Commercial waste

Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.


Most businesses use a licensed commercial waste company for the collection and disposal of their waste and recycling. We are aware that there are some businesses that illegally use the Council’s household waste services.

All the Council’s collections and Household Waste Recycling Centres are for household waste and recycling only. These services are funded by Council Tax income and are not provided for commercially generated waste.

Legal obligations

Any waste produced from a business is classified in law as commercial waste. The Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 details how waste is classified.

These classifications include waste generated by:

  • self-catering accommodation
  • B&Bs
  • guesthouses

This can also include your own home, annexe or a caravan if you rent these out for self-catering accommodation. Even for short periods of time.

Commercial waste collection and disposal costs are not included in business rates.

Commercial waste responsibilities

All producers of commercial waste have a duty of care to take all reasonable steps to manage their waste and keep it safe.

If you give waste to someone else, you must be sure that they are authorised to legally:

  • collect
  • transport
  • recycle or
  • dispose of it

If you break this law, you can be fined an unlimited amount.

The duty is set out in the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and means businesses must use a waste collection and disposal company.

That company must:

  • follow regulations on how waste is stored and transported
  • be registered through the Environment Agency
  • have a current waste carriers licence issued by the Environment Agency
  • have an up-to-date and correct waste transfer notice document

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

You can get details of licensed waste collection companies by searching online.

Why the cost of commercial waste collection isn't included in business rates

Different businesses produce different types and volumes of waste. So, it is appropriate to charge each business for the waste it produces.

No commercial waste collection

It is illegal for you to get rid of commercial waste or recycling using the household services.

If you produce commercial waste from your business, you must be able to prove you gave it to a registered waste carrier or took it to a licensed site. If you cannot prove this, you could be fined an unlimited amount.

If you give your waste to an unregistered carrier, they may dispose of your waste illegally. If this occurs, you - as the producer - could be fined.

Recycling commercial waste

The duty of care applies to recycling as well as waste. You must use a registered contractor for your business recycling.

Each business has to make its own recycling arrangements. There is usually a charge for the service. The cost of recycling commercial waste is not included in business rates.

How to reduce the cost of commercial waste

  • Disposal of waste will cost more than recycling and should always be your last choice.
  • Reducing the amount of waste your business produces will always save money.
  • You can audit your rubbish and recycling to show where waste occurs to help you form a waste reduction plan.
  • Smaller companies can also join together to get a better rates for their collections.

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