New strategy adopted

Published: Thursday 15 June 2000

scotland has adopted a new waste management system whereby local authorities -- and not waste companies -- will be granted permits allowing them to landfill biodegradable waste. This was announced by transport and environment minister Sarah Boyack, who hopes that the new system will encourage compliance with the European Union ( eu ) Landfill Directive.

At present, only 3.8 per cent of the country's total domestic waste is recycled, and this poses an immense challenge to the country to meet biodegradable waste targets. At a meeting of Scottish local governments, Boyack said: "We no longer have an option about this. We need a real change of direction. We need to produce less waste, recycle and compost more -- we have a long way to go before we can catch up with our counterparts in Europe."

According to an official spokesperson, there will be further consultation with local councils later this year. "We have to decide on a workable system for permits and trading," says the spokesperson.

By and large, local authorities and environmental organisations are happy with the government's decision. "I think waste management is beginning to come up the agenda. The minister is doing her best," said Richard Dixon, head of the research unit in Scotland of the environmental organisation Friends of the Earth.

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