Scottish recycling target in doubt, warn Tories

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SCOTLAND is on course to miss a recycling target, the Tories have warned

There must be a significant change to the current trend if the 50 per cent target for household waste is to be met, the party said.

The national average of 40.1 per cent last year was only slightly higher than the previous year, according to data published by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Recycling levels also vary among Scotland’s 32 councils.

Tory environment spokesman Jamie McGrigor said: “There is nothing wrong with ambitious recycling targets, but it seems the majority of councils simply don’t have the resources to make them happen.

“And when this pressure is applied from the top, you get situations like we have in Edinburgh, where the council has reduced bin collections to fortnightly, a move that has been deeply unpopular with residents. Instead of setting unachievable targets, the SNP should be providing realistic and practical help to local authorities.”

The Scottish Government launched its Zero Waste plan in 2010. Its vision describes a position where all “valuable resources” are not disposed of in landfill sites.

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said the recycling rate of more than 40 per cent compares with 5 per cent a decade ago. He said: “The recently published figures show that Scottish households now recycle over 40 per cent of their waste with some areas achieving 55 per cent. I expect to see the amount of recycling continue to increase as the new Zero Waste Regulations take effect.

“This is a significant achievement by local authorities and households across Scotland, and a major milestone in Scotland’s journey toward recycling 70 per cent of all its waste by 2025.”