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The law and your responsibilities

Business waste and the law

Every business, no matter how big or small, produces rubbish.  
Waste can be paperwork, cardboard packaging, food, tea bags and packaging from staff refreshments, waste arising from cleaning your premises (floor sweepings, toilet roll tubes etc.) as well as waste produced by the nature of your business.

Any waste produced by your business or within your workplace is covered by a number of laws.

What counts as business waste

Any waste that comes from a commercial activity is business waste. If you use part of your home to run your business then any waste from that part is business waste.

Business waste also includes any waste that comes from:

  • construction
  • demolition
  • industry
  • agriculture

Why do I have to pay for a waste collection?

Your business rates do not include waste collection and it is against the law for a business to dispose of rubbish or recycling through services for households. Waste can be anything you own or your business produces and you want or have to get rid of.

Duty of Care

The Duty of Care is a law, which says that you must take all reasonable steps to store waste safely and securely to stop it escaping from your control and causing pollution or harm.

You are responsible for your waste, from when you produce it, until you have transferred it to an authorised person.

The Duty of Care also says you must:

  • Store and transport your waste appropriately and securely.
  • Check your waste is transported and handled by people or businesses that are authorised to do so. You can check online whether someone is registered to collect your waste by visiting the Environment Agency.
  • Describe the waste in writing and keep copies of all transfer notes for two years.

As part of our commercial waste and recycling service we will supply you with a Duty of Care Waste Transfer Note for the rubbish we collect from your business.

If you break the law, you can be fined an unlimited amount.