RECYCLING rates among Argyll and Bute households have dropped, with the local authority posting the seventh lowest figures in the country.

According to recent statistics from Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), 37.8 per cent of all household waste generated across the region in 2018 was recycled, compared to 38.7 per cent in 2017.

An average of 0.21 tonnes of household waste was recycled per person last year in Argyll and Bute, a fall of 0.02 tonnes from the previous 12 months.

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Nationally, 2018 saw a further decrease of household waste sent to landfill and for the second consecutive year there was more Scottish waste recycled (1.07 million tonnes) than landfilled (1.03 million tonnes).

Scotland’s overall household waste recycling rate was 44.7 per cent in 2018, with East Renfrewshire once again leading the way on 66.2 per cent, while just over a quarter of the country’s 32 council areas recorded improved recycling rates last year.

Helensburgh Advertiser: Argyll and Bute household waste recycling statisticsArgyll and Bute household waste recycling statistics

Argyll and Bute was recently declared the greenest local authority in the UK, according to research by energy firm Migrate, with the lowest CO2 emissions per capita and having reduced its annual carbon emissions by 88.2 per cent between 2007 and 2017.

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Based on findings by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Argyll and Bute is the least polluting local authority per person, thanks largely to its densely forested areas which act as a “natural carbon sink”, storing an estimated 11 million tonnes of carbon and removing an additional 600 kilotons a year.

An Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson said: “This slight drop in recycling rates mirrors the national figures.

“However, overall we have seen an encouraging increase in the amount of waste diverted from going to landfill.

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"We are committed to improving recycling performance in Argyll and Bute and have recently completed a public consultation on our new draft waste strategy.

“The strategy has a focus on greatly increasing the amount of waste that is recycled or reused in Argyll and Bute, thereby further reducing the amount sent to landfill.”