Government proposal forces businesses to recycle

By Becky Paskin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Recycling, Waste management

Recycling food waste could be made mandatory under the proposals
Recycling food waste could be made mandatory under the proposals
A proposal to ban sending recyclable items such as food, cardboard, cans and glass to landfill may mean restaurants, pubs and hotels that do not currently recycle, will be forced to do so

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has set out plans to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill, which currently amounts to 54 million tonnes a year in England alone.

The proposal published by Defra, which argues that too many everyday waste materials end up in landfill when there is a market and environmental reasons to recycle them, suggests imposing mandatory waste separation rules could reduce the amount sent to landfill, saving the British economy up to £187m a year.

“So much of what we throw away has an economic value or can be re-used, but instead we are burying it,” Benn said. “I want to make it easier for us all to do the right thing and I am making it very clear today that any obligation to sort waste would fall primarily on the waste collection authority and on businesses, and not the individual householder.”

Recycling space and organisation

Hannah Bass, operations director for ETM group, the collection of pubs and restaurants owned by brothers Ed and Tom Martin, said any effort to reduce landfill waste was commendable, but local authorities would have to support businesses if changes were to be met.

“Recycling across a number of different sized sites is a huge challenge already, and some of our pubs have very little space to store waste behind the scenes,” she said. “You obviously want to get waste out of your property as soon as possible or you’ll end up attracting vermin, but we find that collection times from different local authorities makes recycling difficult.

“We would probably need to review the way we work, and work very closely with our waste management company, but we would also need a lot more assistance and guidance from the local authorities. As an industry we are already having to comply with so many regulations but there’s a lot of red tape that only seems to be getting more restrictive.

“The implications of this will also depend on what sort of timeline they give businesses to make the changes,” she added.

As yet there are no proposals to impose a fine on those businesses flouting the ban. The consultation will run for 12 weeks, closing on 10 June 2010.

Related topics: Legislation

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2 comments

For the first 6 years…

Posted by Anonymous,

For the first 6 years in business I was a good citizen and recycled cardboard, paper and bottles and the myriad of paperwork that came with it ( much of which I was charged for by messrs Biffa )
If I failed to fill in a form they simply stopped collecting
As revenues reduced I was forced to cut costs and principles and switched to collection by local authority.
Everything now goes in one bin and I pay less than half previously and with no paperwork.
Local authorities are targetted on recycling levels for residential properties but not for businesses.......... which is why it all goes in one bin
So where`s the incentive ?

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If your local authority…

Posted by Los Gatos,

If your local authority provides your business with waste collection and recycling services you are very lucky! Here in Swindon we have to make our own arrangements and are not even allowed to use the borough's recycling centre even if we take it there ourselves! I'm sure we aren't the only ones in this boat - so the government will need to put pressure on local authorities to put services in place before they introduce any mandatory recycling policy or it simply will not work!

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