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[GreenYes] Scotland hopefully will not include burning as part of Zero Waste goal

Mr. Lochhead,

I am writing to express support for your Zero Waste goal. I hope that you will follow in the footsteps of New Zealand and South Korea, as the first 2 countries on earth to adopt Zero Waste as a goal.

However, I urge you to adopt the only peer-reviewed, internationally accepted definition of Zero Waste that is published on the website of the Zero Waste International Alliance at:  That definition means NOT to include burning of wastes as part of any Zero Waste policy or program.

If you would like more information on Zero Waste programs being implemented by businesses and communities around the world, see the references I have attached.

Thank you again for your support of Zero Waste!  By copy of this letter to our Zero Waste network, I am encouraging others to send you information that highlights the many successes of Zero Waste around the world.

Gary Liss
Zero Waste consultant
Loomis, CA  USA

At 05:52 PM 1/21/2008, Gary Liss wrote:
Apologies for Cross-postings

Scottish Government set to reveal direction for waste policy


The Scottish government has said it will announce more detail on its intentions for national waste policy this week.

The move follows consultations with local authorities and regulators held over the autumn and winter, and a report from the Sustainable Development Commission on the use of energy-from-waste.
SEPA believes that the recovery of energy from appropriate wastes, given the inherent value of waste which can be lost in landfill, is fully compatible with zero waste.
John Ferguson, SEPA

Since the Scottish Nationalist Party won a slim majority in the Scottish Parliament in May 2007, Scottish ministers have provided little detail on the Party's manifesto aim to move towards a "zero-waste society" (see story).

But a spokesman for the Scottish Government confirmed on Friday (January 18) to "Our future policy direction on waste will be unveiled next week."


A key question for local authorities seeking to meet national landfill diversion targets will be whether the "Zero Waste" intention of the SNP-led government will allow them to use incineration to deal with waste left over after recycling has taken place.

The original "Zero Waste" movement has been seen as against the use of incineration.

However, commissioned by the Scottish government to provide advice on the issue over the winter, the Sustainable Development Commission Scotland has backed the use of energy-from-waste technology - provided that key criteria in the use is met.

In a report published last month, it said: "The overall conclusion of our review is that energy from waste may be, in the right circumstances, compatible with sustainable development and a move towards a Zero Waste Society."

The Commission suggests energy-from-waste systems should be evaluated on their ability to reduce carbon emissions to meet government commitments to cut emissions by 80% by 2050.

It also states that plants should recover energy to a minimum efficiency level of 60% and stresses that consultation should take place with communities and stakeholder.

"Appropriate" wastes

Both the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) have also backed the recovery of energy from "appropriate" wastes.

John Ferguson, manager of SEPA's waste and resource strategy unit said: "SEPA believes that the recovery of energy from appropriate wastes, given the inherent value of waste which can be lost in landfill, is fully compatible with zero waste, provided there is a significant and targeted commitment to waste prevention and recycling."

A COSLA spokesman said that while recycling was its preferred means of reducing waste sent to landfill, it was not enough to meet European targets for landfill diversion in 2013 and 2020.

The spokesman continued: "The SDC's report recognises the role of energy-from-waste in a comprehensive strategy aimed at diverting waste from landfill - one which COSLA looks forward to working on alongside Scottish Government partners.

"Energy-from-waste is a safe, tried and tested way to deal with waste that cannot be recycled, and is commonly used across Europe. Energy from waste is not an alternative to recycling - it is just one component of a sensible and practical waste strategy."


The Sustainable Development Commission report also looked at wider issues when it comes to waste, and hailed the bid to achieve Zero Waste as a means to shift policy towards "resource efficiency".

It explained: "Government has struggled to shift its attention from recycling to waste prevention. Without a change of focus to prevention, many stakeholders will not have confidence that energy-from-waste is being used as part of the solution, rather than instead of wider action.

"The adoption of the framework of Zero Waste should give government a clearer direction."

The Commission also urged the Scottish Government to review recycling targets and push them above and beyond 55% by 2020, stating this "would certainly be possible".

However, it was critical of some local authorities which it claimed were failing to take seriously the need to recycle and reduce waste.

Related links
It said: "While some local authorities are making good progress on recycling, it is clear that others are finding this difficult and do not see recycling or activities further up the waste hierarchy as a core part of their waste management duties."

The Commission also called for ministers to integrate measures for tackling business waste into its new policy, as well as a more joined-up approach to planning, economic development and energy policies.

Gary Liss
Gary Liss & Associates
4395 Gold Trail Way
Loomis, CA  95650-8929
Fax: 916-652-0485

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