Commercial (trade) waste

How to responsibly dispose of business and commercial waste or register as a collector.

Business/commercial waste includes any waste that comes from:

  • any commercial activity – including any you run from your home
  • construction
  • demolition
  • industry
  • agriculture

With the exception of Redbridge HWRC, where there is a trade area, this waste cannot be taken to our household waste recycling centres.

Good waste management can make you substantial savings and deal with your duty of care.

Disposing of waste

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.

Hazardous waste

The Gov.UK website has information about hazardous waste and how to dispose of the waste.


District council collections

Some Oxfordshire district councils collect business waste and recycling for a charge. 

Check your district council for more information:

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

Private company collections

You can also pay to have it collected by a private company. 

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, see below. 

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.

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).

Checklist of disposing of commercial waste


  • 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.

Collecting commercial waste

Waste carriers’ licence

Businesses that are contracted to carry somebody else’s waste must hold a valid Waste Carriers’ Licence.

You need to register if you transport any kind of waste regularly as part of your business or some types of waste as a one-off.

You also need to register if you buy, sell or dispose of waste - or arrange for someone else to do so.

Please visit the GOV.UK website for more information or to register.

Reducing, reusing and recycling

Managing your waste and recycling is part of being resource efficient. The charity WRAP has produced the Business Resource Efficiency Hub - a range of interactive tools to assess your business type and advise on resource efficiency measures suitable for your situation.

Useful recycling contacts

  • RePaint - collects unwanted, surplus paint and re-distributes it to individuals, families and communities in need.
  • Orinoco - collects suitable waste materials from businesses and offers them to the public to create innovative playthings and art supplies.
  • National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP) - allows businesses to explore cross industry resource efficiencies.
  • Centre for Remanufacture and Reuse (CRR) - a resource for anyone interested in the reuse and remanufacture of products.

Food waste

Food waste is generated at various stages across the operation of a commercial kitchen either as spoilage, preparation and customer plate waste. It is important to segregate the food waste from other packaging or non-compostable wastes at source. There are a range of bins and bags available for this.

There are several ways to manage the waste you produce in a busy kitchen. It is important to look at where and how your food waste is generated. Unilever Food Solutions have put together an industry designed toolkit that can help you do this.