Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) has launched a Scotland-wide campaign to raise awareness of the change in the up and coming waste regulations.
On January 1st 2014 The Waste (Scotland) Regulations come into force, after which all businesses and organisations will need to recycle metal, plastic, glass, card and paper or pay a fine.
The regulations will also mean that food business’s producing more than 50kg of food waste per week will have to present it for separate collection. From January 1 2016 this regulation will also extend to food businesses producing 5kg of food waste weekly.
According to Jamie Pitcairn, a director at consultancy firm Ricardo-AEA, this will all aid in making life easier for sustainability officers, facilities managers and ‘green champions’.
“Five years ago waste policies [involving separation of waste for recycling] were a nice to have, but from January 1 they will be mandatory,” he told edie.
“The regulations will certainly be a shot in the arm for those who look after their internal staff engagement campaigns. They will provide businesses with something to use in their sustainability communications [to staff].”
Food businesses in rural areas however are exempt from the food waste regulations, a postcode search tool has been provided by ZWS to assist organisations in determining whether they qualify for exemption.
The regulations are designed to aid the country in meeting its zero waste targets, which includes and driving waste away from landfill and up the waste hierarchy, and also accomplishing a 70% recycling rate by 2025.
As suggested by recent ZWS estimates, £95 million in landfill tax is currently being paid by Scotland to dispose of recyclable material worth £97 million.
ZWS director Ian Gulland told letsrecycle.com that more investment in the Scottish reprocessing sector, as well as a reduced need for waste to be exported to England would be the result of the regulations.
The promotional campaign launched today aims to get involved with smaller businesses to promote these regulation changes, as some of these businesses are unaware of the requirements under these new laws.
Commenting on the campaign, Mr Gulland said:
“It’s great to see that businesses are already working to become ready for the introduction of the regulations.
“The regulations are designed to enable organisations to further reduce waste, enable the recycling of quality materials, and be more resource efficient – all offering the potential for cost savings and wider economic opportunities. We have a range of support available to help over the coming months and would ask those needing help to get in touch.”
The Resource Efficient Scotland programme, which is funded by the Scottish Government and
delivered by ZWS, offers all organisations advice and support on meeting regulation requirements.
It is estimated that businesses in Scotland produce 6.5 million tonnes of waste every year. Having lunched its own set of seminars and briefings across the country in July, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) along with ZWS are working together to encourage the change in waste regulations for businesses.
SEPA’s national waste manager Adrian Bond, said:
“The new regulations are a key part of Scotland’s ambitious journey to zero waste and, as the principal regulator for waste and the requirement to recycle; SEPA will have a key role in ensuring businesses become compliant in time for January 2014.
“Over the last year, the progress made by businesses to engage in recycling has been encouraging and we are confident that the support available from ourselves, Resource Efficient Scotland and local authorities will help drive home the importance of preparing for the coming changes.”
The information campaign is set to run during the course of September and October.