Scotland’s household waste sent to landfill has fallen below 50% for the first time, according to figures published by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
But the amount of household waste generated in Scotland was 2.5 million tonnes in 2014, an increase of 1.9% since 2013.
The statistics also show a slight increase in Scotland’s recycling rate, reaching 42.8% last year compared with 42.2% achieved in 2013.
Scottish environment secretary Richard Lochhead said: “In 2007, almost two-thirds of Scotland’s household waste ended up in landfill so today’s figures are great news for the environment and highlight the progress being made.”
Lochhead (pictured) congratulated 12 of Scotland’s 32 councils which met or exceeded 50% recycling, but said “other authorities must now follow that lead”.
He said the Household Recycling Charter being worked on by the Scottish Government with local authorities should help all councils to achieve this.
“Bringing in consistent practices across Scotland should also make it easier and less confusing for people to recycle potentially valuable materials including paper, card, glass, plastics and food waste.
“We are also consulting on how best to make the most of valuable materials by creating a more circular economy.”
Zero Waste Scotland chief executive Iain Gulland said: “The amount of food waste being recycled has doubled since 2011, showing that many householders have embraced the addition of food waste recycling to their collection services.
“Over 60% of households now have access to food waste recycling, thanks to our Food Waste Programme which supported local authorities to make the changes.”
Household waste composted and diverted from landfill that did not reach the quality standards set by PAS 100 or PAS 110 was not included in the 2014 recycling figures, under a new calculation method.
If such waste was included, as with the previous method, the overall recycling rate in 2014 would have been 43.6%.