Plans for a new gas to energy project in Banchory have moved a step closer with approval from Aberdeenshire councillors.
Members of the policy and resources committee approved a contract to explore and develop a microgeneration project at the town’s Crow’s Nest landfill site.
The project will turn gas produced by the site into energy which the council will use to power the local household waste recycling centre and other nearby projects.
The development, which could save more than 160 tonnes of carbon each year, will go some way towards helping the authority meet strict greenhouse gas emission targets.
All gas produced from the location at Upper Lochton Road is currently burned off by an on-site flare, to meet the standards of the permit issued by the Scottish Environment Protection agency.
The landfill site was originally closed in 2010.
Further reports will be presented to councillors at a future date to update them on progress.
Councillor Richard Thomson, who is chair of the policy and resources committee, said: “It was with pleasure that the committee considered and approved this report, described to elected members as great news for the community.
“We look forward to future reports into this development.”
Local Councillor Jill Webster described it as “great news”.
She said: “When the Crows Nest Landfill site was capped some time ago, I was very keen to see whether the resultant landfill gases created could be captured and converted into useful energy rather than flared off.
“It is great news that a viable microgeneration scheme has been identified and that the council can reduce carbon emissions while producing energy to run the Household Waste Recycling Centre as well.”
Colleague Councillor Linda Clark said: “It is fantastic news that we are now in a position to move ahead with this development, one which will put Banchory on the carbon map.
“It is a great opportunity and one which will please the local community”
Fellow Banchory Councillor Karen Clark added: “The Crow’s Nest has been a challenging issue for a number of years, and this is what people in the area have long been calling for.
“I look forward to future reports to update us on this fundamental step-change in how we deal with our landfill sites.”