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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 October 2006, 16:12 GMT 17:12 UK
Scotland's recycling 'on target'
bottle bank
Scotland's recycling rates still lag behind other European countries
Scotland's local authorities are on target to recycle and compost 25% of their waste by the end of this year, according to new figures.

A report by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) showed Scotland recycled 24.4% of municipal waste in the last financial year.

The levels of recycling for the start of 2006 increased to 22.2% from 17.3% in 2005.

Environment Minister Ross Finnie said the figures were "very encouraging".

COUNCIL RECYCLING RATES JANUARY TO MARCH 06
Aberdeen - 14.7%
Aberdeenshire - 16.7%
Angus - 28.9%
Argyll & Bute - 33.8%
Clackmannanshire - 34.5%
Dumfries & Galloway - 11.4%
Dundee - 31.2%
East Ayrshire - 25.6%
East Dunbartonshire - 20.4%
East Lothian - 25.8%
East Renfrewshire - 20.6%
Edinburgh - 20.3%
Western Isles - 13.8%
Falkirk - 27.8%
Fife - 23.5%
Glasgow - 14.6%

Some authorities are well ahead of the target figure.

Clackmannanshire recycled almost 35% of municipal waste between January and March this year.

However, environmental groups said Scotland is still way behind other European countries - a number of which recycle more than 50% of municipal waste.

Stuart Hay, head of research at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said it wants action to reduce business and commercial waste which he said accounts for three quarters of the tonnage going to landfill.

"It is clear that where there is political will and adequate funding, recycling rates can rise rapidly," he said.

COUNCIL RECYCLING RATES JANUARY TO MARCH 06
Highland - 17.4%
Inverclyde - 17.4%
Midlothian - 19.7%
Moray - 29.5%
North Ayrshire - 19.2%
North Lanarkshire - 25.4%
Orkney - 19.1%
Perth & Kinross - 27.9%
Renfrewshire - 18.8%
Scottish Borders - 20.9%
Shetland Islands - 9.5%
South Ayrshire - 30.6%
South Lanarkshire - 31%
Stirling - 30.1%
West Dunbartonshire - 22.2%
West Lothian - 24.6%

Shiona Baird MSP, Scottish Green Party co-convener, said progress was long overdue.

"The executive is falling short in its ambition - and because of that we now have a new round of incinerators being proposed."

"Land filling in the sky, however, is no solution."

Alex Johnstone MSP, Scottish Conservative environment spokesman, said more could be done.

He said: "By recycling 22.8% of municipal waste in 2005, Scotland is still trailing behind at least 10 European countries."

Mr Johnstone accused the Scottish Executive of being way off its 2010 target for cutting biodegradable waste sent to landfill.

Speaking at a waste management conference in Glasgow, Mr Finnie said: "These figures demonstrate we are learning to live within our environmental means."

Sepa chief executive Calum MacDonald said: "The figures highlight just how important it is for people to think about what happens to their waste."


SEE ALSO
Sepa climate fears for Scotland
02 Oct 06 |  Scotland
High-rise aim for recycling rates
27 Sep 06 |  Scotland
Scotland 'nears recycling target'
05 May 06 |  Scotland
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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