THE organisation that buries Fife Council's rubbish in landfill sites hopes to make money from burning it at Cardenden and Grangemouth instead.

New laws mean that, from January 2021, Fife Resource Solutions (FRS) will have to come up with a different way of getting rid of biodegradable waste and the proposed Westfield Energy Recovery Park is seen as an asset that could help.

It's the arms-length external organisation set up by Fife Council to deal with garbage and run the recycling centres, but also to generate money to help prop up existing council services.

They've been successful at bringing in income in areas such as charging third parties to take their rubbish, turnover topped £33 million last year, but a council report warned: "Going forward there remain some significant challenges for the organisation, most notably the proposed ban on biodegradable waste to landfill from January 1, 2021.

"The landfill ban will have significant impacts not only on where Fife Council’s waste can go, but reduce the capacity to generate income from third parties."

While there is an "expectation" that some waste will still go to landfill, in future the main outlet will switch from landfill to energy from waste (EfW) plants – burning the rubbish – which produce electricity for the national grid and steam, which can be used to provide heat for nearby homes and businesses.

Less money could have an impact on council services but they've already adapted by sending some waste to be burned at an energy recovery site in Dunbar this year.

And deals are already in place for Fife to send 160,000 tonnes to Westfield Energy Recovery Park, between Cardenden and Benarty, which was given the go-ahead by the council earlier this year, from late 2023 and 80,000 tonnes of waste to Earls Gate Energy Centre, in Grangemouth, from late 2021.

It's also more than they need, with the opportunity to make money as the report explained: "The capacity acquired will also offer opportunities to sell spare capacity to third parties, replacing the reducing landfill income over time.

"The transition from landfill to EfW will be fundamental to how the business operates going forward, although this will remain a challenge to the change in how the organisation operates."

FRS began in April 2014 to provide services to the council and to use council assets to expand the provision of services to third parties, with a view to increasing external income.

Making money is to make "a positive contribution" to the revenue budget and "thereby help to protect key services provided to Fife's communities".