Lighting the way for sustainable energy – Learning from Millerhill

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A new Recycling and Energy Recovery Centre for Edinburgh and Midlothian celebrates a positive vision for sustainable energy, successfully integrating a large piece of energy infrastructure into a challenging and changing landscape to provide added amenity for the surrounding communities.

Location: Millerhill, Midlothian
Project type: Recycling and Energy Recovery Centre
Client: Zero Waste: Edinburgh and Midlothian
Lead designer: Garry Stewart Design Associates (GSDA)
Project size/cost:   £480m

Proposals for a new Recycling and Energy Recovery Centre (RERC) were procured by Zero Waste: Edinburgh and Midlothian, a major joint project between the City of Edinburgh and Midlothian Councils to deliver, through private sectors, dedicated facilities for the processing of residual, or ‘black bag’ waste.

The facility will be located on the site of the former Millerhill Marshalling Yards in Midlothian, on the border of Edinburgh and East Lothian. The site has an industrial heritage, having been part of railway marshalling yards in the 1960s-80s. Located between currently active railway marshalling yards and the former Monktonhall Colliery immediately to the west, the site is now being redeveloped as Shawfair, a significant planned new town development. In an earlier project a section to the north of the site has been developed with an anaerobic digestion facility to deal with food waste.

Significant developments are planned in the near and medium term around the site and across the three authorities. This emerging context created a dynamic environment that both influenced, and was influenced by, designs for Millerhill. Being located on the border of the three local authorities, the project also provided the opportunity to develop the potential for partnership working between the different councils.

This document looks at the development of the project, the input delivered through the Design Forum process and lessons learned that could be applied to similar projects across the country. For more information about our work with infrastructure sites please contact us at 

Private: Design Forum

Assisting those responsible for the development of the built environment by offering informed advice on the design quality of proposals.

Millerhill RERC

Recycling and Energy Recovery Centre (RERC) at Millerhill, Midlothian


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