The Household Waste Recycling Act 2003


The Act requires local authorities in England to collect separately at least two separate recyclable fractions of household waste by 2010. Guidance document published in April 2005.

Northern Ireland

This Act does not apply in Northern Ireland.

In transposing Directive 2008/98/EC (the revised Waste Framework Directive), Articles 18-20 of the Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011 require that from 1 January 2015 anyone collecting waste paper, metal, plastic, or glass must take all measures to ensure separate collection of these materials. Article 21 states that co-mingled collection is a form of separate collection for the purposes of regulations 18-20.


This Act does not apply in Scotland. 

In transposing the Directive 2008/98//EC, the Waste Framework Directive, the Zero Waste Scotland Regulations 2011 will require from the 31 December 2013 Local Authorities must offer source segregated dry recyclables collections to households and begin to roll-out food waste collections. The roll-out of separate food waste collections must be complete by 31December 2015.

The Regulations to source-segregate materials will cover urban areas with a population over 125,000, other urban areas (10,000-125,000 population), and accessible small towns (3,000-10,000) and properties within 30 minutes drive of a settlement of 10,000 or more. 

The statutory requirement to collect food waste will be limited to households that can present a bin to kerbside. It is hoped that current trials will enable clear best practice guidance to made available on, for example, food waste collection services to high density housing (high rises etc). 

Co-mingled garden/food collections will be permitted where they can be demonstrated to deliver equivalent or better environmental outcomes as a separate food waste collection. SG have stated that whilst LAs can make their own decisions regarding their preferred approach to food waste collection systems, further guidance may be issued to ensure common principals are applied by all authorities in making those choices.

Where separate food waste collection is not being offered, there will be a requirement on LAs to promote food waste prevention and/or home composting