29 March 2017
The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) has been preparing for how waste charges for commercial customers (non-householder charge scheme) could be introduced.
Last September the States agreed in principle to the introduction of solid and liquid waste charges for non-householders. Since then DfI has been working to provide the detail behind the charges.
The proposed charges are based on the user paying for what they generate which is considered to be a fair means of assessment. It also gives businesses the incentive to minimise their waste in order to reduce the amount they pay, which is good for the environment.
DfI is proposing the non-householder solid waste charge to be £150 per tonne with recyclates’ charges either market driven or minimal, possibly free for some materials. The waste water charge for non-householders would be £2.27 per cubic metre plus a standing charge.
The Department has recently been conducting a second round of engagement, which included talking to States members, Scrutiny, Parishes, waste contractors, business representatives and a cross section of businesses. These discussions will continue in the coming months to talk over any issues with the proposals.
DfI does not want an increase in fly-tipping to accompany the introduction of non-householder waste charges, so they have been working with colleagues at the Department of the Environment to develop a task force which would be set-up to robustly combat fly-tipping.
Although waste charges would be new for Jersey, they are very much the norm elsewhere in the UK and Europe, including Guernsey. The level of charges proposed for Jersey compare well with others.
DfI has had its budget reduced by £18.85m in the current Medium Term Financial Plan. £7.5m is to come from efficiency savings and £11.35m is needed to come from non-householder waste charges to finance waste services. The extra funding is needed for new and improved services in priority areas such as health and education.
Non-householder waste charges would not be introduced until 2018.
Deputy Eddie Noel, Minister for Infrastructure said, “We have used knowledge and experience gained from other places where waste charges have been introduced to help us find the right systems of charging for Jersey. It is still very important to discuss the proposals with businesses and help them to understand how charging would work and to help ease in the introduction of waste charges and listen to any issues they may have.”
The States will be asked to approve law changes later this year to enable non-householder waste charges to be levied.
DfI will work with businesses in the run-up to the introduction of charges to try to maximise their waste reduction. Currently, there is a lot of waste sent to the Energy from Waste Plant (EFW) that could be reused or recycled. There are also materials such as UPVC that require costly treatment if put through the EFW which could be recycled. It is not fair that tax payers are currently funding this disproportionate cost. User-pays charges redress the balance - the polluter pays.