The State of Jersey Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel (The Panel) appointed Eunomia to carry out an independent review of proposals to introduce liquid waste charges for the non-household sector for the first time.
Jersey’s Minister for Infrastructure Eddie Noel put forward proposals to introduce ‘user-pays’ charges for non-household liquid waste earlier this year to make savings due to a budget cut of £11.35m from waste services – these funds are being reallocated to priority areas such as health and education.
Jersey’s Department for Infrastructure outlined new waste policies where non-householders (such as hotels, shops and charity shops) would be charged for liquid waste at £2.27 per cubic metre on top of a ‘standing charge’ scheduled for introduction in March 2018.
The rationale behind the Department’s proposals included aiming to create a fair situation where the ‘user pays’, incentivising waste reduction and aligning Jersey’s liquid waste policy with other European countries. As is normal when new policy changes are put forward in the State of Jersey, a scrutiny panel has been formed to debate the suggestions. In this instance Eunomia has been commissioned to independently review the Department’s plan.
To ensure the new policies are successful Eunomia’s review made six key recommendations to The Panel:
- Revisit the timing of the introduction of liquid waste charges
- Consider alternative approaches to ensure that the user-pays and the environment improves
- Undertake further public consultation
- Clearly defining who is eligible for the charge
- Make the calculations used to establish charges transparent
- Assess the full impact of the charge on stakeholders e.g. businesses and communities
The Department’s plans have sparked criticism from local businesses and organisations such as the Jersey Hospitality Association, Institute of Directors, Chamber of Commerce and Jersey Farmers’ Union who have all written to the Minister. One of Eunomia’s recommendations has already been taken partially on board, with the Department announcing that introduction of charges will be halved for the first 12 months to lessen the impact.
Eunomia’s report Review of Proposed User-pays Charges for Non-Household Liquid Wastes was published alongside a report from The Panel on Thursday 13th July 2018 ahead of a debate that discussed the Minister’s propositions held on Tuesday 18th July 2018 – Members voted to delay the proposals indefinitely.
Eunomia will also be providing an independent review of User-pays Charges for Non-Household Solid Wastes later this summer, due to be reviewed by the Scrutiny Panel in September 2017.