Anger at new waste management proposals



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A government plan to alter the way waste management is carried out has caused anger among Peel Commissioners.

The Department of Infrastructure (DoI) has written to local authorities outlining three options for waste management and asking for their views by February 7.

Commissioner Alan Jones said: ‘The consultation period is far too small. We have a five year contract with Frank Jones Services, what will they do about that?

‘There are lots of things I’d like to speak to them about. We’re here to give the best deal to our ratepayers.

Option one, the report says, is to create a single authority responsible for waste collection and disposal across the island, with household waste collection and disposal funded by local authorities. This could save up to £1.45m says the report.

The second proposal is to transfer all of the DoI responsibilities for waste to one or more local authorities, including all staff, contracts and services, again with household waste services funded by the local authorities. This could save up to £1m, the report says.

The final option is to establish regional services that would allow resource sharing across the island, but would be monitored regionally.

The report estimates this option would result in savings of around £1.2m and says it could also provide a structure to devolve other services from central government in the future, such as traffic wardens and parish wardens.

Commissioner Jackie O’Halloran said: ‘I have grave disquiet about this.

‘It’s another notion of central government trying to fix something that isn’t broken.’

Commissioner David Lace said: ‘I didn’t like being given three choices. If you don’t go for one of them, it’ll cost this much they say. How do they know?

‘When the incinerator was built it was said it was going to cost nothing afterwards. The dream!

‘This letter was sent on Christmas Eve, maybe it was meant for Santa Claus!’

Commissioners’ chairman Ray Harmer said: ‘We seem to have the tail wagging the dog, local authority reform done by the back door.’

Waste disposal accounts for £11m in the island with more than 80 per cent done via the incinerator.

Collecting rubbish and cleaning streets costs approximately £4m per year.

Running recycling programmes and regional rubbish tips costs a further £1m.

The services are currently subsidised by the government costing £4.6m, without which each household would have to pay an extra £129 a year.

The review says that rubbish collection on the island could be run with only 12 bin lorries.

There are currently 29, with 17 in regular use, but it is said they are often only four fifths full and could make more than one delivery a day.

Bin collection in the island costs £70 per household per year but the DoI says this can be reduced to £43 per house.

• To read more on this story turn to page 9.

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