Aberdeen submits plans for £120m energy-from-waste plant

Aberdeen City Council has submitted a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) for a new energy-from-waste (EfW) facility.

The proposed £120million plant would process non-recyclable municipal waste from Aberdeen City as well as neighbouring local authorities, Aberdeenshire and Moray, subject to a formal legal agreement between the three councils.

A key feature of the EfW plant is the generation of heat and power, essentially developing a waste-fuelled power station to provide secure, low-cost energy to households, businesses and council facilities.

The new plant would also help the region meet national recycling targets.

The Scottish Government is aiming for 70% of waste to be recycled by 2025, with less than 5% going to landfill. Aberdeen City Council's Waste Strategy aims for the city to be zero waste by 2025.

"This plant would allow the city to benefit from heat and power produced from non-recyclable waste,” said the Convener of Aberdeen City Council's Zero Waste Sub-Committee, Cllr Jean Morrison.

"These benefits would include the alleviation of fuel poverty and a reduction in landfill costs.

"Most of the waste in this region is currently going to landfill, which is unsustainable in environmental terms and does not allow for the recovery of any value from the waste collected.

"I would encourage local residents to engage with the City Council during the upcoming public consultation."

Cllr John Cowe, who chairs Moray Council's Economic Development and Infrastructure Services Committee, said: "Given the economies of scale required for this type of facility, it makes sense to work together to provide a solution that will benefit the whole of the north-east of Scotland."

A public consultation event is planned for November 2015 and the planning application is expected to be made in early 2016.

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues