The Scottish government has announced a delay to the ban of all biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) being sent to landfill, with the deadline extended until 2025.
The landfill ban is part of the Scottish Government’s Zero Waste Plan, which aims to achieve a nationwide recycling rate of 70 per cent by 2025, with only five per cent of remaining waste going to landfill. Due to come into effect from January 2021, Scottish Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has now revealed that she will delay full enforcement of the ban until 2025.
Ms Cunningham said that while significant progress has already been made towards readiness for the ban, and a majority of local authorities and many commercial operators have long-term or interim solutions in place, evidence suggests that full compliance by 2021 will not be possible without reliance on export options – including landfill in England – with consequent environmental impact and additional financial implications for local authorities.
In a letter to stakeholders, Roseanna Cunningham said she “reluctantly” accepted that a transitional approach is necessary but added that the sector and local authorities must commit to making “further progress at pace” before the necessary legislation to extend the deadline is made. To support this progress towards the extended 2025 deadline, a number of initiatives have been set out to help local authorities comply. These will be led by local government to ensure they do not result in landfilling of waste in England. Scottish landfill tax will be used to provide a further incentive to ensure that transitional work proceeds at the pace needed to work towards the deadline.
The Scottish Government has said that the new timescale is in line with the broader advice provided by the Climate Change Committee on action needed to meet net zero emissions targets.
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