In honour of the 2012 Scottish Waste and Resources conference taking place in Glasgow this week, we hear from PPS Directors Donald Anderson and Rebecca Eatwell on their thoughts on the sector.
Director of Peel Environmental, Myles Kitcher who is bringing forward two waste projects in the Glasgow area also gives his thoughts.
We hope to see you at the conference next week – please get in touch if you would like to meet over coffee!
Myles Kitcher, director at Peel Environmental offers his thoughts on Scotland’s Zero Waste plans and what they will mean for developers.
There is little doubt that Scotland’s Zero Waste plans have set a new standard for resource management in comparison to the rest of the UK.
The process of developing the policy has been relatively swift and from now it will become apparent how effective this policy is in terms of helping to deliver suitable facilities to deal with Scotland’s waste in the desired manner.
What is clear is that the emerging waste treatment landscape will not be dominated by large-scale EfW facilities. Rather, Scotland requires a series of appropriately sized facilities situated in proximity to where the bulk of the waste arisings are and where efficiencies can be maximised through robust heat plans.
The requirement to pre-treat waste to remove marketable recyclates prior to energy recovery provides a level of clarity on Scottish policy. The fact that the materials considered “marketable” will be reviewed over time is understandable but industry needs sufficient certainty to invest and market forces should be relied upon. Economics dictate that the person pre-treating waste will endeavour to recover all elements of value.ncies can be maximised through robust heat plans.
The new rules which require separate food waste collection for larger scale food manufacturers, coupled with the ban on food waste disposal via the sewerage network, should add to investor certainty for anaerobic digestion facilities and help drive forward the delivery of new infrastructure.
Overall, we welcome the regulations as they provide a clear framework led by a pragmatic and realistic policy.
Municipal Waste Contracts – How communications can add value
PPS Director Rebecca Eatwell specialises in waste and resources and has spent the last 6 years assisting local authorities and waste companies in the procurement of municipal waste contracts. With a number of contracts currently being procured in Scotland and more to follow in the near future, what lessons can we take from those who have already been through the process?
What is the biggest communications challenge for authorities procuring new municipal waste contracts?
When it comes to residual waste contracts, the biggest communication issue for any local authority will be the choice of technology and the location of the site. The decision whether to go down an energy from waste (EfW) route or a seemingly less ‘controversial’ technology is a key one for any authority and one which requires a certain degree of political bravery.
It is no secret that many EfW projects across the UK have attracted fears and concerns – much of which can be attributed to misconceptions about the technology. However, regardless of technology, new waste infrastructure has the potential to generate local opposition.
Our experience shows that the most successful projects are those where a local authority clearly sets out the case for their preferred technology long before the issue becomes complicated with proposed site locations or proposed contractors.
What communications advice can you give bidders?
The first tip for bidders is to really understand the authority to which they’re bidding – what are the council’s priorities, who are the key players and what are they looking for from a contractor. Procuring authorities need to know that contractors can deliver services in ways which are acceptable to politicians and local communities and will be looking for reassurance that their reputations will be protected.
Most, if not all, contracts will have a requirement for communications work and producing a good communication plan as part of your bid can add vital points to your overall score. It is important to develop a bespoke communications plan which is tailored to local requirements. This means getting under the skin of the local community and understanding what communication tools will work and what key messages will be important.
How is the Scottish context different from the rest of the UK?
There are a number of differences which bidders need to be aware of. Scotland’s approach to waste management is more ambitious, with Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan setting far reaching targets. It is also more prescriptive, with the requirement to pretreat any material before recovery of energy in the new Waste (Scotland) Regulations.
What this does, is provide a level of certainty to developers of infrastructure in Scotland, whether that is those bidding for local contracts or developing merchant facilities.
Time to Deliver – CIWM meets in Scotland at a critical time
Donald Anderson, PPS Scotland
Waste targets are all agreed; Zero Waste Scotland has been working through the personnel and organisational changes of the last couple of years and is at last fully focussed on delivery. We now know the scale of the challenge. Scotland wants to be one of the highest recycling countries in the world. An easy slogan, but it should be accepted that there is real and genuine determination there to deliver on the vision.
Now then is the time to put away key messages and policy papers and to ‘roll up the sleeves’ and deliver.
No-one can say that the policy framework is unclear; it has been set, and firmly set. Councils seeking to avoid hefty landfill charges have been working to help support or procure the infrastructure that will actually deliver a resource led solution to Scotland’s waste problem.
The tasks are formidable. By contract or by partnership, Scotland needs major investment in the infrastructure of resource management. There is no new public cash, so progress can only be achieved with the public sector working hand in hand with the private sector. The policies are good. There is now a framework to support the type of new facilities needed. Within that framework councils are, and will need to continue to deliver, planning and making procurement decisions that turn policy objectives into bricks and mortar.
Delivering investment never just happens by itself, it needs to be actively delivered. This is particularly the case for waste facilities that are often misunderstood and misrepresented. Of course we should – as has often been said – ban the word waste, and simply refer to resources. Easier said than done perhaps, but a determination to use the resources properly can provide much needed material for re-use and create new energy at an attractive and affordable price.
This year’s conference meets at a critical time, and we have the chance to hear from ministers about how the delivery will happen. PPS is delighted to be able to attend, and feel free to contact us to discuss how we can help make your project part of Scotland’s new resource infrastructure.
Written by Donald Anderson