Scottish waste management capacity: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

Information requested

  • Whether the Scottish Government anticipates the need to export any waste to England to meet the gap in Scottish waste management capacity expected at the time when the 2025 landfill ban on biodegradable municipal waste comes into effect.
  • If it does, please share any estimations held by the Scottish Government or relevant directorate regarding a) how long such a capacity gap would exist, b) what volume of waste may need to be exported, and c) what the estimated cost of waste export would be.
  • If it does not, whether the Scottish Government a) recognises that a capacity gap may exist when the ban comes into effect and b) has in place any other plans to address such a gap.


I enclose below some of the information you have requested.

The independent review of the role of incineration, published in May 2022, outlined the possibility of a capacity gap in 2025 following the introduction of the ban on landfilling biodegradable municipal waste. The report on the review of incineration and the capacity analysis are available here: Supporting documents - Stop, Sort, Burn, Bury - incineration in the waste hierarchy: independent review - (

The independent review highlighted the export of Scottish waste as one potential short-term option for the treatment of residual waste, in order to bridge any potential capacity gap. This could include export to England and European countries.

No estimations of what volume of waste may be exported to England, or the cost of doing so, have been made since the report on the review of incineration was published in June 2022. This is highly dependent on the timeline for infrastructure development and the improvements in waste reduction and recycling ahead of the landfill ban in 2025.

The Scottish Government, working with Zero Waste Scotland and local government partners, is providing centrally co-ordinated procurement support for local authorities without a solution in place in preparation for the ban coming into force in 2025. As part of this collaborative procurement programme, we are funding the provision of expert procurement, legal and technical support to local authorities to enable them to secure alternative solutions for their residual waste.

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Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
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