Scotland currently produces around 12 million tonnes of waste each year, with household waste contributing three million tonnes to this figure. But only around 8% of household waste is being recycled, and 90% goes to landfill. The Scottish Executive is determined to move to a more sustainable waste management system with significant increases in recycling and composting that will reach 25% by 2006. To this end, sustainable waste management projects in Scotland are to receive a cash boost of more than £1 million.
Environment Minister Ross Finnie said that imaginative ways must be found to encourage businesses to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste: "We will consult later this year on a prevention plan for household waste which will cover areas such as the design of products; providing advice to consumers on how to make choices that minimise waste and action that can be taken in the home to minimise waste."
The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has awarded capital funding to three projects and, as a result, it is intended that the country's total composting capacity will increase by 57,000 tonnes once the facilities have reached full capacity.
The facility will deliver an additional 15,000 tonnes of capacity overall and will undergo certification to meet BSI PAS 100, the specification that sets minimum requirements for the quality, consistency and information labelling of composted products.
The other two projects will use the funding to improve existing facilities for green waste composting. At GP Plantscape in Blantyre, WRAP support will be put towards a two-phase construction project which will include new shredding, screening and bagging equipment. The grant will enable the company to increase its capacity to produce green waste compost by 28,000 tonnes per year.
At its facility in Lugton, William Tracey will be able to increase production capacity by up to 14,000 tonnes a year with the introduction of specialised shredding and screening equipment, improved product storage and an extended concrete processing area.
GP Plantscape and William Tracey are already manufacturing compost to BSI PAS 100 standard, and will be supplying major landscaping and land restoration projects in brownfield areas for soil blending on-site.
WRAP's head of organics, Anne O'Brien, said: "We are delighted to be able to support three such commercially sound and viable projects, which together will contribute towards the development of Scotland's recycling industry and its progress towards recycling and landfill diversion objectives.
"The projects will contribute towards WRAP's business plan target of an additional 300,000 tonnes a year of kitchen and organic waste processing operational by 2006."
Scottish hospitals need to improve waste management
According to a report out last week, NHS hospitals in Scotland are still not managing waste as well as they could and need to increase recycling.
The Audit Scotland report shows that recommendations made in 2001 to improve waste management have not been implemented in all hospitals. The follow-up audit was carried out in 53 hospitals, an