If you’re a business with premises in Wales, or who operates and handles waste in the country, then changes to commercial waste management regulations could impact the way you need to manage your recycling. Complying with the new legislation is crucial to ensure you’re handling waste properly, avoiding unnecessary fines and taxes from non-compliance.

At ETM Recycling, we’ve got all the knowledge needed to ensure your business can comply with the new law and more. In this article, we’ll help you understand what the 2024 waste management legislation in Wales is, what you need to do to comply, and how good commercial waste management will impact your business.

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Welsh Waste Management Legislation Changes 2024

A new law from the Welsh Government in April 2024 (also known as Workplace Recycling) has meant that businesses operating in Wales need to be more conscious of the way they handle their waste. Instead of just lumping it all together, recyclable materials should now be separated in a fashion akin to what householders do, creating individual waste streams for different material types.

The aim of these changes is to improve the quality and quantity of waste collection by putting the separation step of the process into the hands of the business, saving time and money.

Who will be Impacted by the Law?

This law is primarily aimed at businesses, with the intent of aligning their recycling standards with those of householders. However, this law still applies to adjacent industries and third-party waste managers. The full list of those affected by the new legislation includes:

  • Businesses
  • Public sector
  • Third sector
  • Waste collectors
  • Waste managers

Essentially, anyone involved in collected, receiving, handling, or treating waste will need to ensure it’s kept separate from and other types of waste throughout the entire process until it reaches the recycling facility.

The Types of Waste that Need Separation

In general, there are so many types of recyclables that separating them all out individually would be challenging – especially for businesses without the bin space to do so.

There are six main categories that need to be upheld under the new regulations. These include:

  1. Food (for premises with over 5kg of weekly food waste)
  2. Paper and cardboard
  3. Glass
  4. Metal, plastic, cartons
  5. sWEEE (small waste electrical & electronic equipment)
  6. Textiles

These new regulations also come with bans on sending food waste to sewers, sending wood waste to landfill, and sending separately collected waste to landfill or incineration plants. The goal here is to increase the amount of recycling from companies, while simultaneously streamlining the process for recyclers.

In the long term, these changes also seek to support carbon emission reductions and zero waste goals by the 2050 target, while also creating economic opportunities through cheaper high-quality materials, less landfill tax, and more jobs.

How to Comply with Waste Management Regulations in Wales

Complying with these laws can be challenging, especially for businesses without good waste management practices in place already. As a business, you should take a look at the waste you produce and analyse what your needs are. Do you have enough bins? Do you need more? How well is your waste being separated already?

After resolving these questions, the next step is to make sure the people on your premises are following the regulations as well. This means educating your staff on proper waste disposal, and explaining the changes to visitors to lessen the chances of improper recycling occurring.

Working with a good waste management partner can help you streamline this process. At ETM Recycling, we’re experts on waste management throughout the UK, and have all the insight needed to help you understand the changes and ensure you’re compliant with them. Get in touch today to find out more.

Tips for Workplace Recycling

While changing your recycling habits so that you comply with the new waste management regulations is important, there are other things you can do to make it easier. By following our top tips on workplace recycling, you’ll put yourself in the best position to comply with the regulations while also supporting your environmental efforts as a whole.

Staff Training

Ensure your staff are up to speed on what’s expected of them. This means washing out containers, sorting their own waste by type, and using recycling bins as intended. Once you’ve trained your staff in good waste management practices, you’ll find it much easier to comply with the new requirements while also saving time on re-organising poorly sorted waste.

Wastepaper Bins

Providing access to wastepaper bins, and instructing staff not to use them for anything other than recyclable paper and cardboard, is a great way to reduce the amount of paper that ends up in the regular bin. A good tactic can be to put a wastepaper bin underneath each desk to give easy access. Many businesses are also going paper free, cutting out paper waste almost entirely.

Adequate Commercial Bins

Having enough bins and enough bin space is important to ensure your waste can be separated and collected properly. Commercial bins provide a number of advantages over domestic bins for these aspects, such as:

  • Increased size
  • Different models
  • Colour co-ordination for easier recycling separation
  • Hygiene safeguards

Find out more about commercial bins >

Understanding the Latest Innovations in Recycling

More and more materials become recyclable over time, and your recycling efforts should change to match. Some materials require specialist channels to be recycled, while others can go through the usual kerbside methods. Knowing what materials can and can’t be recycled can help you ensure proper disposal for all your waste.

Find out more about recent innovations in recycling >

How does Good Commercial Waste Management Impact Your Business?

Good commercial waste management means proper separation, handling, and disposal of your business waste, with as much as possible being sent to recycling facilities. You can handle your waste management yourself, or save time and money by leaving it up to good waste management professionals. Some of the key impacts of good commercial waste management include:

  • Compliance with regulations
  • Less landfill tax
  • Better organisation for recycling
  • Lower environmental impact
  • Tidier workplaces
  • Streamlined, stress-free waste management

The Importance of Recycling for Companies

Businesses in particular benefit from good waste management through proper recycling. Not only does this help you to avoid substantial fines from not complying with the regulations, but it also decreases the amount of tax you spend from over-sending waste to landfill.

Recycling also creates a positive image for your business, showing that you’re making strides towards environmental targets. At the same time, it can help you achieve your own goals of waste reduction and lower emissions, while also contributing to more readily available, cheaper, recycled materials.

Business Waste Collection and Recycling from ETM

Complying with the new Welsh waste management regulations in 2024 means building your awareness of these regulations, and putting the required changes into action. Good waste management comes with a number of benefits, both to your business and the planet, so it should be a top priority to improve on your recycling efforts.

Working with a reliable waste management partner will make the whole process a lot easier. At ETM Recycling, we provide leading waste management services to businesses in the Southwest and South Wales. Get in touch today to find out more, or read on with some related articles.

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