Scotland achieves recycling milestone as landfill use falls below 50%

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Less than half of Scotland’s household waste was sent to landfill in 2014 – the first time that figure has dipped below  50%.

The environment Secretary Richard Lochhead has hailed the achievement as a ‘significant milestone’ but made clear that further improvements are needed from councils to meet recycling targets.

New figures published today by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) also shown a slight increase in Scotland’s recycling rate – reaching 42.8% in 2014 – whilst the total amount of household waste generated that year was 2.46 million tonnes.

That’s a drop of 18% since 2007 when 3 million tonnes of household waste were generated.

Although 2014 saw more councils recycling the majority of their household waste, less than half of local authorities managed to achieve 50%.

The Environment Secretary said,

“For the first time, Scotland has sent less than half of its household waste to landfill – a significant milestone as we journey to becoming a zero waste nation. In 2007, almost two thirds of Scotland’s household waste ended up in landfill so today’s figures are great news for the environment and highlight the progress being made.

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, also commented saying,

“It’s great that our national recycling rate continues to rise and that our reliance on landfill is at an all-time low. The amount of food waste being recycled has doubled since 2011, showing that many householders have embraced the addition of food waste recycling to their collection services. Over 60 per cent of households now have access to food waste recycling, thanks to our Food Waste Programme which supported local authorities to make the changes.

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