Shock at scale of businesses' non compliance with legal trade waste requirements
The new Council Waste Compliance Team set up to tackle the issue of illegal disposal of trade waste by businesses, has uncovered that only 41% currently comply with trade waste disposal regulations.
The team began their inspections at the beginning of the month and so far have visited 191 premises - of these only 79 were compliant.
Of those inspected 112 could not produce a trade waste contract at the time of the visit and were issued with a legal notice giving them seven days to have one in place before potentially facing prosecution.
So far, the team have also issued four, £200 fixed penalty notices to businesses for illegally depositing waste on the street.
Cllr Lesley Hinds, Environment Convener, said: “I have been very surprised by the low figures of compliance as all businesses have a legal responsibility to dispose of their waste responsibly.
“The team’s initial focus has been to visit commercial properties in areas that are served by communal bins, to identify any businesses that are using those to dispose of their waste at the expense of the taxpayer. By issuing warnings and in some cases fines we hope to see a vast improvement in these areas.
"Of course many businesses have passed the inspection with flying colours and are to be thanked. They must however be frustrated themselves when they see other businesses who don’t comply.
“In order to assist in this process I have written to Essential Edinburgh, the Federation of Small Businesses and other relevant responsible organisations to discuss how we can support responsible businesses and also best work together to ensure that the highest standards of cleanliness are achieved and maintained on the streets of Edinburgh.”
First Coast, a restaurant on Dalry Road was one of the businesses who passed the inspection with flying colours.
Sarah Lauener, assistant manager said: “When the legislation was first brought in we put a lot of effort into getting our collections organised with Changeworks Recycling and since then it has been easy to stay compliant. We do our best to keep our waste neat and clean and it can be frustrating when you’re around the city and see other companies in the city don’t.”