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Commercial waste management in London

If you’re a startup owner based in London, read our guide to help you find the best ways to manage your commercial waste, including providers, services and more

As a London-based small business owner, you’re likely to wonder which commercial waste management options are available to you.

How much will it cost to dispose of your commercial waste, and what about the cost of recycling specifically? And if your business produces multiple types of waste, do you need a provider for each of them?

In this guide, we’ll offer the information you need to know to help you manage the waste from your business in London. Whether you want to assess the differences between using your local council or using a private provider, or understand how to choose a service and how much you can expect to pay for them, we’ll help you in this process.

Best waste management companies in London at a glance

Company Best for Price range
CheaperWaste Short set-up time Contact provider
Biffa Area covered Contact provider
Enviro Waste Eco-friendly disposal Starting from £97+ VAT

To compare quotes for commercial waste management, simply complete the form at the top of the page.

In this article, we’ll cover:

Options for commercial waste collection in London

In this section, we’ll assess the pros and cons of using your local council and a private company for London commercial waste collection to help you decide which option could be most suitable for your startup.

Using your local council

One possibility is to use your local council — the elected local government authority that manages the services and operations in the borough where your business is based.

Pros Cons
  • You may already be familiar with using your local council for domestic waste collection
  • The service provided is specific to your local area
  • It can be easier to find out the prices and they can often be cheaper than commercial providers
  • Experienced providers
  • If you run a home-based business then you can use the same provider for both domestic and commercial collections
  • If your business has multiple sites across different boroughs, you may need to coordinate collections with several councils
  • Not all waste collections are run by the councils themselves — some use third-party commercial providers
  • Waste collection is only one aspect of their services and not a specialism

Using a private company

Another option is to use a private company — this is a commercial waste collection service that’s run as a business. Some providers offer large scale regional or national collections, while others offer only London commercial waste collection services.

Pros Cons
  • Specialist, dedicated services for commercial waste collection
  • Some providers may offer industry-leading services
  • Flexible collections
  • May offer you more choices on how and when the waste is collected
  • Charges are often based on your business specifically
  • Services available across the capital
  • Prices are often provided on an individual quote basis

Which option is best for me?

While every company’s needs are different, there are a few reasons why you may prefer using one option over the other.

For example, if you run your business from home, then you’re probably already familiar with your local council and so it could make sense to use them for the commercial waste you need to dispose of as well.

Similarly, if you’re looking for one-off collections, particularly for bulky items or green waste, then it could be easier to contact your local council as and when required.

However, a private company may be best if your business is in need of ongoing collections, particularly if you think the amount or type of waste you need to dispose of may change, as you can have the services tailored to your company’s requirements.

Plus, as commercial waste companies often specialise in this service, you can benefit from their industry-specific knowledge and advice.

As well as this, you can shop around to compare options from a number of providers across the capital to find the right provider for your small business. In contrast, often your business location determines which local council you can use.

Best waste management companies in London

In this section, we provide more information about some of the best waste management companies in London.

We’ll look at the locations covered, the types of waste they collect, as well as the pros and cons of each, plus which businesses might be best suited to using each of their services.

CheaperWaste

Pros Cons
  • London and national coverage
  • Multiple types of waste collection, including clinical and hazardous
  • Waste broker — compare options
  • Quick to set up, can be completed via phone and email
  • Bins delivered in 5-7 working days
  • Secure document shredding and skip hire also available
  • Waste broker so not directly dealing with the providers
  • Operates across multiple areas so its services aren’t London-specific
  • No other recycling options apart from dry mixed stream

Locations in London

CheaperWaste operates throughout the country — contact the provider for more specific information.

Types of waste collected and costs

CheaperWaste can arrange collections for the following types of waste:

  • General
  • Dry mixed recycling
  • Glass
  • Clinical
  • Hazardous
  • Food

Contact the provider for costs.

What kind of company is it best suited to?

As CheaperWaste is a waste broker, it’s ideal for companies that want to review the different collection options available to them. Plus, as it operates nationally, it could work well for companies that have premises elsewhere, in addition to London.

CheaperWaste can set up accounts quickly via phone and email, which is particularly suitable for time-limited small businesses or those operating virtually.

Biffa

Pros Cons
  • Offer free waste audits
  • Dedicated London depots
  • Multiple types of waste collected
  • Limited coverage in west London
  • Depot coverage and geographical locations don’t always match up e.g. the east London depot also covers some of south London

Locations in London

Biffa has several depots in London, including:

  • East London – covering east, south-east as well as Bromley and Dartford, plus some areas of Ilford and Romford
  • South London – covering south-east and south-west, as well as Bromley, Croydon and Sutton
  • Central London – all of central London, plus the following post codes: EC1, SE22, SW15 and W10

Types of waste collected and costs

In London, Biffa collects the following types of waste:

  • General
  • Recycling
  • Food
  • Hazardous
  • Skip hire

Contact the provider for prices.

