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New law on workplace recycling

A group of employees in a pleasant atmosphere in the office, collecting plastic bottles in the recycling bin.

From 6 April 2024 it will become law for all businesses, charities, and public sector organisations to separate their waste for recycling. This will improve the quality and quantity of how we collect and separate waste.

The legal requirements to separate their waste will affect:

  1. All workplaces (businesses, the public and third sector). 
  2. Those who collect the waste, or arrange for waste to be collected.
  3. Those who collect, receive, keep, treat, or transport waste who will need to keep the waste separate from other types of waste or substances.

The following materials will need to be separated for collection, and collected separately:

  1. Food – for premises that produce more than 5kg of food waste a week.
  2. Paper and card.
  3. Glass.
  4. Metal, plastic, and cartons and other fibre-plastic composite packaging of a similar composition.
  5. Unsold small waste electrical and electronic equipment (sWEEE).
  6. Unsold textiles.

There will also be a ban on the following:

  • Sending food waste to sewers
  • Separately collected waste going to incineration plants and landfills and a ban all wood waste going to landfill.

If you are a workplace:

  1. Look at what waste you’re producing and get the right service from your waste contractor.
  2. Consider whether you need to buy new, or more, bins.
  3. Think about how to train your staff and explain the changes to visitors or users of your premises. 

If you are a waste collector:

  1. Start communicating with your customers on the forthcoming changes.
  2. Consider the need to procure more bins or buy new.
  3. Think about how to train your staff to prepare customers for the changes. 

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) will regulate the separation requirements and the bans on waste going to incineration and landfill. 

Local Authorities (LAs) will regulate the ban on the disposal of food waste to sewer from non-domestic premises. It will become law from 6 April 2024 and if you do not comply you could face a fine. 

The changes are not only focused on improving the quality and quantity of recycling but are vital to delivering Wales’s commitments to reach zero waste and reduce our carbon emissions by 2050.

The Regulations implement a number of actions to increase the quality and quantity of recycling which are included in the Welsh Government’s Circular Economy Strategy for Wales, ‘Beyond Recycling, A strategy to make the circular economy in Wales a reality’.

For further information please select the following links: