An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland

date27 February 2012

Official Statistics released today by statisticians at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) show that Scotland's local authorities recycled 43.6% of the household waste they collected in the three months between July 2011 and September 2011.

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The figures show no change from the previous quarter for the whole of Scotland, however variation occurred for each individual authority, where half of local authorities have increased their recycling rate from the previous quarter. Ten out of 32 local authorities recycled more than 50% of their household waste, compared to the twelve for the Apr-Jun quarter. 

There has been a decrease in waste arisings from the previous quarter (about 18,000 tonnes less waste being generated), which resulted in about 10,000 tonnes less waste going to landfill and less waste being recycled.

Data for every one of Scotland's 32 local authorities are available on SEPA's website along with the figures for the whole of Scotland - but these have now been aggregated for the whole of 2011.

This is the second data set to use the updated recycling rate calculation required by the Scottish Government's Zero Waste Plan.

The new definition of household waste and clarification of what counts and what does not count towards the recycling rate is available in the Zero Waste Plan – guidance for local authorities, published in March 2011.

SEPA has also made available the recycling rate for each local authority for quarter 2 (Jul- Sept 2011) and the rolling year for Scotland (Oct 2010- Sept 2011) calculated according to the old guidance in order to add clarity and transparency to the data during the transition from the old guidance to the new.

The change of baseline means it is not possible to carry out a trend analysis. SEPA will provide trend analysis as soon as it is possible to do so.