Aberdeen City Council backs legal agreement on waste plan

Councillors in Aberdeen have agreed to enter into a legal agreement with two neighbouring north-east authorities for a joint Energy from Waste (EfW) plant.

The decision at a meeting of the Full Council today (Wednesday) follows similar recent approvals by Aberdeenshire and Moray councils.

The three authorities will enter into a first stage Inter Authority Agreement (IAA) relating to initial project and procurement development work for the planned EfW facility on a derelict industrial site at East Tullos.

The planned £150million development would process non-recyclable municipal waste from across the north-east area.

A key feature of the new plant is the generation of heat and power, essentially developing a waste-fuelled power station to provide secure, low-cost energy to households, businesses and council facilities.

The EfW plant, which would be situated at Greenbank Crescent, would also help the region meet national recycling targets and cut the cost of sending waste to landfill. The planned capacity is approximately 150,000 tonnes a year.

In addition to agreeing to enter into the IAA, councillors also agreed to appoint three council members to sit on the Energy from Waste Elected Members Engagement Group.

The Director for Communities, Housing and Infrastructure will be appointed as the council's representative on the Project Board and the Waste and Recycling Manager as the council's representative on the Project Team.

The IAA will cover pre-procurement period of the EfW project, and commits the three councils to working in partnership to deliver the new facility.

Aberdeen City Council's Zero Waste Convener, Councillor Jean Morrison, said: "The legal agreement between the three partner authorities is a welcome and significant step forward for the Energy from Waste project.

"This will provide a long-term solution for all three councils, reducing the cost of sending waste to landfill and meeting national legislative obligations under the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 for a ban on organic waste going to landfill after 2020.

"This project will also provide real benefits to the local community by producing low-cost energy to heat homes and businesses and help to alleviate fuel poverty."

The site at Greenbank Crescent, East Tullos, is identified as a waste management site in the proposed Aberdeen Local Development Plan.

The planned capacity for the facility is approximately 150,000 tonnes of waste a year.

Aberdeen City Council collected 112,880 tonnes of municipal solid waste in 2014, of which 37,331 tonnes was recycled and the remainder went to landfill.