Hair Salon Waste Disposal

Hair salons and beauty parlours have specialist waste disposal needs to get rid of everything from old hair dye to broken hairdryers. As a registered waste carrier, we understand these needs and can ensure you meet your legal obligations by organising storage and waste collection solutions for your hair salon.

As a salon owner or manager, it’s your duty to ensure the correct hair salon waste disposal procedures are in place. For example, human hair is non-biodegradable and can cause environmental issues if not disposed of correctly. Your salon is legally responsible to ensure human hair waste is managed, stored, and disposed of correctly.

Taking human hair to a local tip or disposing of it at home is illegal, as it needs to be transported and disposed of by licensed waste carriers. Call 0800 211 8390 or contact us online for a free quote for hair salon waste disposal – or learn more about the types and methods below.

woman having hair cut and dried.

What types of waste 
do hair salons produce?

Hair salons create a wide variety of waste in addition to human hair. These include:

At Business Waste, we understand the unique types of waste hair salons produce. That’s why we can provide unique and convenient waste solutions whatever types of salon waste you create.

Explore salon waste statistics

Hair salon waste 
disposal methods

UK legislation provides a framework for the disposal of waste and governs how different waste types must be stored and disposed of. Hair salon waste can be separated into different categories to prevent contamination. Each category has different rules around its storage and disposal.

Recycling in hair salons

Businesses are legally required to separate recyclable rubbish from general waste. Much of the rubbish your hair salon produces can be recycled. This includes rinsed out shampoo and conditioner bottles, carboard packaging, and the magazines your clients have got bored of flicking through. Empty aerosol cans can be placed with metal recycling and if you offer disposable beverage options then many plastic cups are recyclable too.

For highlights and other hair services, your salon may use tinfoil. Recycling hair salon foils is possible if the foil can be scrunched and hold its shape. If the foil springs back when scrunched, it’s metallised plastic film and recycling these hair salon foils isn’t possible, so you must dispose of it with general waste.

Recycling hair dryers is also important. The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations 2013 provide rules around the recycling of electronic products. We can help ensure that your broken straighteners, hairdryers, and other types of salon equipment are disposed of correctly. Use a WEEE bin to store any electronic items for recycling.

Did you know, you’re legally obligated to take back old electronic products when customers are purchasing a new one? If your salon sells electrical hair styling tools, you need to make this service known to your clients.

Hazardous waste in hair salons

Under the Hazardous Waste (Regulations England and Wales) 2005, there are rules governing how hazardous waste is defined and how it must be stored and disposed of. There are strict penalties for breaches. Waste is considered ‘hazardous’ when it could harm human health or the environment and can only be disposed of at authorised sites.

All sharps from your business, such as acupuncture needles, must be disposed of in secure, puncture-proof yellow hazardous waste bins. There are different categories of hazardous waste bins that you may require, depending on the treatments you offer. We can assist and advise to ensure you have the right sharps bins in place.

Liquid hair dye and other chemicals also class as hazardous waste due to the damage they can cause to the environment. We offer various solutions to dispose of such chemical waste.

Clinical waste also needs separating from normal waste. This includes things like pads, cotton buds and wax strips, which are disposed of separately in specific coloured bags. We can also provide sanitary bins and collection for your guest and employee bathrooms.

General waste in hair salons

This can be anything that doesn’t fall into any of the other categories such leftover lunches, non-recyclable packaging, till receipts, and hair clippings. General waste created in hair salons can be collected in black bin bags and put in your commercial general waste bins for a reputable waste disposal company to collect.

Learn about beauty salon waste disposal
woman blow drying hair in salon.

Why do hair salons need to be more sustainable? 
And how they can do it?

Hair salons should aim to be more sustainable to reduce their environmental impact and to make significant financial savings. The more hair salon recycling you do, the less waste you send to landfill and less landfill tax you have to pay. These are some of the top ways salons can be more sustainable:

Hair salon bins and collection

To ensure that your hair salon bins are compliant with your obligations under waste disposal regulations, we can provide all the necessary bins for free. This helps ensure your hair salon waste is correctly separated and disposed of. You simply pay for their collection and our licensed waste carriers will remove the bins at an agreed time.

Our 7-day-a-week hair salon waste collections are flexible to suit the needs of your business and can be daily, weekly, or fortnightly. For some clinical waste and sharps bins, this service can be on an ad-hoc basis. Explore the bins we can provide to improve your hair salon recycling.

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Hair salon sustainability

It’s important for hair salons to become more sustainable and we work with our customers to help them achieve this. Here are our top tips to ensure that your business is as eco-friendly as possible:

  • Wash out your shampoo and conditioner bottles so they can be recycled.
  • Move from disposable cups and glasses to reusable options.
  • Look at using alternatives to aluminium hair foils.
  • Buy products with biodegradable packaging.
  • Place recycling bins in visible areas to encourage people to use them more.
  • Talk to your clients about recycling hairdryers and straighteners if they’re replacing old or broken ones.

Read our reviews

We use Business Waste for our hair salon. Initially starting out with just a General Waste bin to begin with but after their attentive and friendly service we’ve upgraded to a recycling bin too. I’m very impressed with the team at Business Waste and their level of care. Nothing is too much for them especially since we needed lockable bins. Even going so far as to check whether bins have been delivered/pickups have been completed. I would definitely recommend them to any businesses looking for a larger bin!
Bryony Akerman

Hair salon FAQs

  • CONTROLLED WASTE How much waste do hair salons in the UK produce?

    The hairdressing industry creates enough waste to fill 50 football stadiums every year. Sadly, the vast majority of this currently ends up in landfill sites even though lots of it can be reused or recycled. Around 99% of hair cuttings end up in landfill from hair salons, while beauty salons also send more than 1.3 million tools to landfill every month.

  • CONTROLLED WASTE How many hair salons and beauty businesses are there?

    There are approximately more than 46,000 hair and beauty businesses in the UK. Most of these businesses are small, with around 75% employing fewer than five people – while 94% employ less than ten people.

  • CONTROLLED WASTE How many people work in hair and beauty salons?

    Around 250,000 people are employed in the hair and beauty industry. Around 83% of hairdressers and barbers, and 94% working in beauty, are female.

  • CONTROLLED WASTE What can be recycled in a hairdressing salon?

    Hair salon waste varies greatly – from the products you use to provide treatments, to food wrappers customers throw away in bins on your premises. Thankfully, lots of salon waste is recyclable. Hair salon waste disposal methods depend on the type of rubbish created, but in many cases, you can recycle items. In a hairdressing salon you can recycle:

    • Aluminium foils
    • Colour tubes
    • Plastic shampoo, conditioner, and colouring bottles
    • Newspapers and magazine
    • Drinks bottles, cans, and other dry mixed recycling
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Have your waste collected

Get a fast FREE quote for your waste collection 0800 211 83 90

  • Free quote within 1 hr
  • Any type of waste
  • FREE bins and delivery
  • We cover all of the UK