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Holyrood pushed to overhaul waste management

Scottish Parliament, Holyrood

Viridor has called for an overhaul of waste management including mandatory collection standards from the next Scottish Parliament.

Ahead of the Parliament elections on 5 May, the company criticised Scotland’s current separate collections, recycling and recovery infrastructure, saying the system is based on “arbitrary political and geographic local authority boundaries”.

The company reiterated proposals to create ‘resource networks’ in the country to break down these barriers, mirroring a similar arrangement it already has in place across Greater Manchester.

Viridor previously described its waste partnership with local authorities in Manchester as contributing “significantly to decentralised energy provision”.

Now it has called on the next Scottish Parliament to create an economy-wide model, including mandatory collection standards, and other measures including:

  • Research on the viability of new collection authorities, funded through the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and the Scottish Cities Alliance
  • Development of a Scottish resource networks innovation fund, to allow collection authorities to bid for finance
  • Creation of a Scottish office for resources

Martin Grey, Viridor head of public affairs, said: “We need a new resource management system that is fit for purpose, an integrated system of Scottish resource networks.

“Resource networks would deliver a fresh start for Scotland’s resources policy supporting national economic growth.

“They would create economies of scale, join up value chains and help to plan for and meet regional and social resource infrastructure requirements.”

He added that he hopes this would work in tandem with Scottish environment secretary Richard Lochhead’s ’recycling charter’, which promotes a three-stream collection system, with separated glass, paper and card, and metals and plastics.

Falkirk Council was announced as the first local authority to sign up to the voluntary scheme in February, a month after it launched.

The Scottish Environmental Services Association lobbied the next Parliament last month to introduce compulsory recycled content levels in public procurement contracts.

Its manifesto, published last month, said boosting demand for reused or recycled material was essential for Scotland to meet its 70% recycling target by 2025.

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