Caution urged as Council considers first stage of joint waste plant

Caution being urged over joint waste management plans
Caution being urged over joint waste management plans

COUNCILLORS ARE BEING urged to be cautious over plans for a joint waste plant project that would cost the local authority around £25million.

The new site planned for creation in Aberdeen would be a joint project with Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils that, if accepted, would see the creation of a massive ‘Energy from Waste’ facility.

On Wednesday Moray Councillors will be asked to accept an initial £70,000 for preparatory works ahead of a formal cost-sharing agreement is made between the three local authorities. Eventually Moray would be expected to pay £25million towards a total construction bill of £180million.

Council officers are recommending acceptance of the plan as local authorities will be unable to dump organic waste into landfill sites from 2020 onwards, with a report saying: “Each council has jointly and separately concluded that of the practical solutions available, the local and regional interests will best be served by collaboration on the joint facility.”

Caution is being urged, however, by environmentalists in the Green Party, with Moray convener James Mackessack-Leitch saying that so many of the details on the plans still remain unclear.

He added: “Generating energy from waste may sound like a win-win situation but in reality the devil is in the detail. It is early days but I urge councillors not to set any decisions in stone until the details are made clear.”

Estimated costs of investigating the project have been split between the three councils according to the tonnage of waste each would be expected to send to a new plant, with Aberdeenshire investing £218,000 and Aberdeen City £180,000 of the investigative costs.

If accepted the second stage would involve £2.5million in total to cover costs of land purchase and putting the required works out to tender – Moray Council’s share at that stage would be £373,000.