WHAT IS COMMERCIAL WASTE?
Commercial waste is any waste produced within the confines of a business.
The standard type of waste produced by businesses is classed as municipal waste. This consists of items such as paper, glass, cardboard, cans, foodstuffs, and packaging. Other items used on your premises such as discarded tea bags and the empty wrappers from lunchtime also constitute as commercial waste, as it is consumed or used on the premises.
HOW CAN A COMPANY DISPOSE OF COMMERCIAL WASTE?
You must have a legally binding contract with a licensed waste carrier to collect commercial waste, as it is not the duty of the Council to clear it for free. Placing black sacks onto the street without having a contract with the Council or a private collector could constitute an illegal act, and you may receive a fixed penalty notice from one of the Council’s Enforcement Officers.
You can find a list of registered waste carriers from the Environment Agency, or your local business directories, under ‘waste collection’. Whichever waste carrier you choose, you should ask them for a copy of their Waste Carriers Licence. Waste Paper Solutions are licensed waste carriers and registered with the Environment Agency.
WHAT IS A WASTE TRANSFER NOTE?
The company you choose to collect your waste has to provide you with a Duty of Care Waste Transfer Document.
This document should be issued before they start collecting your waste, and your business should have it to hand at all times. This document should be kept for a minimum of two years and could be inspected at any time. A Duty of Care document will tell the local council or the Environment Agency that you have a legally binding contract with a licensed waste carrier to collect waste from your premises. The document will also show who they are, their license number and most importantly, where the waste is going to end up. Waste Paper Solutions issue waste transfer notes for every collection and records are kept at our head office for a minimum of two years.
CAN YOU RECYCLE YOUR OWN OFFICE WASTE?
It is illegal to take commercial waste home, and place it in your domestic bin.
Domestic waste collection is paid for within your domestic council tax bill, and this does not include commercial waste from the business. All businesses must keep written documentation (Waste Transfer Document) for at least two years, giving evidence of where the waste has been transferred to. By taking it home you will have no Duty of Care and certainly no documentation.
All businesses in the United Kingdom have to, by law, pay for their waste to be taken away. The Environmental Protection Act of 1990 states that an authority may levy a reasonable charge against the business for the collection of their commercial waste. Waste collection is not included in the business rates and is levied as a separate charge.
You are not allowed to transfer waste from one site to another unless you are a licensed waste carrier and can provide Duty of Care documentation. If you put waste into the boot of the car and transport it elsewhere, you are transferring waste from one site to another without a license, and could be fined.
WHAT IS THE WASTE HIERARCHY?
Put simply, it is a simple guideline created by DEFRA to ensure that all businesses in the UK, no matter how small, recycle as much of their commercial waste as possible. Failure to adhere to these guidelines and prove that you have done so can have serious consequences. If you are unfamiliar with the waste hierarchy, there is a comprehensive PDF guide that you can read here