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Responding to this Dr Dan Barlow, Head of Policy at WWF Scotland said:

"Scotland has made good progress on recycling over the past decade and it is encouraging that we are now recycling 44 per cent of our household waste. However despite many local authorities achieving levels of nearly 60 per cent, it is disappointing that a number are recycling less than half of this.

"As waste disposal costs rise, recycling and composting is not just sensible, it is the most cost effective option for local authorities.

"Progress on household waste needs to be accompanied by action to secure high levels of recycling across all waste streams and an ambitious plan to cut the amount of waste we produce. This is crucial if we are to reduce Scotland's global footprint and establish a resource efficient economy.

"The latest figures are based on an updated approach that rightly ignores materials that are only suitable for a very low quality reuse, and only counts materials that are genuinely recycled."

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