Zero Waste Scotland

Zero Waste Scotland & Barr Killoch Energy Recovery Park

In June 2010, the Scottish Government launched its Zero Waste Plan. Its goal, simple: Eliminate all waste in Scotland. Zero Waste Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Government, have proposed a 5% waste on landfill sites. As of 2014, current percentages of waste on landfill sites range from 30%-35%.

Left: Zero Waste Scotland’s landfill target, alongside Barr Killoch Energy Recovery Park’s proposed target

In order to achieve this target, Zero Waste Scotland devised two approaches:

1. Circular Economy
2. Resource Efficiency

Circular Economy is a range of strategies which ensure that materials are kept within productive use, in high value, for as long as possible. This approach also makes sure that plant-based elements are returned to the biosphere in a sustainable way. (for more information, see Barr’s circular economy page)

Resource Efficiency utilises actions to conserve and maximise the efficient use of energy, water and raw materials, and plans to reduce the environmental impact of resource use. This strategy can cut costs and improve efficiency, help secure resource supplies, meet customer demand for sustainable business practice, significantly reduce waste going to landfill sites and cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Why it matters

According to a recent study, it estimated that the world human population will reach 9 billion by 2050. As of 2014, 45-60 billion tonnes of raw materials are extracted every year for human needs. If we carry on at the same rate, this extraction rate could triple by 2050. We currently dump over 2 million tonnes of food waste every year in Scotland. If just half of this food waste was captured and treated through anaerobic digestion, (the process by which organic matter such as food waste and other biodegradable materials is broken down, in the absence of oxygen, to produce biogas) the energy generated from this waste could power the town of Ayr for eighteen months, provide heat for local homes and business, and produce enough fertiliser for 10% of Scotland’s crop needs.

Education is the most important factor in ethically and economically treating waste in an efficient manner. It all starts with education. Barr actively supports the local community in order to educate the public on the importance of recycling. In the past, Barr has supported many primary and secondary schools across Ayrshire, local companies, community councils and individuals.

Above: Barr has supported local schools such as Cumnock Academy

Barr Killoch Energy Recovery Park will be supporting the needs and demands of Zero Waste Scotland. Barr’s state of the art facility will be the first of its kind in Ayrshire, as infrastructure such as Energy from Waste facilities does not exist in this region. In order to achieve these stringent goals set up by Zero Waste Scotland, Ayrshire will need to have one of these highly advanced facilities to process waste and reassure the local community of our efficient recycling strategies.