Hit Scotland



  • 23/05/2013

Aberdeen pub and restaurant The Mains of Scotstown Inn is benefitting from nearly £8,000 of yearly savings thanks to the implementation of unique ways of handling its general waste in preparation for the Waste (Scotland) Regulations which come into force in January 2014; ensuring that just 13% ends up in landfill.

The award winning family pub, which can seat up to 220 people for meals at any one time, prides itself on the fact it only uses goods sourced within a 50 mile radius. Through an initiative which has been championed by the Sustainable Restaurant Association: ‘Too Good To Waste’, the restaurant encourages guests to take away any uneaten food in a ‘doggy box’ – a box made of recycled cardboard. This not only helps to score brownie points with customers but also ensures food waste is kept to a minimum.

The rest of the restaurant’s food waste is place in a wormery located in the grounds of the pub. Over 1,000 worms are kept in a wheelie bin, capable of eating their own body weight in two days. Food waste is placed here in addition to other appropriate waste, such as paper, which can help soak up the moisture created by the food. The wormery creates excellent compost, which is then used on the pub’s herb, fruit and salad garden. Prioprietor Martin Young purchased the wormery for a one off cost of £700. The pub received its return on investment quickly given it was not having to send this waste to landfill.

Any waste beer or cider from line cleaning is used to water the herb and salad garden.

The cider is used on the Mint which helps the herb develop a distinct apple taste. In addition any waste John Smith’s ale is used on the parsley, whilst lager is used to water the whole garden.

In addition, the pub recycles all of its cooking oil. It receives a fee for the used oil which is then used to create biodiesel and anti bacterial soap from the byproduct, Glycerol. The biofuel and soap is then bought back by the pub and used by the staff in the restaurant. Food & drink cans are kept separate then sold to a local scrap merchant for a great return. This almost covers the cost of all waste and recycling. The restaurant keeps all of its other general waste, such as plastic, glass and paper, in separate bins and Aberdeen City Council collects all of this waste for a minimal fee.

Martin Young said: “We have a policy where we refuse anything from any suppliers which we can’t recycle, in order that all the waste we create can be recycled in one way or another. Recycling waste really is a no brainer; it makes great business sense. All of our activity is showing savings of just under £8,000 a year!

“Waste collection costs are so expensive and as a hospitality business we need to be smarter in how we use our resources and use them to best effect. By recycling our waste, we not only benefit from saving on landfill tax, but we receive so many other benefits and resources which can be ploughed back into the business. My staff are all champions of the sustainable way in which the pub now operates and are incentivised through receiving bonuses if targets are met. We also have a part time employee who is our sustainability supervisor and manages all of our waste recycling, in addition to looking after our energy and water saving schemes.

Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “The Mains of Scotstown Inn is a great example of a hospitality business which has put sustainability right at the heart of its operations. Martin Young has proven that substantial savings can be made through recycling his business’ waste and that the waste created by the pub has a value. In addition to saving on landfill tax, Martin has been able to take advantage of numerous other benefits stemming from the recycling, including the additional income from recycling oil, the compost created from the wormery and the herb and salad garden which is totally self sustaining. It is little surprise that the business has received so many awards for its sustainability, including becoming the first ever pub and restaurant in Scotland to receive three stars from the Sustainable Restaurant Association. I would urge other businesses within the hospitality industry to take note of the measures which Martin has implemented and ensure they are in a good position to meet the Waste (Scotland) Regulations which come into force at the beginning of January 2014.”

From January 2014, all businesses will be legally required to separate key recyclable materials including paper and card, plastic, metals and glass for collection for recycling. In addition, from January 2014 food businesses which produce over 50kg of food waste per week must present it for separate collection. The requirement to present food waste for separate collection will extend to all food businesses which produce over 5kg of food waste per week.

For more information on the new Waste Regulations, please visit www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/regulations or call the helpline on 0808 100 2040.