Guidance for
All Workplaces

What is the new law?

Workplaces will need to separate the materials listed below for recycling. Workplaces will also need to arrange for the waste to be collected separately from other waste.

  • Paper and card

  • Glass

  • Metal, plastic, and cartons and other similar packaging (For example coffee cups)

  • Food – only for premises that produce more than 5kg of food waste a week.

  • Unsold small waste electrical and electronic equipment (sWEEE); and

  • Unsold textiles.

Putting all your waste into a single bin will not be allowed if any of these materials are in there.

Each group of materials must be kept separate from each other. For example, glass must be collected on its own, but workplaces can collect metal, plastic and cartons together in the same container.  Before putting items in the recycling bins think about whether you can reuse them for something else.

Bans on how to dispose of food and waste

The new law also includes bans on:

  • sending all food waste to sewers (any amount)

  • any waste that has been separated for recycling going to landfill or incineration plants (except most textiles which may go to incineration plants apart from unsold textiles that cannot go to incineration or landfill)

  • sending any wood waste to landfill

For workplaces that produce and handle food waste

The law to separate and recycle food waste applies to any premises that produce over 5kg of food waste per week, such as:

  • hotels

  • restaurants

  • cafés

  • takeaways

  • catering businesses (including those at events such as food stalls),

  • shopping centre food courts

  • canteens

  • pubs

  • offices with canteens, cafes or staff kitchen facilities

  • schools, colleges, prisons, nursing homes and hospitals

  • any other workplaces that serve food

If you produce any food waste you will not be allowed to put it down the sink, or drain into a public drain or sewer.

This includes using macerators (or similar technologies such as enzyme digestors or de-waterers) to get rid of food waste down the sink to a drain or sewer. Macerators don’t need to be removed, but you may choose to remove them to prevent staff using them.


  • Food waste reduction roadmap toolkit

    Helps food businesses take targeted action to reduce waste in their own operations, their supply chain and from consumers.

  • Guardians of grub

    Information on how to manage your food waste that may help your workplace.