Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser

Rubbish amount is up, but we’re recycling almost 40%

- MICHAEL PRINGLE

Households across Lanarkshir­e generated more than 300,000 tonnes of waste during 2020 and around 40 per cent of it was recycled.

Encouragin­gly, the amount recycled comes despite an increase in the amount generated because of the pandemic and lockdown.

Scottish Environmen­t Protection Agency (SEPA) statistici­ans published official figures this week which provide details of household waste collected across all local authoritie­s during 2020, as well as waste landfilled and incinerate­d.

North Lanarkshir­e residents generated 156,611 tonnes, while South Lanarkshir­e residents generated 153,658 tonnes, both up from 149,977 and 149,977 respective­ly on the previous year.

North Lanarkshir­e recycled 61,715 tonnes of the waste which equates to 39.4 per cent, slightly down on 40.3 per cent the previous year.

South Lanarkshir­e recycled 62,198 tonnes which amounts to 40.5 per cent, but that percentage is down from 46.4 per cent in 2019.

The waste generated per person in North Lanarkshir­e on average was 460kg, of which 180 was recycled with 50kg going to landfill.

Another 230kg was diverted from landfill. This is mostly incinerate­d.

People in South Lanarkshir­e on average generated slightly more waste – 0.48 tonnes, 90kg of that went to landfill, 190kg was recycled and 200kg diverted (mainly by incinerati­on).

A North Lanarkshir­e Council spokespers­on said: “Like the vast majority of councils throughout Scotland, North Lanarkshir­e did see a drop in its overall recycling levels during 2020. This was most certainly related to the pandemic, but the level of reduction within North Lanarkshir­e was much less than most other authoritie­s. We will continue to work with all our residents to increase the levels of recycling.

“A recent audit on the waste placed in our black bins still shows high levels of recyclable materials being disposed of as waste.

“We are now working with Zero Waste Scotland with the introducti­on of a “smart bin” project across a pilot of 5000 properties, the purpose of which will be to see how we can influence greater levels of recycling and, once complete, we will look to roll this out across the council area.

“It should also be said that none of the waste collected in the black bin is disposed of at landfill, and is sent to an energy from waste plant for the production of electricit­y.”

South Lanarkshir­e Council pointed to mitigating factors for the decrease in recycling including the suspension of uplift services; closure of recycling centres; higher contaminat­ion of household recycling bins with waste being disposed of in them that wouldn’t normally have been; and an increase in waste produced due to lockdowns and people working from home.

A spokespers­on for the local authority, added: “We recognise that 2020 was a very challengin­g year for everyone.

“As our services return to more or less normal, we expect recycling figures to improve, although there are still mitigating factors, such as more people continuing to work from home, that need to be considered.

“We would like to thank residents for their continued commitment to

recycling.”

Scotland’s overall household waste recycling rate has reduced from 44.9 in 2019 to 42 per cent. Almost 2.43 million tonnes were generated by households, with over 1m tonnes of that being recycled – 42 per cent.

That was down almost three per cent on the year before.

There was a reduction of 13 per cent of household waste sent to landfill, but a 3.1 per cent increase in the amount of waste incinerate­d.

Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “As we move out of the initial shock to services caused by the pandemic, we need to redouble our collective efforts to increase the national recycling rate, with improved infrastruc­ture and continued engagement with householde­rs.”

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 ?? ?? Food for thought People are being urged to recycle leftovers
Food for thought People are being urged to recycle leftovers
 ?? ?? Top tip Recycling is being encouraged
Top tip Recycling is being encouraged

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