Glasgow & West Scotland

Councils agree plan to convert landfill waste into energy

Waste treatment in Bargeddie Image copyright Viridor
Image caption The household waste will be turned into fuel at the Viridor plant in Bargeddie

Five Scottish councils have joined together to divert 190,000 tonnes of black bag waste from landfill a year and convert it into energy instead.

East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire have signed a £700m deal with waste management company Viridor.

The company will treat the waste before it is burnt at a plant in Dunbar to produce enough energy for 70,000 homes.

The Clyde Valley Residual Waste Project will run for the next 25 years.

North Lanarkshire Council said the rubbish was "residual household waste", that could not be recycled and would otherwise be sent to landfill.

Low carbon

The waste will be treated at Viridor's facility in Bargeddie in North Lanarkshire and turned into fuel to generate 258GWh of electricity.

Robert Steenson, executive director of enterprise and communities at North Lanarkshire Council, said the project was the first of its kind in Scotland and would contribute to managing household waste more effectively.

He added: "It means that the waste, which cannot be otherwise be recycled, will now be diverted from landfill and transformed into low carbon electricity, with Dunbar Energy Recovery Facility generating enough power for the equivalent of 70,656 homes."

Image copyright Viridor
Image caption Up to 190,000 tonnes of waste will be burnt every year

Mr Steenson said the project would reduce the "overall carbon impact" of the disposal of the waste and provide community benefits such as apprenticeships, work placements and training workshops for businesses.

Steven Don, from Viridor, said the Bargeddie plant had already begun receiving waste as part of the contract "just in time for the very busy post-festive season period."

The Scottish government wants to stop traditional black bag waste and a range of recyclable materials being buried in the ground by 2021.

But last year Scotland's councils warned this target was unlikely to be met.

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