Jersey urged to act as 'shocking' recycling rates rank it among the worst in Europe

  • Katya Fowler has been finding out about the Channel Islands recycling rates

Jersey is one of three places across Europe where less waste is being recycled, compared to previous years.

In 2015, the island recycled 30% of all its waste, but the latest figures show that's now fallen to 27%.

Meanwhile in Guernsey, their recycling rates have gone up, from 50% in 2015 to 72% in 2020, putting them top of the European table.

In the last few years, more is being recycled in Guernsey than in Jersey

Only eight of Jersey's 12 parishes currently offer kerbside collections, with residents in the other four having to use household recycling centres.

Piers Tharme, the Government of Jersey's Recycling Manager said that they hope to expand the kerbside collections further:

"That's the responsibility of each individual parish to actually put a service in place. Certainly when people have easy access just to throw the general waste in a bin, then that doesn't always make recycling seem the easy option."

Across Europe, the UK is just shy of the top ten when it comes to how much waste is recycled, with 44.4%.

Back in 2019, Guernsey decided to implement a "pay as you throw" system, charging islanders for their black bin waste.

Tina Norman-Ross from the States of Guernsey said it's been well-received:

"What we wanted to do was make it as easy as possible for people to do the right thing and recycle as much as possible. By taking their recycling out of their black bags they're decreasing the amount of waste that they're actually paying for."

Jersey's current processes for managing waste haven't been updated in 17 years, but are due to be overhauled in the coming months.

Joanna Yarrow speaks to Katya Fowler

Environmental specialist, Joanna Yarrow, used to be IKEA's Head of Sustainability and believes Jersey's rate is "shocking":

"I think 27% and being almost at the bottom of the league table for the whole of Europe is pretty shocking.

"I think having Guernsey on your doorstep, leading the way, being at the top of the league table and putting best practice into practice really suggests to me that there aren't any big obstacles, apart from actual will to make a difference."