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Stop, Sort, Burn, Bury - Independent Review of the Role of Incineration in the Waste Hierarchy in Scotland

Report and supporting documents relating to the Independent Review of the Role of Incineration in the Waste Hierarchy in Scotland.


Background To The Review

In May 2021, the Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport announced that an independent review of the role of incineration in Scotland's waste hierarchy would be commissioned, with the aim of ensuring that how residual waste is managed in Scotland aligns with Scotland's carbon reduction ambitions. This followed the Scottish Government's update to the Climate Change Plan, which set out the Government's intention to "end landfilling of biodegradable municipal waste by 2025, reduce the percentage of all waste sent to landfill to 5% by 2025 and recycle 70% of all waste by 2025."

A statement to Parliament by Lorna Slater, Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, in September 2021, set out the intention for this review to:

  • Be led by an independent chair.
  • Prioritise consideration of national capacity requirements for incineration.
  • 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.

In addition, the Minister set out the timeline for this review to be undertaken between December 2021 and March 2022.

In November 2021, the Minister appointed Dr Colin Church to act as independent Chair of the Review of the role of incineration in the waste hierarchy in Scotland ('the Review'). Dr Church is CEO at the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) and is Chair of the Circular Economy Task Force, a business group led by the Green Alliance. He has previously been the CEO of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), which is a professional body for the waste management industry in the UK and has been a non-executive director for WRAP, a leading UK sustainability charity. Prior to that, he held several senior roles in Defra, DECC and the Cabinet Office.

As independent Chair of the Review, Dr Church determined the scope and process for the review within the overall parameters and timescale set by the Minister, which are outlined above. Dr Church was supported in the Review by a secretariat consisting of individuals detached from Scottish Government and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).

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