Countdown to new waste regulations for businesses

date18 July 2013

With less than six months to go until the introduction of new waste regulations for businesses, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has been promoting the upcoming changes through a series of briefings and seminars across Scotland.

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From January 1, 2014 every business will have a legal duty to segregate recyclable materials, including metal, plastic, paper, card and glass under the new Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012. Additionally food businesses in urban areas producing more than 50kg per week of food waste will also have to implement food recycling schemes using dedicated waste bins.

The new regulations will help towards achieving the ambitious targets set by the Scottish Government to recycle 70% of all waste by 2025, ensuring Scotland becomes one of the most resource efficient nations in Europe.

SEPA, in partnership with a number of agencies, including Zero Waste Scotland, has succeeded in raising awareness of the upcoming changes with over 600 businesses already through specially arranged briefings and seminars across the country. Extensive engagement between SEPA and local authorities has also taken place to develop a consistent approach to implementing the new legislation.

Adrian Bond, National Operations Waste Unit Manager from Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said:

The new regulations are a key part of Scotland's ambitious journey to zero waste and, over the last year, we have seen significant progress by individual producers and waste service providers to engage in recycling. This critical activity has already led to investments and innovation which will lead to long term benefits for both the environment and the economy.

"Recycling is fast becoming a mainstream part of life, whether at home or at work, and the ongoing preparation for 2014 demonstrates the country's commitment to managing Scotland's material resources in a much more cost-effective and efficient way."

Over the coming months, SEPA will continue the programme of engagement with businesses to provide advice and encourage business owners to contact their waste service provider in order to start preparing for the coming changes.

For more details of The Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012, please visit the Zero Waste regulations page.


Notes to editor

Details of the changes due to commence from January 2014 under the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 can be found below:

  • The Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 were passed by the Scottish Parliament on 9 May 2012. The regulations make the following provisions:
  • Businesses to present metal, plastic, glass, paper and card for separate collection from 1 January 2014.
  • Food businesses (except in rural areas) which produce over 50 kg of food waste per week to present that food waste for separate collection from 1 January 2014.
  • Food businesses (except in rural areas) which produce over 5 kg of food waste per week to present that food waste for separate collection from 1 January 2016.
  • Local authorities to provide a minimum recycling service to householders. Waste contractors to provide collection and treatment services which deliver high quality recycling.
  • A ban on any metal, plastic, glass, paper, card and food collected separately for recycling from going to incineration or landfill from 1 January 2014.
  • All new incinerators must ensure that metals and dense plastics have been removed from residual municipal waste prior to incineration.
  • A ban on biodegradable municipal waste going to landfill from 1 January 2021.