Recycling guide
Step 1

Why your business needs to recycle

New regulations will soon require your business to separate from your general waste, and in this guide we’ll explain what to do to prepare before the 31 March 2025 deadline for businesses with 10 or more full time equivalents or the 31 March 2027 deadline for all businesses. In this step, we’ll cover:

1. The Waste Hierarchy

2. The benefits of recycling

3. How to comply with the new legislation

4. Checklist: what your business needs to do to comply

Before we get into the details, let’s take a quick look at the background and how recycling can help your business.

Good to know

‘Waste’ means any substance or object to be discarded. This includes household materials for disposal (rubbish, in other words!) and recycling. New regulations mean that similar materials produced by businesses now need to be separated for recycling. If you use part of your home to run your business, any waste from that part of it also counts as business waste.

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  • The Waste Hierarchy

    Preventing waste in the first place is always the best option, as you can see from the ‘Waste Hierarchy’ below, which ranks waste management options in order of how good they are for the environment. If waste is unavoidable, it should ideally be prepared for re-use, recycled or turned into something else of value (such as energy). Disposal in general waste is the last resort.

  • The benefits of recycling

    As a business, you’re considered to have a ‘Duty of Care’ to ensure that the waste your business generates is produced, stored, transported and disposed of without harming the environment. This is set out in Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, but new legislation takes this a step further by making business recycling a legal requirement.

    But there’s more to recycling than complying with legislation!

  • How to comply with the new business recycling legislation

    Having looked at the business case for recycling, it’s time to delve into the details of what the new legislation means for your business. Businesses and relevant non-domestic premises will need to separate dry recycling (except plastic film) and food waste for recycling by 31 March 2025. If you’re a smaller business, with fewer than ten full-time equivalent employees, you’ve got until 31 March 2027, but it’s a good idea to take the opportunity to comply early – one less thing to worry about!

  • Checklist: what your business needs to do to comply

    What your business needs to do to comply:

Resources and information

  • Business Resource Efficiency Guide - Resource Efficiency for Managers

    WRAP has produced this guide to help health, safety and environment managers; or others with management responsibilities to improve the efficiency of their organisation’s use of resources – e.g. raw materials, water, energy – as a means of improving the performance of their business.

    Good resource efficiency practices are based on the ‘waste hierarchy’ and structured around a system of continual improvement with the aim of saving money and reducing environmental impact. This involves a number of key tasks including assessing current waste and material consumption levels, identifying areas for improvement, setting and implementing actions, and monitoring and reviewing their success.

    Most of a manager’s time is dedicated to delivering the core activities of the organisation and matters such as resource efficiency may seem like an unnecessary distraction. However, managing resources efficiently and reducing waste is an important part of a successful organisation and there are many reasons why a manager should get involved. These are explained in this guide.

    This guide offers practical advice on getting a resource efficiency programme started and suggests some ‘quick wins’ to help.

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