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National Planning Framework for Scotland

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NATIONAL PLANNING FRAMEWORK FOR SCOTLAND

Waste Management

77. Scotland's waste recycling record is very poor by Western European standards. Currently 92% of household waste goes to landfill, only 6% is recycled and 2% is used to produce energy. Landfill disposal relies heavily on the availability of large former mineral extraction sites, mainly in the Central Belt and the North-East of Scotland (see Map 13). The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is undertaking a further study to assess landfill capacity in more detail.

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78. The EU Landfill Directive requires biodegradable municipal waste disposed of to landfill to be reduced by 25% between 1995 and 2010, 50% by 2013 and 65% by 2020. It is likely that two-thirds of existing landfill sites will require to be closed by 2006 since it is doubtful that they can meet the environmental standards of the EU Landfill Directive. The network of other waste management facilities which will be needed to substitute for the current reliance on landfill is extensive. The National Waste Plan (NWP) sets the targets of recycling or composting 25% of municipal solid waste by 2006 and 55% by 2020.

Water and Drainage

79. Investing in water supply and wastewater systems is a key priority for the Executive and substantial resources have been made available for this purpose. Between 2000 and 2006, around 4 billion will be invested in new and improved infrastructure. The primary focus of Scottish Water's current investment programme is on bringing existing infrastructure up to the standards required by environmental and public health legislation, and this has resulted in significant improvements to sewage treatment and the quality of drinking and bathing waters. However, lack of capacity in wastewater or water supply infrastructure is becoming a significant constraint on development in some areas, including parts of the Glasgow Conurbation, North and East Ayrshire, the Falkirk Council area, and parts of the Highlands and the South of Scotland. In some rural areas, lack of water and drainage infrastructure has inhibited the provision of social housing.

80. Addressing the consequences of under-investment in the water industry will take time and there are likely to be large costs involved in removing the development constraints imposed by lack of capacity in drainage and water supply systems, particularly in West Central Scotland. The projected increase in flood risk as a consequence of climate change also needs to be taken into account - both in relation to the siting of new development (as covered in Scottish Planning Policy 7: Planning and Flooding) and the protection of existing development.