Media Release: Recycling – Scotland falling short of meeting waste target

SCOTLAND must ‘up its game’ if it is to deliver its zero-waste ambition – said WWF Scotland today (Monday 4 July).

Says a spokesperson: “The environmental group made the call in response to a news report that Scotland had failed to meet a Scottish Government target to recycle and compost 40 per cent of household waste by the end of 2010. [1]

“Government figures show that by the end of 2010 only half of Scotland’s 32 local authorities had achieved a household recycling and composting rate of 40 per cent.

“As a result, Scotland only achieved an overall recycling and composting rate of 37.8 per cent.

“While commending those local authorities who achieved the target, WWF Scotland warned efforts to cut the amount of waste landfilled and burned would need to be stepped up if Scotland’s zero waste ambition is to be realised.”

WWF Scotland’s head of Policy, Dr Dan Barlow, said: “Scotland has made good progress over the past decade in addressing our poor record on recycling; however, it is massively disappointing that the Government target has been missed.

“Scotland’s recycling rate has also now fallen behind England and Wales and falls a long way short of the levels found elsewhere in Europe.

“While it is fantastic that half of Scotland’s local authorities are achieving rates in line with the Government target, it is shocking that many others are falling a long way short of the 40 per cent commitment.

“If we are to achieve our zero waste aspirations the Government must ensure that those falling behind quickly up their game.

“The fact that a number of local authorities in Scotland are now recycling and composting nearly half of their household waste shows that the targets are clearly achievable.

“As waste disposal costs rise, recycling and composting is not just sensible but it is also the cost effective option for local authorities.

“Stepping up recycling and reuse rates and cutting the amount of waste we produce is essential if we are to reduce Scotland’s global footprint.

“Measures such as requiring greater segregation of waste at source, a landfill ban for recyclable and organic waste and introducing a nationwide deposit return system would help toward making Scotland’s zero waste aspiration a reality.”

The Scottish Government targets for household recycling and composting are:

40 per cent by 2010

50 per cent by 2013

60 per cent by 2020

70 per cent by 2025



[1] Outcry as Scots cities miss key green target, The Herald page one…

“Local authorities recycled or composted an average of 37.8 per cent of municipal waste in 2010. This missed the SNP Government’s national target of 40 per cent for the year, and means that Scotland is now trailing behind the rest of the UK and could fail to reach its much-vaunted goal of ‘zero waste.”

Full article available here:

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Contact: Mandy Carter
Phone: 07771 818 677