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Scotland introduces carbon metric and £4m food waste scheme

A new “world-leading” carbon-led approach to recycling performance has been unveiled by the Scottish Government.

From 2013, the new measurement will weight tonnage diversion levels using a “carbon factor” for materials collected, which considers the benefits of recycling over landfill. This will mean that high impact materials like plastic and textiles will be prioritised.

According to the Scottish Government it is believed to be the first attempt in the world to apply “climate change thinking” to waste performance measurement.

Environment Minister Richard Lochhead said: “I’m delighted to announce today another huge and world-leading step the Scottish Government is taking to monitor Scotland’s recycling successes. The new way of measuring performance will focus on the carbon savings of each item, rather than its weight.

“This demonstrates the Scottish Government’s Zero Waste Plan in action and another huge step towards our vision of a zero waste Scotland.”

The Scottish Government has also announced a £4m scheme, which will be delivered by Zero Waste Scotland and is designed to assist councils and private companies in Scotland collect and reprocess food waste from homes.     

Zero Waste Scotland director Iain Gulland said: “Food waste is an environmental problem but it is also a huge opportunity for Scotland.  Harnessing the nutrients and energy potential within food waste will help create jobs, attract investment and enable farmers to grow more good local food.  We will be inviting funding applications from councils and recycling companies in April, with £4m  available this year.”

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