Highland Council responds to The Review of the Role of Incineration in Scotland’s Waste Hierarchy

The Review of the Role of Incineration in the Waste Hierarchy commenced in November 2021 with the report being delivered in April 2022.

Chaired by Dr Colin Church, the review considered five key questions:


1. Given Scotland’s waste management ambitions and current progress towards these, what capacity is required to manage residual waste in Scotland?

2. What are the options for managing residual waste?

3. What are the economic, environmental and social trade-offs of those residual waste management options?

4. How do we decide where capacity should be located, and in what form?

5. What can be done to improve existing residual waste treatment facilities in

terms of carbon performance and societal impacts?

The report can be found here.

Having considered the report, the Scottish Government have accepted all 12 recommendations including at Recommendation 10 that “the Scottish Government should urgently work with local authorities in remote and rural areas of Scotland without a settled residual waste management solution to meet the Ban (Landfill Ban from 1 January 2026) to explore options that might, if fully justified, lead to the creation of a small amount of additional capacity”.

The Scottish Government advise that a new national planning policy will be introduced which will be presented to the Scottish Parliament for approval later this year. This policy includes that the Scottish Government does not support the development of further municipal waste incineration capacity in Scotland, with very limited exceptions.

Councillor Graham MacKenzie, Chair of The Highland Council’s Communities and Place committee said “A circular economy is very much part of the solution to our global climate emergency where products, services and systems are designed to maximise their value and minimise waste. The Highland Council continues to take this matter very seriously, including ongoing dialogue with the Scottish Government. A progress report will be presented to the Communities and Place Committee in August and this will be followed up by another report to the November 2022 Committee.”



17 Jun 2022