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Separated waste collections for workplaces

The Welsh Government is introducing new regulations that will require all workplaces to separate recyclable materials in the same way that most householders do now. This will improve the quality and quantity of how we collect and separate waste.

Who is affected by the changes

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

What waste needs to be separated and collected

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 ban all wood waste going to landfill

How you can prepare

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, subject to the will of the Senedd, and if you do not comply you could face a fine. NRW and Local Authorities will help workplaces comply and manage their waste in the right way.

Why are we introducing these changes

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 aim is to keep materials in use for as long as possible, which brings with it significant economic opportunities. With the cost of materials rising, more effectively keeping high quality materials that can then go back into the economy and support our supply chains will bring savings.  For example by avoiding landfill tax and creating job opportunities.

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’.



We held two consultations:

These consultations followed two previous consultations on this policy in 2013 – 2014 and 2019.

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