Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
Recycling is the third-best waste-management option for your business, after reducing and reusing waste. It is less beneficial to the environment than reuse because energy and resources are needed to reprocess the waste before the materials can be used again. Even so, recycling is important because it reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill and reduces the need to use new raw materials.
You must comply with special requirements for recycling certain wastes, such as:
You must comply with waste legislation if you are recycling or transporting waste.
In Scotland and Northern Ireland new regulations require businesses to segregate key materials for recycling.
You must separate:
In Scotland you must separate food waste for collection if you are a food business, unless you qualify as a rual location or produce less than 5Kg of food waste per week.
In Northern Ireland if you are a food business then you must be prepared to present food waste for separate collection if you are a large producer, or be prepared to present food waste for collection by 1 April 2017 for small producers and Health and Social Care trusts.
You are a large producer if you regularly produce more than 50kg of food waste per week.
You are a small producer if you regularly produce between 5kg and 50kg of food waste per week.
Buy products that can be recycled. Only 7.5 per cent of all office waste, including paper, is recycled but 70 per cent could potentially be recycled.
Separate waste that can be recycled from other waste. See the page in this guideline: Separating and storing waste.
Check the cost of recycling. It could be much less than sending your waste for energy recovery or disposal. Find out if your local authority provides recycling collections at low or no cost.
Sell high-quality recyclable materials, for example construction materials. There are an increasing number of uses for recycled materials.
Waste exchanges such as letsrecycle.com give price information and quality specifications for a wide range of products. These can include compost, glass, metals, paper and board, plastics, textiles and wood.
You can get information and help with starting, or improving, recycling at work from:
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