South Scotland

Recycled household waste overtakes landfill in Scotland

Waste for recycling Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The percentage of household waste recycled increased to 45.6% last year

The levels of household waste recycled exceeded the amount sent to landfill in Scotland for the first time last year.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) figures show rates improved at 19 local authorities.

In total 45.6% of waste generated in Scotland was recycled - an increase of 0.6% on the previous year.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham welcomed the figures but said more progress was needed, particularly in the cities.

The biggest increases in recycling rates were seen in West Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Dumfries and Galloway, South Ayrshire and Aberdeen City.

Scottish household waste percentages
Local authority Recycled in 2017 Recycled in 2016 Change
Aberdeen City 43.9% 39% +4.9%
Aberdeenshire 43.7% 43.5% +0.2%
Angus 55.2% 56.7% -1.5%
Argyll and Bute 38.7% 33.9% +4.8%
City of Edinburgh 41% 44.6% -3.6%
Clackmannanshire 59.5% 56.5% +3%
Dumfries and Galloway 27.8% 22.1% +5.7%
Dundee City 35.5% 33.6% +1.9%
East Ayrshire 52.9% 53.3% -0.4%
East Dunbartonshire 47.9% 48.5% -0.6%
East Lothian 53.1% 51.8% +1.3%
East Renfrewshire 67.1% 60.8% +6.3%
Falkirk 55.9% 51.3% +4.6%
Fife 54.7% 54.7% 0.0%
Glasgow City 26.7% 25.2% 1.5%
Highland 43.6% 44.5% -0.9%
Inverclyde 57.2% 53.4% +3.8%
Midlothian 51.6% 51.4% +0.2%
Moray 57.8% 59.1% -1.3%
Na h-Eileanan Siar 23.9% 24.1% -0.2%
North Ayrshire 55.8% 55.3% +0.5%
North Lanarkshire 39.6% 41.1% -1.5%
Orkney Islands 18.3% 19.4% -1.1%
Perth and Kinross 55.6% 54.7% +0.9%
Renfrewshire 47.8% 48.5% -0.7%
Scottish Borders 39.9% 39.0% +0.9%
Shetland Islands 8.0% 7.9% +0.1%
South Ayrshire 55.2% 49.9% +5.3%
South Lanarkshire 47.3% 53% -5.7%
Stirling 55.1% 54.7% +0.4%
West Dunbartonshire 47.6% 48.5% -0.9%
West Lothian 61.3% 48.5% +12.8%
Total Scotland 45.6% 45.0% +0.6%

Ms Cunningham said: "The Scottish government has big plans for tackling waste plastics, in particular by introducing a deposit return scheme, to further incentivise people to recycle.

"We've also introduced a Household Recycling Charter for local authorities to sign up to, which is making the approach to recycling less confusing for households, and creating a more consistent and efficient system for authorities.

"It's great to see recycling exceed landfill for the first time ever - particularly as the stats are released during Recycling Week - but I think we still need to see more progress, particularly in our bigger cities.

"We may consider further measures if the pace of improvement does not increase."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Household waste sent to landfill decreased for the sixth consecutive year

The Sepa figures show the amount of household waste generated in Scotland was 2.46 million tonnes in 2017 - a decrease of 38,153 tonnes from 2016.

The amount of household waste sent to landfill was also down by 24,848 tonnes.

It is the sixth consecutive decrease in household waste landfilled since 2011 with more recycled (1.12 million tonnes) than sent to landfill sites (1.11 million tonnes).

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