New waste regulation for Wales

August 27, 2015   //   No Comments

The Welsh Assembly has published details of its Environment Bill, which requires businesses to separate waste at source.   welsh assembly

The legislation is slated for Royal Assent by spring 2016 and due to come into force in 2017.  The bill’s aim is to make savings from avoiding the need to pay landfill tax and increased competitiveness due to a reduction in material costs. These financial and green savings will be achieved by forcing businesses to separate clean uncontaminated materials from other wastes before they are collected.

The bill introduces rules which dovetail with existing legislation introduced in January 2015 in England and Wales (as well as Scotland but in a different form). These require businesses to have paper, plastic, metals and glass collected separately unless it’s not technically, environmentally or economically practicable. This put the emphasis on collectors to ensure there was a framework for separate collections in place.  The Welsh proposal changes the emphasis from the waste collector to the waste producer, i.e. businesses. This is likely to mean that Welsh firms will no longer be able to co-mingle their recycling, e.g. put tins in with paper.

The Welsh Assembly says its research shows that this will save firms money thanks to reduced waste collection charges. The theory is that if you sort out more recyclables of a higher quality, then your contractor will receive more money and will pass some of the savings on to you.

Note. The Scottish Parliament is considering similar plans, but there is nothing coming from Westminster. We’ll keep you posted on any changes which may affect you.

SAIF advises members to follow the Welsh model if you have the space and the resources to separate and store waste and your waste contractor (or others) will offer significant financial incentives, which more than cover the time and cost of your efforts.