FAQs: Legislation and Compliance

I am unsure if I require a commercial contract, how do I find out?

You are required by law to have the appropriate waste and recycling services in place if you run a business/organisation or pay non-domestic rates. We are only permitted to collect waste from non-domestic properties if a request for the service has been received and reasonable cost recovery charges made.

Find out more about waste and recycling responsibilities: Commercial Waste Information Guide.

What is a commercial duty of care?

Waste produced by a business is known as controlled waste. The law requires you to exercise a duty of care for this waste by keeping it tidy and contained. You must recycle and pay for its disposal.

I'm only a small business and don't produce any waste, do I still need to comply?

The law applies to all businesses regardless of size.

Controlled waste includes anything that is no longer required, such as post, used envelopes, cleaning products, food eaten on your premises, milk cartons, cardboard, plastics, shrink wrapping, sweepings, damaged goods, etc.

Please contact us or call us 0300 1234565 to discuss your requirements.

Am I a food business and do I need to recycle my food waste?

A food business is “an undertaking, whether for profit or not, and whether public or private, carrying out any activity related to the processing, distribution, preparation or sale of food”.

Food businesses include:

  • Restaurants and cafés                
  • Shops that sell food
  • Shopping centre food courts          
  • Supermarkets
  • Staff canteens 
  • Schools and colleges with canteens
  • Hotels                                 
  • Nursing homes
  • Public houses that serve food
  • Hospitals

Premises where food is brought from elsewhere to be consumed, such as an office where members bring their own food to consume during breaks, are not regarded as food businesses. It does not include households or business that prepare and sell drinks.

Do you offer a commercial food waste collection service?

No. There are operators in the area who can provide this service.

Why must I pay for waste/recycling collections?

The collection and disposal of waste is not included in non-domestic rates. Paying for disposal separately means collections can be tailored and priced according to individual business needs.

Who needs to be registered as a waste carrier?

Anyone who:
• operates a waste carrying business (who carries waste on behalf of someone else);
• transports building or demolition waste produced by their own business;
• collects or disposes of waste as part of their business from other people;
• is required by law to have a Waste Carrier's license.

You must register even if you only transport controlled waste once in a while. The requirement to register applies to self-employed carriers as well as partnerships and companies.

Will you uplift Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) from my business?

We can’t collect WEEE items as they are subject to special legislation. Arrangements for disposal should be made in line with the regulations. Find out more information on handling WEEE.

What are the requirements regarding storage of waste and recyclables?

Businesses must ensure the following:
• Have a sufficient number of suitably sized bins and frequent collections to ensure that they do not overflow.
• Bins and skips used for waste must be kept closed or covered so that waste cannot escape or be attacked by pests between collections.
• Keep containers locked to prevent unauthorised persons using the bin or interfering with the waste.
• Bins must not be put out until the time of collection.

If there are inadequate arrangements in place for storage and collection of waste, you may be served with a formal notice which will require proper arrangements to be put in place.

Contact Us

Recycling Hotline


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