Go Forth Stirling, which runs the city’s Business Improvement District (BID), has launched a commercial waste management audit which is being carried out by two University of Stirling postgraduate students.
Jitka Fleglova and Charlotte Fisher, who are studying Strategic Sustainable Business, are talking to a sample of around 75 city business owners about their experience of the waste collection systems run by Stirling Council and private contractors.
Go Forth Stirling Manager Mags Fenner said: “We’ve engaged the students who’ll go out and chat directly to business owners about their waste collection habits and the service they receive.
“The aim is to gather information about the volume and content of waste which is currently being picked up, identify any preferred collection times and find out the kind of containers business people prefer.
“We also want to hear about any challenges they face in terms of storing waste or other issues.
“The idea is to collect as much useful data as possible so we can work with Stirling Council officials to ensure commercial bins are on the streets for the minimum time possible.
“The initiative fits well with the objectives of the BID Business Plan to create a greener, cleaner and more inviting city centre which will help increase footfall by bringing more people into Stirling.”
The survey also aims to identify any potential savings for local companies which could be secured through future block procurement of waste collection.
Grant Reid, owner of Calluna Ethical Living, is taking part in the survey.
He said: “It’s a good idea to get feedback from businesses as we do have a problem with the many massive industrial waste bins lining parts of Stirling.
“Because there are a number of commercial waste contractors you end up with uplifts on different days so bins can be out across several days.
“A historical city like Stirling is a major tourist destination and it’s not ideal if their perception is that it’s a city full of bins.
“It would be better if all collections were done on the same day and ideally by one provider which would also reduce the number of heavy vehicles coming into the city.”
The students will be questioning business owners over the next few weeks before reporting back to Go Forth with their findings.
Ms Fleglova said: “This is a practical opportunity for us to go out and interact with businesses around the city and find out what they are doing regarding waste.
“It’s also a chance to look at how companies and councils can make their processes more efficient.”
Ms Fisher, whose course dissertation focuses on waste, said: “From a sustainability point of view it’s important that any waste which can be recycled actually makes it to the recycling plant.
“It’s something which requires a lot of work from both business and the collection companies and which is so important to achieve.
“We’re looking forward to finding out how businesses in Stirling are dealing with waste and any challenges they face.
“We hope to get a high level of participation from business owners so we can produce quality data which will be of great benefit to everyone.”
The waste survey is the latest Go Forth initiative aimed at revitalising the city’s streets and follows the announcement of a £20K cash injection to improve shopfronts.
Small businesses can apply for a £500 grant to give their exteriors a facelift in a scheme aimed at attracting more customers into local shops and cafes as well as providing a better experience for Stirling shoppers.
The BID was set up in September 2017 with the objective of delivering projects and services which improve Stirling’s trading environment to benefit businesses, shoppers and visitors.
For more information visit the website: www.goforthstirling.co.uk
Image: Grant Reid, Jitka Fleglova and Charlotte Fisher at Calluna Ethical Living
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