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Restaurants and bars 'cut corners' with recycling

Commercial waste firm has criticised the restaurant, pub and club sector for low recycling rates, claiming they are the worst in the industrial and service sectors.

The hospitality sector in the UK loses an estimated £742m a year in food and packaging that is wasted rather than recycled or reprocessed, according to WRAP figures.

Commercial director Mark Hall said: “It’s no real mystery why the sector is the worst at recycling. A drive for lower staff costs means that corners are often cut, and that means pubs, clubs and restaurants tend to send the majority of their refuse for general waste.”

The firm says venues often leaving tins, cans and food packaging in their general waste instead of separating for recycling. While some pubs, bars and restaurants do separate glass bottles, there are still an “unacceptably high number” that don’t.

Low levels of recycling may be down to a lack of space for bins and waste or recycling containers. Many venues have limited outside space or do not want bins to be in public view.

“Perhaps it’s time to introduce ‘Scores on the Doors’ to show how good a business is at recycling and energy saving,” Hall said.

He added businesses may need Government encouragement before they improve.

Scotland may lead the way in an improvement of waste levels in the sector as a result of its Waste (Scotland) Regulations, which requires all businesses to separate materials for recycling by 2014. Any companies producing over 5kg of food waste must also separate this for recycling.

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