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Fifth of Scottish firms not recycling

A fifth of businesses in Scotland are not recycling any of the waste they produce, according to figures from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa).

Scottish local authorities inspected 6,752 business premises this summer to see if they were compliant with regulations to separate dry recyclable materials such as glass, metal, plastics and paper.

The 25 councils, instructed by Sepa to assess premises from April to June, also checked that businesses producing more than 50kg of food waste per week were taking reasonable steps to ensure the separate collection of the material.

Comparable data from the five sampling local authorities that used the standard audit checklist showed a compliance rate of 62%.

An extra 20% were broadly compliant, meaning they were making efforts to recycle but were missing all the required separate containers.

But 18% were not compliant, meaning they were using a single bin for all the waste they produced.


Speaking at the Scottish Resources Conference, Sepa senior policy officer Eleanor Strain (pictured) said: “The most common companies not complying were small independent food businesses.

“This is only going to be exacerbated next year when the food waste threshold falls from 50kg to 5kg. We’ve got good progress but we have this fifth that we still really need to tackle.”

Businesses in Scotland are required to take all reasonable steps to ensure the separate collection of dry recyclable waste, under the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012.

From 1 January 2016, firms producing over 5kg of food waste per week will also have to provide seperate collection of the material.

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