If you’re an established business, start-up or otherwise new to looking after your companies waste, chances are the commercial waste industry is causing you some confusion. Not only does it go by various names (including waste management, trade waste, waste disposal and business waste), but there are different types of waste to consider, too. Paper waste, general waste, recycling, dry mixed recycling, clinical waste, plastic waste and cardboard are all processed differently. As such, there can be different disposal costs for each separate waste type, and in certain circumstances, you may need more than one commercial waste solution, depending on the type of waste your organisation generates.
This guide is here to explain everything and you can always call the business waste team for any advice.
How much commercial waste is there in the UK?
It is estimated that businesses in the UK are responsible for the generation of 27.5 million tonnes of commercial waste and 13.6 million tonnes of “industrial” waste every year – a whopping total of 41.1 million tonnes.
Commercial organisations create almost twice as much waste as households, which means there’s much greater demand for commercial waste disposal. If you’re running a business then you will have to arrange for commercial waste collections and do some research into what this costs. The processing of waste can be a significant cost for businesses of all sizes.
Naturally, these sorts of administrative tasks can feel like a bit of a distraction, particularly when there’s a company to run and money to be made – but nevertheless, correct disposal of your commercial waste is incredibly important. Whether you’re getting rid of rubble from a construction site, food waste from a restaurant or documents from an office, it all needs to go somewhere.
Before signing a contract with a commercial waste disposal company, you and the other decision-makers in your organisation should familiarise yourselves with what you can expect your waste disposal solution to cover, what the must-haves from a disposal company are, and if there are any hidden costs you should be wary of.
When choosing a waste collection company you must ensure they have a Waste Carrier Licence
What is a waste carriers licence?
A Waste Carrier Licence is a legal document, which allows a business to buy, sell, dispose and/or transport waste, or arrange for others to do so on their behalf. It essentially covers the carrying of waste in a commercial vehicle. If you legally require a WCL and do not have one, you could face a fine of up to £5,000. Business Waste LTD has a higher tier waste carriers licence.
What are the different types of waste carriers licences?
There are two tiers of Waste Carrier Licence. The type of waste carried will determine which licence is required. Vehicles which carry construction waste (everything from rubble to empty silicone tubes) require an Upper Tier licence. Other forms of waste (such as office documentation) are covered under a Lower Tier licence.
How much does a waste carriers licence cost?
Lower Tier waste producers can usually apply for a free licence. Upper Tier licences cost £154 in England and Wales. Costs may vary in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Who issues the waste carriers licence?
The UK government is responsible for the issuing of the Waste Carrier Licence.
What happens if my waste management company doesn’t have a Waste Carrier Licence?
If your waste management solution is processing waste without the requisite documentation, and you are aware of this, your company could fall foul of the law and face a fine of up to £5,000. Before agreeing to a contract with a waste disposal company, you should always request to see their WCL.
Here is a copy of Business Waste LTD higher tier waste carriers licence registration number CBDU49243
What are my legal obligations regarding waste disposal?
All businesses have a duty of care to keep waste to a minimum by doing everything to prevent the creation of waste. Businesses must also make a reasonable effort to reuse, recycle and recover waste.
How can I tell if a waste disposal company is legitimate?
When searching for a waste disposal solution, chances are you will come across many lead generation websites. These websites will simply sell your data – usually to unscrupulous businesses who are unable to generate their own custom, due to poor reviews.
Lead generation sites often masquerade as genuine businesses or price comparison companies. Be wary though – these firms only want your data so they can sell it to the highest bidder with no regard to the quality of service you receive. Such companies certainly do not compare thousands of prices on your behalf. There are only a handful of local waste companies in each area and a small number of national waste disposal operators – don’t get tricked into giving your data away.
Should I check online reviews for a waste company?
Taking the time to read online reviews of the services provided by prospective waste management companies will save you lots of future wasted time, energy, stress and money. Remember that each company will give you the “sell” and make the same promises. Search the internet for reviews on a waste company before going ahead with them and ask for references or testimonials from their existing customers if you can.
Beware of hidden costs
In all industries, there are those who look to exploit. The waste management trade is no exception. Here are some of the tricks you should be aware of that unscrupulous companies will try to pull. Although these practices are not strictly illegal, they are however unethical.
Bin weight limits
Weight limits are in place to encourage companies to develop more pragmatic approaches to how they deal with waste. By placing limits on the amount of waste a company can send to landfill, it encourages recycling, reusing of materials and the prevention of excess waste generation.
What are the weight limits for each wheelie bin size?
