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Minister scales back toxic waste mound proposal

Minister scales back toxic waste mound proposal

Thursday 06 July 2023

Minister scales back toxic waste mound proposal

Thursday 06 July 2023


Growing mounds of toxic waste at La Collette will be not as high as first envisaged, if politicians back an updated plan by the Infrastructure Minister to tackle how Jersey deals with its contaminated spoil and building rubble.

Deputy Tom Binet is asking the States later this month to support a proposal to increase the size of man-made headlands on reclaimed land south of the incinerator, which contain plastic-lined ‘cells’ of ash and other contaminates covered in topsoil.

But he has now amended his own plan to reduce the maximum height by 5.5m.

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Pictured: Deputy Tom Binet is asking the States to support a proposal to increase the size of man-made headlands on reclaimed land south of the incinerator.

He is also seeking approval to build a new mound of ‘inert’ waste to the west of the reclamation site – essentially non-hazardous soils from construction. This too will not be as high as first thought, if the Assembly agrees.

Jersey's solid waste problem

What to do with Jersey’s solid waste hit the headlines in March when the Planning Committee rejected an application from the Infrastructure Department to increase the height of headlands of contaminated waste which have built up over the past two decades.

The upper part of these mounds – which currently rise up to 17m above the rocky perimeter wall – have been constructed without planning permission.

An application to not only seek retrospective approval for this height but to also add another 10m was rejected by the Planning Committee, with the group of politicians unanimously concluding that there needed to be a Government strategy on solid waste disposal first.

However, the committee gave the Infrastructure Minister a lifeline when it agreed to defer its decision by six months, allowing the La Collette site to continue to receive waste without increasing the height of the mound.  

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Pictured: The La Collette reclamation before the construction of mounds of contaminated waste.

The Government say that temporary stockpiling of soils and aggregates to an average height of 10m and a maximum height of 20m above the top of the revetment wall is currently permitted.  

La Collette waste site

In parallel to the planning process, Deputy Binet also has lodged a proposal in the States for get political support for his plan to allow the waste site at La Collette to expand.

Originally, he sought Assembly backing to increase the mounds to 27m above the rock armour wall, or 41m above chart datum (water surface level), but he has now reduced that to 21.5m above the top of the rocky perimeter.

To the west, the Minister did plan to build a new mound of inert waste 26m above the wall, but he is now proposing it rises to a maximum of 21.5m, the same as the eastern headland.

The proposition, which will be debated on 18 July, also seeks support for the drafting of a long-term disposal plan, which could involve dumping waste at La Gigoulande Quarry in St. Peter’s Valley or using inert waste in future reclamation schemes.

The "lion’s share" of waste

St. Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft has also lodged an amendment to the La Collette Waste Management Site Development Plan stipulating that the one-mile-long coastal path around the perimeter of the site should be accessible "on foot and by bicycle" to "ensure that it caters for cyclists as well as walkers and joggers".

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Pictured: St Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft said that that it should not be "assumed that St Helier will continue to take the lion’s share of the island’s inert and hazardous waste".

His amendment also calls for "the creation of this important facility" to be "prioritised rather than being delayed interminably".

Constable Crowcroft's amendment also asks that all other parishes are included in the investigation of possible future waste sites, suggesting that it should not be "assumed that St Helier will continue to take the lion’s share of the island’s inert and hazardous waste".

READ MORE...

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