The 4,500 tonnes of food waste collected annually from homes and businesses is currently sent to Malaby Biogas’ anaerobic digestion facility in Warminster, Wiltshire, via a waste transfer station on the Channel Island.
Guernsey Waste operations manager Sarah Robinson said Guernsey is not ruling out other treatment options, provided they can “demonstrate environmental benefits and value for money”.
Miss Robinson continued: “We are very open-minded at this stage, and keen to hear from any operators or potential operators that could provide a solution for managing the island’s food waste. If we have proposals for any other forms of treatment, then we can evaluate what benefits they might offer compared to anaerobic digestion.
“If anyone wishes to propose an alternative, we would like to hear from them as early as possible. This then gives us time to properly evaluate different options and, if necessary, make any legislative changes and other arrangements well before the current contract comes to an end in 2023.”
Guernsey began exporting food waste in 2018. This came after proposals to build an on-island treatment plant proved “too costly”.
There was also uncertainty over potential outlets for the liquid and solid biproducts from anaerobic digestion, due to the limited availability of land and the potential impact on the water catchment.
Against that background, Miss Robinson said whatever treatment is used, the operator will be responsible for ensuring they had adequate outlets for any biproducts and residues from the processing.
The deadline to submit an initial expression of interest is until noon on 23 May. The invitation and full details can be downloaded from www.supplyguernsey.gov.gg by entering the project code 52509.
A contract is expected to be awarded by the end of this year, with an anticipated start date of January 2024.
Miss Robinson said this should provide time for an operator to develop any new facilities, should they be required, but Guernsey Waste was open to negotiation on a later start date.
Guernsey operates a pay as you throw system, where residents pay £2.50 for a sticker for a 90l bin of residual waste, or £1.40 sticker for 50l.