Scottish household waste report published

02 October 2018

Article: 52/3906

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has published official statistics which provide details of household waste collected across all Scottish local authorities during 2017. For the first time, the statistics also include the carbon impact metric, measuring the whole-life carbon impacts of Scotland’s waste, from resource extraction and manufacturing emissions, right through to waste management emissions, regardless of where in the world these impacts occur.

The statistics show that during 2017 the household waste recycling rate was 45.6%, a slight increase from the 45.0% rate achieved in 2016. The total amount of household waste generated in Scotland was 2.46 million tonnes in 2017, a decrease of 38,153 tonnes (1.5%) from 2016, while there was a decrease of 24,848 tonnes (2.2%) in household waste disposed to landfill.

This is the sixth consecutive decrease in household waste landfilled since 2011. For the first time, there was more Scottish waste recycled (1.12 million tonnes) than landfilled (1.11 million tonnes).

The total amount of waste landfilled in Scotland in 2017 was 3.83 million tonnes, an increase of 90,816 tonnes (2.4%) from 2016.  The increase was primarily due to an increase in the landfill of soils – such as waste soils and rocks from construction sites – which increased by 230,748 tonnes (22.4%) from 2016 to a level consistent with the years 2011-2015.

The total quantity of waste incinerated in Scotland in 2017 was 766,574 tonnes.  This was an increase of 83,347 tonnes (12.2%) from 2016, and an increase of 356,515 tonnes (86.9%) from 2011.

The summary data and commentary text are available on the SEPA website

Official statistics have also been published specifically for all waste landfilled and waste incinerated within Scotland during 2017 and are available on the SEPA website

Source: SEPA, 25 September 2018