The new cash is to specifically fund improvements to Household Waste Recycling Centres and for increasing collections of glass from households. The money, administered by Zero Waste Scotland, is in addition to £5 million already made available to support household food waste collections and has been welcomed by the industry.
Malcolm McArdle, Managing Director of Alloa Community Enterprises (ACE) said: “There is a clear need for better infrastructure along with improved co-operation between organisations and public bodies if Scotland is to achieve its ambitious recycling targets and this money will help with that.
“ACE has shared the Government’s vision of a Zero Waste Scotland for many years. We helped shape the development of the Zero Waste philosophy in the early 2000’s at the same time as we helped Clackmannanshire Council roll out Scotland’s first major Source Separated Kerbside Recycling service.
“We work with a number of local authorities, businesses and communities across Clackmannanshire, Stirling, Falkirk, Lanarkshire, West Lothian, Glasgow, and Edinburgh diverting almost 20,000 tonnes of waste from their civic amenity sites every year and ensuring glass is collected directly from households and sent to the OI bottle making plant in Alloa. This new money will help more organisations to work together and hit the target set by the Scottish Government by 2013.”
The announcement of the extra £1.2million was made by Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead at the Scottish Waste and Resources Conference in Glasgow.
The minister said while the government's long-term ambition remains to achieve zero waste just getting to a point where the majority of household waste is recycled will be a major milestone.
"Councils have made huge progress and seven councils have already hit the challenging 50 per cent recycling target,” said Mr Lochhead who is encouraging all local authorities to take advantage of the additional funding.
"Raising our recycling rates is also about a much bigger prize. It is about keeping valuable materials circulating in our economy then we can create more jobs and business opportunities in Scotland," he added.
Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland said the initiative could make a real difference in a short space of time by helping people to recycle more things, more often.
He said: "Getting more valuable materials out of landfill – which carries an increasing cost – and putting them back into our economy, where they can create value, is just common sense.
"People across Scotland want to recycle more, but in some areas, particularly rural or high-density urban areas, it can be challenging.”
Scotland’s household recycling rate for the last three quarters of 2011 was 43.7 per cent, 43.8 per cent and 36.7 per cent respectively,with the difference largely due to seasonal differences in the amount of garden waste collected for recycling.
Councillor Stephen Hagan, COSLA spokesperson for Development, Economy and Sustainability, said the success of recycling initiatives to-date was down to the impressive performance of individuals and organisations.
"COSLA and the Scottish Government want to see as much waste as possible being prevented, re-used and if not recycled. The present performance of Scotland is impressive and there is continuing desire from councils for further improvements.
"The continuing commitment shown by individuals, businesses and communities to separate waste for recycling, put out kerbside bins and take materials to recycling centres, should be commended. Such commitment is often not considered when publishing statistics, announcing funding or launching new campaigns. It is truly a remarkable demonstration of some great work by all and also highlights opportunities to achieve more through continued joint working."
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