The Department of Infrastructure has announced a significant change to the way local authorities are charged for disposing of household waste at the Energy from Waste (EfW) plant.
Revised charging arrangements have been agreed by the Waste Management Working Group, a partnership between the Department and local authorities established to look at issues around waste collection, reuse and recycling.
The change, which will come into effect from April 2016, will enable the Department to freeze the overall rate paid by local authorities for the disposal of residual domestic waste at the EfW for the 2016-17 financial year. It will also provide fresh incentives for local authorities to enhance their recycling efforts.
Fees contribute towards the fixed and variable costs of operating the EfW and 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.’
‘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 is also 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.
The Minister 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.’