Glasgow council bosses are hopeful the amount of household waste sent to landfill will continue to decline after the latest figures showed a significant drop over the last decade.

In 2014, 164,811 tonnes of household waste were sent to landfill. The number dropped to 150,943 tonnes by 2017 but rose to 167,502 in 2018 before heading on a downward trend to 35,889 tonnes in December 2023.

The latest figures are still to be verified by SEPA. 

The numbers were presented to members of the environment and liveable neighbourhoods this week where the work of Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre (GRREC) was highlighted as providing a valuable role in extracting recyclable material and recovering energy from waste that would normally have been landfilled. 

In 2023 the council sent around 15,000 tonnes direct to landfill from its “transfer stations” and from August to December 2023, only 17 tonnes were sent directly to landfill. 

The remaining fraction was sent to landfill by the council’s contracted partners. 

During Tuesday’s meeting a council officer explained: “We are changing the way we manage waste across the city and it is having a positive impact on how we are managing it.

“You can see from the table that the reduction of household waste that is sent to landfill continues to decrease. 

“From August to September last year we only sent 17 tonnes directly to landfill sites so the reason there is still quite a lot of tonnage in 2023 is because of reprocessing contractors sending material to landfill.”

Councillor Alex Kerr congratulated officers for their work in reducing the amount of landfill being acquired and asked if the amount of waste being sent to landfill was likely to continue to drop.

He said: “From 2017 the household waste to landfill is down by 76% so obviously that is quite a drop but are you confident that you can keep pushing that down?

“What are some of the problems with the contingency measures and whether that is contaminated household waste?”

An officer said: “The GRREC has been in place for several years now and it is changing the way we manage general waste within the city. I think we will continue to see the tonnage of landfill going down.

“A ban on biodegradable material going to landfill is driving that but we are making good progress already.

“The GRREC continues to perform well and change the way we are managing waste within the city.”