Page last updated at 19:42 GMT, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Incinerator plans voted out again by Guernsey States

Deputy Francis Quin speaking to protesters outside the Guernsey States Chamber
Deputy Quin said it was the wrong decision but one the public wanted

An attempt to reinstate plans for a waste-to-energy incinerator in Guernsey have been defeated in the States.

Deputies voted 27 to 16 against the motion presented by Deputy Tony Spruce to bring the mass-burn plant back to the table.

His move followed a decision by the States last month to abandon the incinerator plans.

More than 400 people protested against the reinstatement outside the States Chamber ahead of the debate.

A new waste strategy will need to be devised and brought to the States by the Public Services Department.

This fear of incineration, in my opinion, is grossly over played... I think we've made a mistake, but that's what the public wants
Francis Quin

The incinerator plans, designed by Suez Environment, are the second set of proposals for a waste-to-energy plant in the island which the States has backtracked on.

The cost to the island of the two aborted projects is more than £11m across seven years.

Public Services Deputy Minister Scott Ogier, who first raised objections in the States to the first set of proposals, has been tasked by the States to set out another waste strategy.

This must be put in place before the Mont Cuet landfill reaches capacity.

In November an estimate of it reaching capacity in 2012 was changed to 2019 after new figures were released showing an increase in the recycling of household waste - up to 33% in 2009 - had increased the lifespan of the tip.

'Suez was answer'

Deputy Francis Quin voted against the motion, but said that due to the strength of public feeling against the incinerator he felt there was no point voting in favour.

He said: "I think [Suez] is the right option, but the public have been sold the anti-incinerator. Suez was the answer, or that type of thing was the answer.

"This fear of incineration, in my opinion, is grossly over played, but Suez wasn't just an incinerator but an all in one start to finish and I think we've made a mistake, but that's what the public wants."

Deputy Ogier has previously said he plans to ask the States for further clarification on the new direction, as there are a number of outstanding States resolutions from previous debates that need to be addressed and potentially rescinded before a new strategy can be pursued.

He said he would wait until after this debate, which could of seen the return of the incinerator to the strategy, before asking.

'Right road'

Sarah Breton, a campaigner and member of the Guernsey Recycling Forum, which works with the States on improving recycling in the island, said: "Hopefully now we can put it all behind us and move forward."

She added that everyone in the island needed to embrace the idea of recycling more.

Deputy Graham Guille, who voted against the incinerator, said: "I think it's important we don't see this as a win/lose situation.

"The winner here is Guernsey and I think the aim of both sides is to come up with a solution that is right for Guernsey.

"I think we're now on the right road. We've got to look long term, we've got to look at something which is sustainable and environmentally friendly over a long period."

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