Acting for a number of companies involved in waste collection and processing, Davidson Chalmers partner Laura Tainsh says the pace of legislative change concerning waste and recycling has been challenging for companies.
The last five years have seen considerable change in the legislative framework and companies are concerned about compliance.It has posed problems for businesses, who have to keep up and adjust their processes.
Lawyers are often among the first to know when there are serious strains resulting from Government imposed initiatives such as recycling. Tainsh said:
What causes problems is that the recycling companies deal with the councils on the basis of the value in the waste streams. Whenthey get low grade contaminated streams, disputes take place.
Tainsh points out that while Scotland is getting serious about reducing waste to landfill and ensuring it recycles, other European countries are far ahead in this game.
This is partially about resources and infrastructure, and also partly about public and business attitudes.
Tainsh points out that there is still a good deal of disbelief out there that anything really valuable and useful is being done with waste streams. The years of collecting mixed waste material, which is now acknowledged to be of a very low grade from a recycling point of view, have left their mark.
This article first appeared in the Sunday Herald of 21st February 2016.