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Orkney & Shetland: Area Waste Plan

As part of the National Waste Strategy: Scotland, each Waste Strategy Area has gone through a process which has resulted in the formulation of an Area Waste Plan.

This Area Waste Plan is the way in which the Waste Strategy Area plan to deal with its waste in order to meet the targets set out in the EC Landfill Directive and to develop more sustainable methods of waste management.

Following is a short summary of the process that was undergone in Orkney and Shetland:

1998: The Strategic Waste Management Baseline Assessment (SWMBA)

The SWMBA was carried out in order to take stock of the situation in Orkney and Shetland vis-a-vis waste management. It provided a starting point for the development of the Area Waste Plan.

In 1998, approximately 93% of the domestic waste from Orkney and Shetland was used to produce energy at the Energy from Waste plant at Lerwick.

Most of the remaining waste is goes to landfill sites, althought there is some recycling.


2001: The Issues and Options

Following the publication of the SWMBA (see above), the various waste issues were investigated. Several possible options for dealing with these issues were formulated. A public consulation exercise was carried out in order to find out what stakeholders and members of the public felt about each option.


2002: Draft Area Waste Plan

After the Options were looked at in some detail, a Draft Area Waste Plan was formulated. Again, a public consulation exercise was carried out. As part of this, SWAG conducted 100 face-to-face interviews in order to determine public attitudes towards waste. Below is a brief summary of the Orkney and Shetland Draft Area Waste Plan:

Due to the existing Energy from Waste plant at Lerwick, Orkney and Shetland only landfill 32% of their waste, which is a small amount compared to the rest of Scotland. The plan is based around the existing plant.

Given the isolated location of the islands, the Waste Strategy Area Group have formulated a plan that will make the islands as self-sufficient as possible in terms of waste management, in order to minimise the economic and environmental costs of transporting the waste to the mainland. It is also hoped that this will stimulate economic development.

In order to formulate the Draft Plan, the waste management options mentioned above were analysed to find the Best Practical Environmental Option (BPEO). It was decided that this was to:

  1. carry out waste minimisation;
  2. increase composting and recycling;
  3. continue energy recovery at Lerwick;

Minimising waste would have considerable benefits. especially for Orkney, which exports some of its waste. The Draft Plan aims to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill to 13% by 2020.

Some of the more specific targets of the Draft Plan are:

- To introduce the community repaint scheme to Shetland;
- To develop and implement kerbside collection of recyclables in Orkney;
- To introduce aluminium can banks in Shetland;
- To expand the provision of recycling centres in remote areas;
- To introduce an inkjet cartridge scheme in Shetland.

The full text of the Orkney and Shetland Draft Area Waste Plan can be downloaded from the SEPA website.


2003: The Area Waste Plan

In March of 2003, after consulting the public, the Orkney and Shetland Area Waste Plan has been published.

Under the plan, it is hoped that the following targets will be achieved:

  • glass and aluminium will be collected separately from households in Scalloway and Lerwick;
  • more, improved recycling centres and points by 2010;
  • an aluminium sorting and baling plant will be constructed in Shetland;
  • a composting facility will be constructed in Orkney by 2005;
  • Rova Head landfill will close in 2006. It will be replaced with a new site.

If you would like to read the full text of the Area Waste Plan, please click here to download it from the SEPA website.

If you have any queries, please email us, or call 01786 471 333

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