Public Awareness Drop-in Event, Wednesday 26th September 2018, 2pm – 7pm, Inverness Caledonian Thistle Stadium, Inverness
Highland Council handles around 140,000 tonnes of waste and recycling per year. Around 57,000 tonnes of material is currently re-used, recycled or recovered from kerbside collections from households and businesses, as well as from Recycling Centres & Points. Around 83,000 tonnes of Biodegradable Municipal Waste (BMW, sometimes called residual waste, which is waste which cannot be recycled) is sent to landfill at a cost of approximately £11 million a year.
Big changes to the way all Councils in Scotland manage their waste were introduced by the Scottish Government in 2012 [The Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012]. From 1 January 2021, it will no longer be possible to landfill BMW due to changes in legislation. The aims of this ban are to promote waste as a resource, maximise reuse and recycling.
In May 2018, Highland Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure (EDI) Committee agreed an option to construct a centralised Materials Recovery Facility within the Inner Moray Firth area as the Council’s preferred interim arrangement for the Highland area to meet the requirements of the ban on landfilling BMW. At its August meeting the EDI Committee agreed that the preferred site for locating the facility should be the former Longman Landfill Site in Inverness. This facility will process all of the Highland’s 83,000 tonnes of residual waste (which cannot be recycled) from 2021 onwards.
Inside the Materials Recovery Facility there will be a process to remove any waste items which can be recycled (such as plastics and metals), but it will mostly be compressing the waste which cannot be recycled into blocks or bales of waste – this is called Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF). These will be transported out of the Highland area to Energy from Waste plants where they will be used as fuel to create electricity and hot water for local heating systems.
The public awareness drop-in event will use display panels to explain the development proposal and to encourage attendees to contribute their views before a formal planning application is submitted to the planning authority towards the end of 2018. The display panels will cover topics such as:
- the need for the investment;
- the waste journey (from waste being created in our homes and work places through to its collection and processing);
- the site where it is proposed to build the facility;
- and will provide some indicative visuals.
There will be the opportunity to ask questions of staff attending the event (from the Council’s waste management and infrastructure development teams) and to provide your feedback, either on forms at the event or by emailing them in afterwards.