Waste and savings

Why are we applying ‘savings’ at a flat rate across the board? We never did that when we had surplus funds. It makes no account of how efficiently a department is run, or indeed any political priorities on the services provided by departments. More importantly if we have been building a proper sovereign fund during the good years, as the Norwegians have done, we might not even be facing the current budget cuts.

Reducing waste is essential. INSEAD produced a report last year entitled ‘Value of sustainable procurement practices’. It showed that applying environmental criteria to supply and procurement also saves money, up to 1/3rd of one percent of total revenues. For the States that’s £2 million.

We also have to tackle the enormous amount of food that is wasted in the chain from grower to consumer. Over £57 per month per household on average in the UK. Anaerobic digestion could deal with this effectively, along with other green waste.

More on-island reuse and recycling would be beneficial and needs investigating. We are we only at 30% recycling rates? Guernsey is closer to 50%, and places in Belgium have achieved 70% rates. We should investigate options for small scale recovery and recycling locally. If we could say recycle aluminium locally we could then develop some further light industry fabricating from that recovered material.

I have attended a number of the consultation meetings related to the incinerator, and the handling of the waste ash. I blogged on the sizing and siting and the inevitability we would be taking Guernsey's waste because it was over-sized. At the most recent meeting where TTS are proposing to double the height of the ash storage , basic questions like the mean time to failure of the leakage detection system could not be answered. As far as I know they still have not answered that question. The storage bags are expected to have a lifetime of 100 years, what are the chances to a leak happening in that time, and what are the odds the leakage detection system has failed?. The consequence when sited right alongside a RAMSAR site could be devastating on a special ecological system. Have we learned nothing from the debacle of the potato dumping at Beauport?

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