FULL enforcement of a ban on landfilling biodegradable municipal waste has been delayed by the Scottish Government last week, but local arrangements are already in place.

While a political row erupted over the move, which will push the original 2021 date for the laws to come into force out to 2025, Clackmannanshire Council already signed a contract to avoid the practice.

Instead of using a dumping ground, the local authority will send the rubbish to a facility in Polmont where recyclables are separated and the rest is turned into refuse derived fuel to be shipped to Sweden and incinerated.

The move caused controversy due to worries over the impact of burning waste, as reported last week, but the council is stressing this still emits less CO2 than simply landfilling material.

Laws for the original 2021 ban were drawn up in 2012 and some politicians questioned why seven years were not enough to prepare the public and private sectors for the change.

MSP Mark Ruskell said: “We’ve had seven years to prepare for full implementation, but the government decided to leave it up to market forces and cash-strapped councils instead of making a proper plan for how to deal with our waste.

“With private companies building a rash of new waste incinerators across Scotland, the government must rule out dirty solutions to the lack of planning for proper facilities.”

MP Luke Graham called on the government to work with industry to build the necessary infrastructure.

He added: “The United Kingdom became a world leader earlier this year by becoming the first major economy to enshrine a pledge to become carbon neutral by 2050 into law.

“If we are to have a chance of meeting this target, we need to keep to local deadlines.”

The delay was revealed by environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham in a letter to stakeholders, she said she considered evidence and the challenges present.

Referring to a market study she wrote: “Whilst this demonstrated significant progress towards the ban, it confirmed that both public and private sectors will not be fully compliant by 2021 without reliance on export options, including landfill in England.”

She stressed landfilling waste still needs to end, adding the majority of local authorities have solutions in place.

A spokeswoman for Clackmannanshire Council said: “We share Ms Cunningham's commitment to ceasing the practice of sending biodegradable municipal waste to landfill.

“We have already taken the necessary steps to put in place a procured solution to achieve this, and this was agreed at Place Committee of September 12.”