Dumfries waste plant insurance cost rises by more than 90%

The insurance cost of a council-run waste processing plant in southern Scotland has risen by more than 90%.

The annual bill for the facility at Lochar Moss near Dumfries has gone from £468,000 to nearly £900,000.

Dumfries and Galloway Council's (DGC) finance committee is being asked to endorse the decision of its chief executive to accept the increase.

A report said the costs could be covered by using existing resources and reserves.

The plant was built as part of a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) which the local authority signed nearly 20 years ago.

It was hailed as a pioneering project at the time as it took waste and broke it down into re-usable components - eliminating the need for homeowners to separate their own rubbish.

That meant that, in 2011, the council was one of just two in the UK which was able to collect just a single bin from households.

However, a change in regulations forced the reintroduction of more bins - at a cost of millions of pounds - to allow for separate collections.

By 2018, operators of the plant admitted they were unable to meet new landfill and recycling targets and it came under council control.

It cost DGC more than £6m to end that 25-year PFI contract early.

A report to the finance committee said that any waste processing facility was considered to be "high risk" by insurers.

It said the main danger was considered to be the possibility of a fire breaking out, even though a range of protection measures had been put in place.

Since 2021, the council has needed specialist waste site insurance which has now nearly doubled in price.

The report added that it could look at using an external provider for its waste processing services - but that would result in much greater additional costs of about £4m.

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