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New fund launched to help small businesses work together to recycle more

Zero Waste Scotland has launched a new support fund today which aims to make it easier for small businesses to identify and take forward innovative and cost-effective solutions to help them recycle more and comply more easily with proposed Zero Waste Regulations.

23 Jan 12

By collecting larger quantities of recyclable waste materials together in one place or joining together to contract one waste manager to provide collections, small businesses could stand to make financial savings, increase their recycling rates and reduce their environmental impact by working together.

Up to four projects will receive funding in the pilot phase of the fund.  Marking an initial investment of up to £50,000, Zero Waste Scotland says further funding could become available at a later date if the pilot projects prove to be successful.

New Zero Waste Regulations proposed by the Scottish Government will require all Scottish businesses to sort and present key recyclable materials for separate collection by 2013.  This includes separate collections for paper and card, plastics, metals, and glass.

For businesses in food retail, production or preparation, a separate food waste collection will also be required by 2013 for businesses with over 50 employees.  By 2015, businesses with fewer employees will be asked to follow suit.

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

“By working together small businesses can take advantage of innovative solutions to increase recycling and ultimately reduce their costs. This pilot fund will support some of the first of these collaborations and will show the real financial and environmental benefits of working together.

“Regulation will boost Scotland’s economy by ensuring quality waste materials do not end up in landfill – becoming a resource, rather than a problem. Helping make recycling cost-effective, practical and easy for small businesses is very important if Scotland is to make the most of its resources and meet our zero waste ambitions.”

Marissa Lippiatt, Head of Business Support for Zero Waste Scotland, said:  

“We are committed to helping Scotland’s businesses adapt to meet the requirements of the Zero Waste Regulations.

“Working together to collect and manage commercial waste can allow small businesses to overcome common problems which can make recycling seem challenging, such as lack of space to store recycling or low quantities making waste collection contracts more costly.

“The fund is available to business improvement districts, community groups, or properly constituted business groups who would like to either research the viability of a collaborative recycling project or take steps to implement one.  We will consider funding activities including waste data collection and composition analysis, business case and procurement support, options appraisal and service reviews, and capital to purchase or lease equipment.

“Scotland’s commercial sector produces an estimated 6.57million tonnes of waste every year.  Businesses can save money by taking action to prevent waste in the first place.  After ensuring we are efficient in our use of resources, recycling as much as possible is the next important step.”

The new fund is just one part of Zero Waste Scotland’s business support programme, which aims to help businesses make the most of their resources in the first place as well as providing advice to help businesses recycle more and to a higher standard.  


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