coffee shop counter and tables.
No. 1 for Coffee Shop Waste Management

Coffee Shop Waste Management

There are more than 25,000 coffee shops in the UK. These range from multi-national chains and franchises that dominate the high street to independent tearooms and coffee houses taking pride in their brews. Each one creates all sorts of waste every day and has a responsibility to reduce and dispose of it responsibly.

Sustainability is important for coffee shops across the country, especially those focusing on ethical practices. Recycling as much rubbish as possible and minimising waste production can boost your eco-credentials and cut costs while grinding away. Putting together an effective waste management plan is a good start.

At Business Waste we can help any type and size of coffee shop anywhere in the UK get rid of waste cost-effectively and responsibly. All waste is disposed of away from landfill and we provide free bins – you only pay for collection. Get a free quote today – call 0800 211 8390 or contact us online.

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Get a free quote

Get a fast FREE quote for your coffee shop waste collection

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

Types of coffee shop waste

Brewing up hundreds and thousands of hot cups of java every day creates lots of waste, but responsible disposal is possible for most of it. Food and drink waste such as ground beans and leftovers from customers, as well as packaging for takeaway cups, stirrers, and ingredients, are often unavoidable.

Separating waste streams and arranging sustainable disposal is important. These are some common types of coffee shop waste:

  • Food waste – used coffee beans and grounds are a type of food waste. Many coffee shops also serve baked goods, sandwiches, and salads that lead to leftovers from customers and kitchen waste during preparation.
  • Liquid waste – the dregs left in the bottom of cups by customers, waste water, and even expired milk are all types of liquid waste that should be kept separate from food where possible.
  • Packaging waste – ingredients, coffee bean bags, and used cardboard coffee cups, lids, and holders are all kinds of packaging waste that should be recycled.
  • Dry mixed recycling – customers may throw away food wrappers, leaflets, and other small bits of recyclable rubbish.
  • General waste – some level of general waste is unavoidable, such as food scraps and non-recyclable packaging and contaminated rubbish from running a coffee shop.

How to manage waste 
in a coffee shop

Any waste produced in a coffee shop classifies as commercial waste. Business owners have a duty of care to store all waste safely and ensure it’s removed and disposed of responsibly. A good starting point whether you’re opening a new coffee shop or looking to improve your current operations is to conduct a waste audit.

Assess the types and volume of waste you create and identify any areas where you could cut down, reuse, or recycle materials. Use the results of your audit to build an effective waste management plan. This should include the number, size, and types of bins to store your waste and how often they’re removed and emptied.

Assign roles to your team or have a rota for emptying bins to avoid them from overflowing. Arrange collection by licensed waste carriers on a schedule that suits your needs to ensure all rubbish is disposed of legally. It’s a good idea to regularly review your waste management processes for ways to reduce waste.

Cafe waste management
empty cafetiere and plate on a table in a coffee shop.

Coffee shop bins

Coffee shops need a range of bins to separate and store waste safely. This includes food waste bins in the kitchen and bins on the shop floor for customer waste. Combine the best types, sizes, and number of bins for cost-effective waste management in your coffee house.

We can provide free bins to coffee shops anywhere in the UK. There are no rental fees or delivery charges for the bins – you just cover the collection costs. Explore some popular bins for coffee shops:

View all bins
  • 120 litre wheelie bins

    These small wheelie bins can store just food or glass waste and are suitable for coffee shops with limited space.

    small wheelie bin icon
  • 240 litre wheelie bins

    Standard-sized two-wheel bins that can hold just waste food or glass recycling and other waste types.

    small wheelie bin icon
  • 660 litre wheelie bins

    Store larger amounts of general waste, cardboard, packaging, and dry mixed recycling in these four-wheel bins.

    small wheelie bin icon

How does coffee shop waste collection work?

Process Block

What happens to 
coffee shop waste?

At Business Waste, we keep waste away from landfill where possible and use a range of routes to dispose of rubbish responsibly. This helps protect the planet and saves your company money as you’ll pay less landfill tax to get rid of rubbish from your coffee shop. These are some common waste disposal methods:

  • Food waste – lots of waste food goes to anaerobic digestion plants where it’s turned into energy and fertiliser. Some may go to industrial composting sites for natural recycling on a large scale.
  • Glass recycling – glass is infinitely recyclable so it will go to a recycling facility where it’s cleaned, crushed, and turned into new glass bottles and jars.
  • Packaging waste – what happens to packaging depends on its material. Most metal drink cans can be cleaned and recycled, cardboard and paper packaging are also recyclable. Some plastic packaging can be turned into new plastic products, but it depends on the plastic type.
  • Liquid waste – there are various methods of liquid waste disposal, including dewatering, sedimentation, solidification, and composting.
  • General waste – sadly, lots of general waste ends up in landfill. At Business Waste we send it for incineration where possible to get energy from waste, such as to produce refuse-derived fuel so it’s put to good use.

How can coffee shops reduce waste?

The best way to help the environment and reduce your coffee shop’s waste management costs is to cut the amount of waste you create. There are various ways you can minimise the rubbish produced by running your coffee house and your customers. Here are a few ways to reduce waste in your coffee shop:

  • Offer discounts for reusable cups – disposable coffee cups are a key driver of waste in many coffee shops. Even though many are recyclable or biodegradable it’s still better to avoid using them and creating waste where possible. Incentivise customers to bring along reusable mugs by offering a discount on drinks.
  • Strong stock control – items like milk and baked goods will go off if they’re not used within a certain period. Efficient stock rotation and management avoids overbuying items that expire and saves your business money.
  • Perfect your portion sizes – if you notice lots of food waste in your bins then assess your portion sizes for drinks and food items. Balance any change in portion sizes with price too though, as customers will want value for money still.
  • Use recyclable cups – for anyone drinking in always use proper mugs that will be washed and reused. If you offer takeaway coffees then use cups made from recycled materials and that are recyclable – and have clear bins in your shop to recycle them.
  • Bulk buy goods reduce packaging waste by bulk buying goods that will last, such as coffee beans, crisps, and coffee cups. Try to work with sustainable suppliers that use minimal or recycled packaging where possible.
coffee machine.

Read our reviews

Believe it or not fantastically priced. Not the rubbish price the council provides (No pun intended)
Matthew Devlin
Ninja Coffee

Great experience? Wowzers! Completed the form expecting 5-7 days later to hear back. Within 10 minutes. A lovely gent called Finn, rang and introduced himself, a little bit about the business he works for, talked through in good detail about the needs for us and what he could do for us and costs. Believe it or not fantastically priced. Not the rubbish price the council provides (No pun intended)

In business, you want people who are on your side, looking after you, while you’re busy looking after your customers! Thanks Finn, you made it easy to understand and walked/talked through all the bits needed! Thanks for a great experience!

Arrange coffee shop waste collection

Go for gold roast when it comes to waste management in your coffee shop with Business Waste. Get a free no-obligation quote for commercial waste collection from a coffee house anywhere in the UK today. Simply tell us the types, sizes, and number of bins you need and how often you want them collected for a tailored price.

We provide free bins wherever you’re based – from a city centre coffee shop to a village tearoom – there are no rental or delivery fees, you just pay for collection. Daily, weekly, and fortnightly removals are available to suit your needs. And you get a free duty of care certificate confirming safe and legal disposal.

Call 0800 211 8390 or contact us online for your free quote today. One of our friendly and expert team will happily answer any of your questions and get you set up today.

free bins icon.

Get a fast and free quote

Get a fast FREE quote for coffee shop waste removal

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