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Fife: 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 Fife:

2001: Fife: The Options

In July 2001, Fife produced a paper that looks at the issues and options for waste management. It is available at www.sepa.org.uk/nws/areas. This paper outlines some of the waste management options that could be implemented in Fife.

Option 1: to maintain the current situation, which depends mostly on landfills, with some material collected from recycling banks and civic amenity sites.

Option 2: to meet the minimum requirements of the Landfill Directive by introducing a separate fortnightly collection of green waste from households.

Option 3: to construct an Energy from Waste plant, which would generate electricity through the burning of waste.

Option 4 - Do Maximum: to focus on waste minimisation. This option would involve:

  1. The introduction of charges for the removal of bulky items;
  2. building more civic amenity centres;
  3. the collection of recyclable and compostible wastes from households;
  4. the reduction of the size of the wheelie bins used by households to dispose of non-recyclable waste.
  5. the introduction of charges for the collection and disposal of certain types of waste;
  6. The construction of small heat and power plants that would use the non-recyclable waste. These could be situated near hospitals or industrial parks, so that the energy produced by them can be used locally;
  7. creating a Materials Reclamation Facility (MRF), where the recycables can be sorted and stored before they are transported to processing plants.

Options 5 and 6: to implement Option 4 in stages so that the considerable costs would not have to be borne all at once. Option 5 would incorporate steps 1 - 6. Option 6 would consist of steps 1 - 4.

Following public consultation on these options, a Draft Area Waste Plan will be drawn up.

SWAG has recently completed a consultation exercise in Fife. This involved face-to-face interviews with residents of Fife. It's aim was to find out about people's behaviour, attitudes and wants regarding waste. If you would like to see our report, click here.

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2002: Draft Area Waste Plan:

The Fife Waste Area Strategy Group (WSAG) has come up with a Draft Area Waste Plan. The Draft Plan is open for public consultation until the 28th of June, 2002. This means that you have a right to have your say - it is very important that you let the WSAG know what your opinions are, as they could influence the final Plan.

Click here to download the full text of the Draft Plan from the SEPA website. Please send your comments to:

John Harris
SEPA Glenrothes Office
Pentland Court
The Saltire Centre
Tel: 01592 776910
Fax: 01592 775 923

The Draft Plan concentrates mainly on Municipal Solid Waste (MSW). This is primarily because the targets set out in the EC Landfill Directive apply to the biodegradable portion of MSW.

Under the Landfill Directive, Fife will only be allowed to landfill 41,419 tonnes of waste per year by the year 2020.

The Draft Plan was formulated after the public was consulted on the options detailed above. Over 100 people took part in the consultation. It emerged that Option 4 ('Do Maximum') was the most popular, while Option 1 ('Current Situation') was the least favoured.

After the consultation exercise, assessed the environmental impacts of each option using a software package called WISARD. In this case also, Option 4 was determined as the most favourable. It was found to have the least impact on renewable and non-renewable resources, to cause the least amount of air pollution and waste production.

However, Option 3 ('Large Energy from Waste Plant') was found to cause the least water pollution.

Futhermore, Option 4 would create the most employment as well as producing the highest recycling and composting rates. However, it would also incur the highest financial cost.

It was therefore decided that the Best Practicable Environmental Option was to implement Option 4 in stages. The WSAG would begin with the implementation of Option 6. This would include the first 4 steps of Option 4. Following this, steps 5 and 6 would be implemented (Option 5), and finally the full Option 4.

The WSAG will be working with SWAG to develop and implement a waste minimisation strategy. A pilot Waste Aware Fife campaign will also be developed.

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2003: The Area Waste Plan

In summer 2002, we asked 500 residents of Fife what they thought of the draft Area Waste Plan. After this and other public consultation exercises, the final Area Waste Plan was published in March 2003.

Here are some of the targets it is aiming for:

  • more separate collections of recyclates from households;
  • 325 recycling centres / points by 2006;
  • another composting plant;
  • a Materials Reclamation Facility, where recyclates can be sorted and baled before they are sent on to reprocessors.

If you would like to read the plan, please click here to download it from the SEPA website.

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