Up to four projects will receive funding in the pilot phase of the fund. Marking an initial investment of up to £50,000, Zero Waste Scotland says further funding could become available at a later date if the pilot projects prove to be successful.

New zero waste regulations proposed by the Scottish Government will require all Scottish businesses to sort and present key recyclable materials for separate collection by 2013. This includes separate collections for paper and card, plastics, metals, and glass.

For businesses in food retail, production or preparation, a separate food waste collection will also be required by 2013 for businesses with over 50 employees. By 2015, businesses with fewer employees will be asked to follow suit.

Zero Waste Scotland says that by collecting larger quantities of recyclable waste materials together in one place, or joining together to contract one waste manager to provide collections, SMEs could not only increase their recycling rates but save money as well.

Zero Waste Scotland’s head of business support Marissa Lippiatt said: “Working together to collect and manage commercial waste can allow small businesses to overcome common problems which can make recycling seem challenging, such as lack of space to store recycling or low quantities making waste collection contracts more costly.

“The fund is available to business improvement districts, community groups, or properly constituted business groups who would like to either research the viability of a collaborative recycling project or take steps to implement one.

“We will consider funding activities including waste data collection and composition analysis, business case and procurement support, options appraisal and service reviews, and capital to purchase or lease equipment.”

Scotland’s commercial sector produces an estimated 6.57m tonnes of waste every year. Applications to the fund can be made here

Maxine Perella

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