GREEN MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, Mark Ruskell, has this week said that a national plan to reduce incineration is needed, following the news that SEPA have granted draft permits for the planned waste incinerator at Westfield, between Benarty and Kinglassie.

The plant was granted planning permission by Fife Council, in February 2019, but critics have said it could lead to a decrease in the amount of waste recycled through it being burned, and the impact on climate change has not been considered.

The Scottish Greens are calling for a national plan to limit waste incinerators in the upcoming National Planning Framework 4.

Mark Ruskell said: “These permits give the final go ahead to the waste incinerator at Westfield, which could burn up to 250,000 tonnes of rubbish every year.

"The air pollution monitoring, carried out by SEPA, suggest there will be no major impact on air quality, which will give some reassurance, but the permit process doesn’t seem to have given any consideration to the climate change impacts of burning rubbish".

Mr Ruskell added: "Burning rubbish, especially plastics, releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, directly contributing to climate change. "If Scotland is to have any hope of achieving our ambition of net-zero emissions by 2045, we need an urgent plan to minimise the amount of rubbish we are burning.

"We also need to make sure councils are not tied into supplying guaranteed amounts of waste to these major incinerators, which could have a negative impact on recycling rates.

"The Scottish Government needs to take the lead on planning where incinerators should go, and how we can reduce the amount of waste we send to them each year. "I’ll be working to make sure this is included in the National Planning Framework as it is reviewed this year.”

Westfield, at one time the site of the deepest holes in Europe, created by the opencast mine which operated their for over 40 years, is now the home of a biomass power plant and a four turbine windfarm, and the incinerator is only one of several projects for one of the UK's largest brownfield sites.