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.

One Response to Waste Recycling Collections Could Start By September

  1. Ray Wornes June 18, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Understandably there is an enormous amount of planning and reorganisation that will have to take place before we have the kind of waste scheme that people like me would wish to see operating on every island in Scilly. I am impatient for change having waited so long for it to happen. However a clear set of progressive targets would go a long way to satisfying my need for clarity of ambition otherwise I am left constantly wondering if we will fall short on achieving the best results on, first and foremost, Scilly’s environmental protection, eco tourism and the most ambitious recycling rate possible. A better type of overhead display at meetings that could be read would help but written information to Councillors, Forum members and at household and business level is I feel essential to inform everyone of what is planned and help the public to cooperate with enthusiasm to make these difficult changes an unqualified success. Someone has to be responsible for two way
    communications with all participants right from the start if we want the best results. Leafleting at the household and business level will be required sooner rather than later.

    Discussions on methods are at a very early stage and innovation on each recyclable element of the waste stream is vague and will need to be much more intensively pursued. Mixed bagged waste is not appropriate for efficient recycling. I do not want to see the same kind of shallow Council Officer domination of policy that has been so destructive in the past.The very limited target being implemented at the start will need to be expanded considerably to make this whole exercise worthwhile. This would probably mean a new vehicle with separate compartments for different recyclables. Nevertheless these could be exciting times!