IT’S time for ‘grown-up politics’ in the Scottish waste debate.
That was the message from one of Scotland’s leading recycling, renewable energy and waste management partners, at an industry conference in Glasgow.
Part of the FTSE 250 Pennon Group, Viridor, which works with 96 per cent of Scottish local authorities and leading corporates including RBS, Scottish Power, BAE Systems and Coca Cola Enterprises, is investing £800m in Scottish ‘next generation’ recycling and sustainable waste management technology.
The firm, UK Recycling and Waste Management Company of the Year, which has invested over £60m in Scottish advanced recycling technologies, recently secured consent for a £200m energy from waste hub to tackle non-recyclable waste at Dunbar, East Lothian, but was refused consent for a road-to-rail transfer station at Portobello, Edinburgh.
Speaking at the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) Scottish conference in Glasgow, Viridor’s communications manager, Martin Grey, said: “From wind farms to sustainable waste management, Scotland is at the centre of a renewables revolution.
“We’ve pioneered world leading climate change legislation, are a global centre for emerging energy technologies and have set stringent targets for sustainability through enhanced recycling and recovering heat and power from what remains.
“But whilst we have enjoyed strong leadership from politicians on renewables, the recycling and renewable energy from waste revolution has until now either been overlooked or opposed in communities the length and breadth of our country.
“Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan, launched by the SNP administration last year is forward-thinking and ambitious.
“It recognises the need to transform how we view and manage waste, with minimisation measures and moving it to a valuable resource to be recycled or recovered as energy.
“It recognises too the urgent need to develop vital ‘next generation’ green infrastructure across Scotland and in doing so capitalise on the 20,000 job opportunities that will bring.
“Viridor is leading Scottish investment in vital recycling and renewable energy infrastructure to help translate Scottish zero waste policy into practice.
“This isn’t about incineration but a mix of modern, proven technologies which combined will transform Scottish waste and resource management.”
Mr. Grey added: “But, too often, we’ve seen a failure in communicating the need for change and politics impeding projects which will deliver policy objectives. Political and societal attitudes remain one of the biggest barriers to zero waste delivery and the sustainability, employment and green energy benefits which follow.
“Our new Parliament presents an opportunity for change. Changing how we communicate the next phase of Scotland’s recycling and sustainable waste story – looking at how we enhance recycling and better manage the waste we can’t recycle.”
On measures to support the sector, Mr. Grey added: “We need a renewed vision from Scottish statesmen and women, from our regulatory bodies, delivery partners, local authorities and communities.
“We need to paint the picture of where we are going, why and what the benefits are aligned with the costs of doing nothing.
“Scotland is leading the world in renewable technologies, with clear leadership from our political classes. We can do so again in recycling and green energy from residual waste. The prize is great, for our country, our businesses and communities. Together, we must step up to the mark and make it happen.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
- Part of the FTSE 250 Pennon Group, Viridor is recognised as Scotland’s leading recycling, renewable energy and resource efficiency partner working with 96 per cent of Scottish local authorities and some of the biggest names in Scottish business such as Scottish Power, RBS, BAE Systems and Coca Cola Enterprises.
- Operating the nation’s most advanced network of recycling and waste infrastructure, the company is investing up to £800m in ‘next generation’ green infrastructure to turn Scottish zero waste policy into practice.
- In addition to advancing proposals for merchant facilities, of the three Scottish local authority 25-year residual waste procurements underway, Viridor is one of the final two bidders in each.
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