Scotland expects to meet recycling targets

Scotland has come a step closer to shaking off its image as one of the worst recyclers in Europe by announcing it is set to meet its 2008 targets a year ahead of schedule.

Statistics released this week show that in the 12 months running up to June 2007, Scotland was recycling 29.8% of its municipal waste, just shy of the 30% target it has been set to achieve by the end of next year.

Between April and June the figure was as high as 33.4%.

The Scottish Executive’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment Richard Lochhead said: “It was only September when I was delighted to announce that by the end of 2006, Scotland was recycling and composting more than 25% of its municipal waste.

“Now, mere weeks later, I have again been presented with good news.

“The target of 30% does not take effect until the end of next year, but we are well on course to smash it.

“The figures for this quarter stand at well over 30%, and while they date from summer months, when recycling rates tend to be higher, it still makes for encouraging reading.

“I am also heartened to see that the amount of waste going to landfill continues to fall.

“Following the Waste Summit held last month, the Scottish Government is looking at ways to further improve our performance on waste, and conserve earth’s precious resources.”

John Ferguson, manager of the waste and resource strategy unit at SEPA said: “The latest figures released today are good news. Scotland is well on its way to meeting the 2008 recycling/composting target of 30%. The efforts from the public have continued to improve and this has been shown in the figures released today.

“As positive as these results are, we all need to continue our efforts to minimise waste growth and maximise recycling if we are to continue meeting ambitious recycling/composting targets.”

Scotland, like its southern neighbour, has always been towards the bottom of the European league table when it comes to diverting waste from landfill.

This is in part due to a historical reliance on landfill but the UK as a whole is beginning to close the gap on its continental cousins when it comes to responsible waste management.

Scotland will be expected to recycle or compost 55% of its waste by 2050.

Sam Bond

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