Holiday accommodation waste

By law, every business in Scotland including guest houses, self-catering accommodation and applicable B&B’s have a legal responsibility for the waste they generate.

Are you a holiday homeowner and should you be complying with the waste recycling regulations?

For more information, please check our Holiday accommodation protocol in the publications section below.

The Law

Holiday accommodation owners must ensure that they store, transfer, transport and dispose of their controlled waste without harming the environment. This is called 'Duty of Care' -  for more information please see the Duty of Care - Your Waste Responsibilities page.

In addition, all holiday accommodations in Scotland must separate waste for recycling.

The Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 require guest houses, self-catering accommodations and applicable B&B’s to take all reasonable steps to separate the following materials for recycling for collection or disposal:

  • Glass (Including drinks bottles and empty food jars)
  • Metal (including cans, tins, aluminium trays
  • Plastic (including drinks bottles, rinsed empty food containers and rinsed cleaning products bottles)
  • Paper
  • Cardboard

Where the holiday accommodation provides bins/containers for the collection of recyclable waste, it is expected that suitable recycling facilities are made available. As a minimum you should provide:
  • Internal Segregation - Facilities for customers to recycle glass, metal, plastic, paper and cardboard.
  • Labelling - Recycling facilities should be adequately labelled to avoid contamination of recyclables and general waste. 
  • Communication - Accommodation owners should communicate effectively with their customers, for example, customers checking in or picking up keys should be informed of recycling requirements and the importance of using the systems provided correctly. 
  • Monitoring - Check periodically for contamination and make improvements where necessary.
  • Location - Recycling facilities should be co-located with general waste collection facilities.

Holiday Accommodation Food Waste

The Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 also require food businesses, including guest houses and applicable B&B’s in most areas producing over 5kg of food waste per week to take all reasonable steps to ensure food waste is separately collected *

*However, self-catering accommodations is not defined as a ‘food business’ and therefore not legally required to provide facilities to segregate food waste, although it is encouraged.

Some rural guest houses and B&B’s may be exempt from the food requirements.  Use the rural postcode checker to check if you are in an exempted area.

Guidance on Recycling

Guidance is available for the following sectors to comply with the new recycling requirements:
  • Guidance for Guest Houses and B&B’s
  • Guidance for Self-catering Accommodations
  • Businesses that require Customer Participation for Recycling

Two are attached in the publications below and the third you can read and download from the SEPA website.

Are you doing all you can to meet your legal waste requirements?

Please tell us about your waste arrangements through our online form at the top of the page.

Should you require further information or advice regarding your waste or recycling requirements, please contact us - details below. 



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Send enquiry to: Duty of Care Waste Team

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