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Highland: 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 Highland:
The population of the Highlands is 211,157. In 1999, a total of 500,000 tonnes of waste was produced by this area, of which household waste amounted to 120,000 tonnes.
At the moment, 2.2% of the Highlands' waste is recycled. There are no reprocessing plants in the Highlands, so anything that is to be recycled has to be transported to other areas of the country.
To find out where the nearest recycling point to you is, go to www.recycle-more.co.uk or www.wastepoint.co.uk.
The remaining 97.8% of waste is sent to landfills. This includes £1,000,000 worth of steel and aluminium every year!
Under the Landfill Directive, this system of waste management will have to change, as it is not a sustainable practice - that is to say it is not good for the economy, the environment or the people in the long run. We will need to stop landfilling biodegradable waste, because it is a resource, and when it is landfilled it produces methane, which is harmful to the environment in large quantities.
Composting biodegradable waste turns it into useful (and free) soil conditioner. Composting is simple and can be done at home. To find out how, click here.
The Highlands Waste Strategy Area Group (WSAG) have produced a paper, which looks at the waste management issues in the area and some possible solutions. It is available from www.sepa.org.uk/nws/areas.
The AWG has come up with 5 possible options for waste management in the future. The main emphasis of each of these is:
All the options above include local recycling and composting, as well as the technologies mentioned. The targets set out in the Landfill Directive cannot be met without your help, so get out there and Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Click here for some tips on how to do this at home.
In March 2002, following consultation on the above options, the Highlands produced a draft Area Waste Plan.
The plan aims to recycle or compost 42% of the area's waste and use as much of the rest as possible to produce energy. Landfill sites will still be used, but the plan aims to reduce the amount of waste going into them to 28%.
This option will cost the region £257 million over the next 20 years. Several jobs will be created.
If you want to know more, you can contact the Highland Waste Strategy Area Co-ordinator, Lorna Walker at:
The Highland Area Waste Plan was published this month. Here are some of its objectives:
If you would like to read the Area Waste Plan, please click here to download it from SEPA's website.
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