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Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012

Regulations to help Scotland become one of the most resource efficient nations in Europe are now in place.

Why do the Waste (Scotland) Regulations affect my business?

The Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 were passed by the Scottish Parliament on 9 May 2012. These Regulations require your business to take the following actions:

  • Your business must present metal, plastic, glass, paper and card for separate collection.
  • If you run a food business (except in classified rural areas) which produces over 5 kg of food waste per week you must present that food waste for separate collection.
  • Where food collections are available, it will be illegal to dispose of food into the sewer (except in classified rural areas), for example, by using a macerator.

How do I find out if my business has been defined as urban or rural?

If your business is located in a rural area, you are exempt from the food waste requirements of the Regulations, however, you may still want to examine the economic benefits of recycling. To find out whether your business location has been defined as rural, you can go online to check Zero Waste Scotland's Postcode Finder, check a list of postcodes online with the Scottish Government, or contact the Zero Waste Scotland helpline on 0808 100 2040.

Where can I find out more information?

Resource Efficient Scotland, a programme being delivered by Zero Waste Scotland, can help your business prepare for the new Regulations. Resource Efficient Scotland is also working with industry to cut energy, water, and raw material use. They can provide help and support to implement resource efficiency, cut costs, and improve productivity and competitiveness.

Resource Efficient Scotland has prepared an icon information leaflet [680Kb] for businesses on these Regulations which can be downloaded as a PDF.

Why should I do it?

Aside from the long term economic and ecological benefits, your business risks a substantial fine if it does not take all reasonable steps to recycle the waste it generates. Your contractor may refuse to collect your waste if it is not properly sorted for recycling, and local authorities and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) are empowered to deal with companies that flout the new Waste Regulations.

What should I do now?

The Regulations have now come into effect, meaning your business/organisation must meet their requirements.

If your business or organisation does not have an existing waste/recycling contract in place, you can contact our Commercial Waste Team for advice, or to arrange for a free, no obligation, Zero Waste Compliance visit to advise on how to meet the new Regulations.

If you have a waste/recycling contract in place, speak to the organisation currently servicing your business to establish what collections are available to you, and the cost of each service.

If your current contract is with Perth and Kinross Council and you would like advice on meeting the Waste (Scotland) Regulations, phone our Customer Service Centre on 01738 476476 or email

Contact details

Commercial Waste Team

Pullar House, 35 Kinnoull Street, Perth, PH1 5GD
Tel 01738 476476