Council requests waste compliance funding support

a green bin and a blue bin

The Environment, Development and Infrastructure committee, of Argyll and Bute Council, agreed on Thursday (June 20) to write to the Scottish Government to secure financial support which will enable the council to comply with the upcoming Biodegradable Municipal Waste (BMW) ban.

As of December 2025, new Scottish Government legislation means that no Biodegradable Municipal Waste (BMW) can go to landfill sites. In effect, that bans almost all biodegradable material (food, card, paper, garden waste etc) from landfill.

The treatment processes used at the sites operated as part of a PPP (public-private partnership) contract the council has with its waste contractor will not be compliant with the BMW ban. That contract runs until 2026, nearly a year after the ban comes into place and to end the contract would have financial implications.

The council had requested that the Scottish Government grant a derogation to landfill until the PPP contract concludes, in 2026, but since a commitment hasn’t be secured, the only option is to switch from Mechanical Biological Treatment Plants* (MBTs) to Waste Transfer Stations in Oban, Lochgilphead and Dunoon.

General waste will then be taken from Waste Transfer Stations to Energy from Waste plants, rather than being processed with residual waste for landfill, making it compliant with the new government legislation.

This will cost in the region of £1.5m to set up.

Council-run island landfill sites have already had works carried out to enable waste transfer ahead of the ban and waste from Helensburgh is dealt with through a third-party off taker.

Landfill sites will still be retained to take some non-biodegradable materials such as rubble, and limited biodegradable materials such as plaster board. 

Notes:

*MBT plants reduce the amount of material which goes to landfill through processing, separation of materials and the production of compost like output (CLO) which is used in landfill restoration.

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