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Realise the opportunities in waste management for your business

Scottish businesses spend on average a whopping £7,000 a year on waste. Add that up over 5 years, a bill of £35,000 is not inconsiderable. Given that you pay per uplift, we think you’ll agree that preventing waste is always better than managing and paying for it.

guide waste management organisations

Businesses face a number of issues, which often means that waste management is typically low on the agenda.  Ironically cash flow is always high on the agenda. Improved waste management can help reduce overheads and improve profitability.

No business wants to spend more than necessary on anything, least of all waste, so it makes sense to look at ways of preventing or reducing waste generation at source by reviewing existing waste management practices. Doing this will not only help your business make savings on waste collection costs, but also helps you to identify additional opportunities to achieve savings on raw material costs.

Environmental regulation for business waste management

The Waste (Scotland) Regulations were introduced in 2014, and all organisations in Scotland, regardless of size must recycle their waste.

The regulations in summary:

• All businesses, public sector and not-for-profit organisations are required to present metal, plastic, glass, paper and card (including cardboard) for separate collection.
• Food businesses (except in rural areas) which produce over 5 kg of food waste per week to present that food waste for separate collection.
• There will be a ban on biodegradable municipal waste going to landfill from 1 January 2021.

Since the introduction of the Regulations, businesses have faced challenges with compliance. The main issues tend to be the increased waste costs due to additional collection streams or lack of space to accommodate bins. But it’s important to get it right or risk a potential fine of up to £10,000 and avoid fixed penalty notices.

To help businesses comply with the Regulations as well as identify and realise opportunities, Zero Waste Scotland have developed an Improving Waste Management: How-to Guide for Business Groups.

This guide written for organisations working with businesses, within a defined geographical area, to develop and deliver waste management projects which improve the local economy and the wider community. Examples of organisations that will find the guide useful include; :

  • Business Improvement Districts (BIDS);
  • Federation for Small Businesses
  • Chambers of Commerce;
  • traders associations;
  • industry associations; and
  • other local business support groups.

The guide equips trade associations and other businesses with the tools to carry out their own waste management review among individual businesses of all sizes to identify cost saving opportunities and improved practices.

The guide takes you through the steps of collecting and analysing waste data from businesses, identifying and prioritising opportunities for action, in addition to providing you with lots of useful tools, templates and further guidance along the way to turn opportunities into reality.

The benefits of improving waste management include;

  • Reduced costs
  • Improved environmental performance
  • Improved streetscene
  • Minimised contamination
  • Coordinated waste services

It goes without saying though that the old adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ is still very relevant. Preventing waste in the first place is the most effective way to reduce our waste costs.

For further free, expert support from our team of advisors call 0808 808 2268 or email us.

Resource Efficient Scotland is a programme from Zero Waste Scotland. Free support to business is funded by the Scottish Government and by the European Regional Development Fund through the £73 million Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Accelerator Programme.



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