Commercial Waste Disposal and Collection Costs

Startups analyses the factors that affect waste disposal prices in the UK to help you build a cost-effective commercial waste management plan for your small business.

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Calculating commercial waste costs is complicated. Companies use many different pricing structures, which can make their costs hard to compare.

For example, if a company charges by the truck load, firms will pay between £110 and £290. If it charges by cubic yards, it could be £70-210. Meanwhile, even your sector can influence the price tag, with builder’s waste costing more than hospitality.

We’ve been helping small businesses to navigate this confusing world for almost twenty five years. Our free cost comparison tool can help in one minute. Tell us what your business is looking for and we’ll match you with bespoke quotes from some of the UK’s leading waste management companies.

Read on for the ins and outs of commercial waste disposal, including a pricing breakdown, tips for sustainable waste disposal, and ways to save.

Some top UK commercial waste providers we'd recommend comparing pricing for

  1. Waste Managed – quick and simple setup for effortless contracts
  2. Divert – best choice for “diverting” waste from landfill
  3. Biffa – best for larger SMEs and businesses with complex needs
  4. Envirowaste – eco-friendly options for conscious businesses
  5. Keenan Recycling – a good choice for food waste collection
  6. Veolia – excellent waste disposal for food and hospitality industries
  7. Business Waste – 24/7 customer support and great service

Compare pricing for these commercial waste providers by clicking the links. Or, you can go directly to our business waste quote comparison tool – it’s free to use and takes just 2 minutes!

Compare Costs: What Type of Waste Disposal Service Do You Need?

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How much is commercial waste disposal in the UK?

Price is always a priority for small businesses. Particularly in the current climate, business owners need to make sure you’re getting the most bang for their buck and keep overheads down to protect the bottom line.

Commercial waste typically varies depending on:

  • Location
  • Weight
  • Business size
  • Industry
  • Occurence of collection

That said, a small office or hospitality business with an average amount of waste (around 500kg) can typically expect to pay around £170 per year. That includes company or council bin hire, landfill tax, and gate fees (all of which we’ll go into in the guide below).

Whether you want to save money on hiring or buying bins, or you want to understand how the price you’ll pay is calculated, we’ve note the costs from some of the best waste management companies in the UK in the table below:

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Enviro Waste

Keenan Recycling


Business Waste

Best for

A quick and simple set up for small businesses

Best for

Flexibility for businesses and diverting waste from landfill

Best for

Best for larger SMEs and businesses with complex needs

Best for

Eco-friendly waste disposal

Best for

Food waste collection

Best for

Cafe business waste collection

Best for

Businesses wanting access to 24/7 customer support

Price from

Prices start from £1.17 a day

Price from

£74.99 for office rubbish removal

Price from

Doesn’t publish set price plans, instead provides personalised quotes

Price from

70kg waste load = £107 + VAT

Price from

Doesn’t publish set price plans, instead provides personalised quotes

Price from

Doesn’t publish set price plans, instead provides personalised quotes

Price from

Doesn’t publish set price plans, instead provides personalised quotes

Prices for one-off waste disposal

In general, waste prices are usually based upon the following measurements:

  • Per kilogram
  • Per litre
  • Per tonne
  • Per truck
  • Per cubic yard
  • Per price band

If the waste exceeds the standard charges outlined to you then you can expect to pay more. Here are some typical one-off commercial waste disposal prices.. truck load:

Amount of wasteDisposal price (approx.)
Truck load (¼)£110
Truck load (½)£170
Truck load (¾)£230
Truck load (full)£290 cubic yard:

Amount of wasteDisposal price (approx.)
1 cubic yard£70
3 cubic yards£100
7 cubic yards£180
9 cubic yards£210

..for builders’ waste:

Amount of wasteDisposal price (approx.)
Builders waste – 150 kilograms (kg)£70
Builders waste – 500 kg£135
Builders waste – 1000 kg£270

Note that prices depend on the type of waste, as well as the limit given. This is usually either weight (e.g. up to 200kg) or price (e.g. £300) for the time and labour required to clear and dispose of the waste.

