Scotland has again failed to reach its 40% recycling target, which was originally meant to be hit by the end of 2010.
New recycling figures running from April 2010 to March 2011 show local authorities in the country recycling over 38% of the waste collected – a 1.5 percentage point increase on the same period from 2009/10.
The figure is an improvement on the 37.8% recycling rate that it achieved between January to December 2010 (see MRW story). But at 38.2%, Scotland is still 1.8 percentage points away from its target.
Scotland Environment Protection Agency operations waste unit manager Adrian Bond said: “Today’s figures are another step in the right direction, and our recycling and composting figures continue to make steady progress year on year. However, while it is a positive indicator of progress, it is essential we continue our efforts to minimise waste growth and maximise recycling if we are to meet our aims of moving towards a zero-waste Scotland.”
Year-on-year, the data also revealed:
- A drop in the total amount of municipal waste collected by local authorities by 56,074 tonnes to 3,141,202
- A decrease in municipal waste going to landfill by 90,793 tonnes to 1,844,333 tonnes
- A fall in garden and food waste, which is being sent to landfill - down 58,694 tonnes to 1,103,956 tonnes
Clackmannanshire came top of the local authorities, achieving a 49.8% recycling rate and landfilling 15,389 tonnes of waste. The Shetland Islands came out with the lowest recycling rate at 19.5% but landfilled just 389 tonnes.
WWF Scotland head of policy Dan Barlow urged under-performing local authorities to look at implementing systems of those that are doing well. “It is very disappointing that Soctland has still missed its 2010 recycling target. It has the Zero Waste Scotland aspirations and an important part of achieving that is meeting high targets. There are local authorities that have done very well and have increased recycling rates significantly over a relatively short period but other local authorities are performing at a much lower rate.”