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Planning, procurement and development of waste and recycling facilities

There are hundreds of waste and recycling facilities currently operational in Scotland. 

These include::

  • Collection and handling
  • Processing
  • Treatment (thermal and biological)
  • Reprocessing
  • Multi-activity, and
  • Landfill

Every facility is different in terms of its location, size, capacity and there are then differences between the different technologies used. For more information on what different facility types do, what goes into them and what come out, please visit our Facilities page.

Due to the large range of differences, there are different requirements/steps involved when developing new facilities. The diagram below shows a typical development process for a larger/more complex facility, such as thermal or biological treatment:

As the diagram above shows, there are several key points where you can have your say:

  • Council’s consult with the public when developing waste strategies. You can also contact your local councillor(s) at any time to voice your support or concern for proposals and to raise any other issues in your local area.
  • Planning process (please see below)
  • Licencing: SEPA is responsible for issuing licences and regulating facilities to ensure that waste management facilities do not cause environmental pollution, health issues or have negative impacts on the local area. Licence applications for waste management facilities are published by SEPA and are available for public consultation and comment.


For public procurement (any procurement where public money will be spent, for example, local authority waste facilities), there are rules and regulations from the EU that must be followed. The set procedures were designed to make sure that procurements were carried out fairly, that they are competitive, and lead to the most cost-effective outcome.

There are different types of procurement process which could be used, depending on what it is that is being developed/what is needed. For large, complex facilities it is most common for competitive dialogue  to be used. The diagram below shows the stages of competitive:


The stages required for the planning process vary depending on the type and size of the facility, although there are some steps which are required for all proposals. The diagram below provides an overview of the planning process for waste and recycling facilities in Scotland:

The planning process offers opportunities for you to get involved and have your say about a proposal. There is a consultation period after submission of all proposals but depending on the type of development, there might also be a pre-application consultation period. After a decision has been made on whether or not to grant planning permission, there might be a review or an appeal. If this happens, there will be another opportunity for public consultation.


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