Be sure to check if prices are inclusive or exclusive of Value Added Tax (VAT), as this can alter the overall price, depending on this is relevant for business or not. The figures above exclude VAT.

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Prices for local council bin collection service

Using your local council for commercial waste collection has a few benefits. Tthey know the local area, and as you may already be used to the local council collecting your household rubbish, they’re a more familiar option.

However, it can be a complicated process to get right. Charges are based upon the size of the bin, as well as for the bin hire and collection.

Industry can affect local council bin collection prices, with charities and nurseries two examples of businesses that may be subject to different rates. Similarly, recycling is often collected for a different fee. 

Bin sizeBin collection fee (per collection)
240 litres (l)£7
360 l£9
1100 l£19

Be wary that if your business operates across different boroughs or multiple councils then you may have to arrange collections with each council separately. This also means you may be subject to differing fees across the locations.

Prices for waste transfer station

There are two options for commercial waste collection and disposal:

1. Hire a commercial waste management company or your local council (see above)
2. Dispose of it yourself directly at a waste transfer station

Whichever option you choose, ensure the waste collection service is licensed (or you are as a waste carrier), as otherwise you could be fined – remember that your rubbish is your responsibility, up until and including the disposal process. You may be able to see a company’s licence online, if provided.

Aspects to be aware of if you are disposing commercial waste:

1. Waste carrier licenses

If you’re transporting waste that is only produced by your business then it’s generally free. If you’ll be transporting other waste too, then a £154 registration fee applies.

2. Gate fee

This is the charge for businesses to use the sites where the waste will be disposed of. At a waste transfer station, waste disposal is usually charged per tonne – a minimum charge or weight may apply.

An approximate price for general mixed waste could be around £170 per tonne. Prices may vary depending on your business’ location and if you have an account or not with the waste disposal provider. You can find out more about typical gate fees in the annual Gate Fee Report produced by the charity Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

What is Landfill Tax?

Landfill Tax applies to any waste that is sent to landfill. Different rates apply depending on whether your business is based in England, Wales or Scotland.

The tax is charged by weight and there are 2 rates. Inert or inactive waste (for example rocks or soil) is subject to the lower rate.

Standard rate: £98.60 per tonne
Lower rate: £3.15 per tonne

New UK Environmental Targets and Residual Waste Regulations

On 30 January, the government published new legislation designed to encourage businesses to produce less waste.

As the government works towards a target of halving residual waste (anything sent to landfill or put through incineration) volumes by 2042, it’s likely that an increase to the Landfill Tax will follow in the coming years.

That means it’s a good idea for SMEs to invest now in more sustainable waste disposal measures. At the moment, any small business can get tax credits if it sends waste from landfill to be recycled, incinerated or reused.

Help the planet by choosing business recycling or reducing the waste instead. You could opt for a commercial waste management company that uses eco-friendly or green disposal methods. Take a look at our review of the best waste management companies to help you.

Factors affecting waste disposal prices

There are a number of factors that contribute to the cost of waste disposal. We recommended searching for bespoke quotes and pricing information from UK service providers directly. You can do this by completing our short questionnaire, which helps us to match you to the best services for your requirements.

1. Amount of waste

Firstly, consider how much waste your business produces and needs to be cleared. It makes sense that the more waste there is, the higher the price is likely to be. It’s wise to check if the waste prices include loading and sweeping (in addition to collection and disposing) if you have a large load to dispose of.

2. Labour, travel and time costs

Sometimes, there can be additional costs that are associated with collecting waste, such as:

  • Congestion charge (for businesses based in London)
  • Parking fines
  • Labour costs
  • Time taken to collect the rubbish
  • Admin charges (such as paperwork or site visits)

Generally, waste management services send two-person teams to collect rubbish. If there is just one worker, this may take longer, but also be a cheaper option. Alternatively, more people may make for a quicker collection (but incur more labour charges).

3. If VAT is included

This should be clear, with prices quoted as inclusive or exclusive of VAT. This may or may not be relevant to your company, depending on your specific business situation.

4. The type of waste being disposed of

Builders waste and hazardous waste are usually charged differently to standard commercial waste due to the way in which they must be carried and disposed.

