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Don’t Throw Away Your Chance To Save Money

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Don’t Throw Away Your Chance To Save Money

October 21
20:07 2013
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Food waste disposed of by the Scottish hospitality sector is estimated at 53,500 tonnes a year. While this would seem excessive by any standards, it’s nothing compared to the alarming statistic that up to 35,800 tonnes of this wasted produce could actually have been eaten in the first place. And aside from the considerable impact this needless profligacy has on the environment, businesses are also losing out to the tune of more than £60m a year through inefficient processes used to deal with commercial waste of all types. Thankfully, Zero Waste Scotland is on hand to help, and is tackling the problem by encouraging organisations to take simple steps to make better use of their resources. 

Did you know that if avoidable food waste was prevented and unavoidable food waste recycled, the Scottish hospitality sector could prevent 150,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions being release into the atmosphere? That’s the equivalent of taking almost 50,000 cars off the road for an entire year. The Scottish Government’s Waste (Scotland) Regulations – passed by the Scottish Parliament in May this year – stipulate that, by January 2014, all business premises in Scotland must separate paper and card, plastic, metal and glass for recycling. Meanwhile, commercial entities producing more than 50kg of food waste per week will also need to separate this for collection by the same deadline, while those producing between 5kg and 50kg per week will be required comply by January 2016. To assist in achieving this target, over £4m was made available last year to local authorities and businesses to support the introduction of local food waste collections. This year, an additional £5m will be invested in food waste collections, while £750,000 is available to increase other recycling collection services to SMEs. Small businesses could also make financial savings, increase their recycling rates and reduce their environmental impact by working together to collect larger quantities of recyclable waste materials in one place, or by contracting a single waste manager to coordinate collections. In light of this, a number of pilot projects have been kick-started across Scotland to explore these collaborative approaches to recycling collections. One project in particular – in which the Glasgow Restaurant Association introduces a single food waste collection for all of its members – is of particular interest to the catering sector. However, apart from the obvious environmental advantages associated with these incentives, these businesses could also save a significant amount of money simply by reviewing the way they manage their waste food. In helping businesses to boost their bottom line by reducing waste and increasing efficiency, Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) encourages cost savings by identifying innovative ways for businesses to work together to recycle more. Indeed, the organisations has estimated that, with improved planning and diligent use of resources, annual savings could reach around £64m in Scotland alone. As you would expect, effort and application are fundamental factors in all of this, and businesses that take the initiative will benefit the most and realise the biggest savings. So, there is a real opportunity here for organisations to take advantage of cost savings by preventing food waste as much as possible, and by recycling more. Zero Waste Scotland is committed to working together with the Scottish hospitality sector to help businesses make the most of their resources, while meeting the requirements of the new regulations implemented by the Scottish Government. Essentially, of course, the new regulations are not merely about managing waste – they are about driving a change in the economy. If we all work together to help improve attitudes towards waste in general, Scotland will reap the benefits in due course.

www.zerowastescotland.org.uk

This article has been edited from its original version. For the complete feature, please see Catering in Scotland magazine June/July2012.

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Zero Waste Scotland’s Iain Gulland explains how businesses can deal with their waste in line with recent legislation…

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