Welsh Waste Legislation FAQs

The new Welsh waste legislation aims to improve waste management practices, increase recycling rates, and reduce the environmental impact of waste being generated in Wales. It aligns with the Welsh Government’s commitment to achieving a circular economy and minimising waste sent to landfill. It means all businesses, charities and public sector organisations will need to sort their waste for recycling in the same way most households do now.

The legislation introduces measures to promote waste prevention, increase recycling rates, and improve resource efficiency. It includes requirements for businesses to separate waste streams, implement waste reduction measures, and report on their waste management practices.

All businesses in Wales will be required to comply with stricter waste management regulations, including mandatory recycling and waste separation requirements. You may need to invest in additional containers to meet the new obligations and avoid potential fines or penalties for non-compliance. All workplaces will have to separate specific types of material that are deemed as in-scope of the legislation. These include:

  • Food (if you dispose of 5kgs + per week)
  • Paper and card
  • Glass
  • Metals, plastics and cartons
  • Unsold textiles
  • Unsold small waste electrical and electronic equipment (sWEEE)

Full details of specific types of material deemed as in-scope can be found here

There will also be a ban on sending any:

  • food waste to sewers .
  • in-scope materials to incineration plants and landfill sites.
  • wood waste going to landfill.

Enforcement of the new waste legislation will be carried out by regulatory authorities, such as Natural Resources Wales and local councils. Businesses found to be in breach of the legislation may face enforcement action, including warnings, fines, or prosecution, depending on the severity of the violation.

The new legislation is expected to result in several benefits, including reduced waste generation, increased recycling rates, and improved resource efficiency. By transitioning to a more sustainable waste management system, Wales aims to reduce its environmental footprint and contribute to global efforts to combat climate change.

While the new legislation is specific to Wales, it may influence waste management practices and policies in other parts of the UK. Similar initiatives aimed at improving recycling rates and reducing waste sent to landfill may be adopted by other regions seeking to address environmental challenges and achieve sustainability goals.

Our customers can stay informed about updates and developments related to the new Welsh waste legislation by monitoring the Reconomy’s website news section, and through toolbox talks taking place.

We have updated our catalogue of artwork to include signage relevant to this legislation. Reconomy customers can contact us and order signage relevant to your business.

Whilst it’s always been encouraged that businesses separate recycling, it has been acceptable to place recyclable material into a mixed construction waste skip which commonly uses European Waste Catalogue (EWC) code 17-09-04. However, from April 6th 2024, you cannot place in-scope materials in a skip with any other waste. You must segregate the material into separate bins ready for collection by the waste contractor.

Yes. If you produce waste materials that are in-scope of this legislation, then you are required to separate them ready for collection. This is regardless of the duration of the project.

No. This legislation is specific to non-domestic premises.

The responsibility for determining the appropriate EWC code lies with the producer of the waste. Therefore the following list should only be deemed as a suggestion:

  • Paper and or cardboard – EWC code 20-01-01
  • Plastic – EWC code 15-01-02
  • Metal – EWC code 15-01-04
  • Cartons – EWC code 15-01-05
  • Plastic, Metals and cartons – a combination of two or more –EWC code 15-01-06
  • Glass – EWC code 15-01-07
  • Unsold small Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (sWEEE) – EWC code 20-01-36
  • Unsold textiles (clothing only) – EWC code 20-01-10
  • Unsold textiles (all types) – EWC code 20-01-11

If you are responsible for disposing of the waste being generated then you are obligated under this legislation. This will apply if you arrange and manage a skip delivery, or clearance from a domestic premises or if you transport waste material back to a depot or workshop. However, if the owner of the occupied domestic property is the person arranging the skip then the material is deemed to be from a domestic source and the regulations do not apply.

The Workplace Recycling Regulations only apply to the waste whilst it is in Wales. If businesses are using their vehicles to transport goods to one of their stores, it could be argued that the goods have not been presented for collection and therefore the regulations would not apply. If the goods are being collected by someone else or being taken to a facility in the control of another party in Wales, they could be deemed as having been presented for collection and now considered waste NOT goods, so the new regulations would apply.

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