Moray is set to join forces with other north east authorities in a bid to turn rubbish into fuel and at the same time reduce dependence on landfill sites.
In a project that is expected to cost as much as £120million, Moray Council will work alongside Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City councils on a project intended to turn household waste into an affordable energy source.
The plan was discussed by the Council’s economic development and infrastructure committee on Tuesday, when committee chairman Councillor John Cowe insisted that Moray simply could not afford to undertake such a project on its own.
“We have to find a route forward for this and so we are working with Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire,” Councillor Cowe said, adding: “It is early days yet, but we have to move forward because there are no other solutions.”
The committee heard that residual waste in Moray would reach an estimated 20,000tonnes each year by 2020, by which time it is also hoped that householders in the region will be recycling around 5500tonnes of waste.
In a report to the committee the head of Direct Services, Stephen Cooper, said: “The 5500tonnes is quite ambitious but the more we can get out of these residual bins initially we will save on landfill tax and landfill costs.
“There will be a carbon footprint in terms of transferring the waste to Aberdeen – however, there will also be benefit from a waste incinerator in that you will be able to recover some of that carbon in heat and electricity.”
The committee agreed that Moray would pay into the cost of creating a new incineration plant at East Tullos Industrial Estate in Aberdeen.