The Welsh Government is changing workplace recycling legislation, effective from 6th April 2024. Under these regulations, businesses will be required to recycle the following materials at minimum:

  • Paper/cardboard
  • Plastics/metals/cartons
  • Glass 
  • Food (where producing over 5Kg per week) 

There are also new rules for unsold textiles and small electrical items.

Where business recycling is separated for collection, the waste collection provider will need to ensure they are collected separately and remain separate.

Recycling and food waste must not enter a residual (non-recyclable) waste bin. These regulations apply to all businesses & all waste collection companies across Wales. 

The incoming legislation is especially important to Cardiff as the capital city of Wales. Business waste contributes 9% of all total waste collected in Cardiff, compared to around 4% in the rest of Wales (The Recycling Strategy for Cardiff, Cardiff Council). There is exciting potential for businesses to boost Cardiff’s recycling rate from our current 63% to the Welsh Government’s statutory target of 70%.

Cardiff Trade Waste has been working with city centre businesses to get compliant with the new workplace recycling laws. We have been working in partnership with Brewery Quarter who approached us back in 2022 when they wanted to increase their recycling rates and minimise their carbon footprint. 

As a city centre location packed with industries in the food, drink and nighttime economy, there is often substantial amounts of waste generated – offering a fantastic opportunity to get ahead of the curve, ready for the incoming regulations. 

The Brewery Quarter is exemplary in its actions and targets towards sustainability. Chris Kearns and his team, with the support from the businesses of Brewery Quarter and St James Place, have seen an incredible 252% boost in their recycling rates. The amount of general waste they send to an Energy from Waste facility has been reduced by 45%. 

Brewery Quarter has been ahead of the workplace regulations for some time but wants to reduce general waste to 40% by the end of 2025, which will be a 60% reduction from where it started 5 years ago. The commitment to sustainability and the determined attitude of the team, alongside the co-operation and teamwork from all their occupants’ shines through and there is every confidence they will smash this target. 

As Chris eloquently put it, it’s not just about making money as a business, but having accountability and leaving the world in a better place for their children. Brewery Quarter have also installed motion sensor lights; LUX lighting and timers on their plug points, alongside a huge commitment to manage their recycling. 

“In 2019, we calculated 24% to 26% of all refuse from Brewery Quarter was recyclable. From 2022 to date, with the support and cooperation from Cardiff Trade Waste, we’ve seen our recycling capabilities grow to 51% of all waste sent for collection. The guidelines being introduced by the Welsh Government are coincidental, in so much that we were driving hard to achieve best practices, lowering our carbon footprint and striving for our own sustainability targets. This will of course continue and I’m very confident those percentages on recycling will increase with the advice and assistance provided by James and his colleagues at Cardiff Trade Waste.” – Chris Kearns, Centre Manager – Brewery Quarter.

“I have been delighted to help support the Brewery Quarter in their endeavours to increase recycling. Like a number of our customers, they were keen to improve their recycling and sustainability, not just because the workplace recycling law is coming into force, but because they know it’s the ‘right thing to do’. The team and I were able to offer practical guidance and support (including many on-site visits) as well as track and monitor progress providing detailed bin weight analysis. This analysis has been possible due to our investment in onboard weighing and a sophisticated integrated back office system. We’ll continue to work with the Brewery Quarter and anyone else who would like to request our services.” James Simons, Trade Sales Officer – Cardiff Trade Waste.

For more information, click here.

Sophie Jones, Cardiff Trade Waste, Waste Campaigns Officer

Author WCS

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