How to dispose of commercial waste

How to responsibly dispose of trade 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 an Environment Agency 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.

Increase your recycling rates. Food Waste collection services are now available to businesses in Oxford City and parts of West Oxfordshire.

District council collections

The following district councils offer commercial waste collections:

Private company collections

There are many private companies that offer waste and recycling collections. A simple web search will provide a range of providers in your areas but it is your reasonability to ensure they are registered you are provided with a waste transfer note. All private companies need to be registered as a waste carrier. You can use the Environment Agency website to find a registered waste carrier. If you have materials that are not standard or unusual please e-mail stating the material types and likely quantities.

Disposal at waste sites

Alternatively, you can pay to dispose of your waste at some of our waste recycling centres or at a privately-owned waste site:

Oxfordshire County Council Waste Recycling Centres

Trade waste can only be taken to the Waste Recycling Centres listed below, which have a specified trade waste facility. A charge will be made, depending on the type and quantity of waste. For disposal costs, contact the sites directly.

  • Redbridge (accepts trade recycling and disposal) – 01865 721464
  • Ardley (accepts trade recycling and disposal) – 01869 343459
  • Dix Pit (accepts landfill) – 01865 880782

You must wear a hi-vis vest or jacket, safety boots and a hard hat when on site.

Residents who need to use a commercial-type vehicle or trailer to take their household waste to a Household Waste Recycling Centre can apply for a free permit. Size and weight restrictions apply.

Privately-owned waste sites

You can use the EA directory to search for licensed recycling and waste disposal sites and check what types of waste they accept.

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, there are 2 classifications - lower tier or upper tier – depending on your business or waste type. Please visit the for information on the classifications or contact the Environment Agency 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.

Under the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011, businesses must declare on their waste Transfer Notes that they have applied the waste hierarchy when transferring waste.



  • arrange a trade waste agreement with your waste collection authority (the district councils within Oxfordshire) or with 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 trade waste – these are for householders, even if you are depositing waste of the correct type, you will not be completing and keeping the required paperwork. The act of leaving trade waste will also be a criminal offence.
  • assume this law doesn't apply to your business because it is too small etc - 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
01 April 2014
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