The Real Cost of Business Waste

Man putting a bottle in the bin

It is estimated that across England, businesses make up to a quarter of all our national waste. Meanwhile, the other three quarters (including residential collections) are all covered by council tax, whereas, for businesses, there is no such solution. Dealing with business waste the proper was can catch many business owners out, especially those who may be a relatively new small business owner.

What goes into the pricing?

Bins are valued by how much they can hold in litres but, collections are valued by weight. This may be complicated, but, there is a reason for this. Originally, the government wanted to charge businesses based on value because it would be much easier to enforce and measure. This idea would also discourage people from sending waste to landfill. However, this was changed to weight per-tonne, as a value-based tax service. Essentially scraping their environmental targets.

There are now weight allowances on almost all business waste contracts. You may be paying out more for items like food waste, which are heavier. We understand that it is impossible to look at a bin and perfectly guess the correct weight but, this method is set to stay as it has the least amount of loopholes. We recommend keeping an eye on how heavy your waste is for this exact reason.

Additional charges could also be added on top of your regular collection charges. This could happen if you exceed your allowance regularly. However, some waste is actually free! Examples of these include; paper, plastic bottles, cardboard, hard plastics, scrap metal, glass and clothing.

How are the invoices broken down?

There are 4 main attributes to breaking down what’s in the invoice: 

Allocated time slots

The easiest route for waste management companies is residential collections as they have a pre set up route for them to follow which includes the entire area. For commercial businesses, it is a bit tougher. Unfortunately, it isn’t just a case of all the business putting their bins out, therefore, meaning collections have to be carefully planned out to satisfy the needs of every business involved.

There are an estimated, 5.6 million businesses in the UK all with different circumstances and requests and to add to it, so some councils will only allocate certain time slots to which you’re allowed to have on the streets otherwise you could face extra fines.

Waste transfer note

This legal document proves businesses are managing their waste correctly and legally. In most situations there will be a small admin fee that the business will have to pay – this fee covers the costs for the labour of these documents being completed. If a business does not have the waste transfer note, they could be fined.

Tipping fee

The tipping fee is something that has to be paid every time waste is disposed of. The pricing of this will vary as it is decided by the weight. In some cases, it can add up to £6 per tonne. 

Small fees elsewhere

There are a lot of hidden fees that collection companies have to pay that are passed onto you. London is especially bad for this, as they have low emission zones scattered throughout the city. Congestion charges and bridge tolls are also common.

4 ways to save money on waste

Figuring out what goes into the cost of your collections can be confusing but, don’t worry, it is not all negative. Here are 4 ways you could be saving money on your business waste:

Excess waste charges

You won’t have to weigh everything you throw out, but it could be a good idea to have a rough idea of what you’re throwing out. As mentioned before, food and construction waste are the heaviest types. Keeping an eye on those two could save you from getting any unexpected fines. If you find you’re often over the weight allowance, there could be two solutions to this which are – schedule in more collections or get a bigger bin. These two solutions may cost a little bit more but are way cheaper than having to pay out for fines.

The power of recycling 

Not only is recycling is great for the planet, but, it could also be great for your wallet. As we mentioned earlier, recyclable items are also free to get collected so make sure they’re not in your general waste bin.

Waste audit

Have you ever considered a waste audit? Knowing what does into your bins will prevent you from being caught off guard when it comes to payment day. Some providers offer suggestions on how to deal with specific types of rubbish.

Teamwork makes the dream work

At work, everyone has a part to play in reducing waste. If you’re the only one conscious of it, then it’ll be an indefinite uphill battle. Be sure to either train your team or just to remind them to make sure things go into the correct bins.

We can help you with all the topics raised in this blog. To arrange a free consultation, please contact us.