The government has announced some good news for ratepayers.
The amount of money charged to local authorities for using the incinerator is to be frozen.
Changes, which will come into effect from April 2016, will see the Department of Infrastructure freeze the overall rate paid by local authorities for the disposal of residual domestic waste at the incinerator, which it calls the or Energy from Waste (EfW) plant, for the 2016-17 financial year.
But it will also provide new incentives for local authorities to recycle.
The department says the new charging mechanism is intended to help local authorities to plan their finances with more certainty.
Infrastructure Minister Phil Gawne MHK said: ‘This important change means that local authorities will not face continuing increases in their total EfW gate fees in the years ahead.
‘This will be welcome news for local authorities and their ratepayers. The financial challenges faced by government are also being felt by local authorities and many people in the Isle of Man. By freezing waste disposal fees and capping the increase to public sector rents in line with inflation, the department is recognising these budgetary pressures.’
He added: ‘The collaborative work on waste management is a key part of efforts to modernise the relationship between central and local government. All parties are seeking to improve service delivery and achieve greater value for money for the Manx public.’
The Waste Management Working Group, made up of the DoI and representatives of the island’s 24 local authorities, is ‘exploring ways of encouraging local authorities to refocus their approach to recycling on achieving better environmental outcomes’.
This will include a higher level of charges for local authorities who do not meet proposed new standards for removing incombustible and environmentally damaging items from household waste.
Mr Gawne said: ‘The current charging regime has led to local authorities concentrating their efforts on recycling heavy materials, rather than those that may be more beneficial for the environment.
‘For example, green garden waste is capable of being recycled into high quality compost, which reduces the need to import such products.
‘New incentives will put the emphasis on doing what is best for our environment.’
Charges to local authorities for the disposal of residual domestic waste at the incinerator are calculated by multiplying the number of tonnes delivered by the rate per tonne.
The rate per tonne includes a variable element and a contribution to the fixed costs of operating the plant.
The current rate (£79.50/tonne for domestic waste) comprises 100 per cent of the variable cost of operating the plant (£20.49/tonne) and a contribution to the fixed costs of £59.01/tonne.
In future, local authorities will pay a proportion of the fixed costs of operation, calculated on a per capita basis, as a fixed annual charge – and a per tonne charge of £20.49.
Commercially derived waste will continue to be charged at the current commercial rate of £160/tonne.