Laura Sharman 11 May 2022

Call to limit new waste incinerators in Scotland

Call to limit new waste incinerators in Scotland image
Image: bensliman hassan / Shutterstock.com

An independent review has called for a cap on future waste incineration capacity in Scotland.

The review, by waste sector expert Dr Colin Church, argues planning permission should not be granted to any incineration infrastructure unless balanced by an equal or greater closure of capacity.

It also calls for an indicative cap on the amount of residual waste treatment needed that declines over time, and for community trust and engagement to be strengthened.

Dr Colin Church said: 'The evidence I received shows that, whilst well-regulated incineration does have a role to play in managing unavoidable residual waste in Scotland, the capacity currently being proposed is likely to be more than needed, so a lot of it should not be built.

'For the proportion that is developed, the level and quality of engagement with local communities needs to be excellent, which unfortunately has not always been the case to date.

'There is also more that must be done to reduce the climate impacts of waste incineration, and I look forward to revisiting my provisional recommendations in this area in due course.'

The Scottish Government will set out its initial response to the review in June.

Circular economy minister Lorna Slater said: 'It is clear from the review that although incineration has a role to play in managing Scotland’s unavoidable, unrecyclable residual waste in a safe way, that role is inevitably limited.'

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