Increasing awareness of our environment has resulted in wide ranging legislation which affects the waste we produce and what we do with it. The traditional methods of dealing with waste have to change.
Key legislation relates to
- The reduction of landfill; the landfill directive requires that the proportion of biodegradable waste sent to landfill reduces to 35% of 1995 levels by 2020. In the UK this is encouraged by the landfill tax, which will reach £80/te in 2014 and by the landfill allowance scheme, where each Local Authority is set decreasing annual limits on the tonnage of biodegradable waste it can landfill.
- The Scottish ‘Zero Waste Plan' issued in Summer 2010, where the targets are even more ambitious; the Scottish Government wants Authorities to limit landfill levels to 5% of municipal waste by 2025 and achieve recycling levels of 70% by the same date.
- Renewable Energy; both the UK and Scottish Government have set targets for energy generated from renewable sources. In Scotland the target is 80% by 2020.
The use of waste material to help meet these targets represents an opportunity for all of us to use our resources more carefully and benefit the environment.