Waste limits are currently as follows:
240 Litres of General Waste equals 10kg
360 Litres of General Waste equals 15kg
660 Litres of General Waste equals 35kg
1100 Litres of General Waste equals 65kg
240 Litres of Mixed Recycling (Dry) equals 10kg
360 Litres of Mixed Recycling (Dry) equals 15kg
660 Litres of Mixed Recycling (Dry) equals 20kg
1100 Litres of Mixed Recycling (Dry) equals 35kg
You will be charged at up to 18p per additional kg over this allowance. If you are being charged more than this, you are paying too much.
How much does a wheelie bin cost?
Some bad companies will charge you ongoing fees for renting out wheelie bins to your company.
Note – Business waste provides customers with FREE bins so a wheelie bin should costs you £0.
Duty of care certificate – why do you need it?
Under UK law, your organisation has a legal obligation and duty of care to get and keep a waste transfer note which documents every load of waste that leaves your business premises. Your waste management company should provide you with this FREE OF CHARGE. Be very wary of any company which wants to charge you for the provision of a waste transfer note. These have to be provided by law.
Read more on waste transfer notes and see an example.
Bin Insurance – is it really insurance?
Some companies include a statutory fee for bin insurance. This is rarely an actual insurance policy and is simply a means of increasing your overall fees. If your waste management company includes bin insurance on your invoice, don’t be afraid to query them over this and ask for the actual insurance policy documents, odds are it is a completely made up and fake charge – or better still, switch to a company like BusinessWaste.co.uk who have no hidden extras.
Does the waste company offer a price match promise?
Any reputable company will have a price guarantee in place. When searching for quotes, it’s often the case that some companies take more time than others to respond, and a situation may arise where you’ve agreed on a price with one waste management contractor, only to be offered a better deal by another a day later.
Your commercial waste disposal company should be willing to foster a good working relationship with your organisation – which means price-matching their competitors. BusinessWaste.co.uk has a 14 day written price match guarantee.
What are the different types of waste collection?
There are two common types of commercial waste collection –
One-off collections – such as the removal of waste after moving offices or renovating
Contractual ongoing collections
– removal of the regular collection of commercial waste generated by your business. Collections can take place on a weekly/fortnightly/monthly basis.
How much does waste collection cost?
There are no set-in-stone prices for waste collection as there are so many factors to consider. These include the following:
Landfill tax – to encourage recycling, the government imposes a tax on all waste disposed of at a landfill site.
Gate fees – waste processing facilities, such as recycling plants and landfill sites, charge a gate fee. The average UK gate fee weighs in at approximately £6 per tonne.
Rebates – certain types of waste like glass, cardboard, metal and alloy has scrap value and can be potentially be sold for a small profit for this you would need very large volumes measured in multiple tons in order to get a rebate.
What are the different type of waste that can be collected?
Clinical waste management
Confidential waste disposal
Hazardous waste disposal
Packaging waste recycling
Hospital waste management
Waste oil collection
TOP TIP – look for a supplier who can look after all your waste, this way you don’t have endless invoices, collection schedules and contracts to deal with.
Commercial bin collection prices
There are different types of bin sizes, and the size of the bin collected, along with the waste inside, will dictate the collection price. The most popular commercial bin sizes (in litres) are as follows:
Can I get a rebate on my recycling?
Certain waste types have scrap and recycling value and these can sometimes generate a small profit. Glass, cardboard, metals, alloys and recyclable computer components are the most common form of rebate-generating waste, but please note your waste volumes must be significant in the multiple tons for a rebate.
How much are landfill charges?
Tips on saving money on your waste collections
Waste audit – by determining the amount of waste and the types of waste generated by your organisation, you may be in a position to further understand how to reduce the amount of waste you send to landfill. A waste audit is a process of figuring out ways in which you can reduce, re-use and recycle.
Recycle – as part of its commitment to the environment, the government is encouraging businesses to recycle as many materials as they can. Recycling costs less than sending waste to landfill and is not subject to the landfill tax, which could help save your business some serious money.
Improve your buying practices – get in the habit of only buying items you need, and only buying items that can be recycled.
Reuse – do you need to recycle the bottled water from the staff room when you could replace it with tap water from a filtered container? Try to foster a culture of sustainability within your organisation – think no more plastic bottles, ditching disposable coffee cups and reusing items where possible.
How do I arrange commercial waste collections?
Waste Collections Nationwide:
Call us on 0800 211 8390 - or complete our Free Quote Form opposite.
Learn more about our Waste Management Services.