Some of our Southside Community Council’s Environment Group had the opportunity, through participating in the Council’s Resident Waste Forum, to visit the Millerhill Waste to Energy plant. The private company, FCC, has contracts with Edinburgh and Midlothian Councils. It takes all of Edinburgh’s waste that is not recycled or recyclable and incinerates it at an extremely high temperature, achieving as close as possible complete combustion. The heat created goes to a turbine that generates electricity. Some of this electricity runs the plant, but the majority is sold to the grid and is sufficient to supply all the electricity needed by 25,000 homes. Ash generated can be used as a component in aggregate for roads, breeze blocks etc. Virtually no heat is released into the air and there are strict SEPA controls and checks on all emissions. Any toxic material in the waste, that cannot be safely burned, is transported to a specialist disposal place in Leeds.
As Edinburgh reduces, reuses and recycles more, and therefore creates less material for incineration, the Millerhill plant can take more trade waste or waste from further afield.
Here are some of our pictures: