Glasgow City Council handles 350,000 tonnes of waste every year. Of that, Glasgow sent the vast majority, 74%, to landfill in 2010/11. With annual hikes in landfill tax and ambitious Scottish Government zero waste targets focusing on waste reduction, re-use, enhanced recycling and recovering renewable energy from what remains, the council has been planning for change.
Now Glasgow is changing gear with a new, state-of-the-art recycling and sustainable waste management facility at its long established waste treatment plant at Polmadie, radically overhauling the way the city’s household waste is managed over the next 25 years.
The £154m Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre (GRREC) will handle 200,000 tonnes of council green bin residual waste every year. The plant, working in combination with city wide blue, brown and purple bin recycling, will divert 90% of green bin residual waste away from landfill, saving millions of pounds, releasing recyclable resources from household waste and producing valuable heat and power from what will be one of the most advanced waste management facilities in Europe.
Detailed plans have been prepared by leading recycling, renewable energy and sustainable waste company Viridor for the new facility that will regenerate the existing Glasgow City Council waste facility at Polmadie on the South side of the city.
The facility will produce enough energy to power the equivalent of 22,000 households and heat the equivalent of some 8,000 homes, delivering a saving to Glasgow of 90,000 tonnes of CO² every year.
At the same time it will deliver a saving to the city of circa £254m during the 25 year contract, create 250 new jobs, including 25 apprentices, and will support local social enterprises and small and medium sized businesses throughout the building programme and beyond.
Following a comprehensive programme of public consultation in 2012, a full planning application was submitted to Glasgow City Council which was subsequently approved in January 2013.
Work on the project is well underway, with the Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre commencing operation in early 2016.