Scottish landfill waste continues to drop

15th August 2011


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

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IEMA

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%

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