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Warning as new Welsh Government food waste legislation enters the horizon

Grant Keenan, managing director of Keenan Recycling

Ahead of new Welsh legislation coming into effect, the head of one of the UK’s largest food waste recycling companies is urging businesses to be aware of the changes to ensure they are compliant from day one. 

Keenan Recycling, which works with businesses and local authorities to deliver food waste to anaerobic digestion plants, is encouraging organisations to understand the importance of the incoming Welsh Government regulations. 

Under the new laws, from 6 April 2024 it will be a legal requirement for all businesses that generate more than five kilograms of food waste to recycle it.  

The bill, which is currently awaiting confirmation from the Senedd, will mean businesses that don’t adhere to the rules could be fined. 

Grant Keenan, managing director of Keenan Recycling, said: “We currently collect food waste from numerous establishments of varying sizes within Wales, and through our general conversations, there seems to be a lack of awareness of just what these new rules will impact. 

“It’s vital embracing these legislative changes as this is a key step towards Wales achieving the zero waste by 2050 target set by the government as well as provide a transformative opportunity for businesses to contribute to a more sustainable world. 

“As we have seen in Scotland with similar laws enacted, adhering to the legislation demonstrates commitment to preserving the environment but also aligns your brand with the values of conscious consumers and sees increased customer loyalty. 

“In addition, efficient food waste recycling practices through collaboration with partners and external stakeholders such as local authorities and food waste recycling firms will lead to reduced disposal costs and long-term financial gains, so the sooner businesses get on board, the better the results.” 

With the 6 April deadline for the legislation on the horizon, Keenan Recycling is concerned companies will not be ready and risk fines and reputational damage for failing to adhere to the regulations. 

As part of Keenan’s expansion into Wales, five additional state-of-the-art trucks, which are powered by eco-friendly compressed natural gas, have been ordered along with the creation of up to 10 jobs in the region including drivers and sales roles before the end of the year. 

Grant added: “Those organisations which invest in the necessary infrastructure will not only ensure a smooth transition and compliance, but will develop strong, transparent reporting which will showcase dedication to achieving sustainability. 

“In our experience, companies that actively engage in socially responsible initiatives often see employee morale and satisfaction increase, as the workforce becomes a driving force behind reaching these targets.”