Friday, 21 August 2009

Minister unveils plans for a 'zero waste' Scotland

Published Date: 21 August 2009
By Frank Urquhart
AMBITIOUS plans to create a zero-waste society in Scotland have been unveiled.
Richard Lochhead, the rural affairs and environment secretary, revealed plans to dramatically reduce the amount of waste heading for landfill sites and a major increase in recycling with the potential to create 2,000 jobs through collection, sorting, reprocessing and treating waste.Under the proposals, now out for a 12-week consultation period, businesses will be encouraged to increase the recycling of commercial waste, together with a ban on glass, metals, textiles and wood heading for landfills and improvements to public recycling facilities.The announcement was made yesterday, as the Scottish Environment Protection Agency published a report showing that Scotland's recycling and composting rate between January and March rose to 33.2 per cent – 3 per cent more than the same period last year. And there was a decrease of 120,000 tonnes in the amount of municipal waste sent to landfill in Scotland.Mr Lochhead said: "We are making progress, but we must go further in relation to all types of waste. We need to reach 40 per cent by the end of 2010. "The bar is set and we must work together to reach our goal of a zero waste Scotland."Duncan McLaren, chief executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: "Zero waste is the right goal for Scotland. "We welcome many of the specific proposals announced today, such as targets for reuse of waste, and bans on selected materials going to landfill. "However the waste industry response to zero-waste aspirations so far has been disappointing. Large incinerators such as those planned for Dunbar, Greengairs and elsewhere have no role to play in a genuine zero-waste economy, regardless of whether they recover some energy from the waste."