Trade Waste

Trade waste and recycling service

What is business waste?

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 defines business (or commercial) waste as waste and recycling from premises used for trade or business or the purpose of sport, recreation or entertainment.


What are my responsibilities as a business owner?

All businesses including holiday lets are required by law to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place for all waste generated to be stored, transferred and disposed of correctly and safely, without harming the environment.

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 states all businesses have a duty of care for the waste generated from the business. If you give your waste to someone else, you must make sure they are licensed to carry it and licensed to dispose of in accordance with the duty of care.


The duty of care requires the business to ensure:

  • All waste is kept safely and securely in a suitable container.
  • Whoever you give your waste to, has the authority to take it i.e. a registered waste carrier.
  • When your waste is transferred, a waste transfer note must accompany it.
  • Waste transfer notes must be kept for 2 years and be made available to an authorised officer from PCC or NRW upon request.
  • If you dispose of your waste yourself, you must use a licensed facility such as PCC’s Waste and Recycling Centres under a commercial booking. You must be registered as a waste carrier with Natural Resources Wales to transport your waste.


What am I not allowed to do with my business waste?

You are NOT allowed to:

  • Take your business waste home with you and put it in your household bin
  • Take to a Waste and Recycling Centre disguised as household waste.
  • Place your business waste in any public litter bin or public recycling bank.


Is my waste covered by rates?

The collection of waste from a business is not covered in your rates and must not be passed off as household waste i.e. disposed of within household waste collections provided by the Council or left at public litter bins, which is technically fly-tipping and a separate offence.


Are you aware of the changes to your business waste with the introduction of Workplace Regulations from 6th April 2024?

On 6th April 2024 businesses must present specified recyclable materials for collection separately from each other and separate from residual waste. It means all businesses, charities and public sector organisations will need to sort their waste for recycling in the same way most households do now.  The aim is to improve the quality and quantity of recycling in Wales.


What does this mean for businesses?

The items listed below will need to be stored and collected separately:

  • Food Waste (if producing over 5kg per week)
  • Paper
  • Card/Cardboard
  • Glass
  • Metal, Plastic & Cartons
  • Unsold small waste electrical and electronic equipment (sWEEE)
  • Unsold Textiles


There will also be a ban on:

  • Sending food to waste sewers (any amount)
  • Separately collected waste going to incineration plants and landfills
  • All wood waste going to landfill

You are responsible for all the waste on the premises you are occupying. These include waste produced by your staff, visitors and contractors or vendors working on the premises.

It also applies to all waste and recycling collectors and processors who collect and manage waste from workplaces.

More information is available at Workplace recycling on the Welsh Government website (opens in a new tab)


What happens if I fail to comply?

If your business fails to comply with this duty it could result in your business being prosecuted and heavily fined, as breach of this duty of care (and the workplace recycling regulations from April 2024) is an offence.


What do I do next?

If you do not have appropriate arrangements in place, you should:

  • Purchase or hire suitable bins to store your waste, this will need to include the segregated recycling streams outlined above.
  • Store your waste securely and safely – in a container so that the public, animals or vermin cannot gain access.
  • Set up a contract with a registered waste carrier/commercial waste collection company – this will provide you containers for storage, a collection service and all the necessary paperwork i.e. control waste transfer notes.
  • Inform all your staff and customers on how they should recycle and dispose of the waste and recycling generated.

The Council offers a range of commercial waste and recycling collections. More information is available by contacting our trade waste team via email or calling 01437 767707. Businesses can use alternative providers, but the law says they will need to provide evidence that they have proper arrangements in place, therefore please contact us to discuss this.


ID: 758, revised 08/05/2024