Work is now underway to build a new state-of-the-art energy-from-waste plant serving Midlothian and Edinburgh.
Environment leaders from both local councils have visited the Midlothian site where construction of the Millerhill Resource and Energy Recovery Centre (RERC) recently started.
The facility is being built by Hitachi Zosen Inova (HZI) on behalf of FCC Environment (UK), who signed a 25-year contract to operate the £142 million plant in October 2016.
The facility, which is set to begin operation by 2019, will treat around 135,000 tonnes of household residual waste a year, and a further 20,000 tonnes of commercial waste a year, and will generate sufficient electricity each year to satisfy the energy demands of up to approximately 32,000 households.
Councillor Lesley Hinds, environment convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “This is a key milestone in the project to construct a major waste processing plant, and I’m delighted to see successful partnership working between authorities come to fruition.
“This new facility, alongside the new food waste treatment plant on the site, will play an important part in reducing the amount of rubbish sent to landfill for both councils, as well as providing a long-term solution for the recovery of value from the residual waste.”
Midlothian Council’s commercial operations spokesman, Councillor Derek Rosie, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to see work underway on this major facility. This is a fantastic example of partnership working that will not only help both councils meet Zero Waste targets but also create jobs and bring real benefits to communities, including producing energy for the National Grid.”
A food waste treatment plant, which takes all of the food waste collected by the partner councils, is currently in operation on the Zero Waste Parc, next to the Millerhill Marshalling Yard in Midlothian.
It is hoped the project to treat both food and landfill waste on the site, creating renewable energy in the process, will help both authorities contribute to the national recycling target of 70 per cent by 2025 and the national landfill diversion target of 95 per cent by 2025.