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Guidance on the Separate Collection of Waste Paper, Metal, Plastic and Glass

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This guidance sets out the requirements for the separate collection of four waste materials (paper, metal, plastic and glass), as prescribed by the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 (as amended) and will support all Welsh organisations affected.

From 1 January 2015 all organisations involved in waste collection are required to set up separate collections for paper, metal, plastic and glass, subject to two tests being satisfied:

  1. It is necessary to ensure that waste management is carried out in accordance with Article 4 and 13 of the Waste Framework Directive, and to facilitate or improve recovery; and
  2. It is technically, environmentally and economically practicable.


This requirement applies to all organisations that collect the four waste materials, including businesses, local authorities, societies, trusts, clubs or charities.

In addition to this requirement, all organisations that collects, transports or receives the four waste materials must take all reasonable steps to ensure that where waste has been separately collected, it is not mixed with other waste or materials with different properties.

This guidance supports Towards Zero Waste: our waste strategy - in that is supports our policy objective for Wales for the production of high levels of clean recyclate to drive markets.