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As waste piles up... How much bigger could La Collette grow?

As waste piles up... How much bigger could La Collette grow?

Thursday 09 February 2023

As waste piles up... How much bigger could La Collette grow?

Thursday 09 February 2023


The reclamation site at La Collette – which has long been earmarked for development – is likely to have to grow as a dumping ground for inert waste because there is nowhere else to put it.

For the past four decades, the land south of the power station has been the primary site for building rubble and other non-hazardous solid waste.

Full up

Now home to the incinerator, bus depot, scrap metal yard, recycling centre and other amenities, the most southern section of reclaimed land, dubbed La Collette 3, is now full.

However, in the absence of another site, the Government is likely to apply to Planning to raise the level of inert waste above its current ground level.

The Bridging Island Plan safeguards La Gigoulande Quarry in St. Peter’s Valley as the next site for inert waste. This already has planning permission, but no dumping has started there, nor is there any waste-processing infrastructure in place.

Using waste to strengthen sea defences?

The Government is also exploring using waste to strengthen the island’s sea defences.

For the areas where there is the most significant risk of coastal flooding, the Government’s proposed shoreline management policy includes the option to ‘advance the line’, which means creating new sea defences seaward and beyond existing coastal defences. 

Those high-risk areas are Havre des Pas (with ‘advancing the line’ needed between now and 2040) and St. Aubin’s Bay and St. Aubin’s Harbour (between 2040 and 2070).

 

Infrastructure Minister Tom Binet admitted that where to store inert waste was going to cause a “significant problem”. especially with the planned demolition of parts of Overdale later this year.

Havre des Pas 850x500.jpg

Pictured: Some strengthening of sea defences has begun at Havre des Pas but the area is earmarked for possible future reclamation.

He said: “I suspect that we are going to have to apply to raise the level of inert waste storage at La Collette and that is going to involve us making a planning application, which I hope will be looked at favourably by the Environment Minister.

“Thereafter we are looking at some coastal defence issues that may involve the utilisation of some inert waste. We will be fast-tracking these as well.

“These are all measures that we are taking to make good on an inert waste problem that has been in the wings for some time.”

“Rather than it being acceptable or not, it is inevitable"

Asked in the States if it was acceptable to ‘super-fill’ La Collette when the land had always been earmarked for development, including commercial use and housing, Deputy Binet replied: “Rather than it being acceptable or not, it is inevitable. 

“We don’t have any alternative unless we are going to bring the building trade to a halt and we are going to stop the hospital development.

“This is a problem we inherited and has been quite long-running. 

“This has been an accident waiting to happen, and we are now addressing it but we have a series of measures that we are discussing, and we will be coming back with further plans to deal with the problem.”

Think again before getting "bold and controversial"

Deputy Steve Luce, who leads the backbench panel which scrutinises Infrastructure, said that all of the island’s waste streams – be they liquid, solid, inert and contaminated – were struggling. 

He added that the Government needed to promote recycling more existing inert waste before advancing “bold and controversial” reclamation projects. 

The large mound of waste visible immediately to the south of the incinerator is hazardous waste, inert waste has been used to fill in the reclamation site further south, towards the tanker berth.

However, the Government is now updating a 2016 planning application - yet to be passed - to build new 'cells' of hazardous waste to the south perimeter of the reclamation.

Pictured top: La Collette in 2016 - the top left section, which was then still sea water, is now filled in.

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