Coronavirus Grant Boosts Waste Management Safety

Many industries have been hit negatively as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but waste management has been good at weathering the storm of the COVID-19 climate. But while the industry is standing strong in all of the economic uncertainty, it doesn’t mean that it’s without its challenges.

It’s why Zero Waste Scotland and the Scottish Government are helping the waste management industry meet the COVID-19 challenges it’s presented with, by allocating more than £820k in grants to firms across the country to support them in adapting in their response to the pandemic.

In total, 40 businesses across 105 sites will receive funding to upgrade their infrastructure and equipment to improve environmental performance and sustainability, at the same time as implementing COVID-secure measures and controls to prevent the spread of the virus.

Successful grant applicants chose to adapt a wide range of their already existing assets to maximise effectiveness in the new coronavirus climate and meet risk assessment requirements, including such things as storage bays, welfare cabins, office cabins, traffic management systems and improved signage, as well as to install a range of new equipment and machinery.

“The pandemic has led to a unique set of challenges for the resource management sector. Waste streams have been disrupted and new processes have been brought in to allow staff to work safely,” said Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland.

“The effectiveness of our waste management sector has been vital during the pandemic,” Mr Gulland said. “This funding has enabled businesses to make changes on-site to keep Scotland’s waste industry running as smoothly and safely as possible.”

One addition will be in the form of further welfare and office cabins that will improve operational efficiency, by allowing an increased number of staff and contractors to return to working on-site while adhering to social distancing rules. And in turn, this boosts the volume of materials and scale of projects that can that can be undertaken.

There are also plans for the traffic management of vehicles and personnel to support this social distancing, by easing congestion in tight areas. And the funding will also go towards new equipment that allows office staff to work remotely, while making sure that all services are still provided.

“Forth Resource Management received Zero Waste Scotland grants that enabled us to invest in infrastructural improvements to manage the significant increase in waste material generated during lockdown,” said James Gray, a Project Manager for Forth Resource Management.

“The grants also allowed us to make the necessary changes to our sites to facilitate physical distancing for the protection of our staff and customers,” he continued. “Essentially, without these grants, FRM would not have been able to recycle all of the additional waste material generated and, most likely, this would have ended up in landfill.”

Mr Gray went on to say that going forwards, this financial investment will support the waste management industry’s commitment to developing “innovative circular economy solutions”, which will see the industry continue to deliver through this challenging time.

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