Zero Waste Regulations
New regulations to help Scotland become one of the most resource
efficient nations in Europe have been passed by the Scottish
The regulations aim to ensure that the minimum level of service
on offer to households and businesses across Scotland is better
than that of today and signal the end of landfilling biodegradable
municipal waste in Scotland.
A phased approach to rolling out the key measures in the
regulations has been adopted to ensure that there is sufficient
time for businesses, particularly small businesses, to adopt new
(Scotland) Regulations 2012 were passed by the Scottish
Parliament on 9 May 2012. The regulations make the following
- Businesses to present metal, plastic, glass, paper and card for
separate collection from 1 January 2014.
- Food businesses (except in rural areas) which produce over 50
kg of food waste per week to present that food waste for separate
collection from 1 January 2014.
- Food businesses (except in rural areas) which produce over 5 kg
of food waste per week to present that food waste for separate
collection from 1 January 2016.
- Local authorities to provide a minimum recycling service to
- Waste contractors to provide collection and treatment services
which deliver high quality recycling.
- A ban on any metal, plastic, glass, paper, card and food
collected separately for recycling from going to incineration or
landfill from 1 January 2014.
- All new incinerators must ensure that metals and dense plastics
have been removed from residual municipal waste prior to
- A ban on biodegradable municipal waste going to landfill from 1
The regulations will have a significant effect
on industry practices and infrastructure provision in Scotland,
particularly for those involved in the management of municipal
waste. For more information see the Duty of Care
Code of Practice or the Frequently
Asked Questions database .
Through our advice, planning and regulatory roles, we will
support the development of sustainable infrastructure and ensure
the transition is managed in a way which delivers a high degree of
The phased approach to implementation set out in the regulations
provides time to get ready for the new requirements.
Zero Waste Scotland has a wide range of support package
available to help businesses, local authorities and the waste
management sector make the necessary changes.
If you have any questions about these regulations, please