Thousands of tonnes of waste from the local fish farming industry could soon be recycled at the Comhairle’s Recycling Centre.
The Creed Park Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant is currently used to process household and commercial organic waste but the site could be reclassified to include a higher level if agreement is reached with island based fish waste producers, Scottish Salmon Company and Marine Harvest.
In 2014 around 1,500 tonnes of waste from the fish farming industry was disposed of at Bennadrove Landfill at a cost of around £117,000.
A report before members of the Comhairle’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this week said: “Recent discussions with the two main fish farm and fish processors operating in Lewis and Harris have indicated that there is now an opportunity to reach an agreement on a long term basis to use the Creed Park AD plant as their recycling route of choice going forward.”
It adds: “The hygienisation equipment to allow fish waste to be processed is estimated to cost in the region of £200,000.
“A bid has been made to Zero Waste Scotland, the gate fee and contractural agreement with the fish waste producers will require to take account of the need to fund the total costs of installation and operation of this new equipment.”
The AD plant always had the potential to process fish waste but at the time of commissioning in 2006, all significant fish processing operations had ceased locally.
The installation of a wind turbine at the site has also brought about solutions to potential problems.
A source of hot water with significant capacity to operate the hygienisation equipment would be needed and the wind turbine can provide this.
In addition work has recently started on a new hot water storage tank powered by electricity generated by the turbine to provide a heat source for the facility.
It was noted that Zero Waste Scotland have indicated that there may be an opportunity to obtain financial assistance from the Scottish Government to carry out the installation of the hygienisation equipment.