An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland - Household waste - January to December 2015

date07 October 2016

This media release was originally published on 20th September 2016 and then updated on 7 October 2016 to incorporate an erratum to the original statistics. Details of the original statistics are specified in the Notes to Editors.

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Official statistics have been issued today by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) which show that Local Authorities in Scotland have recycled 44.2% of household waste collected in 2015.  This was an increase of 1.4 percentage points from the 42.8% waste recycled by Local Authorities in 2014, using unrounded data.

The statistics show that the quantity of household waste landfilled in 2015 was 1.15 million tonnes (46.6% of household waste generated), a decrease of 62 thousand tonnes (5.1%) from the amount of household waste landfilled in 2014, and a decrease of 303 thousand tonnes (20.9%) from household waste landfilled in 2011.

For the second year running, composted wastes which did not reach the quality standards set by PAS 100/110 during 2015 have been accounted for as “Other diversion from landfill” and not as waste recycled. For the 2015 calendar year, the total amount of household waste managed by other diversion from landfill was 226 thousand tonnes, an increase of 33 thousand tonnes (17.2%) from 2014. The decrease in waste being sent to landfill is a combination of increased recycling and an increase in incineration of household waste.

Data on household waste are collected to monitor policy effectiveness, and to support policy development, particularly commitments in the Scottish Government's Making Things Last - A Circular Economy Strategy for Scotland. Further details on the methodology used to produce the figures are provided in the “Household waste” section of the annual Waste Data Quality Reports.

The figures are accurate at the time of publication, however data may be updated if further revisions are necessary. Normally these revisions will be published concurrent with the next official release.

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Notes to editors

  • The 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.

  • PAS 100 / 110 – British Standards Institution Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 100 / 110 is a national benchmark that specifies the minimum requirements for the process of composting, the selection of material from which compost is made, and standards for the compost product quality.  PAS 100 is applicable to composting facilities while PAS 110 is applicable to anaerobic digestion facilities.  The use of this standard to improve the quality of compost in Scotland became part of Scottish Government policy in 2011, with 2014 being the first year it has been applied to the household official statistics.  Organic waste recycled that do not meet this standard have not been included in recycling statistics for the 2015 dataset.

  • Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff in accordance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.
  • The erratum to the statistics originally published on 20th September 2016 contains the following changes to the original publication:

    Aberdeenshire:  Amendment to waste generated, waste recycled, and waste landfilled. Recycling rate is 43.7%, 3.5 percentage points less than the original publication.

    East Dunbartonshire: Amendment to waste recycled and other waste diverted from landfill.  Recycling rate is 50.7%, 5.6 percentage points greater than the original publication.

    Scotland:  Amendment to waste generated, waste recycled, other waste diverted from landfill, and waste landfilled.  Waste recycling rate is 44.2%, 0.1 percentage points less than the original publication.  The step change increase in recycling rate from 2014 remains unchanged at 1.4 percentage points.

    ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE ISSUED 20 SEPTEMBER

    Official statistics have been issued today by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) which show that Local Authorities in Scotland have recycled 44.3% of household waste collected in 2015. This was an increase of 1.4 percentage points from the 42.8% waste recycled by Local Authorities in 2014, using unrounded data.

    Data for every one of Scotland's 32 local authorities are available on SEPA's website along with the figures and an additional commentary for the whole of Scotland.

    The statistics show that the quantity of household waste landfilled in 2015 was 1.14 million tonnes (46.4% of household waste generated), a decrease of 72 thousand tonnes (6.0%) from the amount of household waste landfilled in 2014, and a decrease of 314 thousand tonnes (21.6%) from household waste landfilled in 2011.

    For the second year running, composted wastes which did not reach the quality standards set by PAS 100/110 during 2015 have been accounted for as “Other diversion from landfill” and not as waste recycled. For the 2015 calendar year, the total amount of household waste managed by other diversion from landfill was 229 thousand tonnes, an increase of 36 thousand tonnes (18.8%) from 2014. The decrease in waste being sent to landfill is a combination of increased recycling and an increase in incineration of household waste.

    Data on household waste are collected to monitor policy effectiveness, and to support policy development, particularly commitments in the Scottish Government's Making Things Last - A Circular Economy Strategy for Scotland. Further details on the methodology used to produce the figures are provided in the “Household waste” section of the annual Waste Data Quality Reports.

    The figures are accurate at the time of publication, however data may be updated if further revisions are necessary. Normally these revisions will be published concurrent with the next official release.

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