Tom Melhuish 5 min read

Commercial waste collection costs

Have you ever wondered what goes into the pricing of commercial waste disposal? Well, we’ve got you covered.

Our experts break down the typical costs, from location and waste types to volumes. But that’s not all; we’ll also demystify the monthly collection charges, covering everything from commercial bin hire to taxes.

Extra charges can sneak up on you. We’ll highlight these hidden fees and how to avoid them, ensuring your commercial waste management stays cost-effective and hassle-free.

Typical commercial waste collection costs: Commercial waste disposal costs depend on location, waste types and volumes. Our experts break down typical commercial waste disposal charges.

Commercial waste collection charges explained:  In commercial waste management, you’ll typically pay your provider a monthly collection charge. However, this fee encompasses bin hire, collection, disposal, administration, taxes, and other regulatory costs.

⚠️ Additional waste collection charges: It’s important to be aware of several scenarios where your waste provider may impose miscellaneous additional charges. Find out what these are and how to avoid them.


What are commercial waste collection costs?

To understand commercial waste collection costs, it’s essential first to know how commercial waste contracts work. In such a contract, you agree upfront on the classification of each waste type your business generates, the types of containers required for waste storage, and the frequency of waste collection. In exchange for collecting and disposing of this waste, you pay a commercial waste collection charge.

A commercial waste collection charge is a single monthly cost that incorporates the following separate services and costs:

  • Bin hire costs – At the start of a commercial waste contract, you’ll receive the bins and other containers needed to store your waste. The waste collection charges include a rental charge for each of these containers.
  • Collection charges – These charges include the costs of collecting your waste, which depend on the frequency of collection and the distance your provider must travel to your business.
  • Disposal costs – There are many ways commercial waste is disposed of in the UK. Your business waste collection charge will include the costs your provider will incur to dispose of the waste lawfully and responsibly.
  • Compliance admin costs – To demonstrate compliance with commercial waste regulations, your provider will issue a waste transfer notice and review and sign hazardous waste consignment notes. The collection costs include the administrative expenses for this compliance documentation.
  • Landfill taxes – This is a government tax on general waste disposed of in landfills. Your provider incurs these costs for general waste disposal (source: gov.uk).
  • Legal and regulatory costs – Waste disposal in the UK is highly regulated. Your provider maintains a registered waste carrier licence and environmental permits at each of their waste disposal facilities. Your commercial waste collections contribute to the costs of maintaining these licences.

How much are commercial waste collection costs?

Commercial waste collection costs comprise three main components: the transportation costs of periodically collecting waste, the cost of disposing of that waste, and waste bin rental costs.

In the following sections, our commercial waste experts provide broad estimates of each of these primary elements. It’s important to remember that precise costs depend on the location of your business and the cost of nearby waste disposal facilities. To get bespoke pricing for your business, use our commercial waste collection service.

Commercial waste disposal costs

Providers will collect and dispose of various types of commercial waste separately. Below are the typical disposal-only costs associated with the most common types of commercial waste.

Commercial waste disposal typeCost per tonne
General business waste£170 to £210
Dry mixed recycling£80 to £160
Uncontaminated plastic recyclingFree to £50
Paper and cardboard recyclingFree to £25
Glass recyclingFree to £30
Wood recycling£90 to £135

💡Mixed waste sent to landfills represents the most expensive type of commercial waste disposal. All businesses can reduce costs by segregating their waste to benefit from the cheaper disposal costs of commercial recycling.

Source: The commercial waste costs presented above are based upon local council waste disposal costs across England, Scotland, and Wales, as shown on council websites in December 2023, based on delivering the waste directly to the local disposal facilities.

Commercial waste transportation costs

Unlike disposal costs, waste transportation costs vary widely and depend on:

  • The proximity of your business from an existing collection route.
  • The distance to local recycling and landfill facilities.
  • The frequency of your waste collections
  • The number of bags of waste in each collection.

