Glasgow businesses go private ahead of council's new commercial waste project rules

BUSINESSES across the city have decided to go private ahead of Glasgow City Council’s controversial commercial waste project being enforced. 

Business Improvement Districts (BiD) in Byres Road and Shawlands, say they have already put plans into motion to help businesses avoid having to comply with the new rules on rubbish.

Under the project, which was introduced in the city centre last month, no waste containers can be left on the pavements, streets or lanes outwith designated uplift windows. 

Commercial bins are only allowed on the street for one hour and, if the bins are not collected on time, must be returned to the premises.

After its introduction in the city centre, the north-west of the city will be compliant by September 15, followed by the south in December and north-east by March 2019.

Both Byres Road and Shawlands have opted to hire Changeworks Recycling to handle commercial waste, instead of paying Glasgow City Council contractors. 

The move comes after business owners told the Evening Times that they were unhappy about the way the project has been handled.

One business owner described it as a ‘health and safety disaster’ which has forced venues to find space inside their premises to store rubbish outwith uplift times.

John Quigley, owner of The Red Onion restaurant on West Campbell Street, commented: “The project has caused major disruption to business, added cost and having to retain waste in the building is not ideal.” 

Lisa McLaughlin, BID Shawlands manager, said that there is concerns for a number of businesses in the area ahead of the roll out.

She added: “We’re worried for cafes and restaurants that have a number of bins, and for small businesses that will be affected. 

“We’re going through quite an expensive process right now to find a suitable contractor that will be able to support the businesses with the changes.

“We need someone who can carry out regular uplifts and can navigate different buildings and lanes that the council can’t.

“Businesses can decide whether they want to opt for our option or continue to use the council uplift.

“The council should be providing a better service for businesses that don’t have space to store the bins and for those who don’t suit the uplift window time.”

In the West End, the contract to service commercial properties was put out to tender and also won by Changeworks. 

Deborah Murray, project manager at Byres Road and Lanes BiD, said bins have been an ongoing issue for businesses in the area.

She explained: “We opted to get a number of contractors in to pitch and see who would be the best fit.

“We went for Change Works because they have smaller containers and are picked up more often.

“It defeats the purpose to spend £9 million on a public realm and then dump bins on the streets. If bags are left in from of shops, it makes the streets look cluttered and also detracts from the businesses themselves.

“It can also encourage residential dumping and attracts vermin and pigeons. There is a better way of doing it without causing problems.” 

A spokeswoman for Changeworks Recycling, said: “We offer businesses a solution if the timed collection window isn’t working for them.

"Our drivers carry out internal collections which work seamlessly for thousands of clients who don’t want have to think about their waste uplifts. 

“Doing away with the need to put bags of waste and recycling out for collection also means that if you are working with us, being fined isn’t a concern.” 

Evening Times
24th May 2018