Scotland legislates for zero waste with municipal landfill ban by 2020
The Scottish Executive has unveiled its Zero Waste Regulations in a bid to make Scotland one of the highest performing countries for recycling in Europe.
The regulations will have a significant impact on local authorities and businesses, with a complete ban on all municipal biodegradable waste sent to landfill by 2020 - the first of its kind in the UK.
There will also be a ban on all material collected for recycling going to landfill or incineration and new requirements to remove key recyclables from unsorted waste prior to incineration. In addition, businesses will be required to have all recyclable material collected from their premises.
Announcing the regulations, Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "We have consulted widely on these regulations, responding carefully to points raised by stakeholders and working with them to reach an amicable compromise.
"On food waste collections, for example, we are providing more time for small businesses and local authorities to adapt to the new requirements.
"This will allow local authorities time to develop new services and engage with the public and in the case of small businesses it gives them more time to change how they manage the waste they produce."
Scotland produces more than 17 million tonnes of waste, with around £100m worth of untapped resources estimated to lie in household and business waste. These regulations will help stimulate more than £1bn worth of new investment to process Scotland's waste into a resource.