Scotlands recycling and composting rate has risen to 33.5 per cent for the year January to December 2008, according to new figures published by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.
The provisional figures show that Scotland has exceeded its recycling target of 30 per cent for 2008. The next target is 40 per cent by the end of 2010.
Data submitted to the Scottish Governments WasteDataFlow shows that the recycling and composting rate for the third quarter of 2008/09 (October to December) increased to 31.7 per cent, an improvement on 29.2 per cent for the same quarter of 2007/2008.
SEPA national waste policy unit manager Kenny Boag said: It is very encouraging to see Scotlands municipal waste recycling rate continue to rise year on year. An enormous amount of credit for this should go the local authorities and the public they serve for their continuing efforts to provide and make best use of high-quality recycling collection services that have been introduced in recent times. Although the signs are good in that they appear to indicate that we will meet our immediate targets, we cannot afford to relax and we must redouble our efforts to further reduce, re-use and recycle our waste as meeting the 2010 target will be extremely challenging.
Scotland intends to recycle or compost 50 per cent of its waste by 2013, 60 per cent by 2020 and 70 per cent by 2025.
Addressing the Committee of Scottish Local Authorities, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment Richard Lochhead said: The latest SEPA figures illustrate a real commitment from the public to recycling, and this is to be commended. It is also encouraging to see that eight local authorities in Scotland have already reached or exceeded the 40 per cent recycling target for municipal waste. We must continue to work together to accelerate the pace of which Scotland moves towards becoming a Zero Waste society.
It is excellent that the results also indicate we have met our 2010 Landfill Directive target ahead of time, but we must not stop there. I urge local authorities who are performing less well to step up to the mark and follow the example of the public and other authorities who are making a real difference.