The Scottish Government has pledged around £5 million in funding to assist local authorities in rolling out food waste collections to householders.
Climate Change Minister Aileen McLeod announced the funding yesterday (June 10) as part of the devolved government’s action to tackle climate change. The measure was announced alongside action on transport and energy.
The announcement followed the publication of details of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions for 2013, which show that Scotland missed its climate change target for the year with greenhouse emissions falling by around 3.6% to 53 million tonnes of CO2. Dr McLeod however said she remains confident that the target to slash emissions by 42% up to 2020 can be achieved.
And, speaking in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh yesterday, Dr McLeod announced a series of measures to help reduce carbon emissions, including the funding for household food waste collections.
She said: “We have an ambition that every household will have access to food-waste collection. To accelerate the action that is under way across Scotland to divert food waste from landfill, we will provide an additional £5 million over two years to help local authorities that have yet to roll out food-waste collections.”
Funding is to be delivered through the Scottish Government’s resources body Zero Waste Scotland.
Legislation has been in place in Scotland aimed at encouraging food waste collection from businesses since January 2014.
The regulations require businesses producing more than 50kg of food waste per week to recycle it or face a penalty. By January 2016, any businesses producing more than just 5kg of food waste per week will need to make the material available for recycling. The regulations will also require local authorities to offer a food waste recycling service in non-rural areas from January 2016.
According to the Scottish Government, around 1.46 million households (61% of houesholds) have access to a food waste collection, with Zero Waste Scotland having invested around £20 million with councils to speed up the introduction of the service since 2010.
Elsewhere, Dr McLeod announced that further funding is to be made available to aid in the capture of landfill gas, adding: “Methane is a potent greenhouse gas. We will build on successful pilot projects to roll out the retrofit of landfill gas capture at older sites. A further £500,000 will be invested this year to tackle the legacy of waste-management practices.”
She also noted that work is to be published shortly detailing the carbon impacts of moving towards a more circular economy, stating: “If we get smarter about how we manage materials, the carbon savings could be significant.”