New Recycling Law for Welsh Workplaces

A Guide to Getting Ready for The Waste Separation Requirements (Wales) Regulations 2023

Is your workplace in Wales?

Then this guide is for you!

A new law, formally known as The Waste Separation Requirements (Wales) Regulations 2023, comes into effect on 6 April, 2024.

This blog will give you a quick rundown of the changes and some tips to ensure a smooth transition.

Why Recycle?

Separating your waste for recycling isn’t just about following the law. It helps Wales achieve higher recycling rates, leading to:

  • Better quality recycled materials.
  • Reduced waste sent to landfill.
  • Lower carbon emissions.
  • A greener Welsh economy!

What Does the Waste Separation Requirements (Wales) Regulations 2023 Say?

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Who:  All businesses, charities, and public sector organisations in Wales, including waste collectors and processors handling household-like waste from workplaces.
  • What:  Separate recyclable materials like paper/card, glass, metal/plastic/cartons, food waste (if you produce over 5kg per week), and specific types of unused electrical and textile waste.
  • How:  Putting all your waste into a single bin is a no-no! Each group of materials needs its own bin
  • What’s banned? Sending food waste down the drain, sending separated recyclables (except some textiles) to landfill or incineration, and dumping wood waste in landfills.

Who’s Monitoring & Enforcing This?

Natural Resources Wales and local authorities will be monitoring compliance making sure that materials are being separated and collected correctly, and that the ban on recycling going to incineration or landfill.

Local authorities are responsible for making sure the ban on food waste going to the sewer is followed.

Non-compliance could result in fines.

How to Prepare?

Here are some steps to get your workplace recycling-ready for The Waste Separation Requirements (Wales) Regulations 2023:

  1. Contact waste collectors: Arrange separate recycling collections for your business.
  2. Evaluate your waste: Understand what type and how much waste you generate.
  3. Reduce and Reuse: Before recycling, see if you can reduce waste generation or find ways to reuse items.
  4. Bins and Signage: Provide clear and accessible recycling bins with proper signage.
  5. Educate Staff: Train your employees on the new system and the importance of recycling.
  6. Staff Safety: Ensure staff handling waste can do so safely and hygienically.
  7. Duty of Care: Understand your legal responsibility for managing waste properly.
Recycling BIns

Example of Recycling Bins 

Need More Help?

Plenty of resources are available to help you comply with The Waste Separation Requirements (Wales) Regulations 2023:

  • WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme): https://wrap.org.uk/ offers examples, specific guides, and downloadable materials.
  • Welsh Government: Provides guidance and support on the new regulations. https://www.gov.wales/workplace-recycling
  • Webinars: Attend online seminars for a more in-depth understanding.
  • The Waste Separation Requirements (Wales) Regulations 2023: For the official legal text, you can refer to the Welsh Government website: https://www.gov.wales/separate-collection-waste-materials-recycling-code-practice-wales

Together, let’s make Wales a leader in recycling!

By following these steps and utilising available resources, your workplace can smoothly transition to The Waste Separation Requirements (Wales) Regulations 2023 and contribute to a greener Wales.

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