Scots recycling food waste increases to record high

06 August 2019

Article: 53/3106

Food waste recycling in Scotland is at its highest ever level, according to new reports published by Zero Waste Scotland.

A total of approximately 158,500 tonnes of household and commercial solid food waste was collected in 2017, compared with the 2013 figure of 111,500 tonnes.

The increase has prevented the equivalent of 41,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere, similar to taking more than 22,000 cars off the roads for a year.

The findings are from the Scottish anaerobic digestion (AD) and biogas sector survey 2017 and the Scottish composting sector survey 2017.

Producing electricity, heat and gas from food waste through AD allows the capture of energy stored in food that would otherwise be sent to landfill or incinerated. Using this waste helps to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.

The rise has been helped by the introduction of the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 compelling businesses to recycle food waste. As of 2016, Scottish businesses producing more than 5kg of food waste per week have been required to present food waste separately for collection.

The increase has also been supported by a growth in the availability of food recycling facilities to Scottish households via their local council, with 80% of Scottish households now having access to food waste recycling.

Source: Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS), 26 July 2019