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Keenan expects English food waste laws

Keenan Recycling has said it plans to expand into England as it expects the country to introduce similar food waste laws to Scotland.

A Scottish law introduced in January requires all businesses producing more than 5kg of food waste a week, lowered from an original 50kg minimum, to recycle the material separately.

The company’s managing director Grant Keenan said the firm’s turnover in Scotland’s central belt, where it collects from about 2,600 hotels and restaurants, is expected to at least double in the coming year following the tightening of regulations.

He expects similar legislation to be introduced in England “eventually”, so has set his sights on expanding south of the border with acquisitions in the north-east of England within the next six months.

“In England there is not any legislation at the moment,” said Keenan, who already has two potential takeover targets. ”But it will eventually happen, and that is why we want to get in there quickly and get established.”

Chairman Jim Clark will take the lead on the English expansion after being appointed last year.

He is the founder of oil and gas waste management company MSIS and has “an extensive track record” in acquisitions and disposals.

“That was part of the reason for Jim’s appointment to the board,” said Keenan. “He has bought and sold so many businesses – about 160 I think – and that will be invaluable for us as we start expanding into England.”

The firm is also on the cusp of signing a major contract to collect domestic waste on behalf of Scottish council.

Keenan has previously praised the impact of Scottish food waste legislation saying he “did not believe that private equity would have been as interested” without it.

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