A leading Aberdeenshire organic recycling company is warning local food businesses to comply with Scottish waste legislation or face receiving new on-the-spot fines.
Keenan Recycling, which is headquartered in New Deer, is urging business owners to comply with their duty of care for waste to avoid the £300 fines that have been imposed on non-compliant firms since June this year.
Since 1st January 2016, it has been a legal requirement for all businesses that produce more than 5kg of food waste per week to have food preparation waste, spoiled items and plate waste collected separately for recycling by a registered waste carrier.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has started its fixed monetary penalty (FMP) campaign to identify businesses that are persistently non-compliant with the duty to separate food waste and other key materials for recycling.
Keenan Recycling, which turns food and garden waste into compost for farming and horticultural use, was the first company in Scotland to provide businesses with the opportunity to recycle items such as leftover food and coffee grounds.
The firm is now working alongside organisations such as SEPA, whose FMP campaign targets offices, retailers, restaurants, hotels, bars, cafes and takeaways that are failing to acknowledge and adhere to the regulations.
SEPA is tackling the issue by working in partnership with local authorities to identify persistent non-compliance within organisations across Scotland. Those found to be making no effort to make improvements to their waste management system will face a £300 fixed monetary penalty.
Keenan Recycling provides comprehensive guidance and advice to its customers, ensuring that they are all fully up to date with waste regulation.
Eleanor Strain, senior policy officer for SEPA’s national waste unit, said:
“Since starting the campaign, most offenders are making a conscious effort to train their staff to recycle and secure an improved service from their waste management contractor. The penalty system we’ve introduced is a much more proportionate enforcement tool, and gets the attention of small business owners who may not be aware of the legislation.
“Whilst I appreciate that SMEs have lots of other pressures, it’s important that they are aware of laws which can have a direct impact on their business. It’s simple to remain within the law, make sure that recycling systems are established and all bins are labelled to avoid mixing food waste, recyclables and non-recyclables.”
Grant Keenan (pictured), managing director of Keenan Recycling, said:
“Companies need to ensure that they have suitable plans in place to keep them in line with the duty to recycle. Disposing of food waste will keep them within the law and also helps the environment.
“Businesses that are struggling to abide by waste legislation need to remember that they may lose their consumer confidence, as customers want to know that businesses are acting responsibly and are helping to look after the environment.”
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