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Workplace Recycling, let's get it sorted.

Workplace recycling is changing

It is the law for all businesses, charities and public sector organisations to sort their waste for recycling.

It applies to all waste and recycling collectors and processors who manage household-like waste from workplaces.

The Welsh Government introduced this law to improve the quality and quantity of how we collect and separate waste.

What waste needs to be separated

The following materials should be separated for collection, and collected separately:

  • Food
  • Paper and card
  • Glass
  • Metal, plastic and cartons
  • Unsold textiles
  • Unsold small waste electrical and electronic equipment (sWEEE)

There is also a ban on:

  • Sending food waste to sewer (any amount)
  • Separately collected waste going to incineration and landfill
  • All wood waste going to landfill

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

Who the law applies to

All businesses, charities and public sector organisations need to separate their waste.

This includes:

  • Agricultural premises
  • Hospitality and tourism - restaurants, bars, pubs, bed and breakfasts, hotels, campsites and caravan parks, holiday accommodation, and licensed premises
  • Showgrounds
  • Service stations and petrol stations
  • Entertainment and sports venues including leisure centres
  • Transport - bus stations, railway stations, seaports, airports, and heliports
  • Care and nursing homes
  • Pharmacies, GP surgeries, dental surgeries, and other primary care settings
  • Construction sites
  • Factories and warehouses
  • Car garages
  • Education - universities, colleges, and schools
  • Garden centres
  • Heritage buildings
  • Libraries and museums
  • Offices and workshops
  • Places of worship
  • Prisons
  • Outdoor markets and festivals
  • Retail

NHS hospitals and private hospitals are the only workplaces that will be complying from April 2026.

The Code of Practice gives you more detailed information about the new workplace recycling law and how should comply. It is important you read this alongside the guides.

WRAP’s Business of Recycling website has guides and free downloadable communication resources for your workplace.

Guidance for workplaces
Guidance for workplaces
How workplaces can prepare for the changes.
Guidance for waste collectors
Guidance for waste collectors
How waste collectors can prepare for the changes.

Why the law changed

We want to improve the quality and quantity of recycling from workplaces. This is an important step towards reaching zero waste, reducing our carbon emissions and tackling the climate emergency.

We want to keep materials in use for as long as possible. With the costs of materials rising, keeping high quality materials in use will help our economy and support our supply chains. For example, by avoiding landfill tax and creating job opportunities.

We are already the best in the UK for domestic recycling and third best in the world.

The new law supports the actions from our circular economy strategy, Beyond recycling.