SG Waste Incineration report published

04 May 2022

A report commissioned last year by the Scottish Government into 'the role of incineration in the waste hierarchy in Scotland',  has just been published.  The report was prepared by Dr Colin Church, CEO at the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) and Chair of the Circular Economy Task Force, a business group led by the Green Alliance.  In a foreword to the Review Dr Church writes

I was honoured to be asked in November 2021 to lead the independent review into the role of incineration in the waste hierarchy in Scotland. How we address the challenges of moving from a linear economic model to a low-carbon, more circular economy is a passionate interest of mine, and the role of incineration in that move is one key challenge.

As Scotland seeks to make this move, the prominence of incineration has grown. The ban on landfilling biodegradable municipal waste from 2025 has concentrated many minds, and incineration is rightly a fundamental element of the approach to meet it. At the same time, concerns have been raised about the impacts of incineration on human health and the environment. Modern plants are far from the polluting monstrosities of the past, now being required to meet stringent emissions standards to protect human health and the environment from airborne harm. But burning waste also produces carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, so allowing it to be freely emitted in the long term is incompatible with Scotland's desire to reach net zero carbon emissions. There are also concerns as to whether a high level of incineration can act as a constraint on greater waste prevention and recycling.


Read more on the Review Report at 

Environment / Recycling and waste / Incinerating waste

and on local concerns and wider attitudes to incineration at

Energy / Energy from waste / Incineration

 

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