Scotland ‘perfect’ investment choice for recycling

Scotland's reprocessing industry is becoming an increasingly attractive market to invest in as a new wave of funding was announced today to boost the country's recycling infrastructure and collection systems.

Investors are now being urged to look afresh at opportunities to boost Scottish reprocessing capacity with the Government set to deploy a further £1.2m in funding to councils to improve material recovery rates.

The extra cash builds on the £5m funding pot already being distributed to local authorities through Zero Waste Scotland this year to support household food waste collections.

This latest round of capital injection is intended to help councils move from the present average national recycling rate of 41% to the Government’s 50% target next year, which will be a key milestone in delivering the country’s zero waste agenda.

In a policy statement released today at the Scottish Waste & Resources Conference in Glasgow, the Resource Association – which represents reprocessors and their supply chains – emphasised the importance of high quality recyclate to drive this sector forward.

The association’s chief executive Ray Georgeson is leading the call for greater investment into Scottish reprocessing, believing there are significant returns to be had.

“Quality of material feedstock will be a critical success element for Scottish recycling, and recent work on priority resource streams has already indicated potential for 92,000 tonnes of additional annual reprocessing capacity in Scotland delivering economic impacts of at least £23.5m a year in increased turnover,” he argued.

Georgeson added that the impact of global market changes and future EU policy on resource efficiency favour maximising the use and value in material resources for good environmental and economic reasons closer to home.

The money released by the Government today is specifically intended to fund improvements to household waste recycling centres and to increase glass collections from households.

Georgeson said in light of this, local authorities needed to re-examine their role in the recycling supply chain and consider how best their materials can support economic regeneration.

The extra funding has also been welcomed by the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), who is in support of the strong legislative lead taken by the Scottish Government.

Chair of the CIWM Scottish Centre Duncan Simpson said: “A lot has been achieved by our sector, waste professionals and the public, to date but we all have bigger challenges ahead and the continued support of the Scottish government is greatly appreciated.”

Maxine Perella

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie