Waste Recycling Trial To Be Run On St Mary’s Next Year

moorwell alp from aboveThere’s going to be a recycling trial on St Mary’s early next year.

Yesterday’s Waste Forum heard calls for the Council to collect separated rubbish from locals’ doorsteps.

Adam Blackwell told the group Scilly would only be catching up with the rest of the country and visitors expect it.

Forum Chair Steve Sims wants an emphasis on recycling to prevent another rubbish mound developing once the Moorwell Alp is cleared.

He said the current waste management site “has the waste managing the site.” He’d rather the dump was a recycling centre.

Some forum members want extensive change.

Mark Prebble, who stood as a Green candidate in the May Council election, feels that Scilly’s size means becoming the UK “gold standard” for waste management could be achievable.

But Cllr Sims explained that a trial would have to be delivered quickly, ideally in late January or February and equipment couldn’t be modified in time for a large-scale test.

They also wouldn’t have time to follow the normal Council buying processes to do anything bigger.

“We have to use what we have at the moment and work towards better,” he said.

A small test run of staff picking up glass and metals from compartment bins would be more manageable. If it works it would be extended.

Steve says an area of St Mary’s hasn’t been chosen but he’d favour Old Town, from the café to Hanover.

Before that starts, the Council needs to educate islanders on what glass can be recycled. Marian Bennett warned there’s uncertainty whether jars with lids or light bulbs could be recycled.

She said the Council had “missed a trick” by not sending advice to residents in Christmas cards although Steve said it wasn’t too late.

Tresco’s approach to recycling has impressed some forum members. Nick Shiles offered his experience, adding that he most important thing is to make it simple.

But Marian said any system would need “teeth.”

Steve says there needs to be ground rules and he thinks binmen should refuse to remove rubbish if glass has not been separated from general waste for collection.

Plastic recycling will be added later because there’s so much of it and it’s complex. But hopes by the middle of next summer that will be in place.

The recently awarded £900,000 Moorwell Alp clearance contract is for just one-fifth of the site’s waste.

Some forum members wondered whether that would make a difference but Steve says the waste is loosely piled.

It may be 20% of the tonnage but it takes up 80% of the volume. The rest is heavy rubble, which will be levelled once the black bag waste is gone.

Mark Prebble wanted to know how much of the £18m that Defra had offered the Council for waste management had been used.

Director of Place Craig Dryden said he didn’t know and Steve said the government cash is conditional on results.

Steve believes that Defra wants Scilly’s waste issue sorted because it would reflect badly on them if the islands, as part of the UK, didn’t meet EU standards.

He expects that the government will fund a satisfactory solution.

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