What opportunities will the new food waste regs in Scotland create?
It will be a headache to follow the recycling path forged by Scottish Government. The most aggressive legislation is for food waste. When the 5kg regs kick in we’re stepping into unknown territory for waste management companies and SEPA to deliver and enforce this mandate. Some of the head-scratchers:
- How do you collect such a small amount of waste economically?
- Are there more intelligent ways to store waste if collections don’t financially stack up?
- Is it going to open up new avenues for commercial collection of specific waste streams?
1. Having one big bin/week of waste to collect has been happening since your man with a horse and dust cart came a-knocking. Thing is, the collection side only makes money if you own your own site and don’t pay gate fees (it’s all back to front). So collecting tiny bins at low cost is a loss leader. It’s possible that small cafes etc have been hiding under the 50kg figure claiming a weekly production of far less and will need a big bin at a regular rate regardless. We’ll see…
2. As already referenced, there’s not a lot of brains when it comes to how the industry makes money. Bigbelly make solar powered crusher bins and can communicate to operators wirelessly when full, they’re also solar powered. Islington council are running a trial and the take up has been excellent. I’m sure it would solve a headache up here.
3. Already in London, with comparatively weak English legislation, there is an award winning startup collecting and processing waste coffee grinds. And in Scotland, one of the UK’s first bio-refineries launched this spring, which manufactures fishing rods from carrots, to name just one application for root vegetables.
What further enterprises can be developed off the back of forward-thinking environmental policies?