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Last Updated: Friday, 5 May 2006, 16:39 GMT 17:39 UK
Scotland 'nears recycling target'
Recycling Centre
Scotland has a target to recycle 55% of its waste by 2020
Scotland is on target to recycle 25% of its waste by the end of this year, according to the environment minister.

Ross Finnie made the claim after new statistics revealed a 6% increase in recycling or composting in Scotland between October and December 2005.

Figures from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) showed that in 2005, Scotland recycled 22.8% of waste.

However, the Scottish Greens said the focus should be placed on drastically reducing the amount of waste produced.

The Sepa figures revealed a 6% increase in the last three months of 2005, compared with the same quarter in 2004.

The key problem remains the volume of waste that is produced in the first place
Shiona Baird
Scottish Greens' energy spokeswoman

Mr Finnie said the improvements were a consequence of hard work by various bodies, including local authorities and community sector groups, that had implemented recycling schemes.

"Above all though, the people of Scotland have participated in recycling and I want to thank them for helping to make Scotland a better place to live," he said.

"Of course, more needs to be done. As well as a target of 25% recycling-composting by 2006, we also have targets of 30% by 2008 and 55% by 2020."

He said a consultation on preventing household waste had just ended and the Scottish Executive would now begin to analyse the responses.

However Shiona Baird, the Greens' energy spokeswoman, described the 25% target as "unambitious".

'Landfill obligations'

"The key problem remains the volume of waste that is produced in the first place," she said.

The MSP for the North East also highlighted documents published on Friday by 20 Scottish councils, which outlined their plans for dealing with waste.

A total of 17 out of 20 local authorities included the incineration of waste, which the Greens claimed will increase pollution.

Councillor Alison Hay, Cosla's environment spokeswoman, said: "Long term improvement will only be possible if local authorities are provided timeously with the further funding that they require to make it happen.

"We expect therefore the Scottish Executive to assess as quickly as possible local authorities' proposals for the 'big' waste projects to ensure further funding is released and Scotland is able to meet its European landfill obligations."

Rubbish 'key issue' for Highlands
25 Apr 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Action call over recycling levels
03 Feb 05 |  Scotland
Funding boost for waste projects
18 Oct 04 |  Scotland

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