New recycling regulations for businesses are coming soon and Somerset is one of five areas nationally to pilot a business support programme, designed to prepare its businesses for the change.

The new regulations will require all businesses, healthcare establishments and academic institutions to separate glass bottles and jars, metal food and drink cans, plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays, paper, cardboard and food waste from their general waste.

Somerset Council are working with WRAP, a global sustainability charity, to deliver the pilot, which will take place for 10 weeks between 13 February and 21 April 2023. The pilot will promote the launch of a new Business of Recycling website which will provide a waste calculator tool to help businesses monitor how much waste they generate and how recycling can help them save money, step-by-step guidance to ensure they are compliant with the regulations and free downloadable communication resources to promote recycling in the workplace.

In addition, dedicated face-to-face Business Advisory support will be available in Langport, Ilminster and Chard to help businesses understand how the regulations will affect them, what they need to do and what resources are available to help them.

As this will be a regulatory requirement, it is likely that an enforcement officer will undertake checks in future and ask to see evidence that businesses are complying with the new rules.

Councillor Sarah Dyke, Somerset Council Lead Member for Climate Change and Environment, said:

We are already working with local businesses on our wider climate agenda and this new programme will help us engage with them further, to provide practical advice and support around how to recycle in the workplace. This will not only help reduce waste and increase recycling rates but also help businesses save money on waste disposal costs.

It’s important that businesses understand the benefits of recycling as well as the regulatory requirements as we seek to transform our ‘throwaway’ economy into one where we reduce waste, re-use resources as much as possible and adopt nature-friendly, low carbon, resource-efficient systems.

A spokesperson for WRAP said:

We are excited about working with the pilot partners and testing the new Business of Recycling website and provision of practical advisory support for businesses. We want to address some of the barriers to recycling in the workplace, such as lack of information, concerns around costs and how to procure recycling services. The pilots will help us understand how best to engage with businesses, determine the effectiveness of the website and identify where improvements can be made before it is rolled out nationally.

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Document titled New business recycling regulations coming soon

About this article

February 14, 2023

Kailani Knight

Climate Emergency