Independent review of the role of incineration in the waste hierarchy: Scottish Government response

Our initial response to Stop, Sort, Burn, Bury? - the recommendations of the independent review of the role of incineration in the waste hierarchy in Scotland.

4. Summary of actions and next steps

Summary of recommendations for Scottish Government

Key actions and timelines

1. Seek further reductions in the proportion of recyclable materials in the residual waste stream.

Delivery of Recycling Improvement Fund (ongoing).

Implementation of DRS (August 2023)

Deliver extended producer responsibility for packaging, working with the other UK administrations (from 2024)

Develop final Route Map following consultation (early 2023).

2, 3 & 12: Develop better waste management data, especially around the composition waste and the arisings and fate of commercial and industrial waste

Improve capacity to model future trends across the whole resource and waste management system.

Make data around waste more transparent and accessible for all stakeholders (also for industry, local authorities).

Report greenhouse gas emissions from incineration separately from other energy-related emissions as soon as possible, ideally from the 2021 data onwards.

Continue with implementation of Scotland's 10-year waste data strategy.

Continue to work with UK Government on the implementation of a digital waste tracking service (2023/24, TBC following analysis of consultation responses).

Work with SEPA and the waste industry to consider what reporting information on incineration facilities and other waste sites can be made available and how to make this data as accessible as possible (by end 2023).

Publish Route Map (early 2023) and implement initiatives to improve the quality and quantity of waste data (TBC following consultation).

Undertake a feasibility study to examine the options to develop modelling of future trends across the whole resource and waste management system (Summer 2023).

4. Ensure no further planning permission is granted to incineration infrastructure within the scope of this Review unless balanced by an equal or greater closure of capacity.

Work within existing statutory and other frameworks to set out clearly that the Scottish Government does not support the development of further municipal waste incineration capacity in Scotland, with very limited exceptions (By end of 2022).

Continue to keep Town and Country Planning (Notification of Applications) (Energy from Waste/Incineration and advanced thermal treatment Facilities) Direction 2021 in place (Completed).

5. Develop an indicative cap for the amount of residual waste treatment needed.

Explore options to build upon improvements in data through the Route Map (Early 2023).

Undertake a feasibility study to examine the options to develop modelling of future trends across the whole resource and waste management system (Summer 2023).

7 & 10 Work with local authorities to ensure they have a solution to manage their residual waste in 2025 based on this.

Work with local authorities in remote and rural areas of Scotland without a settled residual waste management solution to meet the landfill ban in 2025.

Continue to work closely with local authorities to support those that do not currently have solutions to the forthcoming ban on landfilling biodegradable municipal waste (by 2025).

8 & 9. Ensure that adequate time and resource is dedicated to local and community engagement (also for local authorities).

Co-produce clear guidelines for authentic and effective community engagement (with community groups and local authorities).

Facilitate the co-production of guidelines for effective community engagement (by the end of 2023).

11. Develop a strategic approach to planning and deploying waste collection, reprocessing and management facilities (with industry and local authorities).

Develop final Route Map following consultation (Early 2023) and develop a Residual Waste Plan to set the strategic direction for the management of residual waste and explore opportunities to embed a wider strategic approach to waste infrastructure. (2024, but TBC following consultation)

13 & 14 (provisional) Strengthen existing requirements for pre-treatment and work with local authorities and industry to apply them to all existing and future incineration facilities to remove as much recyclable material as feasible, with a particular focus on plastics.

(Provisional) The Scottish Government and local authorities should continue to work with industry to deploy combined heat and power for as many existing incineration facilities as possible.

Respond in full to final recommendations (Following completion of work on options to decarbonise the waste sector in Scotland, expected to be delivered by end of 2022).

Following consultation of the draft Route Map, facilitate the development of a sector-led plan (depending on responses to consultation) to restrict the carbon impacts of incineration by 2024 (TBC following consultation).



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