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How can UK businesses go green with their waste?

On 6th April 2024, a new law is set to be put in place that will require all businesses, charities and public sector organisations in Wales to separate their waste for recycling.

According to the Welsh government, Wales is currently third in the world when it comes to disposing of household waste. In an effort to reduce carbon emissions by 2050 and become a zero-waste country, this new legislation will aim to emulate the same success for the disposal of business waste. But how can the rest of the UK adopt these rules?

Rachael Kiss from Alliance Online has released comments advising businesses on what this law will involve, who this will apply to and how the rest of the UK can embrace these practices in their workplace.

How will workplace waste be disposed of?

“In the same way that households are encouraged to separate their recycling into individual bins, businesses in Wales will now be required to organise their waste into six categories to be collected separately:

Food (for premises that produce more than 5kg of food waste per week)
Paper and card
Metal, plastic and cartons
Unsold textiles
Unsold small waste electrical and electronic equipment (sWEEE)
“This legislation also mandates that wood waste cannot go to a landfill, nor can separately collected waste be incinerated or sent to a landfill. Failure to comply with these regulations could result in a fine for your workplace.”

Who does this law apply to?

“This law will impact any business, charity or public sector organisation in Wales. A few examples of sectors that will be affected include office spaces, retail and hospitality premises, agricultural premises, heritage buildings, libraries and museums, entertainment venues, education premises, and places of worship.”

“NHS hospitals and private hospitals will have an additional two years to comply; however, pharmacies, GP and dental surgeries, and other primary care services will be expected to dispose of their waste in line with the new regulations as of April.”

What will this mean for Welsh hospitality businesses?

“Changes regarding the disposal of food waste in this new legislation mean that hospitality businesses are set to be particularly impacted from April.”

“Any workplace that produces over 5kg of food waste per week, such as hotels, pubs, restaurants and catering businesses, will be expected to be more mindful of how much food waste they generate and how this is disposed of.”

“Hospitality businesses will not be permitted to get rid of their food waste down a sink, drain or sewer. This will also apply to using macerators, enzyme digesters, de-waterers or any similar technologies that may result in food being disposed of in this way.”

How can UK businesses embrace the Welsh legislation?

“Although there is currently no indication that this legislation will be introduced to the rest of the UK, there are a number of steps that businesses outside of Wales can take now to incorporate this law into their workplace practices.”

“Consider how your business currently manages its waste and what changes need to be made, such as acquiring additional bins, to ensure that you fall in line with the new law. Contact your waste collector to confirm that they will be able to collect your recycling or consider switching to a new provider if necessary.”

“Evaluate what waste is currently produced and if there are ways to reduce this amount to reduce the amount of collections needed. Establish a workplace waste policy and make sure that employees are trained and complying with this, with bins being easily accessible and efficient to separate waste from.”

“As a wholesaler, we’d recommend businesses contact whoever supplies their business with cleaning and janitorial products to see what they have which may help with implementing a better waste management system. For a complete and ready-to-go option we’d recommend the Rubbermaid Slim Jim recycling stations which can be optimised specifically for how your business wants your waste management to be broken down.”

Alliance Online have released these comments to advise UK businesses of the upcoming workplace waste laws being introduced in Wales this April.