16 May 2017
The Council of Ministers has just lodged an Appointed Day Act for Article 4 of the Drainage (Jersey) Law 2005 which, if approved, will allow the Minister for Infrastructure to make an Order regarding the fees and charges for non-householder (commercial) waste services.
Last September the States agreed in principle to the introduction of solid and liquid waste charges for non-householders. Since then, the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) has been working to provide the detail behind the charges.
The mechanisms for the introduction of non-householder liquid and solid user pays charges differ. For liquid waste the necessary legislation is already in place and Article 4 just needs to be brought into force. However, it is a little more complicated for solid waste, as the Law has to be amended.
For this reason, the States is being asked to look at the introduction of non-householder user pays charges liquid waste first and then for solid waste later in the year. This will also mean that businesses will benefit from a phased introduction of charges.
About 22% of liquid waste comes from non-householders which costs about £3.85m in service costs. The proposed non-householder user pays charges would cover these costs, which are currently funded through income from taxes.
This has allowed the £3.85m budget to then be redistributed to priority areas as part of the overall package of measures agreed by the States.
These user pays charges do not apply to domestic households or establishments, which act as residences such as residential care homes.
DfI is proposing the new non-householder user pays charges for liquid waste to be comprised of a low annual standing charge, and a charge for the amount of liquid waste generated, which will be based on 95% of the fresh water used.
Full details of the proposals are set out in the Appendix accompanying the Appointed Day Act. These charges would not be introduced until March 2018.
DfI has undertaken service reviews to drive out efficiencies in this area and other areas across the Department to minimise costs and this is a continuing process. Jersey's costs compare well with those levied in other jurisdictions, especially when taking into account our size and island location.
Waste charges will not give DfI any budgetary benefit; however, they will provide a stimulus to encourage the reduction of waste, in this case the reduction in water usage which is beneficial as water is a valuable commodity. DfI is keen to work with businesses to minimise their waste and thereby reduce their charges.
Deputy Eddie Noel, Minister for Infrastructure, said “Over the last few months we have been engaging with businesses and although the introduction of new charges is never likely to be popular, we have had very useful dialogue. As user pays non-householder waste charges have already been agreed in principle by the States, we have only been able to talk about our proposals for introduction. Businesses were keen to have as much advance notice as possible, and by lodging now, we have taken that into account. The debate is scheduled for July, which will give eight months’ lead-in. We have also been able to plan a phased approach to the introduction of the liquid and solid elements of the charges to businesses, which reduces the impact for them.”