Wasting St Helier’s money

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From Keith Shaw.

AT a parish assembly at the Town Hall on 25 November Item 2 on the agenda will be: ‘The reorganisation of refuse collections and introduction of a parish-wide recycling scheme for St Helier.’

This item was previously on the agenda for the meeting on 30 September, but withdrawn to enable discussions between the parish and its staff. This, sadly, removed any opportunity to discuss the equally important second part of the item.

I think that the issue of recycling in the parish is far too important for it to be parcelled up with changing the refuse collection rounds.

I believe that:

• Insufficient public discussion has taken place following the recycling trial scheme in the Havre des Pas area.

• There has been insufficient information about the initial trial and its subsequent scheme reported back to the residents.

• Residents have not had sufficient opportunity to contribute to the process re their experience.

• The refuse staff have not been asked for their comments about the trial scheme.

• There isn’t evidence that the trial scheme was effective or that it could be ‘rolled out’ in other areas of St Helier. Where will residents keep five bins and two sacks of assorted domestic waste in their homes?

The Constable quoted a take up rate of nearly 60% in September 2007, which I challenged as I believed it to be closer to 30%. A few days later I provided him with the results of my simple research, which indicated a figure closer to 19%. My figure remains unchallenged and I would expect it to have decreased by now.

At that time, Deputy Robert Duhamel was advocating the use of a single simple waste sorting machine, which he took other politicians to examine in the UK. Much more cost effective and efficient than complex and expensive multiple collections.

Is the parish’s concept of ‘going it alone’, with all the resultant risks and costs involved, the right one at this time?

Wouldn’t it be more cost effective to have an Island-wide scheme for an Island-wide issue, as it is not a St Helier ratepayers’ issue but a Jersey taxpayers’ one.

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