Guidance for
All Workplaces

How to get ready

It is important to read the Code of Practice on the Separate Collection of Waste Materials for Recycling which has more detail about how to comply with the law to separate waste and keep it separate for recycling.

Take care checking the lists of materials that can and cannot be mixed.

Here are some actions you should start taking:

1. Have a conversation with your recycling and waste collector

Make sure they can collect your separated recycling. You may want to contact other waste collectors to choose the most suitable service for you at the best price.

Duty of Care

The law requires anyone who produces or deals with waste to keep it safe, make sure it is dealt with responsibly, and only given to businesses authorised to take it. This is called the ‘Duty of Care.’

It is important you understand the Duty of Care and the new law to ensure you’re fulfilling your legal obligations.

2. Look at where, how and why waste is created on your premises

Can you reuse any items before putting them in the recycling bin? You might be able to change how you buy products to help reduce the amount of waste you create in the first place. Think about whether you can reduce the materials you use that might be difficult to recycle.

Designing out waste

You may be able to return packaging to your suppliers to be reused or recycled.

As more of your waste is recycled, you could reduce the size of your containers for non-recyclable waste or how often they’re collected. This could potentially save you money.

3. Think about what internal and external bins you might need.

Look at what containers you will need for each of the different recycling materials inside and outside your premises. Your waste collector should be able to advise on the best mix of external containers and how often they will be collected. It is better, and often easier, to separate materials for recycling as soon as they have been used, rather than trying to separate them later. The different types of recycling materials must be separated for your waste collector to be able to take them away. Try to make it easier for staff and visitors to recycle their waste than to put things in the bin for non-recyclable waste.

Recycling containers and storage

Not all waste service providers charge to hire bins. If the new law means you need more bins, then you’ll need to factor this into your costs.

Some specialist food waste collectors offer a service where they swap full bins for empty bins.

Make sure your external bins are appropriately labelled and secure.

4. Talk to your staff so they know about the changes.

They may have ideas about how to make things work. We’ve produced template materials to help you, such as posters, signs for bins, and staff training materials. Making changes in your business or organisation will be easier if people understand the reasons behind the changes.

Click here to access all the template materials.

5. Make sure your recycling bins are accessible.

It’s important your bins are accessible to all your customers. For example, ensure bins are installed in places that are accessible to wheelchair users.

6. Think about staff health and safety.

Try to make sure your waste storage and how you move it minimises the risk of accidents. It’s important bins and waste storage areas are the right size, easy to access, easy to move, and do not block emergency exits. Be aware of any restrictions on waste containers left outside your premises, as it’s likely you’ll have more bins to present to be collected.