Waste not, want not!
Make sure you don’t bin the new rules on recycling.
Since the beginning of this year, all Scottish businesses have been required to ‘take reasonable steps’ to separate out four recyclables for separate collection – paper/card, plastic, metals and glass. Businesses in non-rural postcodes who produce more than 50kgs/week of food waste have also been required to handle that waste separately.
Penalties for transgression are severe. ‘Any business that fails without reasonable excuse to comply with the duty to recycle shall be liable to a fine of up to £10,000 upon summary conviction.’
And next year that legislation is coming to the rest of the UK, effective 1 January 2015. An addition to the Environmental Protection of England and Wales Regulations 2012 will mean that all generators of waste will need to comply with this legislation by: making arrangements for separate collections of waste paper, metal, plastic, glass and, of course, food.
The government is taking things seriously, with DEFRA committed to working with all businesses, including waste management companies, local authorities, re-processors, waste producers and the Environment Agency towards achieving the goal of ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’.
So, what does this mean for your business?
Take Stock asked Andy Coultas of waste experts Procuria for his advice on what businesses should be doing to be compliant, here are his suggestions:
- Look at where all your waste is coming from, and seek solutions to prevent it
- Check your waste data regularly, to identify significant changes in waste production, so you can see how the change has occurred
- Check your current waste contract and determine how much it’s costing you
- Check that the amount you need collected annually matches what you’re paying for
- Set priorities to prevent or reduce waste
- Make sure you’ve got the correct collection arrangements in place for unavoidable waste
- Look at how much of your waste can be recycled and check if that volume has a value you can recoup. For example, if you have waste cooking oil, Procuria can get you 20 pence a litre – and provide collection barrels/bins if required
- Work out what kind of waste contract you need
- Start waste reduction and recycling initiatives straight away
- Speak to and work with specialists to make sure your current waste service is providing the best value, including basics like appropriate bin sizes, numbers of bins, and collection arrangements.
Above all else, make sure you know your legal responsibilities – and then make sure your staff know too!
New year’s day 2015 is closer than you think – so act now!