Infrastructure Investment Plan 2021-22 to 2025-26: Programme pipeline update (September 2022)

This pipeline update provides information relating to the delivery of key major infrastructure programmes included at Annex D of our Infrastructure Investment Plan published in February 2021 and other ongoing key major infrastructure programmes.

Sector: Circular economy

Programme name: Waste Sector

Programme description: Investment to improve local authority recycling collection infrastructure, accelerate landfill gas capture and improve waste data through electronic waste tracking.

Estimated total investment: £75 million.

How is programme being funded: Capital funding committed from Scottish Government for the five years from 2021-22.

Programme delivery timetable: 2021-22 to 2025-26.

Latest programme progress: The £70 million Recycling Improvement Fund was launched in March 2021 to improve local authority recycling infrastructure. To date, over £23 million has been awarded to 15 local authorities to increase the quantity and quality of recycling, marking the beginning of one of the biggest investments in recycling in Scotland in a generation. We are funding a range of improvements including more frequent recycling collections, the extension of food and garden waste collections, boosting Scotland's capacity to recycle soft plastics and films and local service redesigns to align with Scotland's Household Recycling Charter.

The projects announced to date have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by 29,746 tonnes each year - the equivalent of taking 15,823 cars off the road. This landmark investment will make it easier for households to make the right recycling choices and make an important contribution to meeting Scotland's waste, recycling and climate targets. The Scottish Government has worked in partnership with COSLA, SOLACE and Zero Waste Scotland to develop arrangements for the fund.

More information on the aims, scope and distribution of the fund is available at the Zero Waste Scotland website

A consultation seeking views on plans for the introduction of a mandatory digital waste tracking service in the UK was held between 21 January and 15 April 2022, with funding allocated to support SEPA with implementation in Scotland. The ambition is to provide a step change in the quality and timeliness of data on waste and resource flows to support decision-making. By making it easier to identify opportunities to reduce the waste produced and reuse the materials we consume, this will support our transition to a circular economy.

Work to accelerate landfill gas capture in Scotland was a new boosted policy, as outlined in the recent Climate Change Plan update, working with SEPA and key industry partners to scale up the existing landfill gas capture programme to mitigate effects of landfill and environmental impact of closed landfill sites. This is supported by additional funding from the Low Carbon Fund with the aim to harness the energy generated from landfill gas capture and maximise circular economy opportunities, where possible. Due to other unavoidable resource implications, including COVID-19 contingency work, progress on this policy outcome was paused in 2021-22. We are reviewing plans to ensure progress is made.

Contribution to economic development: This investment has the potential to unlock local reprocessing investments, create jobs and a ready supply of recycled material for new packaging. It is part of building a fully circular economy in Scotland, which will drive materials up the waste hierarchy and keep them in high value use for as long as possible. Research has shown that 10,000 tonnes of waste can create 1 job in incineration, 6 jobs in landfill, 36 jobs in recycling or up to 296 jobs in repair and reuse. The circular economy represents an enormous economic and industrial opportunity for Scotland and can improve productivity and open up new markets, while also benefiting workers and communities by providing local employment and lower priced goods. A circular economy also contributes to a range of UN Sustainable Development Goals, including ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Contact for public enquiries: email:



Back to top