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Council asks Commercial premises to clarify how they are disposing of their waste

3rd February 2014

In an attempt to find out what businesses are doing with their waste, The Highland Council has written to 1,400 non domestic rated premises in Caithness, Sutherland and Skye and Lochalsh that currently do not use the Council’s commercial waste collection service.

The letters will be going out over the coming week to a wide range of premises, including hairdressers, workshops, offices, shops, guesthouses and self-catering holiday homes, all of which will be producing waste and by law should be paying for a waste collection.

The letter highlights that under government legislation producers of commercial waste have a “Duty of Care” to ensure that their waste is disposed of in a responsible manner. It also reminds people that Highland Council Recycling Centres are provided for the disposal of domestic waste only. Only businesses that are in possession of a Highland Council waste collection contract are permitted to use the recycling facilities at Recycling Centres.

The letter also points out that fly-tipping or dumping of waste is an offence punishable by fines of up to £20,000 or six months imprisonment. Disposal of waste from a business in a public litter bin is also a breach of the Duty of Cate.

500 of the premises being contacted are in Caithness, 500 in Sutherland and a further 400 in Skye and Lochalsh. Over the coming year letters will also be sent to commercial premises in all other areas of the Highlands.

Chairman of The Highland Council’s TECs Committee, Councillor Graham Phillips said: “Non-domestic rates do not include the cost of waste disposal so businesses must make their own waste collection and disposal arrangements. The Council has a duty to ensure that businesses comply with Waste law and the cost of business waste is not borne by the tax payer. This is why we are asking businesses we know do not have a contract with the Council to confirm what collection and disposal arrangements they have for their recyclable and non-recyclable waste.”

As well as including a declaration form the letters also contain information on the new Waste (Scotland) Regulations and gives details on how businesses can apply for a Commercial Waste contract with the Highland Council. Information is also available by visiting or contacting the waste team on 01349 886603.


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