Moving towards zero waste

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Official Statistics released earlier this week by SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) show that Scotland recycled 43.6 per cent of household waste in the three months between July and September, 2011.

This indicates no change from the previous quarter, but variation occurred for individual authorities. Half have increased their recycling rate from the previous quarter, but Aberdeenshire Council has shown a decrease of 0.8 per cent in the amount of recycling in that period.

Overall, there has been a decrease in waste arisings from the previous quarter which resulted in about 10,000 tonnes less waste going to landfill and less waste being recycled.

Data for Aberdeenshire, can be found on SEPA’s website, www.sepa.org.uk/about_us/official_statistics.aspx.

This is the second data set using the updated recycling rate calculation required by the Zero Waste Plan.

The new definition of household waste and clarification of what counts and what does not count towards the recycling rate is available in the Zero Waste Plan – guidance for local authorities.

SEPA has also made available the recycling rates calculated according to the old guidance in order to add clarity and transparency to the data during the transition from old guidance to new.

Since September, 2011the policy for correct use of household wheeled bins in Aberdeenshire has been more firmly enforced to encourage recycling. However, it is known that many of these bins still contain a lot of recyclable materials which recycling containers and facilities are provided for.

By following the procedure, Aberdeenshire Council said it is hoped persistent non-recyclers will be encouraged to recycle and compost more to fit all of their waste into one 240-litre bin.

By reducing the amount of recyclable material, the council expects to save £1million by 2013.