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SEPA’s new tool for waste data

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has released data on the country’s waste and recycling figures which show that material sent to landfill reached an all-time low in 2012.

The data, which has been released through a new online tool, brings together information on the waste collected from all sources, such as commercial enterprises, the construction industry and households, including detailed information on the waste generated, recycled and disposed to landfill.

The Waste Discover Data tool is available online here. SEPA said the new tool allows users to analyse and display data in greater detail, while filters are available to isolate key information by waste management method, origin, hazard, location and specific waste material.

SEPA’s data unit manager Jim Pritchard said: “The breadth of information which has been made available as part of the 2012 figures is very pleasing and I fully expect it to become a useful tool for individual businesses and the wider waste industry, as a key indicator for meeting the targets set by the Scottish Government’s Zero Waste Plan.”

For 2012, the amount of waste generated in Scotland fell from 13,380,933 tonnes in 2011 to 11,362,451 tonnes.

However, the decrease in waste generated was countered by slight dip in recycling figures – the 2012 data shows that 4,721,876 tonnes were recycled compared to 5,427,413 tonnes in 2011.

The amount of waste sent to landfill sites dropped to an all-time low of 4,493,924 tonnes.

Commenting on the data, Zero Waste Scotland chief executive Iain Gulland said: “As Scotland transitions towards a more circular economy, in which materials are kept in productive use for longer, rather than the current take, make and dispose model, we will see less waste being generated and disposed of.”

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