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Thursday, 8 February, 2001, 11:01 GMT
Councils fail recycling test
Scottish councils failed to meet their recycling targets
No Scottish councils met their year 2000 targets for recycling domestic waste, a new report has revealed.

The study for public spending watchdog, Audit Scotland, revealed that none of the 32 local authorities met the 25% target set by the Scottish Executive.

Only six Scottish councils managed to recycle more than 10% of their domestic waste.

Percentage of rubbish recycled
Orkney 20.6%
Perth/Kinross 15.6%
Angus 13.5%
Borders 12.8%
Shetland 12.4%
Argyll/Bute 10.8%
Dundee 8.6%
East Renfrewshire 7.8%
East Dunbartonshire 7.4%
Stirling 7.6%
Falkirk 7.1%
South Lanarkshire 6.8%
West Dunbartonshire 6.5%
Aberdenshire 5.6%
South Ayrshire 5.4%
Edinburgh 4.9%
East Lothian 4.7%
Aberdeen City 4.3%
Clackmannanshire 4%
Inverclyde 3.9%
Western Isles 3.7%
Renfrewshire 3.7%
North Ayrshire 3.6%
West Lothian 3.5%
Dumfries/Galloway 3.2%
Moray 2.7%
Glasgow 2.5%
Highland 2.2%
Midlothian 2.2%
East Ayrshire 2.1%
North Lanarkshire 1.8%
Fife 1.6%
Environmental group Friends of the Earth said the results showed that recycling is at "crisis point" in Scotland.

Orkney came top of the league for recycling, with 20.6% of waste recycled, with Fife at the bottom, managing 1.6%.

Audit Scotland, which conducted the study for the Accounts Commission, found only 5% of household waste was recycled and 2% was used in other ways, such as heat and power generation.

Orkney was the only council not to carry out dumping in landfill sites, instead using 80% of its waste for heat, power or other energy.

Shetland, Angus and Dundee all disposed of less than 70% of their household waste by landfill.

The report - the latest in a series comparing the performance of councils in delivering a range of services - also found that the average cost of rubbish collection in Scotland was just under 1 per address per week.

The cost varied from less than 36 in Aberdeenshire, Angus and Falkirk to more than 60 in Clackmannanshire, the Western Isles, Orkney and Stirling.

Less than one in every 2,000 household rubbish collections was missed, with the biggest problems in East Dunbartonshire, the Western Isles and Fife.

Deputy Auditor General, Caroline Gardner, said: "These services are important to the quality of our environment. "While the overall standard of environmental services being achieved by councils is encouraging, it is a matter of real concern that such a high proportion of waste is still going to landfill.

Sam Galbraith
Sam Galbraith: 3m boost
"Orkney Islands are to be congratulated but most other councils have a long way to go."

Last month the Scottish Executive announced that 3m would be split between the country's 32 councils in a bid to improve recycling.

Environment Minister, Sam Galbraith, said the cash would be used to bring an end to Scotland's "throw-away" culture.

But the failure of Scotland's councils to reach last year's recycling targets has been criticised by Friends of the Earth.

The group's head of research, Dr Richard Dixon, said the councils had missed their recycling target of 25% "by a mile".

"We are firmly at the bottom of the European league in recycling but finally the government is showing signs of some commitment to change things, with new money announced for waste and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency waste strategy groups working away all over Scotland," he said.

"However, recycling remains at crisis point and there is a real danger that Scotland will opt for a new generation of incinerators instead of going for reducing and recycling waste."

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See also:

21 Dec 00 | UK
What a load of rubbish
27 Apr 00 | Scotland
Taxpayers foot firms' waste bill
25 May 00 | UK Politics
Recycling levels 'pathetic' - Meacher
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