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This is an archived section of the Scottish Government website. External links, forms and search may not work on archived pages and content/contact details are likely to be out of date.

This page relates to the 2007 version of the National Performance Framework. Information about the current version of the NPF is available on the Scotland Performs Home Page.

SP Two columns

Current Status

The volume of biodegradeable municipal waste collected by or on behalf of local authorities that was sent to landfill has reduced in the last few years, and in 2010/11 was 1.10 million tonnes, compared to 1.16 million tonnes in 2009/10. The amount landfilled since 2008/09 has been below the 2010 target of 1.32 million tonnes.

More on waste sent to landfill

National Indicator


Reduce to 1.32 million tonnes waste sent to landfill by 2010

Reduce to 1.32 million tonnes waste sent to landfill by 2010

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Why is this National Indicator important?

The indicator refers specifically to biodegradable municipal waste collected by or on behalf of Scottish local authorities and diversion of this waste from landfill contributes towards meeting Scotland's share of the UK's targets under the EC Landfill Directive. In this context, local authority collected municipal waste is household waste and similar wastes from businesses. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is produced as biodegradable waste decomposes in landfills. The primary aim of this indicator is, therefore, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from landfill sites and so contribute to lessen the impact of climate change. Diverting waste from landfill also encourages more efficient use of waste resources in line with the waste hierarchy: 'Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, Recover'.

What will influence this National Indicator?

Three key factors influence the amount of biodegradable waste sent to landfill. These are:

  • Rate of waste growth.
  • Composition of municipal waste, particularly the proportion of biodegradable material.
  • Levels of recycling, composting and/or other waste treatment processes.

What is the Government's role?

Essentially to ensure that Scotland meets its share of the UK's Landfill Directive obligation. This is in line with the Zero Waste Plan as well as the waste hierarchy which puts landfill at the bottom of the list of waste management options. It will be achieved in partnership with local authorities, which have responsibility for deciding which facilities and services capable of diverting municipal waste from landfill to fund. Scottish Government has responsibility for monitoring progress through local authority Single Outcome Agreements.

How are we performing?

There has been an overall reduction in the volume of biodegradable municipal waste collected by or on behalf of local authorities sent to landfill in recent years. The latest figure of 1,104 kt during 2010/11 is a reduction of 59 kt compared with 1,163 kt in 2009/10.

Waste sent to landfill - 2010/11

View data on waste sent to landfill

Source: Scottish Environment Protection Agency: 2001/02 -2003/04 Local Authority Waste Arisings Survey, 2004/05 - 2005/06 Quarterly Landfill Allowance Scheme Return, from 2006/07 onwards Waste data flow


This evaluation is based on: any difference within +/- 15 kilotonnes of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. A decrease of 15 kilotonnes or more suggests the position is improving; whereas an increase of 15 kilotonnes or more suggests the position is worsening.

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Further Information

Scotland Performs Technical Note

Statistics Topic Page

Who are our partners?

Local Authorities

Scottish Environment Protection Agency

Zero Waste Scotland

Related Strategic Objective(s)

Safer and Stronger


View National Indicator data

Downloadable document:

Data for National indicator on WasteData for National indicator on Waste [XLS, 25.0 kb: 29 Aug 2011]
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Performance Improving


Performance Maintaining


Performance Worsening

no info

Performance data currently being collected