Separate food waste regulations begin in Wales

New recycling regulations are coming into effect in Wales next week (April 6, 2024).

Separate food waste regulations begin in Wales

The Welsh Government is introducing these changes to improve the quality and quantity of recycling in Wales. Let's take a look at what this means for businesses around the country.

Who is affected?

These regulations apply to all workplaces in Wales, including businesses, public sector organisations, and the third sector. This also includes those who collect or arrange for waste collection and those who handle waste in any way.

What waste needs to be separated?

  • Food waste for premises that produce more than 5kg of food waste a week.
  • Paper and card.
  • Glass.
  • Metal, plastic, and cartons and other similar packaging.
  • Small waste electrical and electronic equipment (sWEEE).
  • Unsold textiles.

What is banned?

The new regulations also introduce some important bans:

  • Sending food waste to sewers.
  • Sending separately collected waste to incineration plants and landfills.
  • Sending any wood waste to landfill.

How to prepare for the new regulations

Here are some steps workplaces can take to comply with the new regulations:

  • Assess your current waste production and acquire the appropriate recycling services.
  • Consider purchasing new or additional bins to accommodate the separated waste streams.
  • Train staff and inform visitors about the upcoming changes and how they can contribute.

Waste collectors

Waste collectors also have a role to play:

  • Communicate the upcoming changes to their customers.
  • Prepare for these changes by acquiring more bins and training staff on handling the separated waste streams.

Enforcement and support

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) will be responsible for regulating the separation requirements and the bans on waste going to incineration and landfill. Local authorities will enforce the ban on disposing food waste to sewer from non-domestic premises.

NRW and local authorities will be available to assist workplaces in complying with the new regulations.

Why are these changes happening?

These changes are being introduced as part of Wales' commitment to achieving zero waste and reduced carbon emissions by 2050. Separating waste allows materials to be reused and stay in circulation for longer, which benefits the Welsh economy in several ways. It results in cost savings by avoiding landfill taxes and creates new jobs in the recycling and waste management sector.

If your business needs help with its commercial waste in Wales, get in touch with us today.

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