waste bins

Business owners might have seen some headlines about updates to workplace recycling laws in Wales. We certainly have at Change Waste Recycling.

Essentially, the new law which came into effect on April 6 will make it mandatory for all businesses, charities and public sector organisations to sort their waste for recycling.

Scotland already has similar regulations in place, however this move from Wales could see similar laws rolled out across other parts of the UK. As a devolved issue, recycling laws for businesses in the UK can differ, but when one changes, it’s not uncommon to see others follow.

At Change Waste Recycling we’ve been providing services that adhere to these regulations since 2001, and so welcome this move from Wales – as not enough waste management services meet these standards.

With that in mind, here is everything you need to know about waste separation in Scotland.

Recycling Regulations in Scotland

Scotland has regulations in place that are covered by Waste (Scotland) Regulations, requiring businesses to sort the following materials:

  • Glass (including drinks bottles & rinsed empty food jars);
  • Metal (including cans, tins);
  • Plastic (including, drinks bottles & rinsed empty food containers);
  • Paper;

Additionally, there are rules regarding food waste for the hospitality sector.

As Zero Waste Scotland explains on their website: “Urban food businesses (such as cafés, restaurants or food takeaways) which produce over 5 kg of food waste per week also have to present food waste separately for collection unless excluded by a rural location.”

While we won’t speculate on whether these regulations will become firmer laws as they have in Wales, we will continue to ensure that our services remain in-line with all relevant guidelines, regulations and legislation.

What are the new waste separation laws in Wales?

The Welsh legislation states that “All businesses, charities and public sector organisations will need to separate their waste.”

In line with the new rules, businesses will have to separate:

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

However, Welsh businesses will be allowed to mix paper and card together, as well as metal, plastic, and cartons.

The legislation will also include a ban on using macerators in kitchens and disposing of food in drains, as well as all wood waste going to landfill.

The waste needs to be properly disposed of too. Separately collected waste will not be allowed to be incinerated in an energy from waste plant or sent to landfill.

Separating recycling

Different materials go through different recycling processes, which is why businesses need to make sure that they are separating their recyclable materials.

At Change Waste, we recycle a number of different materials, including:

  • Glass bottles
  • Plastic bottles
  • Tins and cans
  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Cartons
  • Food waste
  • Light bulbs
  • Batteries
  • And much more

All of these materials require a bespoke approach for reprocessing, which is why recycling needs to be sorted.

Why is separating waste important

Separating waste is easy, it reduces contamination leading to high quality material that can be recycled in the UK, this allows your business to support the local and Circular Economy.

Many will not realise this, but with the right recycling service in place 80% of office waste can be recycled.

Essentially, separating your waste is beneficial to your business and managing your Corporate Social Responsibility. This not only enhances peace of mind but also enables you to effectively communicate your dedication to the environment with your customers.

The difference

We wouldn’t blame you for looking at the laws in Wales and Scotland’s regulation and thinking ‘these are the same’.

That’s because, in terms of what businesses are being asked to do, they mostly are. The difference here is that separating recycling has been made into a law in Wales, rather than just regulation as it is in Scotland.

While proper separation is outlined in Scottish regulations, there are still a lot of businesses opting for dry mixed recycling.

This firmer stance from Wales will require businesses to meet the outlined standards, and for their waste management provider to ensure that they are separating their waste.


Change Waste: Ahead of the game

What is being asked of businesses in Wales, is what we have already been doing since we started out over 20 years ago.

At a time where adhering to environmental legislation is increasingly important, it’s vital to have peace of mind that your waste is being handled by an experienced, compliant waste management company.

That’s where we come in, we have a long track record of making sure that our services, from guidance, to collections is of the highest quality and fully in line with all relevant guidance and regulation.

Get a quote today and put the experts in your corner.