The country now recycles 17.3% of municipal waste, a big increase on the 12% recycled in 2003/04.
The steep rise has been put down to the success of Scotland's national waste plan. Under it, local authorities received £230 million of funding to improve their composting and recycling facilities in the three years to March 2005. Another £354 million is available over the next three years (ENDS Report 358, p 49 ).
"Since the launch of the national waste plan the pace of change has been rapid," said Calum MacDonald, SEPA's director of environmental and organisational strategy. "In two years, we've seen recycling rates jump by around 10 percentage points. Progress is set to continue."
Local authorities are still expected, though, to have a difficult time meeting the Executive's recycling target of 25% by 2006.