Islanders Appointed To New Waste forum

The waste incinerator at Moorwell

The waste incinerator at Moorwell

Islanders filled the Wesleyan Chapel for the first meeting of the new waste forum last night.

Cllr Steve Sims, the Chair of the General Purposes committee chaired the session although he explained that this wasn’t a Council forum.

It would feed back community opinion on waste to that committee, he said.

There were repeated calls for recycling and waste separation, which Cllr Sims backed.

He told the meeting that, “we need to be like every other Council in the country.”

As a new councillor, Steve said the problem appeared to be that the authority is not joined up and there is not an integrated plan.

Tresco Estate has a great deal to offer waste management plans. Mike Nelhams explained how the old Tresco rubbish tip at the top of the island had been a disgusting “disaster area’ but waste manager Dean Whillis had changed peoples’ mindsets and created a clean and efficient operation.

Residents used to fill a plastic bag with rubbish, which would then be burned. Tresco locals now separated metals and glass, which were sent to the mainland for a financial gain.

Just one worker operates their facility, catering for 150 islanders, visitors and island businesses.

Mike felt Tresco’s systems could be expanded and applied on St Mary’s.

Dean said there could be a 70% reduction of waste material going to the St Mary’s incinerator, which promoted Louise Graham to claim that some German communities achieved 90% recycling.

Dean and Tresco engineer Nick Shiles were appointed as members of the forum along with Wildlife Trust manager Sarah Mason. Sarah has experience of waste management.

Dr Hessing, Clive Sibley from the Moorwell Improvement Group, Mark Prebble, Louise Graham, Roger White, Ray Wornes and a representative of the building trade, Adam Blackwell, were also put forward.

Steve Sims explained that the removal of the Moorwell Alp to the mainland would start at the end of September. Material would be placed in a skip and floated off on a bargem although it would take up to 20 months.

The options for the future, once Moorwell is cleared, are for full burning of waste, partial burning or no incinerator at all and mainland shipping of waste.

Steve says he assumes that if they bought new incinerator it would be better than the current one.

A new burner would cost up to £7m and process 3,000 tons a year.

It would have a 20 year lifespan, so the Council would have to put aside £300,000 annually for a future replacement.

With fuel, yearly running costs would exceed £350,000 which may make removal to the mainland preferable.

Moorwell will be discussed at the next meeting of the group, which will convene almost every month from now on.

The meetins be minuted and Council officers will be present.

It’s also hoped that someone will be able to explain how much the waste operation currently costs as last night, at the meeting, nobody appeared to know.

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