Scotland has already embarked on the journey towards a more
sustainable approach to waste and resources. Recycling rates continue to rise, volumes of
waste being sent to landfill are declining, and as a society we are
increasingly aware of the environmental impact of our activities.
Some key trends over the last five years include;
- between 2005 and 2009, the total quantity of waste generated
fell by 22%;
- the total quantity of controlled waste landfilled in Scotland
dropped from 7.3 million tonnes in 2005 to 4.7 million tonnes in
- the quantity of household waste recycled and composted grew by
45% between 2005 and 2009.
However, there is still a long way to go before Scotland has a
truly sustainable approach to the management of waste. SEPA is
working in partnership with Zero Waste
Scotland to deliver
the Scottish Government's Zero Waste Plan
which sets the path towards 70% recycling of all waste in Scotland
SEPA has a duty to protect the environment and human health from
the effects of waste management and disposal. In particular, we
licence and monitor waste management facilities such as landfills and incinerators, administer producer compliance schemes for particular waste
streams, regulate the transfrontier shipment
of wastes and respond to pollution incidents and fly-tipping. We also collect data on waste production, recycling and disposal
and are a statutory consultee in the planning process.
A guide to compliance with waste regulation for businesses is
available at Netregs.
A priority for SEPA is tackling illegal waste management
activities which can cause significant environmental harm and loss
of business for responsible operators. SEPA, in partnership
with police forces and other agencies, is undertaking targeted
operations to tackle illegal landfill sites, unlicensed skip hire
operators, large scale and persistent dumping of waste, unlawful
collection, storage and breaking of scrap cars and unauthorised
collection, storage and export of waste electrical and electronic
equipment. If you have any information regarding illegal waste
operators you can contact SEPA directly
or Crimestoppers anonymously on
0800 555 111 or give information anonymously via
the online reporting form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
Find out more about our regulatory work including application
forms and guidance to operators, our data reports and links to
support programs in this section.