Commercial waste and recycling

Your responsibilities

Business owners are responsible for dealing with the disposal of their commercial waste, including recycling where possible. We do not collect business waste and will fine anyone who dumps it illegally.

All businesses produce waste and your company has a legal responsibility to ensure that you produce, store, transport and dispose of your business waste without harming the environment.

Your responsibilities

You are responsible for your waste from when you produce it until you have transferred it to an authorised person. You should ensure that you store your waste securely so that it does not escape (tie up bags, flatten boxes, close bin lids).

You must also ensure your waste is transported by an authorised business and complete a Waste Transfer Note for every transfer of waste OR for a specified period. This must be kept on record for at least two years.

The responsibilities mainly come from the Environmental Protection Act, 1990 and the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act, 2005.

Please use the tabs at the top of this page for more information about business waste disposal and recycling.

What you need to do

You must:

  • contain your waste in a container or area that keeps it from escaping or stops people or wildlife interfering with it
  • keep your waste off the public highway
  • ensure that your waste is disposed of legally and responsibly
  • dispose of your waste in a manner which produces the least harm to the environment

Getting rid of your business waste legally

You must:

  • arrange a contract with a licensed waste disposal company who will ensure the supply of a proper storage container and the legitimate disposal of your waste
  • be given paperwork from your waste disposal company to show your waste has been legally disposed. You must keep this paperwork for a minimum of two years, for inspection by Brent Council

You should maintain a file with your waste-disposal contract and any receipts (waste transfer notes) or forms you receive from waste collectors. This will help you when we perform our routine checks under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Failure to produce documentation on demand can result in a fixed penalty fine of £300 or prosecution where the maximum fine is £5000. The maximum fine for illegally dumping waste is £50,000 or five years in prison.

Alternatively, you can:

  • take your waste to an authorised waste amenity site where you will be issued with Waste Transfer Notes, as proof of disposal.

You must ensure that proper records of disposal are maintained for a minimum period of 2 years for inspection by Brent Council.  

Under no circumstances dispose of your trade waste through your household waste collection.

Illegal dumping

We do not collect business waste and will fine anyone who dumps it illegally on land without permission from the landowners or without a licence. Illegal rubbish dumping also known as fly-tipping.

We can issues fines known as Fixed Penalty Notices for a range of environmental offences including littering and failure to lawfully get rid of trade waste. Failure to pay Fixed Penalty Fines can result in prosecution.

We will:

  • investigate business waste dumped on the public highway and give advice to traders about their legal responsibilities for the disposal of their waste
  • use a clear, reasonable and fair enforcement policy which favours education and working with traders and businesses.

We are developing a leadership role around educating businesses in respect of their Duty of Care responsibilities, to reduce fly-tipping. Our work includes:

  • explaining to businesses why enforcement action is needed, taking account of the needs of the local community
  • enforcing the relevant legislation in respect of trade waste disposal by local businesses, in conformity with the Government Good Enforcement Concordat
  • supplying a list of waste disposal firms who operate in the area together with details of civic amenity sites who accept trade waste
  • making regular checks on businesses to ensure that they are storing and disposing of their waste regularly and correctly.

Recycling

The company that collects your business waste can give you expert advice on how to recycle. Or you can find your nearest business waste recycling location through the GOV.UK website.

Please note we do not collect any business waste.

Recycling and reducing waste can save you money. There are organisations that can help you improve your profit margins by improving your environmental performance.

  • Recycling - Visit WRAP, the Waste and Resources Action Programme - an independent not-for-profit organisation working with businesses, individuals and communities to help them reap the benefits of reducing waste.
  • London Green Organisations - an independent non-profit environment group dedicated to recognising, rewarding and promoting environmental best practice around the world.

Did you know?

  • 97 per cent of business who recycle are satisfied with their in-house recycling schemes.
  • A significant number of businesses who recycle their waste say it improves their reputation with the local community.
  • The cost of waste is bigger than you think. It's the cost of buying goods, storing goods, paying someone to take away those wasted goods, and the lost profit from not selling them. How much is waste really costing your business?

Hazardous waste removal

Under the Planning (Hazardous Substances) Act 1990 and associated Regulations you must apply for permission if you wish to store or use defined quantities of hazardous substances, such as natural gas or petrol. This is so that we can assess risk of fire, explosion etc to people in the surrounding area.

Hazardous wastes include: asbestos, solvents and solvent-based paints, oils and oil filters,
petrol and diesel, fluorescent tubes, batteries, electronic equipment.

If you produce hazardous waste on your premises you must notify the Environment Agency. It is illegal to mix hazardous and non-hazardous wastes, and to mix different types of hazardous waste.

  • If you need further advice about any waste which you think may be hazardous please contact our Enforcement Team on 020 8937 5050

Asbestos - read about asbestos and advice about its removal.

More information

  • The Environment Agency has detailed information about hazardous business waste, including registering, moving or receiving hazardous waste and keeping records
  • Envirogreen special waste services - specialises in getting rid of hazardous waste across the UK. It will dispose of pesticides, laboratory chemicals, industrial chemicals, spillage waste, oil, batteries, florescent tubes and all related contaminated materials in an environmentally friendly way

Contact us on 020 8937 5050 for advice and support.

 

Timed waste collections

To make our streets cleaner, we have introduced a new initiative of timed waste and recycling collections.

If you are a business, the introduction of timed collections may require you to amend your existing arrangements with your current waste provider to ensure you meet with the new guidelines.

Please note these new timed collections do not apply if your commercial waste and recycling is collected from within your premises.