Publication - Report

Climate Change Plan: monitoring report 2018

Published: 31 Oct 2018
Directorate:
Energy and Climate Change Directorate
Part of:
Environment and climate change
ISBN:
9781787813113

The first annual report monitoring progress towards Scotland's Climate Change Plan.

109 page PDF

1.7 MB

109 page PDF

1.7 MB

Contents
Climate Change Plan: monitoring report 2018
Waste

109 page PDF

1.7 MB

Waste

Greenhouse gas emissions from the waste sector have already been reduced by 73% (1990 to 2016). The Climate Change Plan sets out policies and proposals to reduce emissions from this sector by a further 52% (2018 to 2032).

The Plan sets out the following two “policy outcomes” for the sector:

1. Reduction in waste sent to landfill.

2. Reduction in emissions from closed landfill sites.

In summary:

  • In 2017, for the first time, we recycled more household waste than we landfilled.
  • 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. See data at: https://www.sepa.org.uk/media/378862/2017-household-waste-commentary.pdf
  • Our Waste Data Strategy includes plans for the development of new indicators to measure progress on waste and resource management in Scotland in the future, and plans for a new electronic waste data system (in partnership with the rest of the UK).

Output Indicator For Policy Outcome 1:

From 1 January 2021, the landfilling of biodegradable municipal waste will be illegal. As a result of that, and the other policy action above, we expect the volume of land filled waste to fall significantly from the current level of 3.7 million tonnes.

2018 2019 2020
Tonnes of waste landfilled (household and non-household) 2.7 million 2.3 million 2.0 million

Most Recent Data: 3.83 million tonnes of all types of waste landfilled in 2017, an increase of 90,816 tonnes (2.4%) from 2016.

Data Source(s): Scottish Environment Protection Agency: Waste landfilled in Scotland – 2017[1].

On Track: Too early to make assessment.

Commentary:

  • The Ban on Biodegradable Waste to Landfill in 2021 will cause a very significant drop in the total landfill figure. The profile between now and 2021 is more difficult to predict. The most significant falls may occur closer to the 2021 deadline.
  • The increase in 2017 was primarily due to an increase in the landfill of soils, which increased by 230,748 tonnes (22.4%) from 2016. This may be due to increased activity in construction and roadbuilding.

Implementation Indicator For Policy Outcome 1:

60% of total household waste recycled by 2020.

Most Recent Data: 45.6% of household waste recycled in 2017, increase of 0.6 of a percentage point from 2016.

Data Source(s): Scottish Environment Protection Agency: Household Waste Data – 2017[2].

Commentary:

  • Recycling waste rather than landfilling it or burning it is, from a climate change point of view, preferable. High recycling reduces emissions.
  • Establishment of recycling services and supporting legislation has lifted recycling services fairly quickly from a low level (5% in 1999).
  • The Scottish Government and COSLA have agreed a Scottish Household Recycling Charter to promote greater consistency of collections. Twenty seven Councils have now signed up to the Charter.
  • The Scottish Government has made a commitment to introducing a deposit return scheme for drinks containers, which is aimed at boosting recycling for the packaging.

Implementation Indicator For Policy Outcome 1:

70% of all waste recycled by 2025.

Most Recent Data: 61% of all waste recycled in 2016.

Data Source(s): Scottish Environment Protection Agency: Waste from all sources – Summary data 2016[3].

Commentary:

  • Recycling waste rather than landfilling it or burning it is, from a climate change point of view, preferable. High recycling reduces emissions.
  • This indicator includes all waste including commercial and industrial waste as well as household waste.
  • The Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s drive to enforce recycling regulations across all sectors is gradually becoming more effective.

Implementation Indicator For Policy Outcome 1:

Household and non-household food waste reduced by 33% by 2025 from 2013 baseline.

Most Recent Data: 2014-15 Waste Composition Study: Food waste went down from 420,000 tonnes in 2009 to 330,000 tonnes in 2014-15 (21.5% reduction).

Baseline Data: N/A

Change: N/A

Commentary:

  • Supporting datasets are not yet available for the 2025 target, because the methodology is still being reviewed to set an agreed 2013 baseline. Data are available from the 2014-15 Zero Waste Scotland Waste Composition Study[4].

Output Indicator For Policy Outcome 2:

2017/18 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21
Number of additional landfill sites with gas capture being developed each year 3 6 9 12

Most Recent Data: As of September 2018 there were 8 Scottish Government supported projects underway.

Data Source(s): Scottish Environment Protection Agency: Waste data for Scotland[5].

On Track: Yes.

Commentary:

  • Reports from the project officer at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency indicated that projects funded in 2017 are proceeding as expected.

Implementation Indicator Of Policy Outcome 2:

Up to 12 landfill gas capture sites supported by 2020-2021.

Most Recent Data: As above.

Data Source(s): Scottish Environment Protection Agency[6].

Commentary:

  • Gas emissions from landfill sites can continue for decades after the waste has been deposited. These emissions can be used to support heat networks for homes and businesses nearby, or where such emissions are very low level, the gas can be flared off.
  • All landfill sites must by law be equipped with gas capture systems where needed.

Contact

Email: Decarbonisation Division