OVER 80 RESTAURANTS in Glasgow are working together in a new cooperative to help cut food waste and costs. The pilot project will help the businesses meet new waste regulations in Scotland.
Funded by Zero Waste Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and Cooperative Development Scotland, the Glasgow Restaurant Association has been looking at the viability of introducing a single food waste recycling service for its 84 members.
The aim is to develop a Resource Recovery Co-operative, where common practices towards food waste are changed, businesses generate cost-savings and members are rewarded for implementing recycling activities.
It is estimated that somewhere in the region of £60 million pounds could be saved by the Scottish hospitality sector each year through the prevention of food waste and by increased recycling.
This is a big commitment, but through this pledge, we fully support the aim of achieving zero waste going to landfill by encouraging all of our members, consumers, staff and suppliers to waste less food and packaging, said the Associations business development consultant Anthea Jackson.
We wish to develop a strategy that will not only help our members manage waste more efficiently but will also ensure that our food waste will go to anaerobic digestion as this is the most sustainable and efficient method of recovering energy.
Under the new Waste (Scotland) Regulations, passed by the Scottish Parliament on May 9, businesses are now required to separate paper and card, plastic, metal and glass for recycling by 2013. Businesses that produce more than 50kg of food waste per week will also need to separate this for collection by January 2014, and businesses producing between 5kg and 50kg of food waste per week will be asked to follow suit from 2016.
The regulations are designed to help Scotland meet its ambitious targets of 70% of all waste being recycled by 2025.
Zero Waste Scotland is also supporting collaborative approaches to recycling collections, designed to make it easier and cheaper for SMEs to recycle by working together. Pilot projects are underway in Bathgate, Falkirk, Clackmannanshire, Alloa, and Dumfries and Galloway. For more details of its recycling fund for SMEs go to www.zerowastescotland.org.uk