LEADING recycler, Viridor, has urged Scotland’s politicians to have a radical rethink on Scottish resource policy.
Transforming Scotland’s manufacturing and low-carbon economies and encouraging investment needs fresh thinking on resource security, argues Martin Grey, head of public affairs at the company.
He says: “One of the biggest business risks to international investors, resource scarcity is recognised in Scottish Government’s ‘Safeguarding Scotland’s Resources’ strategy.
“But Scotland’s resource systems were designed for a bygone age where ‘hump and dump’ landfill was designed for disposal. The economic and environmental value of resources is now better understood.”
And he continues: “But why are collections, contracts and resource infrastructure still based on arbitrary political and geographic local authority boundaries?
“The result is disaggregated collection, recycling and recovery infrastructure, with varying performance and a sector at a point of inflexion.
“Scotland has an opportunity to recognise the economic value of resources, linking collections and investment in green infrastructure with the needs of the next generation of Scottish business in a circular economy.
“We need a new resource management system that is fit for purpose, an integrated system of Scottish Resource Networks.”
He added: “Resource networks would deliver a fresh start for Scotland’s resources policy supporting national economic growth.
“They would create economies of scale, join up value chains and help plan for and meet regional and social resource infrastructure requirements.”
To progress, Viridor is calling on the next Scottish Government to:
- Establish a new, economy-wide model, setting mandatory common standards for collections by councils.
- Fund research through CoSLA and the Scottish Cities Alliance on the viability of new collection authorities able to take advantage of size and scale.
- Develop a Scottish Resource Networks Innovation Fund to allow councils or new collection authorities to bid for finance and realise the opportunity of the ‘Household Recycling Charter’.
- Innovate and drive the above through the creation of a Scottish Resource Council (a Scottish OfRes) to strengthen the Government’s ability to respond strategically to resource supply threats.
For more information on Scottish Resource Networks, visit www.viridor.co.uk.
Notes to editors:
VIRIDOR: TRANSFORMING WASTE
- Part of the FTSE 250 Pennon Group, Viridor’s purpose is to give the world’s resources new life.
- Every day, Viridor takes what British homes and businesses throw away and transforms it into essential quality materials, resources and energy for customers across the UK and globally.
- Viridor works in partnership with over 150 local authorities including 96 per cent of Scottish councils. It supports public bodies including NHS Scotland, National Museums of Scotland, Scottish universities and colleges and supports Scotland’s leading businesses including Scottish Power, RBS, BAE Systems and Coca Cola Enterprises.
- The company is investing £1.8bn in vital low carbon infrastructure and has the UK’s largest network of 327 advanced recycling, energy recovery and landfill diversion facilities.
- In addition to its £100m Scottish network of recycling-led technologies, the company has announced £357m of Scottish investment in the last 24 months, including:
* £177.4m Energy Recovery Facility (ERF), Oxwellmains, East Lothian;
* £154m Glasgow Recycling & Renewable Energy Centre (GRREC);* £25m UK’s most advanced Glass Recycling Facility, Lanarkshire;
* £300,000 flat-screen TV recycling line at its £23m E-Waste Recycling Hub, Perth; and
* £180,000 Dry mixed recycling upgrade at its £11m Materials Recycling Facility, Bargeddie.
- Viridor embodies the circular economy, managing over seven million tonnes of recyclates and resources each year, of which 2.4 million tonnes are recycled. With seven energy recovery facilities and four more under construction across the UK city-regions, Viridor currently produces enough energy to power over 330,000 homes.
- Viridor makes a substantial contribution to the green economy through investment in people and skills, employing over 3,200 people at 318 facilities. In addition to professional, fast-track graduate, skilled, apprentice and new entrant programme, the company operates a foundation management degree and delivered 5,887 training days in 2014/15.
- Viridor leads technology and innovation in the sector, investing in progressive opportunities such as the DECC sponsored Viridor and Highview Power energy storage project and the UK’s most advanced glass recycling facility, using technology to give resources new life.
- Viridor is a leading member of the Green Alliance Circular Economy Task Force, the All-Party Sustainable Resources Group and holds a three star ranking in the Business in the Community Corporate Responsibility Index.
- Viridor has won a series of national and international awards including the National Recycling Award for Local Authority Innovation; Best Private Sector Initiative at the Scottish Resources Awards; CIWM Award for the Best Run UK Waste Management Facility; the Industry Award for Excellence for Design of a Recycling or Waste Management Facility and the CIWM Resource Learning & Development Award for Education.
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