We propose that from 1 October 2023, businesses, the public sector, and third sector organisations must separate their waste for recycling.
The Welsh Government is introducing new regulations that will require all businesses, the public sector and third sector organisations in Wales 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.
We held two consultations:
- Consultation on the Separate Collection of Waste Materials for Recycling - A Code of Practice for Wales – setting out how it will work.
- Proposals for enforcing business, public and third sector recycling regulations in Wales – how it will be enforced.
These consultations followed two previous consultations on this policy in 2013 - 2014 and 2019.
Who is affected by the proposed changes
The legal requirements to separate their waste will affect:
- the occupiers of businesses, the public sector and third sector organisations (called non-domestic premises) who will need to separate their waste ready for collection
- those who collect the waste, or arrange for waste to be collected
- 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
It is proposed that from 1 October 2023 the following materials will need to be separated for collection, and collected separately:
- food produced by premises producing more than 5kg of food waste a week
- paper and card
- metal, plastic, and cartons and other fibre-plastic composite packaging of a similar composition
- unsold small waste electrical and electronic equipment (sWEEE)
- 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
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.
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’.
Help for businesses
You can watch a video where expert speakers talk through what the changes mean for businesses and how they can prepare.
If you have any questions about the proposed changes to how businesses, the public sector and third sector organisations separate their waste materials for recycling, and manage collections, please contact us:
Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Division