If you own a business, big or small, you’ll probably encounter commercial waste on a daily basis. And, just like your regular household waste, you’ll need to dispose of it properly. On top of regular food and office waste, you may have clinical waste, production waste, mixed recycling, WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment)— the list goes on.

However, unlike your regular rubbish at homes, business waste comes with collection fees.

In this post, we’ll break down commercial waste collection costs in 2021 and give you tips on how to manage it properly.

Why do I need to look after my commercial waste?

As a business, you have a duty of care that falls under the Environmental Protection Act of 1990. This is to ensure companies are held accountable for the impact they have on our planet. It also provides a consistent standard of waste disposal across the UK. However, failing to meet regulations may result in a hefty fine of a maximum of £50,000. Yikes!

But don’t worry, by keeping on top of your commercial waste, using registered waste management companies and avoiding fly-tipping, you’ll remain safely inside the law.

Choosing a waste collection company

When you choose a waste collection company, you’ll not just be considering costs. You’ll also need to consider the types of waste you’re disposing of and whether you’re using a licensed waste disposal company.

You’ll have two options when choosing a waste collection company; local council or private.

Local council

Often, your local council waste collection will be free. However, you’ll probably be limited to the amount you can dispose of at one time, the frequency of collection and the types of rubbish you can get rid of. And, if you’re hoping for your commercial waste to be zero-to-landfill, then, unfortunately, your local council isn’t going to be much help.

Private companies

Private waste management services will provide you with more options in terms of the types of waste they can take away, the recycling options they offer and the frequency at which they collect.

At First Mile, we can handle all of your waste — both hazardous and non-hazardous — at a small cost. You can book a one-off collection at a time that suits you or order weekly pick-ups to ensure your bins never pile too high. We’re also 100% zero-to-landfill, making us an eco-friendly choice for your business. Take a look at our services to find out more.

Please note: If you choose to use a private waste management service, you’ll need to check that they have a waste carrier license that has been issued by the government. This certifies that they are legally authorised to take your waste away. Without it, you could risk a fine.

Types of waste collection

There are two main types of business waste: hazardous and non-hazardous. When booking a collection from a waste management provider, you’ll need to determine which category your rubbish falls into.

Non-hazardous substances include anything that doesn’t cause harm to the environment or humans. This includes recyclables, food waste, construction waste, grounds waste and furniture. For non-hazardous waste, you’ll need to fill out a waste transfer note. This is a short form that documents the transfer of your rubbish from your business to a waste management provider. Check out our blog post here to find out more.

Hazardous waste is anything that causes harm to the environment or humans. Though it may not cause immediate damage, it’s likely to seep into the earth and contaminate other waste substances later on. Examples of hazardous waste include; batteries, chemicals, non-edible oils, pesticides and solvents. For hazardous waste, you’ll need to fill out a consignment note. You can find out more about these here.

Commercial waste collection costs

In the UK, tax is applied to all landfill waste. This is to encourage people to use more sustainable solutions and to recycle as much as possible. The standard rate in 2020 was £94.15 per tonne. This has increased over the past two years from £88.95 per tonne in 2018. And, it’s only going to rise as we progress into a more eco-conscious and waste-free society.

But don’t worry. While there is an increased tax on landfill waste, recycling remains low-cost and is the best solution for anyone wishing to decrease their footprint on the environment.

And, if you’re not convinced, take a look at Letsrecycle.com that show how recycling costs have decreased over the years.

Bin weight limits

The other thing to consider when disposing of commercial waste is the size of your wheelie bin. Most bins have a maximum waste capacity, so it’s important you don’t over-fill otherwise you may risk being charged additional costs.

Check out our bins and their various sizes here.

Additional costs

It’s important to be aware of any additional fees that may bring your overall commercial waste collection costs up. Bin insurance, for example, is not required by law. If a waste management provider asks you to provide cash for bin insurance, make sure to query them. It isn’t always necessary.

Booking a commercial waste collection

If you’re ready to book a business waste collection, simply head over to our services page and pick an option that suits you. We offer one-off collections or regular collections that’ll ensure your workspace stays clear all the time!