Climate change: Falkirk Council joins forces to find solution to municipal waste problem

With the Scottish government telling all councils to ban sending their waste to landfill by the end of December 2025, Falkirk is working with surrounding councils – Stirling, Clackmannanshire and Perth and Kinross – to find a solution that could secure access to an energy recovery facility. which would see non-recyclable waste burned at high temperatures under carefully controlled conditions.

A joint call for tenders is currently being prepared with a view to the contract award scheduled for October 2022.

The Scottish Government has committed to financially support the joint procurement exercise which will include the establishment of an expert team of technical, procurement and legal specialists to oversee the production of the call for joint offers.

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The new Earls Gate Energy Center in Grangemouth is one facility that could be in contention for the contract.

The plant is expected to be fully operational by mid-2022, creating around 30 operational jobs that will be permanent full-time positions.

When the £ 210million Earls Gate Energy Center becomes operational, it is hoped that it will prevent 216,000 tonnes of household and commercial waste from going to landfill each year.

It will also provide heat and electricity to nearby CalaChem and adjacent industrial factories, and export any excess electricity produced to the national grid.

A spokesperson for Falkirk Council said: ‘We, along with all other Scottish councils, are subject to a residual waste landfill ban by the end of 2025 announced by the Scottish Government in accordance with its national waste targets.

“One type of method of handling this waste is through the use of energy recovery facilities that burn the waste safely at very high temperatures with controlled emissions to meet environmental standards.

“These facilities are already in use across the UK and are regulated by environmental agencies such as SEPA.

“The benefits of the process can be: less waste disposal in landfills; lower landfill costs for city council; low-cost electricity generation; and the recovery of materials such as minerals, ferrous and non-ferrous materials.

“Low level discussions have taken place with a number of providers of this type of service, but we will present a detailed report for elected members later this year that will provide more information.”

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Melissa C. Keyes