Figures released by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) suggest that Moray householders are the most environmentally conscious people in the north of Scotland.
Less than a third of the 32 local authority areas have managed to meet the national recycling target of 50% waste being recycled, according to the SEPA figures.
The figures show that of the nine local authorities who achieved greater than 50% Moray was high on the list with 51.9% of its 49,883 tonnes of waste generated in the area being recycled or composted – a favourable increase for Moray from 44.6% the previous year.
Chairman of the Council’s economic development and infrastructure committee, John Cowe, said this was due to a recent investment of 11,000 recycling bins. He added: “Although this has increased the number of wheelie bins at each property to four, they have been widely accepted by residents who have traditionally been enthusiastic recyclers.”
Commenting on the figures in his capacity as Environment Secretary, Moray’s MSP Richard Locchead said: “The figures show that over half of Scotland’s local authorities are above the national recycling average, with nine already hitting the 50% target – two more than last year. We can also see that Scottish households produced 100,000 tonnes less waste last year.
“Building on and accelerating this progress is a priority for the Scottish Government, as it is for local authorities, and that is why we’ve invested £20 million to help local authorities roll-out food waste collections to households across the country.
“Close to half a million households have received a new food waste service already this year, meaning one million households in Scotland now have a service to collect and recycle their food waste. The impact of this investment will be seen in next year’s figures.
“The Scottish Government will continue to seek the advice of Zero Waste Scotland on what other initiatives can be taken forward to improve Scotland’s recycling performance, including a national deposit-return scheme.
“However, the Zero Waste agenda is about much more than just recycling – it’s about turning our waste into an economic asset that will improve the competitiveness of Scotland’s economy. We continue to work closely with the businesses and organisations like the Ellen Macarthur Foundation to stimulate these important opportunities.”