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Disposing of Commercial Waste Legally: The Easy Guide

Every business creates waste, but nobody is ever taught how to properly dispose of it. It works differently from domestic waste and can take up a serious amount of your time and money if you don’t have a good waste management plan.

However, one thing that’s even more expensive than ineffective waste management is illegal waste management.

Dumping waste illegally, whether burning or fly-tipping, can leave you seriously out of pocket. The maximum Crown Court penalty for fly-tipping, for example, is 5 years in jail and an unlimited fine. Repeat offenses can also suspend your business’s operations entirely.

For this reason and many others, we recommend you manage your waste properly. You can choose to do it yourself or pay another company to – and we’ll talk about both options below.

First, we’ll explain the waste duties you have to take on when you become a business owner:

What are your responsibilities when it comes to waste?
There is a list of responsibilities for businesses on the government’s website, and you are personally liable in the event of them being broken. You can find the official version here, but we’ll condense it below:

  • Keep waste to a minimum by preventing, reusing, and recycling as much as you can.
  • Sort and store your waste safely and securely
  • When disposing of your own waste, complete a waste transfer note for each load of waste that you transport (we’ll explain this below)
  • If you’re using a provider, check if your waste carrier is registered to dispose of waste – and report them to Crimestoppers if not.

If your business creates hazardous waste, there is an extra list of guidelines you have to follow. You can learn whether the waste you create is hazardous, and what else you need to know if it is, here.

Registering yourself as a waste carrier
If you’d like to dispose of waste yourself, you’ll have to go through the proper procedures. This includes registering as a waste carrier, setting up a waste transfer system, finding a suitable waste disposal site, attending a safety briefing and paying to dispose of your waste there. We’ve linked some of the more confusing terms with where you can learn more about them.

Alternatively, you can find a company who has already gone through all of the paperwork, and let them deal with your waste.

Using an existing waste management company
Using a good, certified supplier involves a lot less time and paperwork, as well as eliminating the risk of getting a fine from the council.

They’ve already done all of the paperwork that you’d otherwise need to fill out, and they collect the waste directly from your premises. They then take the waste to the correct site and dispose of it in the greenest way possible.

  • Flexible Schedule
  • Receive advice on how to better manage your waste in the future
  • Less hassle involved
  • More environmentally friendly
  • Can work out cheaper (waste disposal sites have a minimum weight – suppliers don’t)

If you’d like your waste legally disposed of by a supplier, you can get a quote here: