Conference on Energy from Waste in Aberdeen

Recycling experts will gather in Aberdeen today (Friday) for a conference on the benefits of generating energy from waste.

Councils across Scotland are working to improve and invest in waste infrastructure and recycling services to meet local needs and hit national recycling targets.

The Scottish Government is aiming for 70% of waste to be recycled by 2025, with less than 5% going to landfill. Aberdeen City Council's Waste Strategy aims for the city to be zero waste by 2025.

The event at Woodhill House in Aberdeen will feature speakers from as far afield as Denmark, while there will also be contributions from Aberdeen City Council's Waste and Recycling Manager Pete Lawrence, Peter Malcolmson from the Shetland Charitable Trust and Dr Fiona Birkenshaw and Dr Jim Mackay from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa).

Jan Hansen, Operating and Maintenance Manager for an energy from waste plant in Esbjerg, Denmark and Birger Magnus, a specialist in district heating and energy from the Danish international consultancy, COWI.

The experiences from other countries will help inform Aberdeen City Council in its ongoing work towards the establishment of an Energy from Waste (EfW) facility.

Energy from Waste (EfW) plants can be an answer to the ban on landfilling biodegradable waste that comes into force at the end of the decade.

A key feature is the generation of heat and power through burning waste to provide secure, low-cost energy to households, businesses and council facilities.

Aberdeen has led the way with the development of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) projects in the city, which has provided energy efficient, low-cost heating in 22 multi storey blocks and a number of public buildings throughout the city.

Aberdeen City Council's Zero Waste Sub Committee Convener, Councillor Jean Morrison, said: "This conference represents a great opportunity to share good practice and learn from experience elsewhere and I think the contributions from Denmark in particular will be of interest.

"Aberdeen City Council has a well-established Zero Waste Strategy and we know that sending around two thirds of our household waste to landfill, as happens at the moment, is not a sustainable disposal method.

"It is becoming an increasingly costly option which causes pollution, contributes to climate change and wastes valuable resources."