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Scottish Zero Waste Consultation: Time to Make Wood a Priority Material
Tue, Mar 1, 2011

Scottish Zero Waste Consultation: Time to Make Wood a Priority Material


The Wood Panel Industries Federation (WPIF) has responded to the Scottish Government’s Zero Waste consultation. The proposals outlined are encouraging and the WPIF welcomes the Government’s progressive approach to waste management.


The Scottish Government published the Zero Waste Plan on 9 June 2010, which sets out the strategic direction for waste policy for Scotland and proposed 22 actions to be taken to deliver it. This consultation, entitled Implementing Scotland’s Zero Waste Plan: regulatory measures to require separate collection of waste materials, and restrict disposal in landfill and input to energy from waste facilities, covers 3 of those actions relating to the introduction of regulatory measures to:

·         drive source segregation and separate collection of specified waste materials;

·         implement a phased programme of landfill bans (effectively banning materials which could be re-used or recycled or which could be used to produce energy); and

·         restrict inputs to Energy from Waste (EfW) facilities (effectively banning materials which could be re-used or recycled)


In providing a response, the WPIF has also strongly encouraged the Scottish Government to consider four major factors:

·         A clear separation of recyclable and contaminated wood (to ensure that all suitable wood is re-used and recycled rather than incinerated)

·         Future feasibility of a ban on wood to landfill (to maximise the opportunity for reuse of suitable wood)

·         The incentive regime for biomass energy generation and waste regimes in the rest of the UK (e.g. to prevent valuable waste streams such as uncontaminated waste wood being incinerated in England)

·         Capital support for WID-compliant EfW plant (to encourage take-up of contaminated wood)


These factors are closely inter-connected; the biomass industry, subsidised by the Renewables Obligation, is increasingly looking to waste wood as a feedstock. As the consultation points out, it is vital to ensure that “only waste which could not have been recycled is incinerated”. Energy plants will naturally gravitate to the cheapest and easiest material – namely, uncontaminated wood – unless specific measures are put in place to focus incentives (and restrictions) around contaminated wood, including a strict definition of what constitutes contaminated wood. 


The industry fears that without a clear and stringent definition of what constitutes contaminated, wood otherwise suitable for recycling and reuse will be sent to EfW plants.  The industry looks forward to working with the Scottish Government on developing standards and definitions for the use of waste wood. We also encourage the Scottish Government to explore what measures it can implement to prevent English and Welsh EfW plants from sourcing recyclable wood from Scotland.


The consultation closed on 28February and the consultation documents can be viewed in full here:

Scottish Zero Waste Consultation: Time to Make Wood a Priority Material - Click to make an enquiry
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