What kind of company is it best suited to?

Businesses that produce a lot of commercial waste could be particularly likely to benefit from the free waste audit to better understand how to manage waste and the disposal process.

Similarly, businesses with multiple sites in London could benefit from Biffa’s extensive operations in the capital.

Enviro Waste

Pros Cons
  • Eco-friendly waste disposal
  • Range of waste clearance services offered, including hazardous and confidential waste
  • Extensive coverage across London
  • Based in the capital
  • One-off collections
  • One-off collections, not ongoing services
  • No services offered for certain types of waste e.g. food, clinical, mixed/single stream recycling

Locations in London

Based in East London, Enviro Waste offers one-off waste clearance collections in multiple districts across the capital, plus some Essex (IG) postcodes too.

Types of waste collected and costs

Enviro Waste offers the following waste clearance services:

  • Office furniture
  • Hazardous waste
  • Electronic recycling
  • White goods recycling
  • Tyre recycling
  • Data destruction
  • Confidential document destruction

Enviro Waste provides a clear, easy to understand pricing structure. It charges based on loads per cubic yard. Prices start at £97 plus VAT for one cubic yard, and increase from there based on the amount of waste to be disposed of.

What kind of company is it best suited to?

With its focus on recycling and sustainable practices, Enviro Waste is ideal for any London-based small business that’s interested in eco-friendly waste disposal.

Plus, office-based businesses and other companies that produce a lot of confidential paper and digital waste could be best suited to Enviro Waste’s services.

Also, with its extensive coverage across the capital, as well as some parts of Essex, businesses with multiple sites in London could benefit from using its services.

How to choose the right waste management company

Here we offer five top tips to help you find waste management companies in London.

  • Congestion charge – in addition to the regular fees for collecting the waste, find out if the congestion charge is included in the price or if it’s charged separately
  • Coverage – double check that the postcode of your London business premises is within a provider’s network
  • Eco-friendly processes – where possible, it’s a good idea (from both an environmental and financial perspective) to use recycling and other eco-friendly disposal processes. Many providers run different initiatives around this so review each to find the best for you
  • Reviews – find out what other customers are saying about each company, whether through searching online or reaching out to other small business owners for recommendations
  • Services – don’t only think about the waste disposal your business needs now, but also consider how you imagine your business will develop going forward too. For example, will you need any additional types of waste to be collected, and will the same provider be able to accommodate these requirements?

How much is waste collection in London?

Here we profile estimates of how much you can expect to pay for waste disposal by type or volume when using either your local council or a private company.

Using your local council

Container Cost per collection
Sack (waste) £2.20
1100 litre bin (waste) £16.30
1100 litre bin (recycling) £5.90

Using a private company

If you’re looking for ongoing collection services, many providers in London prepare quotes based on your business needs — contact the provider for more information.

Alternatively, for one-off collections, visit the dedicated section on our waste disposal prices page for a guideline to prices.

Recycling commercial waste in London

If you want to recycle commercial waste in London, as with general collections, you can use either your local council or a private provider. Alternatively, it may be possible to take it to a recycling site yourself, although you’ll need the appropriate licences to transport the waste.

Recycling commercial waste works in much the same way as general waste — you can arrange for either a one-off collection or for a service to be provided on an ongoing basis.

The type and frequency of the service will depend on what your business needs to recycle e.g. plastic, cardboard, glass, paper.

Some providers offer mixed recycling collections, while others can collect single stream recycling (one type of material). Other types of waste that can be recycled include food waste and some electronics. Recycled food waste can be made into gas, electricity and fertiliser.

Generally, it’s cheaper to dispose of recyclable waste than other types — one reason being that it doesn’t incur the additional charges that sending waste to landfill does. For a guide to prices, see the table in the section above, and for more information, read our business recycling article.

Next steps

At this point, you’ve learned more about the different aspects of managing commercial waste in London, including a guide to the best providers and an indication of the costs involved.

Plus, we’ve offered some top tips to consider when choosing a provider in the capital, along with the differences between using local councils and private providers.

Next, read our pages on waste disposal prices, business recycling and the best waste management companies for a more detailed insight into each of these topics.

Or, for information based on your small business specifically, fill in the form at the top of the page to compare quotes for commercial waste management now.



Scarlett Cook attends and reports on many industry events for Startups.co.uk, particularly those relating to communication, equality and diversity in entrepreneurship.

Since joining the team in 2018, she has developed our telephone systems and business mobiles topics as well as ‘how to’ guides, with her work having been referenced by brands such as Hiscox. Previously, she has written for audiences across the UK, Australia and New Zealand.