Waste Management

– Scottish Parliament written question – answered on 14th March 2007.

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Photo of Nora Radcliffe Nora Radcliffe Liberal Democrat

Question S2W-32362

To ask the Scottish Executive what decisions have been reached on future recycling rates and infrastructure to treat residual waste.

Photo of Ross Finnie Ross Finnie Liberal Democrat

We have considered very carefully the strategic outline cases and draft outline business cases which have been prepared by local authorities. These various cases outline authorities’ views on the infrastructure needed to achieve Scotland’s share of targets laid down by the EU Landfill Directive on reducing the amount of biodegradable municipal waste sent to landfill. The strategic outline cases have already been published, with certain commercially sensitive information removed, on the Scottish Executive website at: http://search.scotland.gov.uk/search/pages/search/basic.asp?QuerySubmit=true&Paging=true&Page=1&QueryText=strategic+outline+cases .

The Executive gives very high priority to waste prevention and minimisation. We have just issued our household waste prevention plan, which as well as work on waste prevention commits us to more work on re-use. We have also just issued our business waste framework.

In addition, we want to ensure that we continue to increase the recycling and composting of municipal waste. I can announce today that we remain committed to achieving 30% recycling and composting of municipal waste by 2008. We also need to achieve a substantial increase in recycling and composting by 2010, to meet Scotland’s share of the Landfill Directive targets. Furthermore, we remain committed to achieving 55% recycling and composting of municipal waste by 2020, in line with the National Waste Plan.

We also consider that our aim should be to achieve 50% recycling and composting from increased recyclate and compostable material from kerbside collections and from recycling centres and points and 5% from residues arising from infrastructure to treat residual waste.

These are Scottish figures and we expect that there will be some variations between individual authorities reflecting the larger number of flatted dwellings in the four bigger cities and the current availability of waste infrastructure and we will be writing to local authorities separately on their recycling and composting targets.

We have also considered how much additional residual waste capacity in Scotland is required by 2020 to meet the EU Landfill Directive target. We have concluded that the 1,140,000 tonnes of capacity is required across Scotland and that the indicative awards from the Strategic Waste Fund to local authorities will total £48 million a year at today’s prices.

The two groups of authorities who are most advanced are, in one group, City of Edinburgh Council, Midlothian Council, West Lothian Council, East Lothian Council and Scottish Borders Council and, in the other group, North and South Lanarkshire. We are announcing today that the allocations of funding and treatment capacity for these two groups of authorities will collectively amount to 500,000 tonnes of capacity with indicative allocations amounting to £21 million per annum at current prices. Any funding is dependent on the approval of final outline business cases submitted by these groups of authorities by the Scottish Executive. These outline business cases should clearly indicate the public participation that has been undertaken.

We will advise other groups of authorities in due course on their allocations. These will be within the overall Scottish total of 1,140,000 tonnes of capacity for 2020 and overall indicative funding of £48 million. Again, any funding is dependent on ministers approving cases submitted by groups of authorities, following public participation.

We are also confirming today that we remain committed to local authorities working together when carrying out procurements of residual waste infrastructure to ensure value for money and economies of scale. To support local authorities, we intend to establish arrangements which will provide support to local authorities in procuring this new waste infrastructure.

Some of the various business cases also included proposals for other more minor forms of waste infrastructure such as in-vessel composters and material recycling facilities which are closely linked to the development of recycling and composting. These proposals will be considered as part of our general strategy for achieving the increased levels of recycling mentioned above.

We consider that the announcement today demonstrates our commitment to waste prevention, re-use, recycling and achieving the targets in the Landfill Directive. Our fundamental aim is clear: to continue the move away from landfill to more sustainable forms of waste management in Scotland.

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