EAST Renfrewshire is leading the way in household waste recycling in Scotland.

Latest figures released by environmental watchdog SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency), show the council recycled the most household waste in percentage terms last year.

During 2021, households in the area generated just under 40,600 tonnes of waste, of which 58.1% was recycled – way above the national average of 42.7%.

This is an increase of 1.5% from the 56.6% achieved in the previous year – a rate only surpassed by Angus, which recycled 57.9% of its waste.

In 2021, East Renfrewshire was followed by North Ayrshire (56.3%), South Ayrshire (56%) and the Scottish Borders (54.8%).

The SEPA figures show that the amount sent to landfill from the local area has dropped, from 11% of the total waste generated in 2020 to 2.4% last year.

Less waste is also being generated per person in East Renfrewshire, with each local resident generating an average of 0.42 tonnes of waste last year – slightly below the Scottish figure of 0.45 tonnes.

A total of 0.24 tonnes were recycled per person, which is above the Scottish average of 0.19 tonnes.

In general terms, SEPA said the total volume of household waste generated in Scotland rose by 2.3% in 2021, from 2.43 million tonnes in 2020 to 2.48 million tonnes in 2021 – an increase of 55,000 tonnes.

However, the household waste recycling rate for Scotland as a whole was 42.7% last year, which is a rise of 0.7% compared to the 2020 figure.

Gary Walker, waste and landfill tax manager at SEPA, said: “The latest official statistics reflect the reality of the easing of Covid pandemic restrictions, as household waste recycling centres reopened.

“While Scotland has seen a reduction in the amount of waste generated in the last decade, the latest figures are a timely reminder of the need for a continued focus on recycling by us all.

“Recycling is a simple daily step everyone can take to build a more sustainable Scotland. We can all make choices to reduce the amount of waste we generate and keep products and materials in use for as long as possible through re-use and recycling to help tackle the climate emergency.”