Scotland confident it can halt waste growth

Figures published by Scotland's environmental watchdog suggest the country is on track to meet its goal of halting its growth in the volume of waste produced by the end of this year.

SEPA’s annual Waste Data Digest was released this week, tracking waste arisings up to 2008.

The figures for 2008 show that municipal waste was at its lowest level in five years, giving hope for the zero waste growth targets.

Recycling and composting rates were just over 34%, exceeding the year’s 30% target, but SEPA expressed concerns that, on past performance, Scotland will find hitting its 40% by the end of 2010 target will be ‘challenging’.

Martin Marsden, head of environmental quality at SEPA, said: “Accurate, up-to-date waste data is vital and it is important that the information is made available as widely as possible. SEPA’s Waste Data Digest serves as a great way of achieving this.

“It is important that we monitor how Scotland is progressing towards important national targets. These latest figures show the lowest amount of waste managed by local authorities in the last five years and suggest that the Scottish Government’s target of zero growth in municipal waste by the end of 2010 is achievable.

“Likewise, recycling rates continue to rise. The target to recycle 30% of Scotland’s waste was met at the end of 2008, although meeting the 40% target will be more challenging.

“Even greater challenges lie ahead and we must all accept that this will require new and additional services, facilities and, most importantly, changes to our lifestyles so we may further prevent, reuse and recycle our waste in Scotland. SEPA will be doing everything it can to support this change as part of the Scottish Government’s forthcoming Zero Waste Plan.”

Sam Bond

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