Scotland’s recycling rate close to matching England

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The recycling rate in Scotland reached 44.3% last year, the same as England

The municipal waste recycling rate in Scotland has increased to 44.3 per cent in 2015, according to figures published by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) last week.

The new recycling rate means that Scotland has now matched England, which also recorded a municipal waste recycling rate of 44.3 per cent in the 12 months up to June 2015.

With the recycling rate reaching a standstill in England in recent years, Scotland is now poised to overtake.

Scotland recycling rate closing in on England

SEPA figure showing recycling data for Scotland

The recycling rate in Scotland increased by 1.4 per cent in 2015 compared with the previous year. However, the country has more work to do to reach its target of 50 per cent, which had been set for 2013.

The figures reveal that 2.46 million tonnes of municipal waste was produced by householders in Scotland in 2015. This figure has been decreasing year-on-year since 2011. A total of 2,273 tonnes (0.1 per cent) less waste was generated by householders in 2015 compared to 2015.

It is the city of Glasgow which seems to be letting the country as a whole down. Just over 221,000 tonnes of waste was generated there in 2015 but the city’s recycling rate came in at just 26.0 per cent. A very poor result considering that Edinburgh recycled 42.3 per cent of its household waste.

The county of Angus situated in the north-east was the best performing recycler throughout Scotland in 2015, recording a rate of 59.2 per cent.

The Shetland Islands was again the worst performer recycling just 9.2 per cent of its household waste last year. However, the islands have a low waste-to-landfill rate as much of their waste goes to waste-to-energy facilities.

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