Self-catering accommodation waste

Your legal obligations regarding commercial waste

The majority of businesses in Cornwall use commercial waste services to collect and dispose of their waste and recycling.

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Unfortunately, we are aware some businesses are illegally using the Council’s household waste services.

The Council’s kerbside collection service, Household Waste Recycling Centres and community recycling banks are for household waste and recycling only, as they are funded by Council Tax.

Any waste produced from a business is classified in law as commercial waste. According to the Controlled Waste Regulations 2012, this includes waste produced by pubs, self-catering accommodation, hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses when occupied by paying guests. 

NB: This also includes your own home, annexe or a caravan if you use this in the course of a business for the provision of self-catering accommodation, ie, let them out via a website or mobile app for example.

It is against the law for a business to dispose of its commercial waste via the Council’s household waste services.

Waste collection and disposal costs are also not covered through the payment of National Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR).

All businesses have a Duty of Care to take all reasonable steps to manage their waste correctly. This duty is set out in Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and requires businesses to use a waste collection and disposal company that:

  • follows regulations on how waste is stored and transported
  • is registered through the Environment Agency
  • has a Waste Carriers Licence and
  • has an up-to-date and correct Waste Transfer Notice document.

The Environment Agency has produced a useful guide to help businesses to manage their waste called Right Waste, Right Place.

Businesses in Cornwall can choose from a number of private commercial providers for their waste and recycling needs including:

  • Biffa Commercial
  • Suez
  • Viridor

This is not an exhaustive list and there may be smaller, more local businesses that specialise in particular areas.

Cornwall Council offers, through its current provider Biffa Municipal, a separate commercial waste collection that charges for the collection and disposal of your waste.

To use this service please contact Cornwall Council on 0300 1234 141 for further details.