Highlands & Islands

Waste for fuel site planned for Inverness

Illustration of planned materials recovery facility Image copyright Highland Council
Image caption An illustration of the planned waste sorting site

Highland Council has proposed building a facility in Inverness that would sort rubbish into waste suitable for use in the making of fuel for power plants.

About 140,000 tonnes of waste is produced every year by households and businesses in the Highlands, according to the local authority.

It said about 43% of the material was recycled and rest sent to landfill sites at an annual cost of £11m.

The council hopes to further reduce the amount of landfill rubbish and costs.

The materials recovery facility has been proposed for Stadium Road.

Highland Council said the site could process up to 83,000 tonnes of waste annually.

Image copyright Highland Council
Image caption The facility has been proposed for a site on Inverness' Stadium Road

Items which could be recycled such as cans, bottles and plastic pots and tubs would be sorted from waste suitable for incineration at energy-from-waste plants elsewhere in the UK.

Environment, development and infrastructure committee chairman, Allan Henderson, said: "The national legislation changes coming in on 1 January 2021 mean, like all other councils, we will not be allowed to landfill our biodegradable municipal waste.

"The aims of this ban are to promote waste being regarded as a commodity or resource, maximise reuse and recycling, and stimulate a circular economy.

"The landfill ban will also reduce the amount of methane being produced by landfill sites."

Currently almost all the council's residual waste is landfilled with about 32,000 tonnes being bulked and transported out of the Highlands for landfill disposal in Aberdeenshire under a contract with until September this year.

The remainder is landfilled at council sites at Seater in Caithness, Granish in Aviemore or Duisky landfill site in Lochaber.