Trade Waste

Trade, commercial or business waste can be defined as waste from premises used wholly or mainly for the purposes of a trade or business or for the purpose of sport, recreation, education or entertainment but not including household; agricultural or industrial waste. This also includes refuse from gardening and building work carried out on a domestic property, if the person carrying out the work is not the homeowner.

If you transport waste as part of your business then you will need to register with the Environment Agency. From January 2014 any business that normally transports their own waste must register as a lower-tier waste carrier to comply with recent changes to the England and Wales Waste Regulations. Registering in the lower tier normally costs nothing and lasts indefinitely, Businesses will not have to renew their registration unless their your situation changes but could face a fine of up to £5,000 if not registered. Registration is usually free for charities. For more information and to register click here

Local Council Trade Waste Services - Contacts

Babergh District Council  Sarah Russell 01787 313706
Forest Heath District Council 01284 758800
Ipswich Borough Council 01473 433084
Mid Suffolk District Council  Neil Lennon     01449 778623
St. Edmundsbury Borough Council 01284 758800
Suffolk Coastal District Council  01394 444000
Waveney District Council 01502 527100
Suffolk County Council 0345 606 6067

Trade Waste at Household Waste Recycling Centres

All 11 Household Waste Recycling Centres accept commercial waste at a charge (Lowestoft customers accepted at transfer station during trial 16 July- 9 Sept). The scheme is specifically targeted at small businesses who may not have the volume of waste to justify a collection. All of the same materials  are accepted/not accepted from trade customers as for household customers. See price guide and what you need to do before arriving at the recycling centre.


Legal requirements for businesses/Duty of Care

If you run a business you are legally responsible for making sure that your waste is handled and disposed of properly. You must comply with the Duty of Care legislation which sets out how commercial or business waste should be:

  • Stored
  • Transported
  • Disposed of
  • Recorded

Practical advice to enable businesses to comply with their legal requirements can be found on the Right Waste, Right Place website:

Storage of business waste

The Duty of Care makes it your responsibility to ensure that your waste is stored securely. It must be stored in secure containers that protect it from being blown away or disturbed by animals.

Transportation, handling and disposal

As a waste producer you have a duty of care to ensure your waste is managed lawfully even if you use another company to transport/dispose of it. You can deliver it yourself or have it collected by your local council trade waste service or use a licensed trade waste company.

As of January 2014 all businesses (and charities) must be registered as a waste carrier with the Environment Agency - including if you are carrying any kind of building or demolition waste (see below). If you transport your own waste (such as by-products of your business activity) or are a charity, then with a few exceptions registration is usually free.  

Your business will also need to be registered as a waste carrier with the Environment Agency if you:

  • Transport waste that is produced by another business or householder.
  • Transport any kind of building or demolition waste or any business carrying soil or rubble (i.e. carpenters , kitchen and window fitters, painter and decorators, plumbers ).

To register as a waste carrier, search a list of registered waste carriers, or for further information contact the Environment Agency on 03708 506506.

If someone else transports your waste you must make sure:

  • The person is authorised to carry waste. All companies licenced to carry or accept waste are listed on the Environment Agency website – Public Registers. If they can't do this do not give them your waste, contact the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506.
  • Ensure the waste goes to a proper site, licensed or exempt.
  • Give the carrier a completed waste transfer note. This must include a full description of the waste and be signed by you and the waste carrier.
  • Ensure that a declaration is signed on the transfer note to indicate that you have applied the waste hierarchy to your waste.

Recording information

When you hand over your waste to a third party, you must ensure every load of waste you produce is covered by a Waste Transfer Note, describing whether the waste is loose or contained and what it consists of. This protects the people that handle your waste and allows them to ensure that it is disposed of safely. You must keep records of these notes for at least two years. Find out more about Waste Transfer Notes from here.

For more information on Duty of Care and your responsibilities visit the Environment Agency website.