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No Time To Waste

09 January 2014

The Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 were passed by the Scottish Parliament in May 2012 with the objective of helping to make Scotland  one of the most resource efficient nations in Europe resulting in long term economic and environmental benefits for us all.  So why are we telling you about this now?  Well.... some of the regulations have already come into force from 1 January 2014 and your business risks a substantial fine if it does not take all reasonable steps to recycle the waste it produces.

The regulations now in place mean that :

  • Your business will have to present metal, plastic, glass, paper and card for separate collection from 1 January 2014.
  • If you have a food business (except in rural areas) and you produce over 50kg of food waste per week you will need to present that food waste for separate collection from 1 January 2014.   (But if you produce less than 50k food waste per week then you cannot relax for long,  as all such non rural food businesses producing over 5kg of food waste will need to present that food waste for separate collection from 1 January 2016).
  • There is 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 so you need to ensure that any waste collection firm you use is properly authorised.

Springfords have already met the 1 January 2014 target – we have bins for non-confidential paper waste in every office and separate bins for glass and plastic waste which are all collected by Midlothian Council.  Our confidential waste is shredded by a waste contractor who is a registered waste carrier with relevant authorisation from SEPA.

Here at Springfords we have also set up a Green Committee to look at all aspects of waste prevention and minimisation within the office and keep staff up to date with initiatives.  We’ve managed to make savings in our energy and stationery bills as a result of ideas stemming from the Committee. Perhaps you could set up a Green Committee in your organisation?  The basic mantra to keep in mind is:

Waste Prevention

Waste prevention is any activity that stops waste being produced and includes reuse. For example you should:

  • Check that all the electrical appliances you purchase are energy and water efficient.
  • Where you can, buy products made using recycled materials (eg toilet rolls).
  • Re-use plastic bags or better still use cloth bags (we have our own green carry bags!).
  • Don’t buy over-packaged goods or over package your own products.
  • Check out second-hand stores for office furniture rather than buying new.

Waste Minimisation

A sound waste minimisation programme will not only save money and increase profits, it can also reduce the company’s impact on the environment and improve its reputation.  Areas to look at here are:

  • Improve the yields and efficiency of your processes in the use of water, energy and raw materials.
  • Reduce the quantities and hazardous nature of emissions, effluent and solid waste used in your processes.
  • Use less harmful materials in your production process.

For more information and helpful factsheets visit The Scottish Environment Protection Agency at

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