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Scotland could recycle more of its household waste

Significant volumes of recyclable materials are still going into Scottish household rubbish bins destined for landfill, according to a new survey.


The survey, The Composition of Municipal Solid Waste in Scotland, was published by Zero Waste Scotland working with WastesWork and supported by AEA and was based on the results of a composition analysis carried out in eight of the 32 local authorities in Scotland.


The report highlights that although there has been a significant increase in Scotlands recycling rates from 5% to almost 36% in the last 10 years many common recyclables such as newspapers, cans and glass bottles are still being thrown away, destined for landfill.


Results of the survey show the following percentages of materials being currently recycled, demonstrating the scope for more to be done:

·         Newspapers and magazines 67%

·         Glass bottles  44%

·         Metal cans 22%

·         Other paper and cardboard 26%

·         Plastic bottles 19%


Zero Waste Scotland director Iain Gulland said: Our aim should be to make sure that if this survey is repeated in 10 years time, its results would be radically different.


The reported also highlighted food waste as another major opportunity to increase recycling and reduce waste at present it makes up around one third of household rubbish bins while only 4% is collected for recycling or composting.


Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: We should all constantly challenge ourselves to recycle more, more often.


The eight local authorities selected for the survey were Edinburgh, Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire, Highland, Moray, Orkney Islands, Renfrewshire and South Ayrshire. Sampling areas in each local authority were then selected using socio-economic profile data to provide a suitably representative sample of the overall Scottish population and the local authority.

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