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In this article, we will discuss our view on England’s Upcoming Recycling Legislation

The new Simpler Recycling Regulations coming in England in March/April 2025 will only apply to England. 

The English Government’s Consistency In Household & Business Recycling Consultation states:

‘All non-household municipal premises in England (such as businesses, schools, and hospitals), must make arrangements to have the same set of recyclable waste streams (with the exception of garden waste) collected for recycling or composting, and must present their waste in accordance with the arrangements.

unisan recycling stations


The English Government is suggesting that only 3 waste streams will be required for collection as part of their new regulations:

  • Food Waste
  • Dry Mixed Recyclables
  • General Waste

There is a suggestion that the Dry Mixed Recyclables waste stream will be made consistent across all areas of the UK.

The challenge is how this is clearly and effectively communicated at the point of disposal.

From a waste collection point of view in the back of house areas within a facility/business, these 3 waste streams could work well. 

However, from a front-of-house and behavioural change point of view, we know that having just 3 waste streams won’t drive the right habitual and behavioural changes required to achieve high levels of clean recyclable waste. 

While we acknowledge that separating the waste streams to a very granular level can be confusing, it is important to have a minimum level of waste stream segregation to make it clear and easy for people to understand quickly.

We believe that a Dry Mixed Recyclables waste stream won’t be engaging enough or provide enough clarity to significantly increase recycling rates on-site, it can be very subjective and depends on the level of understanding and buy-in that each individual has.unisan recycling stations


The Welsh Government has done a good job at creating a level of waste separation that does away with ‘Dry Mixed Recyclables’ and is simple and easy to understand. 

They have mandated that Dry Mixed Recyclables should be split into three waste streams:

  • Paper/Card
  • Plastics/Cartons/Cans 
  • Glass 

We would advocate this approach within front of house areas in English businesses (even if the 3 waste streams go into a ‘Dry Mixed Recyclables’ collection bin back of house.

This will help to achieve cleaner, less contaminated waste, which in turn helps to increase recycling rates, decrease carbon footprint, reduce general waste collection costs, and help businesses achieve sustainability goals.


So in summary, to comply in England you will need to have 3 waste streams: 

  • Food Waste
  • Dry Mixed Recyclable
  • General Waste

But the key question is… will this drive the right levels of engagement and behaviour to create clean recyclable waste and drive down contamination/general waste? 

Unfortunately, we don’t think so.

To prepare for the new change and ensure your compliance: Read more.

Need help with understanding the new legislation or advice to take your workspace recycling to the next level? Contact us.


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