Falling short of its 40 percent goal for the 2010 calendar year, the Scottish Government confirms it has missed the first recycling target set under its Zero Waste Plan
During the third quarter of 2010/11, Scottish councils achieved a 34 percent recycling and composting rate. This represents a very slight increase on the 33.8 percent achieved in the same quarter in 2009/10.
Under the Zero Waste Plan, the country must achieve a 50 percent recycling and composting rate by 2013 and a 70 percent rate by 2025, with just 5 percent of municipal waste going to landfill.
The Scottish Government praised the efforts of councils despite missing its 40 percent recycling and composting target for the 2010 calendar year.
The figures, which are based on data submitted by all 32 councils in the country, also show that a 37.8 percent recycling and composting rate was achieved for the year ending December 2010. The rolling year model aggregates the four previous quarters and is intended to eliminate seasonal fluctuations.
While the 37.8 percent figure is an improvement on the 36 percent achieved in the 2009 calendar year, it is still some way short of the 40 percent goal outlined as the first major target of the Scottish Government's Zero Waste Plan, which was published in June 2010.
Decline In Recycling
It had been anticipated that Scotland would struggle to achieve the 40 percent goal, as recycling and composting rates had begun to slow from quarter-to-quarter and, in May 2010, SEPA went as far as to say that the targets would be challenging.
This message was reiterated this week by a Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "Ten years ago, before we started on our journey towards zero waste, few thought 20 percent recycling was possible, so achieving almost double that is excellent progress.
"The recycling targets set out in Scotland's Zero Waste Plan are deliberately challenging, but they represent the direction of where we as a society need to go."
The spokeswoman added that many householders in the country now "actively recycle" and said that many local authorities are continuing to make "great efforts towards zero waste" despite currently experiencing a "drastic budget squeeze".
On individual council performance, Clackmannanshire council achieved the highest recycling and composting rate for the rolling year with a 48.9 percent. This was ahead of Falkirk with 47.4 percent and Fife, which achieved a 47 percent rate.
At the other end of the table, the Shetland Islands (19.7 percent), Eilean Siar (20.7 percent) and Glasgow city council (23.8 percent) continued to comprise the lowest performing councils.
For more information on Scotland's "Zero Waste" plan CLICK HERE