A New Business’ Guide to Waste Management

So, you’ve decided to start a new business, Congratulations. It’s a big decision but it can be very rewarding.

If you’re looking for advice online about starting a new business, you will find hundreds of articles highlighting what you need to do. Many of these advice articles will list fundamental things to do such as:

  • Evaluate yourself and your motivations, why do you want to start a new business
  • Do your research, find out who your customers and competitors are
  • Choose your business name
  • Create a business bank account
  • Contact HMRC
  • Create a business plan
  • Get compliant
  • Start accounting for everything


Good advice no doubt, but what most articles won’t tell you about is your legal requirements to dispose of your commercial waste.

Contrary to belief, commercial waste collection services are not included in your local business rates and your local council will not automatically collect your waste for you.

Why isn’t commercial waste collection included in business rates?

Businesses differ greatly in size and produce different amounts and types of waste. As businesses are charged for the amount (weight) of waste they produce it would be almost impossible to correctly charge for different amounts of waste and unfair to have a set amount for every business,  some business could end up paying too much, while others would pay too little. This is why waste charges are not included in business rates.

What can small businesses do with their waste?

One thing that you can’t do as a business is to take your waste home and dispose of it there.

Commercial waste must be taken to a licensed site or disposed of by a licensed waste collector. There have been many people finned for disposing of their commercial waste in their residential bins, and local councils and contracted waste collectors do check.

Which is what happened to one small business in Hove who was was given a £600 fine and threatened with jail after they accidentally put a single cardboard box in a residential bin rather than a commercial waste stream. Find out more.

Business must dispose of their waste correctly and legally, so many new and existing businesses chose to have their waste collected by a waste management company like CheaperWaste.

What happens when you appoint a waste management company?

Once you’ve chosen a supplier (like CheaperWaste 😊) you can contact them to discuss your needs. Depending on the type and size of your business they will be able to advise which collection services you need and an appropriate bin and collection schedule.

For example, if you are starting a new restaurant or take away business, we would recommend the following services:

  • General waste
  • Dry Mixed Recycling
  • Glass collections
  • Food waste collections
  • And washroom service (especially if you will have customers and staff on-site)

If you’re starting a new business as a beauty therapist, or tattooist we would recommend:

  • General waste
  • Dry Mixed Recycling
  • And washroom service
  • Secure Shredding
  • Clinical waste

For more information on our recommendations for business types, see our guide.

Once you’ve decided on your services and schedule, you will be entered into an account (usually verbally, followed up with a document to sign). As this is a business account there will be ‘no cooling off period’.

After you’ve signed and returned your contract your bins will be ordered (and delivered within 10 days), and you will be sent your waste transfer note. The waste transfer note is an important document that you need to keep safe and produce to health and safety inspectors when they require it. If you don’t have a waste transfer note or cannot produce one you may be fined. For more information read our blog.

One important thing to remember is that commercial waste is monitored by weight, and you will be given a maximum weight allowance for your bins by the waste services provider. You mustn’t exceed this weight otherwise you will be liable for additional charges. At CheaperWaste we fully appreciate that it can be difficult to know how much your waste weighs, but unfortunately, this is determined by the government, for more information see our blog.

Once all of this arranged all you need to do is remember to make your bin accessible on collection days, just like you would at home.

If you’d like a free quote for commercial waste management services please contact us today.



Browse Archive

Cheaperwaste on Twitter

Get a Quote