Scottish landfill waste continues to drop

15th August 2011

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Waste ,
  • Food and drink ,
  • Recycling ,
  • Minimisation ,
  • Disposal



The amount of waste being sent to landfill sites in Scotland has dropped 36% in just five years, according to figures released by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

Its annual analysis of waste figures reveals that not only is less waste being generated, but that more is being recycled each year. During 2009, Scotland produced 17.1 million tonnes of waste, a 22% drop from 2005, with substantial cuts in the waste being produced both by businesses and homes, including a 28% cut in the construction sector.

Other key findings over the five years include:

  • a 26% drop in the amount of biodegradable waste sent to landfill;
  • the amount of controlled waste being landfilled falling from 7.3 million tonnes to 4.7 million tonnes; and
  • waste treated by waste management sites rising by 30%.

Martin Marsden, SEPA's head of environmental quality, said that the figures were encouraging and good news for the environment, but warned that challenges remain.

“We must all accept that new services, facilities and, most importantly, changes to our lifestyles will be needed if we are to further prevent, reuse and recycle our waste in Scotland,” he said.

Ian Gulland, director of Zero Waste Scotland, agreed: “We all need to strive to do more by making full use of existing infrastructure and by making it easier to recycle, in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises and for people when they are out and about, as well as by increasing the range of materials it is possible for people to recycle.”

SEPA’s landfill figures followed a report from Zero Waste Scotland claiming the hospitality sector in Scotland could save £64 million a year by preventing or tackling waste more effectively.

No waste for Kit Kat factory

Confectioner Nestlé has announced that its factory in York has met the firm’s target to send zero waste to landfill four years ahead of schedule.

The site, which makes more than one billion Kit Kats and 183 million Aero bars each year, is now saving almost £120,000 a year in landfill tax and is generating additional revenue by selling recovered materials including cardboard, plastics and pallets.

“Although there is still much to do in our sustainability journey I am very proud of what our employees have achieved in such a short time,” said Paul Grimwood, chief executive officer at Nestlé UK and Ireland.

The Kit Kat factory, which is the third of Nestlé’s 14 UK factories to hit zero waste before its 2015 target, has also cut its water use by 36%


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

Four in five shoppers willing to pay ‘sustainability premium’

Despite cost-of-living concerns, four-fifths of shoppers are willing to pay more for sustainably produced or sourced goods, a global survey has found.

16th May 2024

Read more

One in five UK food businesses are not prepared for EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) coming into force in December, a new survey has uncovered.

16th May 2024

Read more

Each person in the UK throws a shocking 35 items of unwanted clothes and textiles into general waste every year on average, according to a new report from WRAP.

2nd May 2024

Read more

The largest-ever research initiative of its kind has been launched this week to establish a benchmark for the private sector’s contribution to the UK’s 2050 net-zero target.

2nd May 2024

Read more

Weather-related damage to homes and businesses saw insurance claims hit a record high in the UK last year following a succession of storms.

18th April 2024

Read more

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has issued a statement clarifying that no changes have been made to its stance on offsetting scope 3 emissions following a backlash.

16th April 2024

Read more

One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Andrew Winston sees many reasons for hope as pessimism looms large in sustainability. Huw Morris reports

4th April 2024

Read more

Vanessa Champion reveals how biophilic design can help you meet your environmental, social and governance goals

4th April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close