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Giant waste management site approved by councillors

The new waste materials recovery facility will be built at the side of the Moray Firth.

Waste: The plant will process thousands of tonnes each year (file pic).
Waste: The plant will process thousands of tonnes each year (file pic).

A giant waste management unit has been approved by Highland councillors.

The new facility is set to have a prominent site beside Inverness Caledonian Thistle's football stadium at the side of the Moray Firth.

It will be built on part of the city's former Longman landfill site.

Planners say it will support the local authority's need to meet imminent changes to national waste regulations.

From January 2021, it will no longer be permissible for refuse collected by the council to be sent to landfill.

Highland Council currently collects and disposes of 144,000 tonnes of waste produced by households and commercial waste customers each year - of which 43% is recycled. The remaining refuse - 82,700 tonnes - is sent to landfill at an annual cost of £11m.

The facility will comprise a vast 100m by 34m long building, office and welfare facilities and a weighbridge. It will receive and process waste to recover recyclable materials.

Council chiefs say it will also reclaim value from the remaining refuse by preparing it for use as fuel that will be exported for use elsewhere in Scotland, the UK or Europe to produce electricity and heat.

Environment committee chairman Allan Henderson said: "The change to national waste regulations will promote consideration of the waste we produce as a valuable resource and is intended to contribute to the development of a more circular economy.

"The Longman facility will play a pivotal role in our plans to divert refuse from landfill as well as aiding efficient transportation of our waste and reducing the climate and wider environmental impacts associated with this."

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