Wales: The new laws that could see you fined or face court for not separating recycling

A new workplace recycling law will be implemented throughout Wales starting this weekend. Effective Saturday, 6th April, all businesses, charities and public sector organisations will be required to segregate their waste for recycling.

The new system will mirror the segregated recycling system already in place in many households across Wales. The Welsh Government has introduced this new system to improve recycling practices in commercial businesses throughout the country.

The following materials will need to be separated for collection, and collected separately: Food; Paper and card; Glass; Metal, plastic and cartons, Unsold textiles; Unsold small waste electrical and electronic equipment (sWEEE).

The new law also includes a ban on the following: Sending food waste to sewer (any amount); Separately collected waste going to incineration and landfill; All wood waste going to landfill.

The new changes will apply to all types of workplaces, including hospitality, retail, and agriculture. NHS hospitals and private hospitals have two years to comply with the changes.

If businesses fail to follow the new rules, they may face court action or an unlimited fine. Natural Resource Wales will be responsible for ensuring that business waste is separated for recycling.

The law is changing to enhance the quality of recycling throughout Wales, a significant step towards achieving zero waste. The Welsh Government stated that their goal is to improve the quality and quantity of recycling in workplaces. Achieving this is crucial to reaching zero waste, decreasing carbon emissions, and addressing the climate emergency.

The Government aims to keep materials in use for as long as possible. By doing so, they can avoid rising material costs and support the economy and supply chains. Additionally, this approach can help avoid landfill tax and create job opportunities. Wales is already the best in the UK for domestic recycling and third best in the world, but they are committed to doing even better.

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