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Waste Regulations one year on: Business urged to keep recycling

On the first anniversary of the introduction of the Waste (Scotland) Regulations, Zero Waste Scotland is urging businesses to ensure they are compliant in separating key materials for recycling.

1 Jan 15

Today also marks one year to go until the requirement to recycle food waste also includes any business which produces more than 5kg of food waste a week – on 1 January 2016 - and Zero Waste Scotland is urging businesses to be prepared for the next phase of requirements. The Waste (Scotland) Regulations came into force on 1 January 2014 and requires all businesses and organisations to separate key materials for recycling.  This includes food waste for those businesses which produce more than 50kg a week.  

Keenan Recycling Ltd, which is based in Turiff, Aberdeenshire, has seen the number of customers double, from 600 to 1,200 since January.  The business is now processing an additional 400 tonnes of food waste every month. This additional waste has the potential to generate enough energy to power almost 400 households for a year.

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

“One year on from introduction of our landmark waste regulations, I am delighted that our waste is being increasingly seen as a resource which can bring economic benefit to communities, as well as reducing our environmental impact.  Our regulations channel food waste that would otherwise end up in landfill into the hands of growing companies like Keenan Recycling, who can convert the material into compost, and create jobs in the process.”

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland said:

“Business are already reaping the benefits of the waste regulations, with waste management firms such as Keenan Recycling reporting a boost in business from greater access to food waste that would otherwise end up in landfill.  Earlier this year we announced the results of an independent survey which showed that 83% of businesses were aware of the regulations, and almost 90% of those were confident that they were compliant.

“There is of course still a challenge for us to reach businesses who could benefit from advice on how they need to implement the regulations.  We can help businesses deliver their obligations through our free Resource Efficient Scotland service.  I would also urge companies to check if their waste contractor has signed up to the voluntary Resource Sector Commitment.  By using a contractor which has signed up to the commitment, businesses can be assured that they will be provided with a high quality recycling service which is compliant with the regulations.”

Prior to the waste regulations coming into force, Keenan Recycling prepared for an increase in business by purchasing two new food waste collection vehicles and a compactor vehicle to deal with compostable cups.  Two further collection vehicles were added in the last month of 2014 bringing the total fleet to seven.  They also created a new Transport and Logistics team to manage the roll out and ongoing operations, employing 15 new members of staff.

Gregor Keenan, Director, Keenan Recycling said:

“The new waste regulations have had a significant positive impact on Keenan Recycling.  We have seen a dramatic rise in the demand for recycling services in both private and public sectors.  With support from Zero Waste Scotland, SAB (Support for Aberdeenshire Business) and finance from Clydesdale Bank we have invested in additional infrastructure, vehicles and machinery to meet the demand.  

“We are proud to be at the forefront of the Scottish Government’s ambitious drive towards a Zero Waste Society.”

The Store in Aberdeenshire produces food waste from its on-site butchery, kitchens, coffee shop and farms, and has been a customer of Keenan Recycling for over three years.  After this food waste has been transformed by Keenan’s, The Store use the compost produced back on their farm land to grow produce for use back in the farm store and coffee shop, creating a closed loop system.

Andrew Booth, The Store said:

"At The Store Farm & Coffee shop recycling is key to our ethos, we have the benefit of being able to take all our food waste and more from the butchery and restaurant back to our farm. The compost conditions the soil adds nutrients and the added bio dynamic activity which is created from using Keenan’s compost is a vital part of our farming practice now."

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