Scottish Recycling Fund

The Scottish Recycling Fund (SRF) is a £3.8M fund established by Zero Waste Scotland and Scottish Enterprise to develop or expand materials reprocessing capacity and remanufacturing facilities in Scotland.

What is the Scottish Recycling Fund?  

The Scottish Recycling Fund is a limited fund (£3.8M over 3 years) that has been established by Zero Waste Scotland and Scottish Enterprise to develop or expand:

  • sorting, reuse / repair and reprocessing capacity for eligible waste materials in Scotland
  • remanufacturing facilities in Scotland

Waste materials eligible for the fund:

  • Plastics
  • Tyres
  • Textiles
  • Glass
  • Industrial food & drink processing waste
  • Waste electrical and electronic equipment
  • Plasterboard

The fund is able to offer loans, repayable over a 3-5 year period on commercial terms, to organisations that are interested in developing the relevant infrastructure in Scotland. While loans are primarily for capital investment, they can include working capital.

What are the objectives of the fund?

The specific objectives of the SRF are as follows:

  • To establish key reprocessing infrastructure in Scotland
  • To divert materials from landfill and other waste treatment into high value end uses and achieve related carbon savings
  • To develop infrastructure for ‘problem waste streams’ in Scotland
  • To generate additional jobs and added value in Scotland from these activities
  • To support a range of projects, which are unable to access funding from other commercial sources 
  • To help in the development of more circular business models in Scotland

Why has the fund been set up and why is it only applicable to certain materials/sectors?

The Scottish Recycling Fund is a key tool to support the Scottish Government’s objectives for sustainable economic growth and making the transition to a low carbon economy, under its Low Carbon Economic Strategy (2010) and the move towards a more circular economy under Safeguarding Scotland’s Resources (2013).

The materials/sectors included within the loan fund have been selected based on environmental impact, potential job/GVA opportunities and activities supporting a more circular economy.

Who can apply?

Any business that is seeking to develop material sorting, reuse /repair, reprocessing and remanufacturing infrastructure in Scotland can apply, provided the project  meets the following criteria:

  • it contributes towards the building of additional sorting, reuse/repair or reprocessing capacity for an eligible waste material (as listed above) or towards the establishment of additional remanufacturing capacity
  • it diverts eligible waste material from landfill or energy recovery; OR it will produce high value products from eligible waste materials; OR it will produce certified remanufactured products
  • a proportion of the eligible waste materials to be recycled are from the Scottish waste stream OR, for remanufactured products, supplied from Scottish businesses
  • funding is required for purchase of assets (but can be for working capital)
  • the infrastructure funded will be in Scotland
  • Projects are ineligible if an interest is held in it by any individual employed by Zero Waste Scotland or Scottish Enterprise.

What kind of projects can be funded?

Priority projects are those which add value to materials/products in Scotland and make a significant contribution to the overall objectives of the fund listed above.

Projects which divert materials for energy recovery, for example contaminated plastics to oil facilities will be considered, but these will be lower priority. Applications for energy recovery projects will, as a minimum, need to provide evidence that they target only those materials that cannot be economically recycled higher up the waste hierarchy.

Some simple examples of eligible projects are as follows:

  • Separation and reprocessing of plastic from waste electrical equipment into new products
  • Enhancing reprocessing of plasterboard to produce recycled material suitable for inclusion in  plasterboard products or other applications (such as road surfaces)
  • Setting up a WEEE reuse and repair facility
  • Installing an anaerobic digestion facility at a dairy to process the effluent and generate renewable energy
  • Developing a new remanufacturing facility for diesel engines

We should stress that these are just examples, and we would welcome an early discussion with you to see if this fund can help meet your needs. 

What are the terms of the loans available?

Applicants will be eligible to apply for one loan per project. 

The extent of any loan offered will be subject to the specific circumstances of the applicant, and in any event will be for a minimum of £50,000 and a maximum of £1.9m. The maximum loan term is five years.

Loan applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis and charged a commercial rate of interest.

ZWS will work with companies to identify potential projects which meet the fund objectives  and, where appropriate, refer to Scottish Enterprise for their consideration for funding.

Scottish Enterprise will have responsibility for administering the fund and undertaking the commercial transactions including: assessing loan applications, undertaking due diligence, making loan decisions and awards and managing repayments.  

How do I apply? 

If your project meets the criteria listed above and you’d like to discuss things further with us, please fill in the Expression of Interest Form on the right of this page and we will contact you within five working days to discuss your proposed project. 

Loan funding is not the only support available to businesses wishing to develop a project. Both Zero Waste Scotland and Scottish Enterprise can offer additional support to help you progress your project. This could include helping you to shape your funding proposition, providing technical advice, or potentially offering small grants – so please get in touch with your ideas and see how we may be able to help.

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