Changes to Food Waste Regulations 2016

What is changing?

All Scottish organisations should already be separating key recyclates as the Waste (Scotland) Regulations came into effect on 1 January 2014.

Two years from the initial regulations being introduced, two changes take place on 1 January 2016. Organisations should be aware that:

  1. Food businesses producing over 5kg of food waste per week will need to present it for recycling.
    • How much is 5kg of food waste? It is usually equivalent to a 10 litre food caddy or a full carrier bag.
  2. Food waste macerators cannot be used to discharge food waste to a drain or sewer unless the rural exemption applies.




Why recycle as a business or organisation?

  • It's the law. If you don't comply, you can be liable for a fine of up to £10,000.
  • From 1 January 2016, you must recycle food waste if your business prepares and / or sells food and produces 5kg or more of food waste (unless excluded by rural locations).
  • Recycling reduces the need for landfill and the mining of raw materials.
  • Recycling helps prevent the production of environmentally damaging gases (such as methane) produced when biodegradable waste is sent to landfill.

All Scottish organisations, regardless of size, should already be separating the following materials for recycling:

  • Glass (including rinsed drinks bottles and food jars)
  • Metal (including rinsed cans and tins)
  • Plastic (including rinsed drinks bottles and food containers)
  • Cardboard (preferably flattened)
  • Paper (clean paper only)
  • Food waste (from food preparation and leftovers)

Are you exempt from separating food waste?

You are exempt from separating food waste only if you:

  • Don’t prepare or sell food, or
  • Qualify as a rural location (Check using the Rural postcode finder tool), or
  • Produce less than 5kg of food waste per week

If you don’t recycle the fine can be up to £10,000

How Wyllie Recycling can help?

We offer a range of containers which can be provided to allow you to easily segregate your waste. We then scheduled our collection service for your segregated waste using our fleet of collection vehicles including our unique computerised pod vehicle. With flexible collection schedules to suit the volumes of waste generated.

For further information and a quote, please Contact Us.

5 easy steps to stay within the law

  1. Look at what waste you are producing and get the right service from your waste contractor.
  2. Train your staff and label bins.
  3. Label bins stating clearly what should be recycled and ensure staff know what goes where. Use the free online poster creator tool to help staff to recycle effectively.
  4. Don’t mix food waste, recyclables and non-recyclables. Only use black bags for non-recyclable waste.
  5. Think before you throw.

Get it right

Separate materials correctly in bins clearly labelled to collect food waste, recyclables and non-recyclables.

What happens to food waste?

Food waste is collected by your waste contractor. It is unloaded at the processing plant where it is shredded and heat treated in a sealed tank.
This can then generate energy and helps to produce agricultural fertilizers too.

Who can you contact for further general information?

Email the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact Resource Efficient Scotland, a programme of Zero Waste Scotland, funded by Scottish Government.

Call 0808 808 2268
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Waste Management Licence: WML/L/1037193      Waste Carriers Licence: SEA/072624

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