ACCORDING to recent research published by Greener Scotland, Scots produce 389,000 tonnes of food and drink waste every year, costing the Scottish public £1billion.
In an attempt to encourage companies to move away from sending waste to landfill towards a more sustainable way of waste treatment, the government has increased landfill tax for the sixth year running.
Following an £8 increase at the start of April, the tax has now risen to £72 per tonne, which will have a huge impact on businesses disposing of waste through landfill sites.
The environmental tax, which is paid on top of normal landfill rates by any company, local authority or organisation, is intended to encourage alternative means of waste disposal, such as recycling.
As disposing of waste through landfill sites becomes an increasingly expensive option, more companies are choosing to recycle, which can also help them work towards their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) targets.
Many CSR initiatives in the workplace include a commitment to help the environment and organic recycling firm Keenan Recycling, which is based at New Deer in Aberdeenshire, currently works with more than 500 businesses across the North-east and Inverness to help them to divert food waste away from landfill.
The recycling company launched a commercial food waste collection scheme in 2010, becoming the first business in Scotland offering organisations the opportunity to recycle items such as leftover food, coffee grounds, cups and paper towels. The waste is used to create British Standard Industry accredited compost for farming and horticultural use.
Managing director Grant Keenan said more companies are choosing to recycle in the workplace to comply with the new zero waste regulations, which will require all businesses producing more than 50kg of food waste per week to separate this from landfill waste by the end of this year.
“By January 2016, any businesses producing more than just 5kg of food waste per week will need to recycle it, so it is important for companies to put plans in place to prepare for the new legislation.
“As the UK government continues to encourage a move away from reliance on landfill towards more sustainable methods of waste treatment, having a comprehensive waste management system is not only ideal for reducing direct taxes for a business, but a good recycling process can also support a company’s Corporate Social Responsibility.”
Organic recycling firm Keenan Recycling, has expanded its business into Inverness and the surrounding areas and recently invested £250,000 in two new lorries, increasing its fleet to five to strengthen its specialist food waste collection service and prepare for zero waste regulations.
To find out more about recycling commercial food waste, contact Keenan Recycling on 01771 644883.