  • Inert waste is rubbish such as rubble or debris.
  • Landfill waste describes the waste that cannot be recycled or otherwise treated and so is stored in the ground.
  • Green waste is rubbish from kitchens and gardens that is organic and can be used for compost.
  • Recyclable waste also refers to waste that can be reused or remade, such as paper or glass.
  • Scrap waste can be cardboard, metal or paper.
  • Hazardous waste is waste that can be dangerous or hazardous, and so has to be disposed of with a separate, specific process – examples of hazardous waste include asbestos or solvents.
  • Bulky items are objects such as mattresses, TVs or refrigerators, which take up a lot of space and may need to be disposed of separately.
  • Builders’ waste is the term for the rubbish produced from building or construction work.

If both household and commercial waste will be in the same collection, then custom rates may apply, as commercial waste applies only to the waste produced from the part of your home that you use for business.

5. Location

Waste disposal prices can be affected by location, depending on the different post codes. This is something to consider, especially if you’re trying to organise waste collection for your business that has multiple premises or sites.

If your business is in London or has a London postcode that waste is to be collected from, check if the congestion charge (and other similar transport fees) is included in the price. Also, take a look at our guide to the top waste disposal providers in London for more location-specific advice.

Also, prices will depend on if the waste is collected from your location or if you take it to a waste transfer station. Be sure that you have the relevant measures in place to allow you to transport waste safely and legally if you opt for the latter.

Ready to find a waste management service?

Simply tell us what waste services you need to receive custom quotes for commercial waste management. It’s completely free to fill in our webform and takes just one minute.

Top tips for saving money on waste disposal

  1. Measure the waste your business produces – understand how much waste is created and how much it costs to dispose of. Then, consider ways to reduce the amount, and therefore, the associated costs.
  2. Conduct a waste audit – many commercial waste management companies can assess the waste your business produces and offer suggestions on how to most effectively process it.
  3. Recycle as much as possible – not only is recycling good for the planet, it’s also a way to minimise the cost of waste disposal. This is because recycling waste, as opposed to sending it to landfill, often costs less.
  4. Identify waste specific to your sector – certain types of waste are produced more heavily in particular sectors.
  5. Involve your team – cutting down on waste creation, and therefore the amount it costs to dispose of it, is not solely your responsibility. Ensure your team members receive training about how to minimise waste too.

What are the next steps?

From reading this article, you’ve learned more about waste disposal prices, including the different types of waste collection and their relevant costs.

We’ve also provided a guide to other aspects to consider, such as how your business’ location, the type of bins used and where the waste is disposed of can all contribute to the cost of waste disposal.

So where do you go from here? The prices on this page are a general guide – for more specific information related to your business’ requirements, tell us what you need, and we’ll match you with suitable quotes for commercial waste management.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How much does it cost to dispose of commercial waste per tonne (landfill)?
    Landfill tax applies for waste that is sent to landfill. From April 2022, the standard rate to dump waste in landfill was £98.60 per tonne.
  • Do you pay for commercial waste?
    Yes. Commercial waste is not paid for by business rates and you must pay to dispose of it correctly. On average, a 0.25 truck load will cost around £110 to dispose of.
  • How much does it cost to dump commercial waste UK?
    There are several associated fees. As well as spending around £100 a year on commercial waste collection and disposal, businesses also pay “gate fees” to local authorities (around £40 to £45 a tonne). Landfill tax - paid by any business creating landfill waste - has risen to £98.60 per tonne to encourage more recycling of refuse. In total, you should expect to pay around £170 per year for waste disposal.
  • How much does clinical waste disposal cost?
    Clinical waste must be disposed of more safely than normal waste, which costs more to be done properly. While normal waste collection might cost around £7 per bag, clinical waste is more like £11-15 per bag.
  • Which waste is most expensive to dispose of?
    Clinical/hazardous waste is the most costly to dispose of. That's because the majority of all clinical waste is incinerated, which is a much more expensive process to fund.
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Written by:
Scarlett writes for the energy and HR sections of the site, as well as managing the Just Started profiles. Scarlett is passionate about championing equality and sustainability in business.
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