New Scottish Waste Legislation enhances Scotland’s push towards zero waste to landfill
20th June 2012
The introduction of the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 on 9th May 2012 is a landmark change in how companies manage their waste and seals the fate of legislation which is implementing Scotland’s goal of Zero Waste to landfill.
This new legislation puts an increased responsibility on businesses to better manage their waste. This includes a legal obligation to apply the waste hierarchy to all waste streams, and also a staged timetable of source segregation of recyclables – including organic food waste on a timetable based on produced volumes of waste per week.
Increasingly over the last number of years, the vocabulary of waste has changed. The language of ‘waste’ – beyond usefulness – is increasingly being referred to as a ‘resource’; a resource to be better managed: reduced, re-used and recycled were possible with disposal to landfill as a last resort because this ‘resource’ carries embedded value. The term ‘Zero Waste’ is becoming more and more common place.
The Scottish Government has launched a ‘Zero Waste Plan’ and is working towards a long-term target of recycling 70% of all Scotland’s waste. The regulatory landscape is changing, to include the recent introduction on 9th May 2012 of The Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 to assist Scotland achieve this target.
The Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 make the following provisions the most notable and imminent provisions being:
- businesses are 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.
- 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.
- a ban on biodegradable municipal waste going to landfill from 1 January 2021.
The introduction of the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 also bring a compulsory requirement for all businesses to consider, and where appropriate to apply the waste hierarchy. For businesses, using your Environmental Management System (EMS) is an ideal way to demonstrate evidence of compliance and to drive further improvements.
For further information on The Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 please visit the Scottish Environment Protection Agency website: http://www.sepa.org.uk/waste/moving_towards_zero_waste.aspx
Mabbett has a team of technical professionals who can provide guidance and implementation support on the new regulations to include: advice on waste contracts, waste segregation, legal compliance audits, EMS and staff awareness training. For further details please contact Jamie Roddie or click here to learn more about our waste management services.