An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland

date21 December 2012

Household waste - January to December 2011

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Official Statistics released today by statisticians at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) show that Scotland's local authorities recycled 40.1% of the household waste they collected in 2011.

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 are now the aggregated totals for the year 2011.

This is the first 12 month data set to use the updated recycling rate calculation required by the Scottish Government's Zero Waste Plan. Previous quarterly results, which are also available on the website, have been published by SEPA throughout the year but this is the first an annual calendar year figure has been available.

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 will no longer be publishing Official Statistics for recycling on a quarterly basis.  In future SEPA will publish waste data on an annual basis only, in calendar years rather than financial years. This will bring SEPA in line with European reporting of waste data which is on a calendar year basis.


Notes to editors


  1. Some waste outputs are no longer classified as "recycling" but as "recovery" because of the poor quality of recyclate. These are recycled organic outputs from MBT plants and metals and ash from incineration.
  2. Some wastes that were previously classified as household are now classified as commercial.  These are street sweeping waste, gully waste and street recycling bins.
  • To add clarity and transparency to the data during the transition from the old guidance to the new, SEPA has also made available the recycling rate calculated according to the old guidance. These figures are for comparison only and are included to show Scotland's continued recycling effort.