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Household Waste Generated

High Level Summary of Statistics Trend Last update: September 17, 2019

Household Waste Generated

A reduction in the amount of waste generated in Scotland is an indicator of greater resource efficiency and more sustainable consumption behaviour - addressing the first step in the waste hierarchy ('Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, Recover'). The indicator measures household waste to be aligned with Scottish, UK and European targets and focus on the service provided by local authorities to individual households.  The Scottish Government has established a National Indicator to reduce the total amount of household waste generated. In Scotland, there were 2.41 million tonnes of household waste generated in 2018, compared with 2.46 million tonnes in 2017.

The definition of household waste changed in 2011 with the introduction of Scotland's Zero Waste Plan.  The 2011 household dataset has been formulated in accordance with this revised definition, while household datasets for 2010 and earlier were formulated according to the previous definition of household waste.  Changes from 2011 include the removal of street sweepings, street recycling bins, and beach cleansing waste from the household waste dataset. SEPA have provided an estimate of household waste for the calendar years 2004 to 2010, which though not directly comparable with estimates for 2011 onwards, can be used as background context.

Between 2004 and 2007 the amount of household waste generated increased from 2.77 million tonnes to 3.00 million tonnes, before falling back to 2.77 million tonnes in 2010.  Between 2011 and 2018, the total amount of household waste generated fell by 7.7% (0.2 million tonnes).

Household Waste 2018

View chart data

Source: Scottish Environment Protection Agency

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