Biffa lodges application to build bulking station for Scottish DRS

The scheme administrator appointed Biffa to provide logistics, sorting and counting services in July

Biffa Waste Services has applied for planning permission to build a recyclable bottles and cans bulking station ahead of Scotland’s roll-out of the deposit return scheme (DRS).

Scheme administrator, Circularity Scotland Limited (CSL) appointed Biffa to provide logistics, sorting and counting services in July, as part of a ten-year deal.

According to Letsrecycle.com, the firm has applied to the Scottish Borders council for permission to build the station at an industrial estate on the outskirts on Kelso. This will be one of eight planned bulking stations, alongside three planned counting centres to help in the collection of bottles and cans.

It was also confirmed earlier this year that Biffa intends to collect the containers in bags provided by CSL to participating businesses, which will be taken to a bulking station.

The news came in the same week Scottish minister for the circular economy and biodiversity, Lorna Slater, faced pressure from members of Scottish parliament over whether DRS will be ready to go live by 16 August 2023.

In response to questioning by Maurice Golden, representing north-east Scotland, she explained: “Good progress has been in recent months. The scheme administrator has signed contracts for logistical and IT services, construction has started on sorting centres and financial investment has been made by service providers and retailers.

“With just under one year to go until the scheme goes live, businesses are preparing for the launch and we are working closely with Circularity Scotland to ensure they are ready.”

Golden went on to describe the organisation of the scheme as a “car crash” and put pressure on Slater to publish the latest gateway review from May, in an attempt to provide businesses with more guidance.

She responded: “We are engaging very closely with industry, stakeholders and local authorities on the operational detail of the scheme. The legislation passed by parliament is broad, which means industry can adapt the scheme to the specific needs of businesses. We are very confident the scheme will be a success and we will launch next August.”

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