Dumfries and Galloway is to create an innovative intelligent waste management system with the help of a £79 million grant from the Executive.
The award - from the Strategic Waste Fund - will fund a Mechanical Biological Treatment system to remove glass and metal from waste, recycle it, and treat the remainder of Dumfries and Galloway's waste to produce a substitute fuel for energy production.
Environment Minister Ross Finnie made the announcement during a visit to Locharmoss Recycling Centre near Dumfries.
He also visited Corsock and Fairgirth Farms where he viewed work on a pilot scheme to reduce pollution to water courses. This pollution causes problems to bathing water quality when it eventually reaches the coastline.
The project sees slurry anaerobically digested and the methane gas produced turned into energy and farm yard manure is composted.
Mr Finnie said:
"The Scottish Executive is committed to improving Scotland's environment. We are also determined to support a wide and varied renewable energy sector.
"These innovative developments can help us towards both these goals and provide more sustainable waste management and a better environment for the people of Dumfries and Galloway.
"This funding can also help significantly reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill in Dumfries and Galloway, whilst providing a new source of renewable energy.
"The pilot projects at Corsock and Fairgirth farms can also help the Executive identify new ways to deal with pollution and play a greater part in protecting the water environment."
The new waste management service will be delivered through a Public Private Partnership contract, currently being negotiated by Dumfries and Galloway Council.
Over £230 million in a three-year period from 2003 is being invested in the Strategic Waste Fund (SWF). These funds are being provided to local authorities to improve recycling and composting facilities.
To date over £143 million has been awarded from the SWF to 30 local authorities.
The National Waste Plan was published on February 24, 2003, and sets out the Executive's targets for sustainable waste management until 2020, including plans for segregated kerbside recycling waste collection in nine out of ten Scottish homes.
The £2.6 million biogas and composting pilot project was announced by Deputy Environment Minister Allan Wilson in December 2003.
It is currently on course to construct 4 biogas plants and 3 composting units in the Sandyhills bathing water catchment in the latest initiative to address pollution problems from agricultural land. Dealing with manure and slurry on farm means they do not become involved in the formal waste management regime.
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