Rural exemption to Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004

Information requested

"Information on the decision that was made to retain the Rural exemption to the Waste Scotland Regulations (2012), which I believe was recently reconsidered." After a request for clarification from myself, you also requested information on the landfill ban.


The 2019 Food Waste Reduction Action Plan committed to consulting on the rural exemption by the end of 2019. This review has not taken place, nor has any reconsideration or subsequent decision to retain the rural exemption been made since 2019 due to the impact of COVID-19 on waste and recycling services. We are currently developing a route map to deliver our ambitious 2025 waste and recycling targets which will inform the development of the new Circular Economy Bill. The planned consultation on the current rural exemption for food waste collections will form part of this work.

In further correspondence with me, you also asked about the planned landfill ban. In line with previous Committee on Climate Change recommendations that disposal of certain biodegradable waste streams to landfill should be banned by 2025 at the latest, a ban implementation date of 31 December 2025 has now been set out in legislation. There is no rural exemption to the ban on landfilling biodegradable municipal waste streams. Local authorities are responsible for the provision of local waste services and are, therefore, best placed to comment on their waste services, including how they will manage their waste following implementation of the ban on sending biodegradable municipal waste to landfill in 2025. However, we are providing centrally supported procurement to help local authorities secure contracts in preparation for the forthcoming ban. As part of this support, Zero Waste Scotland is working with local authorities to provide technical, legal and procurement advice on their contracts.

You might find it helpful to contact Zero Waste Scotland to discuss your project further - Contact form | Zero Waste Scotland.

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The Scottish Government
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