A leading local commissioner has welcomed the government’s announcement to freeze the rate paid by local authorities to use the incinerator.
Onchan commissioner Rob Callister has campaigned over the last nine months to have more transparency over waste disposal charges at the Energy from Waste Plant (EfW) in Braddan.
The current gate fee for the disposal of household domestic waste will remain at £79.50 per tonne for the 2016-17 financial year and will come into effect from April 2016.
Mr Callister said: ‘This is the right decision for all stakeholders involved, and more importantly for the island’s ratepayers that have seen domestic rates increase significantly in recent years because of these charges.’
In 2012 the government removed its subsidy towards the cost of waste disposal and decided between April 2013 to April 2018 that domestic waste charges would rise by £21 per tonne, plus a 2.42 per cent indexation charge each year. This would bring the charge to £161.35 per tonne, plus indexation charge, by April 2018.
Mr Callister said that since April 2013 local authorities have taken on additional costs which total over £2.5 million from the Department of Infrastructure, and most of these costs are now having to be funded through domestic rates systems. He believes that local authorities are now paying a ‘reasonable charge’.
‘It is right for local authorities to pay a fair and reasonable charge for disposing of domestic waste, but to ask authorities to pay £161.35 per tonne from April 2018 would be clearly seen as overcharging the ratepayers at a time when families are already struggling.’
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.’