Scottish waste sent to landfill lowest in five years

Waste for recycling Image copyright Getty Images

More than 60% of waste in Scotland was recycled, composted or re-used during 2016 leading to the lowest quantity of waste going to landfill since 2011.

Recycling and reuse levels reached 6.96 million tonnes, over half a million tonnes more than in 2015.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has published the findings highlighting the milestone.

Food recycling has increased by 20% while separately collected paper and cardboard waste has decreased by 20%.

Composting or anaerobic digestion (such as producing biogas) has increased by 102,580 tonnes from 2015 and has seen a 78.1% boost since 2011.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sepa believes the reduction in print media is likely to be a contributing factor for the 90,000 tonne decrease in waste paper and cardboard since 2011

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: "I'm pleased to see that the amount of Scottish waste being collected in Scotland has decreased.

"For the first time we've recycled more than 60% of our waste from all sources which shows we are making progress towards our 2025 target of 70% and our work to promote and simplify recycling is paying off."

Sepa chief executive Terry A'Hearn said: "The scale of the environmental challenge is enormous and we know we live on one planet, but consume the resources of three.

"We are committed to helping all regulated businesses do more to support waste prevention and facilitate the use of secondary resources in the economy, helping communities and businesses thrive within the resources of our planet."

Statistics for waste land filled and incinerated in Scotland 2017 are due to be published later in the year.

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