A unique new contract will see up to 190,000 tonnes of black bag waste from five Scottish councils diverted from landfill and converted to low carbon energy on an annual basis.
The £700 million, 25-year Clyde Valley Residual Waste Project between East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Councils and Viridor started on 7 January.
The household waste is taken from each council area to Viridor’s Materials Recovery Facility at Bargeddie in North Lanarkshire and treated to produce a refuse derived fuel. It is then transported to the company’s Energy Recovery Facility at Dunbar, where it is burned at high temperatures, under carefully controlled conditions, to produce 258GWh of low carbon electricity which goes to the national grid.
The rubbish being treated through the contract is residual household waste, which cannot be recycled and would otherwise be sent to landfill.
Councillor Billy Hendry, Convener of the Place, Neighbourhood and Corporate Assets committee, said, "This is a significant project for the five local authorities, both as the first partnership of its kind in Scotland and in its contribution to managing household waste more effectively.
"It means that the waste, which cannot be otherwise be recycled, will now be diverted from landfill and transformed into low carbon electricity, with Dunbar Energy Recovery Facility generating enough power for the equivalent of 70,656 homes. At the same time, it also reduces the overall carbon impact associated with the disposal of the waste.
"Viridor has invested in its plants at Bargeddie and Dunbar to ensure it has the latest technology to manage this contract and help the partner councils to comply with the Scottish Government’s Zero Waste Plan and Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012."
A number of community benefits will be delivered as part of the contract, including apprenticeships, work placements and training workshops for businesses.
Steven Don, Viridor’s Head of Local Authority Contracts Scotland, said, "The Bargeddie Hub is now receiving waste as part of this contract just in time for the very busy post-festive season period. The Clyde Valley Partnership is an excellent example of how local authorities can work together to deliver effective waste management and contribute to a circular economy in Scotland.
"The sophisticated technology at Bargeddie improves recycling and non-recycable waste treatment, maximising the opportunities to recycle while putting non-recyclable waste to work to generate electricity."