Against a background of escalating gate fee charges to be imposed on local authorities by the Department of Infrastructure Douglas Borough Council is reviewing its waste management operation.
‘With the proposed phased withdrawal by government of the £5.7 million annual waste subsidy and a 64 per cent increase in gate fee charges to be levied on domestic and commercial waste disposal the Council is looking at how best to achieve savings without compromising service delivery,’ explained Council Leader Councillor David Christian JP, adding: ‘Central to this will be encouraging more households to recycle.’
Councillor Christian said the kerbside recyclables collection service operated by the Council in partnership with Braddan Commissioners had been well received. ‘There is still an urgent need, though, for greater number of households to “reduce, reuse and recycle” and subscribe to the service to limit the amount of waste the Council has to transport to the Energy from Waste facility,’ he urged.
‘Every visit to the plant by one of the Council’s vehicles currently attracts a gate fee of £35 per tonne for domestic waste. From April 1st this fee will escalate by £21 per tonne every year to April 2018, by which time it will have risen to £161.
‘This government measure has led the Council to review its waste management operation and consider the feasibility of centralising its waste management services by relocating the recycling operation to the Ballacottier service centre.’
Councillor Christian added that installing microchips in domestic wheeled waste bins might also be considered in the future, a practice already adopted by some local authorities in the UK. ‘It could serve as a “pay as you throw” measure that might encourage more households to recycle,’ he said, concluding: ‘But at the heart of responsible waste management is encouraging behavioural change, helping people make informed decisions to throw away less and recycle more.’