Waste Recycling Collections Could Start By September

moorwell dump with truckThe Council is hoping to start recycling collections on St Mary’s by September.

The man brought in to manage the Moorwell waste facility, Nigel Cronin, told councillors at last week’s General Purposes meeting that it’s likely they’ll use a system where recyclable material, like paper, cardboard, plastic and tins can be mixed together in a single sack.

Nigel says this isn’t the most efficient method, and will likely achieve a recycling rate of about 30%.

Using separate boxes for each type of material could get that figure up to 60%, but it would mean having to introduce costly changes to the way the Council picks up the rubbish. A single bag means they can continue with their normal weekly collections.

“If we bought the sacks tomorrow” says Nigel, “we could implement this scheme next week on St Mary’s.”

He said there’s now a legal obligation in the UK to provide at least two recycling collection services, and that will be increased to four by end of 2015.

A waste trial began in Old Town in February.

At last week’s Waste Forum, separate to the Council meeting, refuse collector Bobby Gray said he’s been encouraging Old Town residents to recycle and not to leave cans and glass for the bin lorry.

He says that people are generally “on side” and that it can only be beneficial in reducing waste heading to the incinerator.

At the Forum, islander Mark Prebble asked whether staff encouraging locals to recycle could be seen as “a good news story.”

Nigel says it was, but he’d rather wait for data to back it up.

New tougher regulations imposed by the Environment Agency means Moorwell can no longer be used to store waste long term. The site will need to process the waste quickly and export it to the mainland.

Nigel says the Steamship Company has expressed an interest in shipping the waste. He says the Company saw the project to remove the legacy waste earlier this year as a “missed opportunity” after a mainland shipping company undertook the work.

Nigel says there’s still a lot of work to be done on the site, such as making sure there are areas for domestic recycling. Better security fencing will be installed around the perimeter to protect the site from unauthorised access.

And they need for more staff too. Nigel says they’ve received approval to recruit a worker to operate the new glass crusher, which turns bottles into building aggregate.

Environment Agency rules mean some DLF staff will need to work solely on the waste site, rather than being pulled off to other jobs around the island.

Council Chairman Amanda Martin says the Authority was making huge strides but some measures they’re implementing will be unpopular.

There are costs associated with it, she says, but that’s the same anywhere in the world.

“Nobody wants to end up like one of those unfortunate islands in the Maldives where the whole island has become the rubbish dump,” says Amanda.

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