La Collette energy-from-waste plant gives Jersey 'no incentive' to go green

  • In the second part of her 'Recycling Revealed' series, Katya Fowler investigates the environmental cost of turning waste into energy in Jersey.

Jersey's Environment Minister says the island's energy-from-waste plant at La Collette shouldn't be replaced when it reaches the end of its working life.

The plant cost £110 million to build when it first opened in 2011, but Deputy Jonathan Renouf told ITV News it likely would not have been given the green light if it was proposed today:

"If we were starting now would we build an energy-from-waste plant I'm not sure that we would want to go down that route?

"We are producing emissions out of that plant which are both bad for the environment in terms of carbon, but also it's polluting."

In a promotional video on its website, Jersey's government claims that the plant burns more than 100,000 tonnes of waste a year, which is enough to power 10,000 homes.

If more islanders increase the amount of waste they recycle, the result will mean the amount of energy produced by the plant will decrease over time.

Jersey's Minister for Infrastructure, Deputy Tom Binet explains why powering houses through waste may be the easier option.

Sustainability expert, Joanna Yarrow, says while the government is still focussing on incinerating waste as a source of power, there is no incentive to encourage people to go green:

"By prioritising waste to energy, you're effectively disincentivising people from reducing, reusing and recycling those valuable materials.

"You can save three-to-five times as much energy through recycling, reusing and composting as you can through waste-to-energy."

The government says in the near future, it will be replacing its 17-year-old Waste Management Plan with one fit for an island which is looking ahead to its carbon neutral roadmap.