Senedd passes Waste Separation Requirements for non-domestic premises
The Waste Separation Requirements (Wales) Regulations 2023 passed yesterday (28 November) mandates the separate presentation, collection and handling of specified recycling streams from non-domestic entities.
The Regulations - that come into force from 6 April 2024 - identify: glass, cartons and similar, plastic and metal containers, paper and card, food waste, unsold waste electrical and electronic equipment and unsold textiles as the recyclable waste streams that will require separation.
Once separately collected from premises, the legislation requires that any business entity involved in receiving, keeping, treating or transporting such waste is legally obliged to prevent its mixing with other recyclable waste streams, substances or articles. This is in efforts to maintain the quality and purity of recycled material.
The new requirements are to apply to all premises in Wales excluding domestic properties and caravans. This signifies that a wide range of non-domestic entities – such as businesses and public sector bodies – will be affected by the incoming changes.
Under the regulations, “presenting for collection” includes the transportation of controlled waste to a centralised collection point – such as a waste recycling centre or bottle bank – by the occupier of a premises.
In an exception to the incoming regulations, hospitals will not be required to present waste separately until 6 April 2026.
Notably, the legislation excludes any waste categorised as hazardous under Regulation 6 of the Hazardous Waste (Wales) Regulations 2005 or containing residues or contamination by waste under those regulations.
Those who fail to comply with the regulations are at risk of facing several penalties. A fine of £500 will be levied for non-compliance with section 45AA(2) of the 1990 Environmental Protection Act, and a £300 penalty will be imposed for breaching section 45AA(4).
Variable penalties will be in place where the infringement is more nuanced – these will be calculated on the severity of the offence including any financial benefits that might have been gained from the non-compliance.
Non-compliance penalties are set for businesses who fail to comply with third-party undertakings related to waste management, whilst enforcement cost recovery notices will be in place to cover the fees expended on investigation, administration and obtaining expert advice.