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Business waste in Scotland in spotlight

Only half of Scottish businesses know how all of their waste is managed, according to the results of a survey by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). And three-quarters of businesses said they produced waste that could be recycled but was not.

In the first survey of its kind, SEPA questioned commercial and industrial waste producers on their waste management practices during 2004. Construction and demolition companies were not included in the survey, but SEPA said this sector was known to have produced an additional seven million tonnes of waste in 2004.

The results revealed that of the nine million tonnes of waste produced by Scottish businesses each year, more than two-thirds came from commerce and less than a third came from industry. The wholesale and retail trade produced the most amount of waste, followed by the hotel and retail sector.

Almost a million tonnes of the waste produced by businesses was paper and cardboard and over six million tonnes was mixed waste.

SEPA said the surveys results would help inform the development of the National Waste Strategy for Scotland, particularly the commercial and industrial waste framework, due to be published shortly.

The framework will seek to address current business needs to access more recycling services and identify opportunities for businesses to segregate more of the mixed waste so that it can be dealt with more sustainably, said SEPA spokesperson John Ferguson.

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