New Waste Laws in Wales: Business Update 2024

As of Saturday 6th April 2024, businesses in Wales, including public sector organisations and charities, must comply with new workplace recycling regulations.


Understanding the New Recycling Policy

The goal of the new Welsh policy is to enhance the quality and quantity of waste recycling, which is a key part of the Welsh government’s commitment to carbon reduction and zero waste by 2050. These actions are included in ‘Beyond Recycling, A strategy to make the circular economy in Wales a reality’.

Occupiers of all workplaces (non-domestic premises) in Wales will be affected.

For construction sites, the primary contractor is considered the occupier responsible for waste separation requirements.


Mandatory Separation of Recyclables

Mixed recycling containers are no longer an option in Wales. Workplaces must separate household-like recyclable materials into the non-hazardous waste streams specified below:

  • Glass (bottles and jars used as packaging)
  • Food Waste (for premises generating more than 5kg weekly)
  • Paper & Card
  • Metal, Plastic, Cartons, and similar packaging materials
  • Unsold Small Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)
  • Unsold Textiles

Under the new laws, each of these household-like waste streams requires its own dedicated recycling container.

Paper and card can be mixed in the same container. Metals, plastics, and cartons can also be mixed in the same container.


Many types of plastic packaging commonly used to ensure safe transit of construction and industrial materials are excluded from the above list. These include but are not limited to: bubble wrap, bulk bags, plastic film, and polystyrene.

Please refer to Annex 2 (p.30-32) of the Code of Practice.


Ban on Food Waste in Public Sewers

Food waste from non-domestic premises in Wales must not be discharged into a public sewer. Consequently, non-domestic premises cannot use equipment that drains food waste/effluent into the sewer system (such as macerators).


Ban on Incineration & Landfill of Separated Recyclables

Waste contractors must not send separately collected waste streams in Wales (listed above) to incineration or landfill. In tandem with this law, all wood waste has been banned from landfill in Wales.


Compliance and Enforcement

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Local Authorities will oversee compliance. Failure to comply with these new regulations may result in fines with no upper limit.


Recommendations from Kenny Waste Management

We manage more than 550,000 tonnes of waste every year from a variety of sources throughout the UK. When dealing with a wide range of separated waste streams on premises with limited space, we recommend utilising smaller containers on site, with collections scheduled to fit your business needs.

We offer 240L bins for each commercial waste stream, as well as convenient 23L caddies to help businesses more easily separate food waste.

For businesses with zero space, we may recommend 90L roadside collection bags.

Our hazardous waste experts are equipped to provide all WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) solutions, throughout the UK.


Seeking Further Support

Workplaces are urged to familiarize themselves with the waste streams, ensure compliance, and seek support as needed. For expert guidance on compliance and best value waste management solutions under the new laws, contact Kenny Waste Management today.


The Welsh government has also provided useful digital resources (1) (2) on workplace recycling, as well as a contact for queries about the legislation:



Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Division

Welsh Government

Crown Buildings


CF10 3NQ

Kenny Waste Management