The latest figures on household waste highlight the need for a region wide doorstep recycling scheme in Dumfries and Galloway, says South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth. 

According to the figures published by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) today (17 September) people across Dumfries and Galloway generate on average around half a tonne of waste each per year- with over 79,000 tonnes of waste generated in the region during 2018.

The figures show that the region is around the Scottish average for limiting the amount of waste that goes into landfill, with the figure sitting at 44.2 percent (35,064 tonnes) compared to a Scottish verge of 42.9 percent. The strong performance is due mainly to the use of the eco deco plant which reduced the amount of waste ultimately put into landfill.

However, the region’s recycling figures remain low with just 27.4 per cent of all waste ending up recycled- compared to a Scottish average of 44.7%Commenting on the figures South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said, “It is encouraging that our region continues to perform so well when it comes to avoiding waste going into landfill and that actually saves the taxpayer millions of pounds a year in landfill taxes. However, the council are being penalised because although the Scottish Government supported and have been funding the eco deco plant, they have moved the goal posts and now only really want to see recycling.”

“It’s clear that bringing in a region wide recycling scheme is the only way forward for Dumfries and Galloway if we are to improve recycling levels and we have to get on with delivering that. We face a climate crisis so we all have a role to play. Instead of moaning when if we get asked to use more than one bin, we need to face up to the environmental damage we do every day by throwing away so much rubbish that is never re-used or recycled.  Ironically because of the council’s use of the eco deco plant and the already high level of diversion away from landfill, when a region wide doorstep recycling scheme is introduced, Dumfries and Galloway will actually top the table in terms of not putting waste into landfill”.

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