Household waste recycling rate above Scottish average

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) statisticians have today (17 October 2023) published Official Statistics which provide detail of Household Waste collected across all Local Authorities during 2022, as well as waste landfilled and incinerated in Scotland in 2022.  

The figures show that Scotland generated the lowest amount of household waste since 2011 and suggests the figures have recovered after the anomalous years of 2020 and 2021 - which were impacted by restrictions imposed due to Covid-19.

For 2022, across Scotland the average household waste recycling rate was 43.3% but East Lothian achieved a recycling rate of 53.1%, which was the highest of the four Lothian councils and in the top 10 of all Scottish local authorities. This rate however was a slight decrease to the 2021 recycling rate of 53.9% which has been attributed to lower volumes of soil and rubble presented and reduced garden waste during a dry summer period.

East Lothian Council Leader, Norman Hampshire, said: “These figures provide a clear indication of continued improvements by local authorities to reduce the amount of material going to landfill which in turn is contributing towards a reduction in the carbon impact of household waste. In 2022 the average carbon impact of household waste generated across Scotland amounted to the equivalent of 1.02 tCO2e* per person with East Lothian achieving a lower rate of 0.95 tCO2e per person. This continues a welcome downward trend attributed mainly as a result of increased recycling rates, particularly for high impact waste materials such as non-ferrous metallic wastes and glass wastes.

“Another important trend identified in these latest statistics is an overall reduction of waste being presented for collection. Households appear to be following the advice of ‘reduce and reuse’ in addition to recycling and reducing the overall quantity of waste produced. I would like to thank East Lothian residents for their continued use and support of our recycling collections which is helping tackle the climate emergency in such a significant way.”

All information on SEPA’s 2022 Household Waste data can be found on their website

tonnes (t) of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent (e)

Published: Tuesday, 17th October 2023