Use our bespoke commercial waste quote service for accurate business waste collection costs.

Commercial waste bin costs

Most commercial waste providers will include bin rental costs within their overall collection quotes; however, should you opt to arrange bin rental separately, here is a guide to the costs associated with different types of bins.

Bin typeSizeCapacityPurchase priceApprox. daily rental price
Wheelie bin240 litres3 Sacks£30-£4010 pence
Commercial wheelie bin (plastic)660 litres8 Sacks£100-£15040 pence
Commercial wheelie bin (plastic)1,100 litres12 Sacks£200-£30065 pence
Commercial wheelie bin (metal)1,100 litres12 Sacks£500-£600100 pence
Front end loader6,000 litres72 Sacks£2,000-£3,000300 pence

Source: The bin rental and purchase costs presented above are based on trade figures advertised by bin manufacturers in December 2023. The bin rental costs are the average of a sample of local council-advertised bin rental costs displayed in December 2023.

💡The bin rental costs will include the initial cost of delivering the containers to your commercial property and the costs of picking these up at the end of your waste contract.

Miscellaneous commercial waste charges

Commercial waste contracts account for several scenarios where your waste provider may levy additional charges. While the terminology may vary among providers, the main categories are:

  • Excess weight charge – In a commercial waste contract, you’ll agree on a maximum weight for each waste/recycling category. Providers typically measure the weight of your rubbish at every collection and will charge for excess weight at a defined rate per excess kilogram.
  • Failed collection charge – If your waste collection provider cannot access your commercial waste bins and needs to make a second attempt, they will charge for the failed collection.
  • Container damage charge – In a commercial waste contract, you agree to rent the bins over the contract and must return them when it ends. You could be charged for any necessary repairs where the bins have incurred damage while at your business.
  • Contamination charges – Your business is responsible for ensuring that the waste in each bin matches the description in your waste transfer note and on the bin’s label.
  • Waste transfer notice charge – Some providers may charge an administrative fee for issuing the annual renewal of your waste transfer notice.
  • Retail fee – Commercial waste management companies may impose a fixed retail fee for the administration involved in managing your waste contract with multiple providers, maintaining a customer services department, and billing your company.
  • Interest on overdue invoices – Most providers reserve the right to charge interest on any late-paid invoices in accordance with the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2013.

VAT on commercial waste charges

For small businesses that are not yet VAT registered and partially exempt larger businesses, it’s essential to consider the VAT implications of commercial waste contracts. Here’s a summary of what you must know about VAT on commercial waste charges.

What is VAT?

VAT, or Value Added Tax, is a consumption tax levied on goods and services sold within the UK. Generally, an additional 20% of the price of all goods and services purchased by consumers is collected as tax.

For most VAT-registered businesses, any VAT paid on goods purchased can be reclaimed from HMRC, and any VAT collected on goods sold is payable to HMRC.

How much VAT is charged on commercial waste collections?

Commercial waste collection costs from private companies are subject to VAT at the standard rate of 20%. The quotes for commercial waste disposal that we provide are sourced from a panel of private waste management companies, all of which apply VAT at the standard 20% rate.

In the UK, VAT rules exempt commercial waste collection services provided directly by local authorities; these services are VAT-exempt. You must visit your local council’s website to access these local authority services.

Source: Environmental journal – Ruling on VAT on commercial waste.

How to reduce commercial waste collection costs

The simplest method is to engage an expert for comparison to cut down on commercial waste collection expenses.

Click below to start the process, and our experts will gather personalised commercial waste quotes tailored to your needs.

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Additionally, reducing the amount of waste you need to have collected can significantly impact costs in several ways:

  • Lowering landfill tax
  • Decreasing waste collection expenses
  • Avoiding fines for non-compliance

To explore this topic further, explore our comprehensive guide, Waste minimisation and reduction for businesses, crafted by our experts.

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