Guidance for
Small and Medium sized businesses and Enterprises (SME)
Overview

Why you need to recycle?

…and what to recycle?

  • Paper and card;

  • Glass;

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

  • Food – all premises that produce 5kg or more of food waste in seven consecutive days;

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

  • Unsold textiles.

The 5kg food waste weight limit applies to any seven-day period. If you produce 5kg or more of food waste during any seven days, then it must be presented separately for collection. If you do not produce over 5kg per week this should be monitored to take account of any changes on the premises, for example an increase of staffing levels or visitors.

This law only applies to household like waste produced by workplaces, that is waste that is usually found at home and routinely collected from the kerbside.

A full list of recyclable materials that should be presented separately for recycling is available here: The Separate Collection of Waste Materials for Recycling: Code of Practice.

As a waste producer, you are required to produce a waste transfer note. In most cases, however, your waste collector will produce this for you. You should check this carefully to ensure that the description of the waste being collected is accurate. None of the separated materials can be sent by your waste collector to landfill or incineration. You could consider asking your waste collector for regular evidence of the final processing destinations of your segregated materials.

The new law bans any food waste of any amount from being disposed of down the sink or drain into the sewer. It means you cannot use in-sink maceration units that chop or liquidise food waste and send it down the drain.

While it will not be illegal for you to have a macerator, de-waterer, or other similar food waste disposal technology, it will be illegal to use them to send food waste into sewers.

All occupiers of workplaces must correctly present recyclable materials separately for collection by their chosen waste collector. Whether you own, rent, or lease your premises, it still applies.

If you share a space e.g., a shopping centre, food, or market hall, you may need to check if a central recycling system that meets the requirements of the law will be provided by landlords. If so, it will be your responsibility to ensure you and your staff use the recycling systems provided correctly. If not, your recyclable waste will be your responsibility.

If you mainly have an online presence, you will still need to comply with the changes on any premises that you use.