23 April 2008
Deputy Guy de Faye, Minister for Transport and Technical Services (TTS) is reviewing the capacity of the new Energy from Waste Plant (EfW) that is proposed to be built at La Collette in light of the better than expected recycling figures. However, the outcome of the soon to be published Housing Needs Survey will ultimately determine whether a smaller capacity incinerator plant will be viable.
The throughput capacity of the plant was originally determined in early 2005 as part of development of the Solid Waste Strategy. Based on the best information available, a projection was made that a new plant needed to handle approximately 126,000 tonnes of waste. Various factors were considered in the projection, including future population estimates, the likely future numbers of households, trends in waste generation and the amount of recycling that Jersey could sustain.
In 2005, a realistic target was set for Jersey, to recycle and compost at least 32% of waste by 2009. Annual targets were also set and TTS closely monitored the Island’s enthusiasm for recycling. The outcome showed that the Island has consistently surpassed the annual targets and by the end of 2007, the Jersey recycling and composting rate stood at 30.4%, which is 3.4% ahead of the 2007 target. In light of this, and with the tendering process for the proposed new Energy from Waste plant in its final stages, the Department has conducted its annual review of waste disposal and now intends to adjust its projections, based on the new information available. That exercise will calculate new annual recycling targets and also determine whether the capacity requirement for the new incinerator has changed. However, the Department needs the results of the Housing Needs Survey in May to complete the projection estimates.
In early July, The Minister for Transport and Technical Services will be asking the States to approve the Department’s recommendations for a new plant to replace the Bellozanne incinerator which is currently struggling to cope with the Island’s waste. Breakdowns and repairs are becoming more frequent and more costly and it is critical that a replacement plant is brought into operation as soon as possible. In the intervening period, there is a steadily growing risk that the plant will suffer a major breakdown, resulting in the Island being unable to dispose of its waste for days or even weeks.
“The public response to waste disposal has changed significantly over the last three years, resulting in more public participation in recycling than envisaged” said Deputy Guy de Faye, Minister for Transport and Technical Services. “It is important that we use the latest available information to decide what the capacity of the new incinerator should be. If the new plant can be smaller than originally estimated there is a potential for a cost saving. BUT – it is vital that the new plant can cope reliably with Jersey’s waste over the next few decades. There are many variable components in making a decision on capacity and cost saving may not be the determining factor.”