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Tougher Food Recycling Targets in Scotland

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Tougher Food Recycling Targets in Scotland

Tougher Food Recycling Targets in Scotland
January 05
15:05 2016

Thousands of organisations in Scotland are being urged to act on new regulations to tackle food waste which came into effect on 1 January. Premises where food is prepared, sold or consumed, from hotels to hospitals, will have to separate any waste greater than 5kg per week for recycling or face a fine up to £10,000.

As well as restaurants, cafes and pubs, the rules are likely to apply to any shops that serve food. Nursing homes, hospitals and colleges or schools with canteens will also be affected. However, organisations can avoid the costs of sending their waste for recycling by treating it on-site using a range of portable technologies that are able to process the waste to generate heat, steam or even electricity or that can create valuable by-products, such as compost.

For sites where it may not be economical or practical to recover value from food waste, there are innovative technologies available to collect it or reduce volumes by up to 90%, both of which can help cut expensive removal charges.

Currently, many organisations dispose of waste through the sewerage system, sometimes using macerators to help the process. This will largely become illegal under the regulations which were passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2012. Under the provisions, waste contractors must provide high quality collection and treatment services to enable businesses to keep to the new rules.

Ian Hewson, Commercial Development Manager at Business Stream, which is part of Scottish Water, says: “Finding efficient and affordable alternatives to the sewerage system for food disposal is a big challenge for some of our clients. That’s why we’ve been looking at other options for helping them to treat the waste on-site, which will enable them to comply with the legislation, avoid recycling costs and even benefit from usable by-products as we move into 2016. We’re working with specialist suppliers to provide a wide range of support options that will help businesses and other organisations to make the necessary changes and we would encourage those that will be impacted by the legislation to get in touch with us.”

The new regulations are aimed at helping to achieve the Scottish Government’s long-term targets of recycling 70% of all Scotland’s waste and only 5% of remaining waste ending up in landfill by 2025.

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