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Council reminds businesses of waste responsibilities

Household waste dumped in the skips at the Hatston Civic Amenity site

Orkney Islands Council will be contacting local business owners about their responsibilities in terms of waste and recycling disposal — to help them stay on the right side of the law and avoid fines.

Under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012, businesses have a legal obligation to manage their waste properly.

This requires ensuring that the waste is transferred to someone who is authorised to receive it, for example, a registered waste carrier or an authorised waste facility.

Businesses must also ensure recyclable materials are removed and recycled appropriately.

The council continues to appeal to businesses not to dispose of their waste/recycling at Household Waste Recycling Centres, which are intended for householder use.

Instead they can take their waste and recycling to the council’s waste transfer facility, Chinglebraes, where dry recyclates (paper, cardboard, cans, glass, plastic bottles) can be disposed of free — with the exception of paper and card, for which there is a small fee based on tonnage. Waste cooking oil, lubricant oil and garden waste would need to be taken to  Bossack.

Businesses wishing to do this should note they would need to register as a waste carrier with SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency). There is currently no charge for this for many businesses.

It’s also important businesses understand they need to register with the council ahead of taking waste or recycling to Bossack or Chinglebraes, to avoid delays at the gate — or possibly being turned away.

Businesses can set up a trade waste and/or recycling collection service with the council.

Darren Richardson is the council’s head of infrastructure services. He said: “We’re issuing these reminders now to help businesses avoid falling foul of SEPA and possibly incurring fines.

“Equally, we’re keen to spread the word amongst businesses that recycling where possible is not only a legal requirement, but it can also save them money.

“It’s far cheaper to separate out recyclates than it is to dispose of these items in general waste. It also contributes to the Zero Waste Plan for Scotland where targets proposed include recycling 70 per cent of all Scotland’s waste and only 5 per cent of remaining waste ending up in landfill by 2025.

“The situation is slightly different on the isles with regards to recycling — so we are writing separately to isles businesses.

“We’re here to help all businesses and we’d encourage any local business, no matter the size, to contact us if they’re unsure about what they need to do or wish to establish a recycling or waste collection service with us.”

Resources and information for businesses is regularly updated on the council’s website and any business, large or small, who is unsure of whether their waste and/or recycling is classed as commercial waste should get in touch with the council’s Waste Team on 873535.

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