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Business Waste Legal Obligations

Business waste/recycling is not funded through Business Rates

All businesses have a Duty of Care under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to take all reasonable steps to keep waste safe and arrange for its legal disposal.

This Duty applies to waste:

  • of any nature, associated with your business. 
  • from your business premises, a work place or even a residential property. 

You are legally obliged to store business waste securely and to dispose of your business waste responsibly and this usually entails entering into a Trade Waste Agreement with a contractor. 


Your contractor will supply you with copies of the Duty of Care and Waste Transfer Documents.  You need to keep these in a safe place as you could be asked to produce them by the Council or the Environment Agency, to prove that you are disposing of your waste legally.

If you are caught Fly Tipping or disposing of waste illegally, you risk a heavy fine or up to five years imprisonment. 

Remember your Duty of Care and have a look at our tips below:

  • Reduce or reuse the rubbish that your business produces
  • Recycle as much as you possibly can
  • Arrange a collection for your commercial waste with a licensed carrier
  • Contain your waste in sacks or wheeled bins
  • Store your waste in a safe place within your premises until your collection day
  • Do not put your rubbish out before 7am on your collection day and only in Trade Waste Bags
  • Do not dispose of business waste in public recycling banks
  • Do not dispose of business waste at the Household Waste Recycling Centre
  • Do not take your business waste home, you must not dispose of it with your household rubbish or recyclables

You may wish to consider registering an account here so that you can track where your waste is going electronically.