Scotland's plan to end landfill

Scotland’s Rural Affairs and Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead will today reveal his government’s Zero Waste plan to virtually eliminate the levels of landfill in the country. The plan aims to […]

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By ELN reporter

Scotland’s Rural Affairs and Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead will today reveal his government’s Zero Waste plan to virtually eliminate the levels of landfill in the country.

The plan aims to have 70% recycling of municipal waste by 2025 with no more than 5% of waste being landfilled by that time.

It is predicted the plan, which will apply to the whole of Scotland and across households, business and the public sector, could result in savings of around 1.5m tonnes of CO2 in relation to municipal waste alone. Nearly 20m tonnes of waste is produced by Scotland every year. An estimated 2.1m tonnes of this is food waste and if even half of this was captured and processed through anaerobic digestion it would generate enough electricity to power a city the size of Dundee for six months.

Mr Lochead, who has written the forward to the plan, stated: “Zero Waste does not mean that waste disappears. Instead, it means eliminating the unnecessary use of raw materials, sustainable design, resource efficiency and waste prevention, re-using products where possible and recovering value from products when they reach the end of their lives either through recycling, composting or energy recovery. Zero Waste means that everyone in Scotland – business, householders and the public and voluntary sectors – needs to reflect on how to reduce the amount of waste that is produced.”

The plan will be launched at Edinburgh International Climbing Arena and set out not only targets but also methods to track waste, planning regulations for landfill and meeting European waste directives. Since devolution in 1999, the total amount of waste sent to landfill in Scotland has reduced from 10.9m tonnes to 7.4m tonnes.