From Nick Manley.
I HAVE noticed that considerable concern continues to be expressed about the wisdom of siting the Island’s new incinerator waste disposal facilities at La Collette.
It does seem rather unimaginative to site such facilities with a prevailing south-westerly wind, ensuring widespread distribution of any harmful pollution emanating from the incinerator chimney all over an area of dense population from Havre des Pas to Grouville, picking up on the way any loosely stored materials awaiting processing and blowing them onshore straight into what should be a key tourist area for St Helier.
There are also certain odours associated with a waste site which hardly go with tourism. Nor does such a facility exactly improve the scenic outlook for those tourists. Have all these factors been investigated? Or are we seeing a decision made entirely out of expediency, cost-consciousness and a desire to be seen to be at least doing something on land reclaimed at significant expense? While thinking about this, it occurred to me that there is another site which might have provided a more suitable location. On the north coast there is a considerable commercial hole in the ground called Ronez Quarry.
While not at all appraised as to the current status or ongoing life of this operation, I do know that the viability of this quarry is finite. An incinerator sited in the old quarry workings would not only be out of sight, but any chimney exhaust would, the majority of the time, be carried out to sea, away from the Island.
There is also a commercial docking facility there which might be useful if recycling of waste is to be considered. The added advantage if the quarry is finite is that any redundant workforce could move over from quarrying to waste disposal and recycling. Indeed, there would be absolutely no reason why both operations couldn’t in the interim co-exist on the site.
There is even heavy plant already in situ on the site which could be redeployed. I remember seeing a rock crusher there some years ago. If it can crush rocks, it can presumably crush other things as well. Just a thought. I’m no expert, but there are people in the Island who are.
In summary, I have what may be four naive questions:
• Was this suggested alternative ever considered as an option?
• Is it an option with any merit?
• If it is a viable and better option, should we not hastily consider it before making a mistake?
• If we do now go ahead at La Collette as planned, were the above mentioned pollution concerns ever investigated and resolved?
Rue de Haut,
• The managing director of Ronez Ltd, Mike Osborne, made it clear last month that Ronez Quarry was not coming to the end of its useful working life and therefore it could not be considered as an alternative location for the incinerator. – Editor.