This information should help you understand the waste legislation affecting your business and the measures you can adopt to ensure you’re compliant with the regulations.

Operating a Business from home

If you run any type of business from home, (this includes childminders and B&B’s) the waste from that activity is classed as business waste and it needs to be paid for in order to meet business and legal obligations. 

Visit for comprehensive legislation and information regarding this matter

Right Waste, right Place campaign launched

The right Waste, right Place campaign has been launched in 2016 to raise awareness of waste Duty of Care legislation aiming to  help small and medium sized businesses manage their waste properly. The campaign is led by the Environmental Services Association (ESA) and supported by the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). An easy to use interactive website has been developed which offers practical advice on how to manage waste safely and efficiently.

For more detailed guidance for businesses see our  Business Waste & Recycling Guide July 2013  in documents section at the right of this page or

The Council offers competitive and quality services to businesses - find out details here Waste and recycling services for business

New change to regulations from January 2014

Recent changes to regulations mean that anyone who regularly transports waste they have produced themselves while going about their normal business activities will need to be registered as a waste carrier by January 2014. For further information and advice:

Click here for simple step-by-step registration

Click here for more detail

Click here for the original legislation

How to dispose of business waste safely and legally

As a business you have a legal Duty of Care to make sure the waste you produce is stored, transported, disposed or recycled in a safe and legal manner, either by yourself or by an Environment Agency approved Waste Carrier. You could be liable to financial penalties if you do not comply. 

Using the Council's Waste and recycling services for business will mean you have no worries about complying with this checklist.

Checklist for businesses

Check the contractor is a registered Waste Carrier
Anyone transporting waste that they have not produced, or their own industrial waste, must be registered with the Environment Agency as a waste carrier.

Check: If someone is carrying waste on your behalf, ask to see a copy of their registration certificate.  If in doubt, check with the Environment Agency by email or phone 03708 506506.

Ensure the contractor provides you with a Waste Transfer Note
This note details the transfer of waste from one person to the next, acting as an audit trail from the point of production of the waste, tracking it to its final disposal point.  Every collection from a business premise must be covered by a waste transfer note. Businesses are required by law to keep copies of their Waste Transfer Notes for a minimum of 2 years.

Check: Make sure your contractor provides you with a waste transfer note at the time of collection – or a season ticket if it’s the same type of waste for the year.

Use the waste hierarchy
This sets out five steps to dealing with waste in the most sustainable manner possible. It gives top priority to preventing waste in the first place.
When waste is created, it gives priority to preparing it for re-use,
then recycling,
then other recovery such as energy recovery,
and last of all disposal (for example landfill).

Under the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012, your business has a duty to consider a more sustainable way of dealing with your waste before you dispose of it.

Check: You must declare that you have considered the waste hierarchy on each Waste Transfer Note.

Check with the contractor where your waste is being taken
The landfill or treatment facility must have an Environmental Permit or Exemption Certificate from the Environment Agency to operate legally.

Check: Take a copy of their permit and keep it for your records.

Ensure you’re familiar with the collection times that must be followed
These are in place to keep our streets clean, attractive and safe for visitors and residents alike.

Waste and recycling bins, sacks or cardboard from a business can only be placed out on the street for collection on the right day and at the right time.  If your waste is not collected within these timescales, you must take it back in from the pavement or highway or you could be fined £100.

Business waste

To be put out between

To be collected by


7.30am and 8.30am

10am latest


5pm and 6.30pm

8.45pm latest

Check: Your business waste and recycling contractor must tailor its collections to fit in and if it cannot, you must make alternative collection arrangements.

Don’ts - a summary

Don’t use an unlicensed waste site or unregistered waste carrier. You can take your business waste to our Transfer Station in Bath.  Please go to Waste and recycling services for business for more information.

Don’t hand over your waste to a passing ‘man with a van’
They may not be registered as a waste carrier and you will not know what are going to do with your waste.

Don’t use the nearest household Recycling Centre
It is illegal to deposit business waste at one of these sites and you will not have the required waste transfer note paperwork. 

Don’t put your business waste out with your household waste and recycling collection at home. Neither your Business Rates nor Council Tax covers that service.

Don’t assume all the above will not apply to you as a small business.  The waste legislation applies to all businesses, regardless of their size.

Glossary of terms

Environmental Permit

Anyone who recycles, treats, stores or disposes of waste must have an Environmental Permit (or registered waste exemption) from the Environment Agency.

Waste exemption

A waste exemption is a very specific type of low risk waste handling operation that does not require a permit but does need to be registered with the Environment Agency.

Materials Recycling Facility (MRF)

Material is mechanically sorted, then baled, shredded, crushed, and compacted in preparation for onward transportation to market.

Co-mingled collection

This refers to a collection system in which different recycling materials are stored, collected and mixed together in the collection vehicle instead of being sorted into different compartments. These materials are then later sorted at a Materials Recycling Facility (MRF).

Responsibility deal

Waste management companies who have signed up to Defra’s Responsibility Deal offer clear and transparent contract terms to small businesses and adhere to the good practice principles agreed by Environmental Services Association (ESA) and Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

SIC Code

This must be included on each Waste Transfer Note and is the Standard industrial Classification code for your industry. The Environment Agency website lists the various SIC codes for each type of industry.

Further information and training

Waste Smart - training for sustainable businesses. The Chartered Institute of Waste Management (CIWM) has launched a Waste Smart training course aimed at offering practical guidance and support to help businesses develop more sustainable waste management practices, cut costs and make better use of resources. For further information please visit

Environment Agency


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