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Commercial waste - information and advice

If you run a business in Newham, only Newham Council or a waste company which is licensed by the Environment Agency may collect your waste. There is a charge for this service, it is not included in your business rates.​​

A container for commercial waste in Newham

Choosing a waste company

If your business produces waste you must make sure that you store, move and get rid of the waste in the right way. This is called your "duty of care".
The company you choose to collect your waste must have a licence. The Environment Agency licenses waste companies.
We collect waste from businesses in the borough. If you choose us to collect your waste, less than 10 per cent of it will go to landfill. We use a process which:
  • dries waste
  • takes out and recycles metals and glass
  • takes out solids to use in projects to reclaim land
  • takes out organic material to use as fuel.
The remaining material is used as a fuel.

Waste transfer notes

Normally you will make an agreement with a waste company. The agreement will set out the number of collections you need for a year.
You must have a waste transfer note for each waste collection, but your waste company will often give you one note to cover one year of collections, as stated in your agreement.
A waste transfer note is a document which must describe:
  • the type of waste
  • what it is stored in
  • how much of it there is
  • how you applied the waste hierarchy (see below).
You and the person or company who collects the waste must sign the waste transfer note. And you must both keep a copy of the note for at least two years, as we may ask to see it.
If you don’t follow these rules we can fine you or take you to court.

Storing waste

You must store waste correctly. To do this:
  • put all waste, including cardboard, in the container your company gives you, for example in bins or bags
  • close the bin lid and do not leave waste at the side or on the top of the bin
  • store cardboard in a bin or bag, as the waste company tells you
  • do not leave extra waste, including cardboard, on the street
  • do not fill your bin too full or leave any extra waste next to or on top of your bin.
Do not put out more waste than the amount stated in your agreement. If you do, you are putting out waste that you have not paid for. 
Only put waste on the street at the time set out in your agreement. If your business is in an area where there are timed waste collection areas you must also follow this scheme.  

Reduce waste and save money

If you throw away less waste you can lower your costs and improve your environmental performance. The ‘waste hierarchy’ is a way of looking at the your waste and reducing it as much as possible.
For more information on how to reduce your business waste go to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) website.

The waste hierarchy

1. Prevention

The best way to reduce waste is to make less of it. You can make less waste by:
  • working with suppliers to reduce the packaging on the things you buy
  • ordering the right amount stock – try not to order too much, especially of items which go off quickly
  • buying in bulk.

2. Preparing for re-use

When you make less waste, the next step is to make sure that you re-use as much of the waste as possible. Here are some tips:
  • repair and refurbish items instead of throwing them away
  • donate items that still work to local charities or re-use organisations
  • if you serve food and drink, provide reusable containers and ask customers to return them after use.

3. Recycling

Recycling turns waste into new materials or products. You can arrange to have a range of materials collected for recycling, including cardboard, waste cooking oil and fruit and vegetable waste for composting. You can use our recycling service for cans, plastics bottles, paper and cardboard.
Note that you may not put any of your business waste into recycling bins provided by the council for the use of residents, including in public places and on the streets.

4 and 5. Recovery and disposal

After you take steps 1, 2 and 3, you will be left with waste which needs to be thrown away. To make sure your waste is as useful as possible, take it to a place which offers special services to recover and recycle more materials.
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