29th Feb 2012
Scotland’s recycling rate reaches 39.8%
Scotland reached a household waste recycling and composting rate of 39.8% for the rolling year to September 2011, according to figures released today (February 27) by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
The figures show an increase of 0.8% when compared to the 12 months to June 2011 (see letsrecycle.com).
However the data was calculated under an old system which was based on local authority collected municipal waste. In April 2011 a new system was introduced meaning that waste from non-domestic properties, such as hospitals, universities and prisons, is no longer included.
Under the new system SEPA’s quarterly data reveals that for the second quarter of the financial year 2011/12 (July- September 2011), the country recycled and composted 43.6% of its waste – exactly the same as in the previous quarter (April-June).
A spokeswoman for SEPA said the lack of improvement in recycling could be down to seasonal changes affecting green waste tonnage. The figures for the first and second quarters in 2009/10 and 2010/11 also show a similar trend.
Scotland’s composting rate for the second quarter sat at 17.8%, a 0.1 percentage decrease on the previous quarter.
While Scotland’s recycling and composting rate shows no change the figures do show that the amount of household waste collected in Scotland decreased by 2.5% from 718,144 tonnes in the first quarter of 2011/12 to 700,031 tonnes in the second quarter.
The number of councils that broke the 50% barrier compared to the previous quarter dropped from 12 to ten.
Looking at local authorities in detail, East Renfrewshire remained the top-performing council with 58.7% of its household waste being sent for recycling and composting. However this represents a 0.2 percentage point decrease on the previous quarter. Meanwhile North Ayrshire, who shared the top spot last quarter, saw its household recycling rate fall by 2.1 percentage points to 56.8%, putting it in sixth place.
At the other end of the scale the Shetland Islands still had the lowest household recycling rate out of all of Scotland’s local authorities; however its recycling rate climbed three percentage points compared to the previous quarter from 17.6% to 20.6%.
Scotland looks likely to miss its target of 50% recycling by 2013 which was laid out in the Scottish Government’s ambitious ‘Zero Waste’ agenda and which set an overall target of a 70% recycling rate by 2025 and reduce waste to landfill by 5%
The latest figures show that Scotland remains ahead of Northern Ireland which achieved a 42.8% household waste and recycling rate for the second quarter of 2011/12. However Scotland is still lagging behind England and Wales. As of the first quarter of 2011/12 had a household recycling rate of 44%
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