Tom Melhuish 5 min read

Commercial waste bin guide

Bin guide: In commercial waste contracts, your provider will lend you bins to use during the contract. Use our visual guide to choose the correct bin.

Bin hire: In commercial waste, you’ll be responsible for the safety and security of the bins you hire. We summarise your rights and obligations.

Waste storage obligations: Business waste must be stored safely and securely, reducing the risk of escaping and cross-contaminating different waste types.

A visual guide to commercial waste bins

Providers offer a variety of waste storage containers. The list of options can seem daunting, so our in-house experts have compiled this visual guide to commercial waste bins to help you make an informed choice.

💡 Businesses in the UK typically rent bins from the provider, as this is practical and ensures waste storage compliance.

Standard wheelie bin

Wheelie bin

Size: 120 to 240 litres
Cost: £30 to £40
Material: Plastic
Suitable for: General trade waste, commercial recycling
Best for: General waste storage producing general non-recyclable waste by small businesses.

Commercial wheelie bin

Size: 600 to 1,110 litres
Material: Plastic / Metal
Cost: Plastic c.£150, Metal c.£400
Suitable for: General trade waste, recycling
Best for: Simple and cheap storage of large quantities of commercial waste.

Confidential waste wheelie bin


Confidential Waste Bin

Size: 120 litres
Cost: £80 to £100
Material: Plastic
Suitable for: Confidential documents
Best for: Dispose of sensitive documents and ensure your compliance with GDPR.

Front-end loader bins

Size: 4,000 to 8,000 litres
Cost: Bespoke rental quotes
Materials: Metal
What’s it for: Dry general waste and dry mixed recycling
Best for: Businesses producing large volumes of dry waste with a dedicated waste area.

Roll-on/roll-off bins

Roll-on roll-off bin

Size: 6,000 to 8,000 litres
Cost: Bespoke rental quotes
Materials: Metal
What’s it for: General trade waste, recycling, building materials, commercial electronic waste and hazardous waste.
Best for: Deposing of large quantities of bulky waste at permanent business sites.


Size: 6,000 to 10,000 litres
Cost: Bespoke rental quotes
Materials: Metal
What’s it for: General trade waste, recycling, building materials, electrical and hazardous.
Best for: Deposing of large quantities of bulky waste for temporary projects like building sites.


Compactor bin

Size: 6,000 to 20,000 litres
Cost: Bespoke rental quotes
Materials: Metal
What’s it for: Compactable dry waste, excluding hazardous materials and commercial glass recycling.
Best for: Reducing waste volumes for supermarkets and alike that produce high volumes of commercial cardboard recycling.

Sources: Wheelie Bin Solutions, R&S Skips

Waste safe

Waste safe

Size: 800 to 1,000 litres
Cost: Bespoke rental quotes
Materials: Metal
What’s it for: Hazardous waste such as light bulbs, batteries, aerosols, and valuable waste electronic equipment.
Best for: The security that only authorised personnel can access the contents of the waste bin.

Source: Biffa – Waste Safe Containers


Commercial waste bin hire

In a typical commercial waste contract, your business rents necessary waste bins from the chosen provider. These bins are delivered at the contract’s start and returned at the end if they aren’t renewed.

Here are some key responsibilities regarding your commercial bins that you should be aware of:

  • You are responsible for ensuring that the bins are safely and securely stored.
  • You must keep the bins in the location agreed upon with your supplier so they can locate them for collection.
  • Vehicle access to the bins must be possible to facilitate collections.
  • You must ensure that the placement of bins complies with planning laws, your lease, and any other relevant legislation.
  • You will be responsible for any bin damage and may need to pay for container damage costs where applicable.

What size commercial waste bin should I choose?

It’s crucial to ensure that your business has sufficient waste storage space. Storing waste outside of commercial bins will inevitably attract foxes and other pests.

We recommend calculating the maximum number of waste bags your business will likely produce between scheduled commercial waste collections for each type. The following table translates the number of standard waste bags into the corresponding commercial waste bin size:

Bin typeBin sizeNumber of bin bags
Standard wheelie bin240 litres2
Standard commercial wheelie bin660 litres8
Large commercial wheelie bin1,100 litres12
Standard front-end loader6,100 litres72

Commercial waste storage obligations

The UK government (and devolved administrations) set out clear guidelines when it comes to commercial waste storage1:

  • Store waste in a secure place
  • Use suitable containers that will stop waste from escaping
  • Label containers clearly with the type of waste they contain
  • Use covers to stop waste from blowing away
  • Use waterproof covers if rain could cause contaminated run-off or prevent the waste from being reused

💡 There is slight variation between devolved nations, but the rules are essentially the same across the UK.1,2

Sources: 1UK Gov – Dispose of business or commercial waste, 2Netregs – Separating and storing waste (Scotland and NI)

Commercial waste disposal providers help your business fulfil these obligations by including bin hire within your contract.

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