A high number of workplaces are unaware of new legislation that was introduced at the start of January and means that waste handlers in England and Wales must now collect recyclable materials separately, according to workplace equipment supplier Slingsby.
Under the Waste Regulations 2011, since 1 January 2015 public and private waste collectors have to collect paper, plastic, metal, and glass separately from each other whenever it is technically, environmentally or economically practicable to do so.
Lee Wright, marketing director at Slingsby, said: “Until fairly recently 90% of UK waste was sent to landfill which was clearly unsustainable and although we've made some major improvements in recent years there's still more we can do as a nation. These latest changes aim to increase both the quantity and the quality of waste that is recycled and it follows similar regulations being introduced in Scotland at the start of 2014. The legal requirements actually lie with the waste collectors, so many are encouraging their commercial customers to separate waste as it is produced. However, it appears that many businesses are still adapting to the new regulations and many that we speak to are not even aware of them. As a result of these regulations we have seen a steady increase in sales of recycling equipment in recent months, including segregation bins, containers and signage, and there has been a surge of sales since the start of the year as firms rush to adapt. In addition to the environmental benefits of these regulations, recycling will usually save money and forward thinking workplaces can even use it to their advantage when it comes to winning work, because being able to boast about good environmental credentials often sits well with customers.”