In a bid to reduce waste in Scotland, the Zero Waste Scotland initiative was launched in 2010 – aiming for 70% recycling and a maximum 5% of waste sent to landfill. In a bid to develop infrastructure for meeting the 2025 target for the scheme, the City of Edinburgh Council and Midlothian Council launched the Zero Waste Future project. The initiative recently reached financial close – Mott MacDonald served as lenders’ technical advisor on the scheme.
Human waste has a tendency to accrue, resulting in potentially damaging, and costly, consequences down the line – from direct pollutants, and their effect on ecosystems and human wellbeing, to large volumes of otherwise useful material that can still provide value, current human ‘best’ practices tend to be out of kilter with sustainable living.
In a bid to challenge the current practices globally, through a much more efficient uses of natural resources, new models, such as a circular economy, are being considered. Smaller scale initiatives too are being explored, including more sustainable plastics, reduction of waste in the retail fresh food supply chain and regional recycling and waste reduction programmes, such as Zero Waste Scotland.
Zero Waste Scotland, which was developed by the Scottish Government in 2010, sets targets for Scotland, which will apply to all waste. This includes a 70% target for recycling and a maximum 5% target of waste sent to landfill by 2025. Additionally, the Scottish waste targets include a draft of measures to improve energy efficiency, educate communities and measure impacts from wasteful practices.
Zero Waste Future
One scheme aimed at supporting the transition of the Scottish economy towards one that produces less waste, is Zero Waste Future for Edinburgh and Midlothian. The joint venture, between the City of Edinburgh Council and Midlothian Council, seeks to leverage private sector partners to develop dedicated facilities for the treatment of the food and residual waste.
The Zero Waste Future project recently saw financial close, with the final scheme consisting of a mechanical treatment plant and energy from waste (EfW) facility. The two plants, once completed, will be able to process approximately 155,000 tonnes of waste a year, 135,000 tonnes of residual municipal solid waste and 20,000 tonnes of commercial and industrial waste and/or solid refuse fuel. In addition, the scheme will collect ferrous and non-ferrous metals for recycling, while the EfW will generate 14MW of electricity for the national grid.
FCC Environment UK was appointed by the joint partners to deliver the scheme, while Mott MacDonald provided lenders’ technical advisory on the scheme. The work included an assessment of the project and the development of a technical risk profile for the scheme. The engineering and consulting firm will, furthermore, oversee construction and the first 10 years of operations – including site visits to monitor the progress of works and overall facility performance. The project is set for completion by 2019.
Russell Dallas, Mott MacDonald’s project director, says, “Currently in Scotland approximately two thirds of household waste is sent to landfill which is not a sustainable disposal method, especially as the government has set a target for no more than 5% of waste being sent to landfill by 2025. The Zero Waste project will play a key role in the procurement of long-term treatment facilities for the food and residual waste collected in Edinburgh and Midlothian, thereby contributing to the national improvement programme.”