. But he says the situation has arisen through no fault of anyone and is simply a reflection of the prevailing space and technology.

They’re seeking genuine feedback from the public and a focus on the solutions going forward.


6 Responses to Islanders Given Opportunity To Hear Waste Plans

  1. paula January 17, 2013 at 9:46 am

    I have never felt compelled to comment on here before, but I was pleased to read Louise’ s comments. I am far from being waste management expert but I do have a few concerns of my own regarding the new plans for the incinerator. I have attended SLR’ s exhibition but I still don’ t feel that I understand the finer details of the plan. having done a bit of reading, plus a bit of common sense says, reducing the amounts of rubbish we produce should be the first consideration. I my opinion we all need a bit of help with this, but if we can’t reduce, recycle. right? I’ m pretty sure more would be recycled if there were kerbside collections. many people haven’t got the time, transport or inclination to take it to moorwell themselves. which may be a bonus to the incinerator, as it needs to be fed, as Louise says. I was hoping as we’ ‘re still at the consultation stage (?) alternative ideas and info to help us choose the best option for scilly. I was hoping to see information about composting. on a big scale. making a valuable, usable product for the community.
    Then to the waste to energy incinerator itself, seems like an brilliant idea and yes they are all over Europe. however how green is it? It has been said they are second only to coal fired plants in producing c02 emmisions, contributing to climate change, I’ m pretty sure I don’t want to see any sea level rises, after all we will be first in line to sink. Then there is the by product, the ash again it has been said it’s not a particularly safe product, where will it go?
    As I say I’ m no expert but I would prefer to have a lot more information before we go ahead and use £12million (was that much?) on this machine that has a life span of possibly 25-30 years.

  2. Fran Grottick January 14, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Louise, lot’s there to think about, and very interesting.
    I don’t feel competent to comment on the technicals, but I would like to repeat a point I made a while ago.
    Consultation is only relevant surely if it can impact on an outcome. Will the Community “consultation” be really that or are we being asked to survey a done deal?

  3. Louise Graham January 13, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    As a response to EU legislation on waste management the Uk govt produced The Waste Strategy for England 2007 which gave all councils in the Uk the responsibility to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. All councils were required to produce a waste management strategy and provide evidence that they had achieved this or face fines. Many councils in the Uk responded by setting up targets to increase recycling through kerbside collections for recyclables or improving recycling facilities for their communities.
    This waste strategy has since been replaced with new legislation produced in 2011. I have only read a summary, but there is still a legal requirement by councils to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. There seems to be more emphasis on waste to energy strategies and responsibility put back to businesses to manage their own waste!

    It would be interesting to know why the council of the Isles of Scilly still has no waste strategy in place and yet are ‘consulting’ on a larger incinerator which will supposedly turn waste to energy.

    Waste to energy systems have been operating for many years in countries such as Sweden and Germany. These countries have a long and successful history of waste management which also includes extremely high recycling rates and a waste aware population.

    My concerns, based on past experience, are that we don’t have the technical expertise on the Islands to manage such a project safely and it is unlikely that sufficient training will be provided to existing staff to manage it. Whilst the cost of buying the ‘kit’ will be paid for by government grants, the long-term costs of buying in technical maintenance and expertise when it fails are going to be expensive.I also have concerns about its sustainability and the ethical ramifications which will encourage the production of increasing amounts of waste to ‘feed the beast.’ There are also the environmental issues to be considered as an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty is this really appropriate for the Islands?

    I recall the first AONB management plan (2005-2009) produced through a lengthy process of PUBLIC CONSULTATION showed that 97% of the population of the Islands wanted to RECYCLE more waste and wanted the council to facilitate this through increased recycling facilities on the Islands or some sort of kerbside collection or recycling facilities.

    The AONB with Rezolve Kernow spent a lot of time, effort and money in providing some of these facilities can banks, composters, aerobic digesters, can sorters, glass crushers, recycling banks on the off Islands. Contracts were also set up with the Steamship Co and the Cornwall Paper Company for transporting, buying and processing the recyclables . Some of you might even remember Scilly Waste……

    Whilst welcoming the obvious benefits of reducing the Moorwell Alp, I would like to suggest that the community ensure they are well-informed of the actual implications and impact on the Islands of a ‘new waste to heat’ incinerator both in the long and short term.

    In my view there really needs to be greater informed dialogue and discussion as to all the alternatives to managing our waste. Information is easily accessible to the public on the web-site, Friends of the Earth have produced a well-researched and convincing argument on the benefits of recycling over waste to heat initiatives and is easily accessible. (check their website or google FOE waste strategy)

    One of the projects I proposed when working for the AONB was to set up a Community Waste Action Group who would work together with the council officers to produce a waste management strategy – thus taking into account what people living here wanted.

    Sadly, in my view, this idea was not taken up by the council. Hopefully, this consultation will be a real opportunity for people to express their views, find out more about the reality of living with a much larger incinerator and its potential impact on the Island and not merely a paper exercise.

  4. Pauline Mawer January 11, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    It is good to know that something is being done about the `Alp`
    and that more re-cycling will be done, especially if some of it can be done in the islands.

  5. Steve January 10, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    I think we’re in danger of missing out on a potential tourist attraction… at its present rate of growth the Morwell Alp could have been converted into a dry ski slope within 2 years.
    More seriously, the removal of this blot on our landscape is well overdue. Its very existence undoubtedly undermines any claims that Scilly has to being a must-visit destination for the growing number of eco-tourists

  6. Evie January 10, 2013 at 11:49 am

    ‘there’ll be recycling on St Mary’s although you’ll have to take your separated waste to the dump yourself’ Anything else the Council would suggest we do? Clearing drains, street cleaning….!