How to dispose of commercial waste

How to responsibly dispose of business and commercial waste

Builders' rubble

All businesses have a legal Duty of Care to make sure their waste is disposed of safely, appropriately and legally, either by themselves or by a licensed waste carrier.

Local authorities may prosecute businesses that deposit their waste as household waste, either through household kerbside waste collections or at Household Waste Recycling Centres.


Some Oxfordshire district councils collect business waste and recycling for a charge. You can also pay to have it collected by a private company.

District council collections

Your district council may offer commercial waste collections:

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse do not offer commercial waste collections.

Private company collections

There are many private companies that offer waste and recycling collections. A web search will find a range of providers in your area but it is your responsibility to ensure they are registered and you are provided with a waste transfer note. All private companies need to be registered as a waste carrier.

Where to dispose of your commercial waste

There are many privately owned waste sites - again, a web search is your best option.

Business and commercial waste cannot be taken to Oxfordshire’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs), which are for Oxfordshire residents to dispose of household waste.

Getting the paperwork right

Waste carriers’ licence

Businesses that are contracted to carry somebody else’s waste must hold a valid Waste Carriers’ Licence. If you transport waste, you will need to register as a waste carrier. Please visit the website to register.

Waste transfer notes

All transfers of waste between your business and another business should be recorded using a waste transfer note. This will contain:

  • a description of the waste
  • names and addresses of both businesses
  • the registration number of the waste carrier

If someone offers to take away your waste but will not provide a waste transfer note, it is likely that they will fly-tip your waste. As well as seeking to prosecute the fly-tipper, local authorities will also seek to prosecute the producer of the waste for failing in their Duty of Care.



  • arrange a business and commercial waste agreement with either your waste collection authority (the district councils within Oxfordshire) or an authorised waste management company or individual.
  • make all reasonable checks on the credentials of the next holder of your waste.
  • phone the proposed disposal site to check they are authorised to accept your waste. If you are in any doubt, check that your waste did in fact go there.
  • provide a full, clear written description of the waste for the next holder detailing any unusual characteristics which could affect how they plan to handle or dispose of it, and its waste catalogue number.
  • make sure your waste is packaged well to avoid it escaping in transit or in storage.
  • keep all paperwork for at least two years.


  • hand over your waste to a passing 'man with a van' - they may not be registered as a waste carrier and you don't know what they will do with it.
  • use the nearest recycling banks/site for your business and commercial waste – these are for householders. The act of leaving business and commercial waste will also be a criminal offence.
  • assume this law doesn't apply to your business because it is too small - this law applies to all businesses.
  • put your business waste out with your household waste (unless it is part of your waste agreement). Neither your business tax nor your council tax would cover that service.

If you need further advice, please contact us.

Last reviewed
02 February 2015
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