Scot Gov plans to increase incineration seven-fold in the next three years

The Scottish Greens today (14 Nov) challenged the Scottish Government over its plans to increase the incineration of waste to over 1 million tonnes per year in the next three years – seven times the amount currently burnt.

Mark Ruskell, Green MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, today asked Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham in the Scottish Parliament what the Scottish Government expected the demand for incineration to be in the coming years. Ms Cunningham responded that there was a review underway which would provide figures, despite earlier figures in writing from the minister showing plans for capacity of 1.18 million tonnes by 2021. 

Figures from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency show that last year only 175,000 tonnes of waste was incinerated. 

Mr Ruskell said:

“As a country we are sleepwalking into an incineration nightmare. Applications for large scale incinerators are going in across the country just now, including in my region at Westfield in Fife, and we face creating a hungry chain that will require a constant supply of rubbish. 

“The Environment Secretary has said the Government is working to the ‘Hierarchy of Waste’ model, which sees incineration as the last possible option, but creating capacity for burning over 1 million tonnes of waste per year is not in line with that principle. 

“The Scottish Government’s slow response to our emerging waste crisis has left communities battling planning applications on their own, trying to explain to local authorities why they don’t want rubbish burnt in their midst. We urgently need a moratorium on new incinerators until we’ve properly discussed the issue in Parliament and in our local communities. We need a firm, workable plan to significantly reduce our rubbish.”