Construction has started on a waste to energy plant in Scotland.
The £177 energy recovery facility (ERF) in East Lothian will process 300,000 tonnes of post-recycling waste every year.
It will generate 30MW of renewable energy – enough to power 39,000 homes – and also offer up to 10MW of heat for local use.
The project is expected to boost the East Lothian economy by £10 million every year and support at least 350 jobs during construction and a further 55 full-time jobs when it starts operating.
It is part of a £500 million Scottish investment programme in “next generation” recycling and renewable energy infrastructure.
The amount of waste being sent to landfill has reduced from 7.4 million tonnes in 2007 to 4.5 million tonnes in 2012, according to the Scottish Government.
Richard Lochhead MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment, said: “While Scotland is focused on moving towards a more circular economy, where goods are kept in high value use for as long as possible, there will still be a role for energy recovery for the limited amount of waste that cannot be prevented, reused or recycled. I am pleased to welcome this significant investment in Scotland’s waste infrastructure and its benefits for jobs and the local economy.”
The facility, which is being built by Viridor, is expected to be completed in 2017.