Opinion piece from Roger Green, CEO of office recycling specialist Brightwaste, on why Glasgow City Council’s new scheme to deal with trade waste is much needed.
Glasgow City Council is changing its procedure for the way businesses put their trade waste containers out on public spaces within the City centre. From 26 June trade waste bins will only be allowed on the streets at certain times of day. Failure to comply with the new scheme could result in fines of up to £1000.
A pilot project will be trialled in eight, key, city centre locations and extended in the coming months to cover other areas of the city centre. It means city centre businesses will need to store their business waste on their own premises, and then put it out for collection during a pre-arranged time slot. The aim is to make Glasgow a cleaner, greener, safer place.
If a business’s trade waste is found on the street out with the allotted time slots, 07.30- 09.30 and 17.00- 23.00, or left for longer than one hour, enforcement action may be taken under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 which could lead to a fine of up to £1000.
Roger Green, CEO of office recycling specialists Brightwaste comments on the new scheme: “Trade waste bins have become a real headache for local councils. They clutter up city centre streets causing obstructions for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. They also spoil the appearance of our cities and overflowing bins cause litter and attract vermin. There are simply too many bins on Glasgow’s streets and too many lorries collecting waste causing traffic congestion at rush hour. Something needs to be done to improve the way trade and commercial waste is dealt with and I fully support Glasgow City Council’s new scheme to tackle the problem and hope the pilot project will be a success.
“Edinburgh City Council introduced a similar initiative two years ago which has transformed the centre of Edinburgh. Overnight the number of bins on Rose Street fell from 600 to 120 bins. The council fined anyone who didn’t comply with the result that businesses started using refuse sacks rather than waste bins. Edinburgh set a precedent when it introduced the new system and is reaping the benefits now having transformed the city centre. Businesses manage their waste more responsibly and recycle more. The cleaner, safer streets encourage more visitors to visit the city centre and spend more time there which means it’s good for business.
“Brightwaste was set up earlier this year to offer a new service designed specifically for city centre offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh to provide an effective solution to how to deal with trade waste. We provide a waste management solution that helps our customers segregate waste at source, recycle and reduce the costs of disposal by offering a rubbish sack collection service that picks up directly from their office at a time that is convenient for them. This means they don’t need to risk fines for not separating materials for recycling correctly or leaving rubbish bags and trade waste bins on the street outwith the designated collection windows being introduced by Glasgow City Council on 26 June. And very importantly a sack collection service, rather than a trade waste bin service, actually encourages businesses to produce less rubbish and recycle more.”
Businesses now have a legal duty to present metal, plastic, glass, paper and card separately for collection or face fines from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) ranging from a £300 Fixed Monetary Penalty up to a fine of £10,000 for persistent failure to comply with the duty to segregate materials for recycling.
Brightwaste helps city centre businesses segregate and stream their waste to improve their recycling and waste management processes without incurring high costs. The company uses a fleet of city vans that are nimble and flexible, collecting businesses’ separately bagged recyclables directly from their office when they are ready for uplift without being restricted to a timed collection window. To ensure all recycling bags are kept separate Brightwaste collect them in a van as, unlike bin lorries, they won’t mix/mash the recycling together. This ensures compliance and the high-quality recycling, with no contamination from being mashed together, means improved processing and reduced costs overall.