A 40-metre headland of building rubble will be built near the entrance to the Harbour, if government plans are approved – because there is nowhere else to put it.
States Members are expected to be asked to give their backing to the plan – as well as a scheme to increase the size of growing mounds of hazardous waste nearby – at their sitting on 18 July.
The new West Headland will rise 40 metres above mean sea level, or 26 metres above the height of the rocky seawall which surrounds the La Collette reclamation.
Its formation – which will happen over the next two years, if permission is granted – is a stark illustration of the challenge the Island faces: how does it cope with the amount of waste we all create?
This challenge is the subject of a series of articles in the JEP and Bailiwick Express this week, which explore what we throw away, where it goes and what is being done to address ‘the throwaway society’ that Jersey – like many western nations – has become.
Islanders, and the government, are responding to this challenge – 30% of what households throw away is recycled, and a £4m investment by one local business means that most of the inert rubble that is delivered to La Collette is recycled as aggregate, soil and sand.
But can we do more? And is the current system of waste disposal – with each parish being responsible for its own collection, some doing it themselves while other contracting it out – the most cost-effective and efficient?
The government’s recycling officer, Piers Tharme, in a Bailiwick Podcast, concedes that our consumer culture – which has developed since the Second World War – has led to a ‘throwaway society’ which has encouraged consumption then disposal.
He believes that this has to change – as global warming starts to have an impact on our lives and resources become increasingly scarce.
Being a small Island with 100,000 people, Jersey will always be limited in what it can recycle, Mr Tharme says, but this does not mean we cannot do more.
Indeed, he argues, we have to.