Somerset Council is urging businesses to log-on and start planning early for new rules on recycling.

The national ‘Simpler Recycling’ reforms announced in October mean all businesses – and organisations like hospitals and schools – must have separate food waste and recycling collections in place by the end of March 2025.

Businesses have a legal Duty of Care to store waste safely and to dispose of it using a registered waste carrier.

The Somerset Council-supported ‘Business of Recycling’ website has advice on how to prepare for the new regulations, including a tool that lets you check if your waste carrier is registered.

Businesses with fewer than ten full-time employees have until 31 March 2027 to meet these requirements.

Recyclable materials to be separated from general waste include:

  • Glass such as drinks bottles and rinsed empty food jars
  • Metal such as drinks cans and food tins
  • Plastic such as rinsed empty food containers and bottles
  • Paper such as old newspapers and envelopes
  • Cardboard such as delivery boxes and packaging
  • Food waste including tea bags, coffee grounds, leftovers or waste generated by food preparation (NB. There is no minimum amount for food waste)

Businesses will need to have a separate food bin, and a refuse bin, but recyclable materials can be mixed to reduce the number of bins needed.

Plastic, film, and flexibles collections across all premises will also be implemented by 31 March 2027.

Councillor Dixie Darch, Lead Member for Environment and Climate Change said:

The new system will help businesses, schools, and hospitals to recycle more, which will reduce carbon emissions and protect our environment from harmful waste.

New systems will also be introduced for the registration of companies who handle waste and there will be  a mandatory digital waste tracking service to track waste and resources throughout the economy.

The UK-wide digital waste tracking service requirements, replacing waste transfer notes and hazardous waste consignment notes.

Read further details on the consultation at Government response – GOV.UK (

Somerset Recycling Track

About this article

November 13, 2023

Isabella Cole

Press Release