Official Statistics’ Publication for Scotland - Household waste summary, Waste landfilled, Waste incinerated - January to December 2016

date26 September 2017

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has published Official Statistics today which provide detail of Household Waste collected across all Local Authorities, and for the first time, Waste Landfilled and Waste incinerated in Scotland during 2016.

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

The statistics show that for the 2016 calendar year, the household waste recycling rate was 45.2%, an increase of 1.0 percentage points from the 44.2% achieved in 2015. The total quantity of household waste generated in Scotland was 2.50 million tonnes in 2016, an increase of 30 thousand tonnes (1.2%) since 2015, while there was a 19 thousand tonne (1.6%) decrease in household waste disposed to landfill. The decrease in waste being sent to landfill is a combination of increased recycling and an increase in incineration of household waste.

Also, for the first time, official statistics have also been published specifically for all Waste Landfilled and Waste Incinerated within Scotland during 2016.

The total quantity of waste landfilled in Scotland in 2016 was 3.72 million tonnes, a decrease of 465 thousand tonnes (11.1%) from 2015 and is consistent with a decreasing trend of waste disposed to landfill over the past decade.

The total quantity of waste incinerated in Scotland in 2016 was 683 thousand tonnes.  This was an increase of 28 thousand tonnes (4.3%) from 2015, and an increase of 273 thousand tonnes (66.6%) from 2011.

Data on 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. 


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.
  • For the third year running, composted wastes which did not reach the quality standards set by PAS 100/110 during 2016 have been accounted for as “Other diversion from landfill” and not as waste recycled.
  • Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff in accordance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.