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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-03436
Asked by: Mark Ruskell, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Green Party
Date lodged: 29 September 2021


To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on plans for the review of the role of incineration in the waste hierarchy in Scotland.

Current status: Answered by Lorna Slater on 30 September 2021


Our primary focus is on reducing waste and increasing the proportion of waste we reuse and recycle. As set out by the Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport in May 2021 and in the shared policy programme agreed between the Scottish Government and the Scottish Green Party, we will review the role incineration plays in Scotland’s waste hierarchy, including the need for new incineration capacity. To that end, we will appoint an independent chair to oversee the review, with a view to having a chair in place in October. And will update Parliament with a statement.

We intend that the review will prioritise consideration of national capacity requirements for incineration, given the Scottish Government’s ambitious targets for waste reduction. The review will also have scope to consider how emissions from existing incinerators can be reduced and residual heat may be reused; and consider the societal impacts of residual waste treatment, including health and community impacts. The independent chair will determine the detailed shape of the review.

The timeline for the review will be agreed with the independent chair. However, we are aware that the outcomes of this review will be important to inform ongoing discussions around local authority planning decisions and wider investment decisions. Therefore, we aim to begin to invite evidence for the review in November and to review available evidence between December 2021 and March 2022. We will publish the review as soon as possible once the review has been completed.