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Welsh care sector not prepared for new food waste legislation

Grant Keenan, managing director of Keenan Recycling

The care sector in Wales is in danger of falling foul of upcoming legislation, with many businesses still unaware of the impending changes, says a recycling boss. 

New laws come into force on 6 April, with Welsh Government mandating that all facilities are to separate out food waste if they produce more than 5kg per week. 

Worryingly for Grant Keenan, managing director of Keenan Recycling, not much has altered in the awareness and actions of care organisations since research carried out by the company earlier in the year showed 41 per cent of respondents advised they didn’t know about the impending changes. 

And with the remaining responders having little to no understanding of the legislation, Grant is concerned this could have financial and reputational impact on the care sector. 

He said: “When these laws were introduced in Scotland in 2014 many firms were not able to immediately comply as they struggled to appoint a supplier due to the increase in demand.  

“It’s vital Welsh care homes don’t fall into the same trap to avoid fines and unwanted negative attention. 

“When we launched our research in the spring, it painted a bleak picture. It’s an ominous sign that during conversations with our clients and contacts, they are still none the wiser about what will happen on 6 April.”  

The legislation change is part of the Welsh Government’s goal of achieving net zero by 2050. 

Grant added: “A business’ approach to caring for the environment is becoming a key part of the decision-making process for people engaging brands.  

“As well as taking away the stress of adhering to the new laws ahead of April, care homes that start recycling food now will be ahead of the curve. 

“Being able to communicate to residents and their families that the food waste generated has been turned into electricity is a huge key message.”