The Beginner’s Guide to Separated Waste Collections for Workplaces – Wales Workplace Recycling 2024

In April 2024, the Welsh Government are introducing new regulations related to recycling practices. These changes are intended to both improve the quality and quantity of recycling on behalf of Welsh businesses and assist the Welsh authorities’ efforts in working towards Wales’s net-zero goals – these being to reach zero waste and reduce carbon emissions by 2050.

In this blog from SL Recycling, we offer some helpful information surrounding the new legislation, including what the changes are, who the changes will impact and the wider importance of waste segregation and effective recycling and waste management practices. For more informative guides relating to recycling and waste management, visit our blog – existing articles include What Household Metal Can and Can’t be Recycled, Construction Management: Maximising Recycling and Sustainable Practices: Recycling Solutions for Small Businesses.


What are the Changes to Workplace Recycling Regulations in Wales?

The new regulations will come into effect in April 2024 and will legally require all workplaces to separate recyclable materials following the same categorising procedures as most households. According to the legislation outline, materials that should be sorted and collected separately are:


  • Food (for premises that generate more than 5kg of food waste per week)
  • Paper and card
  • Glass
  • Metal, plastic, cartons and other fibre-plastic composite packaging
  • Unsold small waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)
  • Unsold textiles


In addition to these sorting and disposal requirements, the legislation will also introduce bans on disposing of food waste in sewers and sending separately collected waste to incineration plans and landfill. Under the new legislation, all modes of waste recycling must adhere to the outlined terms – this includes the use of skips, whereby workplaces will no longer be able to contain items together without categorical sorting.

Recommendations suggest that workplaces should implement a bin system, thereby separate bins and bin compactors are supplied for each recyclable category. These bins will be clearly labelled as to signpost the suitable recycling site for each item.

Who will be Affected by the New Wales Workplace Waste Regulations 2024?

When understanding any kind of legislation, it is first important to understand who its introduction will directly impact. In doing so, those who will be required to change their practices and procedures can do so accordingly and avoid fines or other legal repercussions. According to the outline provided on GOV.UK, legal requirements to separate waste will affect:


  • All workplaces – including businesses, the public and third sector.
  • Those who collect the waste or arrange for waste to be collected.
  • Anyone who collects, receives, keeps, treats or transports waste. Those who fall under any of these categories will be required to keep the waste separate from other varieties of waste or substances.

 Why Should Businesses Recycle and Segregate Their Waste? 

As previously mentioned, these rules surrounding waste recycling and segregation intend to help achieve net zero and carbon emission goals. But how do recycling and segregation help meet these goals? Put simply, following procedures such as those outlined by the new legislation helps keep materials in use for the longest time possible. Not only does this limit the quantity of new materials being produced it also reduces the economic cost associated with doing so.

Additionally, effective segregation and recycling is particularly important within business contexts for several reasons. As a business, producing waste is inevitable – however, effective recycling and waste segregation can really set a business apart. Waste segregation doesn’t just refer to separating materials as we dispose of them – it also demonstrates dedication to sustainability, compliance, cost-savings and corporate responsibility. Without effective segregation, many recyclable and reusable materials end up in landfill. Not only does this waste valuable resources, it also contributes to significant environmental degradation. Segregating waste directly maximises opportunities for recycling, limiting the need for the use of raw materials and reducing carbon footprint.

In addition to negatively impacting the environment, sending waste to landfill also subjects a business to landfill tax, resulting in further financial costs as well as environmental ones. Recycling and composting appropriate waste is another method that may reduce disposal costs, not to mention the possibility for businesses to directly sell unwanted materials for alternative use.

As with all waste-governing legislation, workplaces are required to adhere to upcoming legislation – and non-compliance may lead to considerable penalties, reputational damage, and in severe cases, legal actions. Keeping on top of the waste recycling practices expected of workplaces ensures that your business remains on the right side of the law.


The Importance of Recycling and Effective Waste Management

Waste management plays a vital role in protecting both our environment and our health – making it an area of central importance for households and workplaces alike. Improper disposal of waste can lead to environmental and ecosystem pollution, contamination of water sources, and a host of other environmental problems. On the other hand, effective recycling, including category segregation offers benefits including:

  • Conservation of natural resources
  • Reduction of landfill waste
  • Energy Conservation
  • Economic Benefits

With these factors in mind, many businesses seek to focus efforts on practising effective recycling, segregation and waste management. However – without sufficient guidance, selecting an approach tailored to the needs of your workplace can be a challenge. With support from industry experts such as SL Recycling, workplaces are granted peace of mind that they are managing and disposing of waste as ethically and environmentally as possible.

Waste Management in South Wales with SL Recycling

SL Recycling is a leading waste management provider in South Wales. With a breadth of experience in both household and commercial recycling, our specialist team are able to offer tailored guidance that is up to date with current legislation. Our range of services includes waste management, (including cardboard waste, food waste and general waste), metal recycling and skip hire. Our expertise in these areas make us a reputable authority in all matters of recycling and safe waste disposal.

We are passionate about assisting workplaces in making informed decisions about their approach to waste management – ensuring that the methods employed are effective, compliant and tailored to the needs of your workplace. For more information about how SL Recycling could support you through this legislation change, get in touch today.

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