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Extra funding to help Scotland reach recycling targets

March 5, 2010 at 2:34 pm

The Scottish government has pledged an additional £7 million to help local authorities in Scotland meet their recycling targets. The money will be put into the Zero Waste Fund and will go to the 14 of Scotland’s 32 councils that have not yet met the recycling target of 40% of municipal waste.

This target has been set for the whole country by the end of 2010, with the target figure rising to 50% by the end of 2013 and 70% by the end of 2025. In the year to September 2009, only 35.9% of municipal waste in Scotland was recycled.

Recycling figures for Scotland’s local authorities vary dramatically. Glasgow recycles only 20.3% and is missing its target by 67,000 tonnes a year. Aberdeen’s recycling rate is 25%, with Edinburgh at 30.7% and Dundee at 38.4%.

The Scottish Environment Secretary, Richard Lochhead, announced the funding boost and also announced plans for a national campaign to get everyone in the recycling habit. Despite only 18 out of the 32 local authorities reaching their recycling targets, Mr Lochhead hailed it as a ‘fantastic achievement for some local authorities to be now recycling nearly half of their waste’.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s national waste policy unit manager, Kenny Boag, said that while the increase in the recycling rate was very encouraging, changes in lifestyle were needed to meet the greater challenges ahead.

Speaking to the BBC, the spokesperson for Friends of the Earth, Rosiaina Browning, also welcomed the recycling rate rise but reminded people that enough waste to fill the National Rugby Stadium, Murrayfield, was thrown out every day.

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