OPERATORS failing to comply with Scottish food waste legislation could face on-the-spot fines from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), a recycling firm has warned.
Aberdeenshire-based Keenan Recycling said food businesses that don’t adhere to the recycling rules, introduced last year, could be targeted by SEPA’s fixed monetary penalty campaign (FMP), which came into force last June.
Aimed at businesses with a food offer, including pubs, restaurants, and hotels, SEPA’s fixed monetary campaign can result in £300 fixed penalties for operators who are found to be “making no effort” to improve their waste management system.
Since January last year, all businesses that produce more than 5kg of food waste per week have been required to have food preparation waste, spoiled items and plate waste collected separately for recycling by a registered waste carrier.
Grant Keenan, 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.”
Eleanor Strain, senior policy officer for SEPA’s national waste unit, commented on the FMP campaign, and said business owners identified “are making a conscious effort to train their staff to recycle and secure an improved service from their waste management contractor”.
“Whilst I appreciate SMEs have lots of other pressures, it’s important that they are aware of laws which can have a direct impact on their business,” said Strain. “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.”