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Guidance for anyone who collects or handles waste from workplaces, for example, local authorities, and private waste collection companies.

First published:
17 August 2023
Last updated:

What the law means for you

You have an important role in making sure that the separated waste that you collect, or arrange collection of, is kept separate from other separated waste and other types of waste, substances, or articles. 

Waste collectors and handlers also need to be aware of the laws banning separately collected waste from domestic and non-domestic sources from incineration and landfill.

This can either be, for example, within a separate self-contained compartment on a multi-compartment vehicle or in separate vehicles.

You must ensure these waste streams are collected separately, kept separate from each other and not subsequently mixed:

  • food – for premises that produce more than 5kg of food waste a week.
  • paper and card
  • glass
  • plastic, cartons and metals and other fibre-plastic composite packaging of a similar composition
  • unsold small waste electrical and electronic equipment (sWEEE)
  • unsold textiles

You can mix paper and card together in the same container, and you can mix plastic, cartons and metal together. 

You do not need to separately collect food waste from workplaces that produce less than 5kg per week. It can be collected in the mixed residual container. 

You must comply with this whilst the waste is in your possession and when you transfer the waste to someone else. 

You do not have to collect the full range of separated waste. You can sub-contract the collection of certain materials if you need to, or the workplace occupier may want to have separate contracts with more than one collector.

How you can prepare your customers

As well as making sure you are ready, you may want to help your customers by:

  • Providing them with information about the new law and how the way they will need to present their waste for collection will change.
  • Providing a compliant collection service tailored to meet the needs of your customer, with reliable and regular collections.
  • Providing information on the types of materials in each waste stream that can be accepted for recycling in each container.
  • Giving information on how to use the service effectively. For example, by cleaning and drying materials to reduce contamination. 
  • Clearly labelling bins and containers to identify what materials should be included and excluded.
  • Considering a system of spot checks to check for any materials not being separated correctly, give feedback and help them put it right.
  • Providing information on how the recycling will be managed, and how it will be recycled.

WRAPs Business of Recycling Wales website has materials and guidance you can share with customers.  There are material stream icons available to download, including one for plastic, cartons and metal. 

WRAP provide an updated waste audit guide to help your customers understand what materials they currently have.