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Commercial waste


If you are trading as a business, whether run from home or commercial premises, then any waste that you produce is classed as commercial/trade waste.

Waste is classed as any material or item which you, or your business, have not further use for and would like to be removed, such as:

  • electrical waste e.g. computer monitors, kettle, microwave
  • construction waste e.g. rubble, roof tiles, plaster board, old bathroom suite
  • office waste e.g., paper cardboard
  • production waste e.g. wood shavings, wood offcuts
  • kitchen waste e.g. cans, food, cartons
  • hazardous waste e.g. engine oil, acid, garden chemicals

Waste also includes materials you don’t require but are passing on for reuse, repair, and recycling.

Duty of care

All businesses have a legal obligation known as the 'duty of care' regarding how rubbish is stored and disposed of. This applies from the moment you produce the waste and continues even when you allow a licensed waste carrier until the waste is reused, recycled, or disposed of. Under this duty you are responsible to check how that business deals with your waste. You must:

  • make sure your commercial waste is not disposed of illegally or fly tipped
  • ensure your commercial waste is disposed of by a licensed contractor and that they hold a valid Waste Carriers Licence.
  • If you suspect your waste carrier is not following the duty of care law, you should report it to the Environment Agency: 0800 807060 or CrimeStoppers
  • keep documentary evidence for a period of two years of how you dispose of your waste

Information about the rules around duty of care can be found on the GOV.UK website:

Commercial Waste must not be disposed of in domestic recycling, garden or waste bins and shop frontages must be kept clean at all times. Failure to comply with this can result in the Council issuing a fixed penalty notice.