Scotland's largest cities are failing to meet the Government’s target for recycling waste and the country is now lagging behind England and Wales, according to official new figures.
Half of Scotland’s councils – including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee and Highland – are falling short of the green goal and their poor performance has been condemned by environmental groups.
Local authorities recycled or composted an average of 37.8% of municipal waste in 2010. This missed the SNP Government’s national target of 40% for the year, and means that Scotland is now trailing behind the rest of the UK and could fail to reach its much-vaunted goal of “zero waste”.
“It is shocking that so many local authorities are falling such a long way short of meeting the 40% target,” said Dr Dan Barlow, head of policy with WWF Scotland.
“If we are to achieve our zero waste aspirations the government must ensure that those falling behind up their game. Stepping up recycling and reuse rates and cutting the amount of waste we produce are essential if we are to reduce our global footprint.”
The Scottish government set a series of targets to boost recycling in 2008, aiming to achieve 40% in 2010, 50% in 2013 and 70% in 2025. In 2009, when the environment secretary, Richard Lochhead, launched his plan for a “zero waste Scotland”, he stressed that “we need to reach 40 per cent by the end of 2010”.