Business and farming waste and recycling

If you run a business, you have to arrange your own waste and recycling collections. You need to use a registered commercial waste contractor or if you are a registered waste carrier you can take your own waste to a licened disposal or treatment site.

Farms, like other businesses, are responsible for disposing of their own waste. We don’t collect agricultural waste, but there are many registered waste companies who will collect and dispose of this waste.

Businesses are required by law to take all reasonable steps to keep waste safe. If you give waste to someone else, you must be sure they are authorised to collect, transport, recycle or dispose of it safely. If you break this law, you can be fined an unlimited amount.

You can find out about your waste responsibilities and duty of care on the Right Waste Right Place website. The duty of care applies to anyone who produces or imports, keeps or stores, transports, treats or disposes of waste.  It also applies if you act as a broker and arrange any of these services.

Different businesses produce different types and amounts of waste.  It’s fairer to charge each business for the waste it actually produces.

You can’t put commercial waste in the household rubbish and recycling collections or burn it.

If you produce commercial waste as a result of your business activities, you must be able to prove that you’ve given your waste to a registered waste carrier or taken it to a licensed waste site. If you can’t, you could be fined an unlimited amount.

If you give your waste to an unregistered waste carrier, they may illegally fly tip the waste and you could be fined as you are the producer of the waste.

Each business has to make its own recycling arrangements and there is a charge for the service. The cost of recycling commercial waste isn’t included in business rates. 

The duty of care applies to recycling as well as residual waste, so you must use a registered contractor for your business recycling.

Business are required by law to prevent waste in the first place and reuse or recycle waste if they can’t prevent it. Disposing of waste will cost you more and should be your last choice.

Reducing the amount of waste your business produces will always save money. An audit of your rubbish and recycling will show where wastage occurs and could help you form a waste reduction plan.

Smaller companies can join together to get a better rates for their recycling collections.

There are a number of options available for managing farm waste:

  • Take your waste for recycling or disposal off-farm at a licensed site.
  • Get an authorised waste contractor to take your waste away.
  • Register permit exemptions with the Environment Agency to recycle or dispose of your waste on-farm.
  • Apply to the Environment Agency for a waste management permit or a landfill permit to recycle or dispose of your waste on-farm. A landfill permit for a farm dump won’t be a viable option for most farmers because of the engineering requirements and costs involved.

You can find out more about waste permits on the gov.uk website.