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business recycling in wales upcoming changes to recycling legislation

As you have probably heard, changes are coming to the way businesses are expected to dispose of their waste in Wales, in order to encourage better segregation of waste, so more is recycled, ultimately giving us a more sustainable country.

We’ve been asked regularly for more detail around what has been proposed, so the purpose of this blog post is to give clarity and useful information to help you prepare for the changes. These changes, if approved, are proposed to be implemented from October 2021. We will be closely monitoring these proposals and implementing and updating this post with the necessary changes based on the outcome of the consultation, to help you be prepared. We will actively keep up to date with the legal requirements for waste segregation requirements in Wales, and notify you when and if changes to your internal bins are required.

*** Update September 2021: The changes to business recycling are likely to be discussed in the Welsh parliament in October 2021, and we understand the actual law will come into place in 2023. Any information we get we will update here! We recommend not waiting until legislation comes into force – make the changes to your recycling program now so you have time to get your team on board with the new system.

The Welsh Government have proposed to introduce mandatory separation of waste for all non-domestic producers of waste. This will require all businesses, public sector organisations and charities to separate their waste into the following waste streams:

  • paper/card
  • metal/plastic
  • glass
  • food
  • small WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment recycling)
  • textiles.
  • Any waste which does not fit into these categories would be placed in a general waste bin.

These regulations, if approved, will mean that any organisation which does not separate their waste in this way, will be breaking the law and will be liable to penalties (probably in the form of fines). It will also be illegal for any waste collector (i.e. Councils, Biffa, Veolia etc) to mix this waste when it is collected.

This means dry mixed recycling will no longer be collected, it needs to be segregated out into different waste streams. Your waste company also will not be able to collect general waste which contains recyclable items.

The Welsh Government is working to make Wales a greener, more equal, and more prosperous country. How we manage our waste and the resources we use in Wales has become even more crucial; in the growing fight to tackle climate change. Since Wales has had its own government in 1999, we have become a global leader in recycling which is something we should all be proud of. We’re now first in the UK, second in Europe and third in the world for household waste recycling!  Wow – recycling is what we do! This achievement has taken a clear, long term vision, strong partnership working, significant investment and clear milestones along the way. Municipal waste recycling rates have risen from 4.8% to 62.8%, so of course they are now making changes to the rules on business recycling, so this doesn’t get overlooked. The Welsh government has a goal to become a circular economy and achieve 100% recycling and zero waste by 2050. This is how we will make this ambition a reality.

Help! What do I need to do for my internal recycling bins?

These changes obviously mean your internal recycling bins must be updated to suit the upcoming changes, so that segregation happens correctly at the point of disposal. We are here to help with the transformation. At Unisan we are passionate about making recycling easier, more efficient, and more engaging within your premises – we are experts at this and have helped organisations like Microsoft, HSBC, Amazon and many councils and universities transform their recycling rates for the better.

We are based in Bridgend, Wales and are happy to speak to anyone that needs help and advice on their business recycling (in Welsh or English language!). We can also collect your old bins and take them away to be recycled, if required.

Recycling shouldn’t be complicated! Our aim is to make recycling at work easy and more engaging for your staff. We focus on providing customisable engaging solutions to suit your interior design and your waste requirements.

Call us on 0330 700 6000 or email us at [email protected]. Why get your new recycling stations from us? We are experts on recycling and have tried and tested ways of helping your staff to recycle better. Download our guide on successful recycling in the office here. We will work with you and tailor your recycling bin station to suit your needs to make it easy as possible for your staff to recycle, and to reach the best possible recycling rates. Some of our clients want specific waste streams, colours, graphics (IE bilingual signage including the Welsh language translation) and finishes to match the interior design of their offices, kitchen, breakout facilities. We can help with a broad range of options so you can truly make your recycling station your own! Proudly made in Britain, from sustainably sourced wood (FSC approved).

Not to mention, our recycling bins are fitted with our unique eco friendly bin liner system, proven to save on labour and waste collection costs, as well decreasing plastic usage by up to 70%. Each liner only takes 20 seconds to change and the next liner is always there ready to go, which can cut your time spent emptying bins by 38%! By switching to our Longopac continuous liners, we helped British Gas offices to reduce their plastic usage by 10 tonnes and the carbon footprint by 46 tonnes, and Greggs bakeries and shops to reduce the plastic usage by 42 tonnes and the carbon footprint by 179 tonnes!

Wales recycling Regulations - 3W, 4W, 5W office recycling binsCardiff office recycling bins to suit new legislations

7 Stream Multi Bin office recycling station for wales

Or, check out our range of self-adhesive vinyl recycling bin labels here:

recycling bin labels for office waste bins wrap recommended

Need more details?

There is currently an open consultation in progress, and we recommend that any organisations who are concerned or have questions in regards to these proposal to submit a consultation response. You can read the Consultation Document and submit a response on the Welsh Government website. Find out more on why Wales is so great at recycling here.

There are also helpful and informative webinars and other events available to book on this website: RecycleLink Wales.

If you have any concerns about how this will impact your business and waste contract, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We will be happy to help. Check out our inspiration gallery here to see what solutions we have implemented for other clients.

Recycling laws in Wales have changed. Is your business compliant?