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Waste Aware Lothian & Borders

Lothian & Borders: Area Waste Plan

As part of the National Waste Strategy: Scotland, each Waste Strategy Area has gone through a process which has resulted in the formulation of an Area Waste Plan.

This Area Waste Plan is the way in which the Waste Strategy Area plan to deal with its waste in order to meet the targets set out in the EC Landfill Directive and to develop more sustainable methods of waste management.

Following is a short summary of the process that was undergone in Lothian & Borders:

2002: The Draft Plan

Having consulted the public on the waste management options available to Lothian and Borders, the Best Practicable Environmental Option was then determined. This was based on:


1. Economics
2. Social implications
3. Environmental implications
4. Waste reduction targets set out in the Landfill Directive.

The consultation process included 1,250 face-to-face interviews carried out around the area. 250 surveys were carried out in each of the five local authority areas that make up this Waste Strategy Area (East, West and Mid Lothian, Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders).

By 2020, Municipal Solid Waste in Lothian and Borders could increase by 60% to nearly 900,000 tonnes if there is no change in our "throw-away culture".

The main components of the Draft Area Waste Plan are:


1. Waste minimisation: the reduction of waste at source. Everybody has an important part to play in reducing waste. Click here to find out how you can help.
2. Traditional and source segregated waste collection: Lothian and Borders plan to develop new methods for collecting waste from households and businesses. This will involve separating recyclable from non-recyclable material.
3. Materials recovery: sorting and further segregation of the waste collected.
4. Reprocessing: recycling of recovered wastes. The material gained by this process will replace some of the virgin materials and prevent their depletion.
5. Landfill sites: these will be used for the disposal of non-recyclable wastes.
6. Other treatment: further research will be carried out into new technologies for safe and clean waste disposal. This will be completed by 2007.

Lothian and Borders aims to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

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March 2003: The Area Waste Plan

After asking the public what they thought of the draft Area Waste Plan, the final version has been published.

Some of it's specific targets are:

  • 99% of households in the area will have some of their waste collected separately for recyclng;
  • there will be at least 1 recycling point for ever 1,000 households;
  • composting plants will be expanded and improved;
  • a Materials Reclamation Facility will be built where recyclates can be sorted and baled before being sent on for reprocessing.

If you would like to read the plan, please click here to download it from SEPA's website.

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If you have any queries, please email us, or call 01786 468 246.

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