Homes in North Lanarkshire are almost hitting the national average for recycling waste.
For the first time, recycling figures have been drawn up for household waste – previously it included waste from facilities such as care homes and hospitals.
If that recording system was still in place, North Lanarkshire would have recycled 38.6 per cent of waste in 2011, and the Scottish average 41.2 per cent.
However, now only household waste is being considered North Lanarkshire have recycled 39.4 per cent of waste in 2011, while the Scottish average was 40.1 per cent.
North Lanarkshire collected 160,248 tonnes of waste from homes and 63,084 tonnes were either recycled or composted. The figures are collated by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).
A spokesperson for the council said: North Lanarkshire Council expect to meet the challenging targets under the requirements of Scotland’s Zero Waste Regulations through the introduction of food waste collections, a change in emphasis in the recycling programme to encourage more household waste recycling through our existing kerbside schemes, and the diversion of mixed wastes from the special uplift service and household waste recycling sites.
“We recognise the important part that our residents play in achieving these challenging targets, and we would like to thank them for their continued participation in all the recycling schemes available.”
In neighbouring South Lanarkshire, 35.3 per cent of waste was recycled in 2011. Under the old system that would have been 40.5 per cent.
South Lanarkshire Council say they will be focusing on encouraging householders to recycle more. They will be sending out reminders on items that can be recycled, and improving facilities.
A spokeswoman for the council said: “The change in recording of recycled waste is due to the government’s change in focus from municipal solid to household waste and this is line with Zero Waste (Scotland) 2012 regulations.
“The previous measure of municipal waste included some commercial waste collected by council services such street cleaning and grounds maintenance and this waste is are now excluded from the calculations.
“The council met the target of recycling 40 per cent of solid municipal solid waste by 2010 but, under the new definition, the rate reported by SEPA for 2011 was 35.3 per cent. The council are focusing on future targets for recycling household waste of 50 per cent by the end of 2013 and aiming to extend recycling services where they do not currently exist such as in tenement and flatted properties.
“Achieving the 50 per cent target rate is a significant challenge for councils. It will require new resource recovery systems to be introduced for residual waste.”