Scotland expects to half the amount of waste sent to landfill during the next three years as part of an “ambitious” environmental plan.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s (Sepa) One Planet Prosperity strategy includes 16 sector plans – including chemical manufacturing, housing and dairy processing – to “drive environmental compliance and beyond”.
Sepa said its plan will help the sector to “responsibly manage site closures and aftercare as we transition to a circular economy”.
There are 55 active landfill sites and 217 non-operational landfill sites in Scotland, regulated by the Agency.
Scotland landfills four million tonnes of waste a year and, during the course of the next three years, expects to reduce this by between 1.3 and two million tonnes a year. Driving this is the Scottish Government’s 2021 ban on landfilling of biodegradable municipal waste.
Sepa chief executive Terry A’Hearn described the plan as “ambitious”. He said: “It spells out how we will use our full suite of regulatory powers, including the creation of a new national enforcement team, in clearer and more powerful ways.
“It also sets out some new ways such as novel partnerships that we will develop and use to support innovation and transformation in this sector.
“As Scotland’s environmental regulator, we’ll work to ensure operators protect the environment from the impacts of landfilling and ensure that communities are safeguarded.
“As some wastes break down, they produce powerful emissions such as leachate and powerful greenhouse gases such as methane that contribute to climate change.”
Sepa’s sector plans aim to help identify problem areas in terms of compliance and opportunities to go beyond it.
- Chemicals manufacturing
- Crop production
- Dairy processing and production
- Finfish aquaculture
- Forestry and timber production and processing
- Oil and gas decommissioning
- Scotch whisky production
- Strategic infrastructure (transport and utilities)
- Water and wastewater