21 March 2011

Edinburgh and Midlothian submit waste plant plans

By Chris Sloley

Edinburgh and Midlothian councils have outlined the scope of their waste partnership project with planning proposals for three large-scale waste treatment plants.

An aerial shot of the proposed Zero Waste Project site at the disused site of the Millerhill Marshalling yard near Millerhill in Midlothian

An aerial shot of the proposed Zero Waste Project site at the disused site of the Millerhill Marshalling yard near Millerhill in Midlothian

The councils, working under the banner of the Zero Waste Project, submitted an application last week (March 17) for planning permission in principle to develop waste treatment facilities at a disused site at the Millerhill Marshalling yard near Millerhill in Midlothian.

The proposal submitted to Midlothian council would see the development of a 100,000 tonne-a-year capacity energy-from-waste incinerator, a 30,000 tonne-a-year capacity anaerobic digestion plant and a 200,000 tonne-a-year capacity mechanical biological treatment plant.

Primarily designed to treat residual waste and food waste, the three facilities will form the key infrastructure being developed under the two councils joint long-term, 500 million waste contract (see letsrecycle.com story).

The two councils last month outlined plans to develop an anaerobic digestion facility, with hopes of finding a contractor to bring the plant online by 2015 (see letsrecycle.com story).

Commenting on the submission for planning permission in principle, Gordon Pollock, project director for the two council initiative, said: Were very pleased to be able to submit this planning application.

Weve carried out a lot of work to make sure this is the best place to build and having worked closely with the community and considered the points they raised, we feel that we can really make this site work as a location for Zero Waste facilities. We look forward to receiving a positive decision on the application in the coming months.

A spokesman for the Zero Waste Project told letsrecycle.com that the document would act as an indication of what treatment facilities the partnership would be looking to build.

However, as it is currently tendering for a contractor, the size and type of facility could be subject to change.


Public consultation on the proposals took place between November 2009 and November 2010, with a series of events were held for the public to learn about the proposals and ask any questions in relation to them.

The two councils said that more than 150 people attended these events, many providing feedback to the project team. This information has been included as part of the planning application submission for planners to consider.

Other elements of the planning proposal include a visitor centre, where school and community groups could attend for educational visits and a materials recovery facility where residual waste will be sorted before being treated.

The Scottish Futures Trust an independent body established by the Scottish Government to distribute public money stated yesterday (March 16) that the Zero Waste Project would be one of three major waste treatment contracts set to receive financial support over 2011/12 (see letsrecycle.com story).

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