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Scotland introduces separating waste rules for businesses

All businesses in Scotland now have a legal responsibility to separate recyclables including paper, plastic, card, metal and glass.

The Waste (Scotland) Regulations, which came into force on 1 January, also require food businesses in urban areas producing more than 50kg per week of food waste to implement food recycling schemes.

The move will support the Scottish Government’s target of 70% recycling and just 5% of waste going to landfill by 2025, according to Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS).

Companies risk fines if they fail to be legally compliant.

Other new regulations include:

  • local authorities to provide a minimum recycling service to householders; waste contractors to provide collection and treatment services which deliver high quality recycling.
  • metal, plastic, glass, paper, card or food collected separately for recycling is banned from going to incineration or landfill
  • new incinerators must ensure that metals and dense plastics have been removed from residual municipal waste prior to incineration
  • food businesses in urban areas which produce over 5 kg of food waste per week have to present the waste for separate collection from 1 January 2016

Iain Gulland, ZWS director told MRW: “We’re looking for service innovation, a focus on quality and much closer engagement with customers, adapting to meet their needs.

“For waste producers, who might be embracing recycling for the first time, this should be a moment to stop and think about all the resources they use. There are real opportunities to develop an indigenous reprocessing industry in Scotland.”

Richard Lochhead

Environment secretary Richard Lochhead, left, said: “The Waste (Scotland) Regulations represent a major step in delivering our vision of a zero waste Scotland.”

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “Scotland currently pays tens of millions of pounds annually in landfill taxes to throw away millions of pounds worth of valuable materials that could and should be being recycled or composted.

“Implemented well, these new rules will help cut waste, save money and resources, as well as create jobs.”

  • Gulland discusses the regulations in the next issue of MRW.

Readers' comments (2)

  • a common sense approach - we need thiis in England and Wales.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • To the above comment... have you ever seen England government ever use common sense in anything they do ? :)

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