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Commercial Waste Disposal Costs 2022

UK companies are legally required to dispose of their waste safely

Typical costs include bin hire & collection, waste transfer, and landfill tax

Complete the form above to receive quotes from our trusted suppliers

Welcome to the glamorous world of rubbish.

Commercial waste, also known as trade waste or business waste, is a big deal – the UK generates over 40 million tonnes of the stuff each year. Disposing of this waste is a significant cost for any business, and it can account for up to 4-5% of annual turnover (according to the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply). Whether it’s rubble from a building site, paper from an office, or cooking oil from a restaurant, it all needs chucking away.

This page will tell you all you need to know about commercial waste disposal costs. Feel free to click the links below and skip to the section that you need to know about. We also have a more general guide to trade waste, which is handy if you need to know more of the basics (e.g. what counts as trade waste).

Alternatively, to start comparing quotes for commercial waste management, pop your details here, and our suppliers will get back to you.

trade waste disposal prices

What's in this guide to commercial waste disposal prices?

How much does commercial waste disposal cost?

The cost of commercial waste disposal varies widely depending on numerous factors, such as the amount and type of waste, and the location of the business. Costs can be anything from a few hundred pounds a year to several thousand.

We’ve broken the costs down into four separate components: bin hire, waste collection, waste transfer, and landfill tax. If you pay for the services of a waste management company, they will take care of all of these processes and simply charge you a fee that covers the whole cost.

Bin hire costs

You need to have a place to put your rubbish, and a big empty container (known as a ‘bin’) is a tried and tested solution. Commercial waste bins come in a dazzling array of sizes, from the adorable 120 litre bucket to the monstrous 1,100 litre giant – you just need to decide which one is right for you. Note: you need to be able to shut the lid.

You’ll hire your bins from a waste management company. As a guide, the table below shows you the typical cost of hiring a commercial waste bin (please use these estimates as an indication only).

Wheelie bin size


Annual hire price

120 litres
2 to 3 sacks

240 litres
3 to 5 sacks
360 litres
5 to 7 sacks

660 litres
10 to 12 sacks
1,100 litres
15 to 20 sacks

Price estimates updated in February 2019.

Waste collection costs

Once you’ve filled your bins, they’ll need collecting before things start getting unpleasant. There’s no rush with rubble, but if you run a catering business, then time is of the essence. Collections can be as frequent or infrequent as you require; it all depends on how much waste your business churns out.

This table shows you the typical annual cost of a weekly bin collection (please use these estimates as an indication only).

Wheelie Bin Size


Annual price for weekly collection

120 litres
2 to 3 sacks

240 litres
3 to 5 sacks
360 litres
5 to 7 sacks

660 litres
10 to 12 sacks
1,100 litres
15 to 20 sacks

Price estimates updated in February 2019.

Waste transfer station costs

Your commercial waste won’t be taken directly to a landfill site or recycling plant. First, it must go to a local waste transfer station, where it is sorted out, and then delivered to its final destination. Obviously, you won’t pay the waste transfer costs directly – your waste management company will cover them, and then charge you – but it’s good to have an idea of what they are.

This table shows the typical cost per tonne of different types of trade waste (please use these estimates as an indication only).

Type of waste

Price per tonne

Minimum charge

Mixed general waste
£150 to £250

Dry mixed recyclables
Cardboard and paper

Mixed glass
Green waste

£100 to £200
Inert waste


Price estimates updated in February 2019.

Landfill disposal costs

This is where the government gets involved. They charge a fee for every tonne of commercial waste that you dump into the ground, known as the Landfill Tax. The government increase this fee every year to encourage people to turn to more sustainable methods (such as recycling).

Here are the current landfill tax rates in the UK – note that there’s also a lower rate for inert waste, which covers stuff like rubble and debris. You can read more about the rates here.

Landfill Tax Rate (1st April 2018)

Landfill Tax Rate (1st April 2019)

Landfill Tax Rate (1st April 2020)

Standard rate
£88.95 per tonne
£91.35 per tonne
£94.15 per tonne

Lower rate
£2.80 per tonne
£2.90 per tonne
£3 per tonne

Rates updated in February 2019.

To get a bespoke waste disposal quote for your business, simply fill in this form and one of our advisors will get in touch with you.

How are commercial waste disposal costs calculated?

There are three key factors that contribute to commercial waste disposal costs.

Type of waste

There’s good rubbish and bad rubbish. Certain types of waste are fairly cheap and easy to dispose of, such as recyclable materials (e.g. glass, cardboard, paper), while other types of waste are extremely hazardous (e.g. asbestos, batteries, inedible oils, pesticides).

If your business produces waste that’s closer to the hazardous end of the garbage spectrum, you may be charged as much as 50% more for its disposal. This is essentially because of the risk of transporting it (i.e. the threat to the environment and public health), and because of the complexity of the actual disposal process.

Quantity of waste

This one’s a no-brainer. The more business waste you produce, the more you’ll be paying to have it collected and taken away. A larger quantity of waste will require more manpower and time to remove, so the increased labour costs will be built into your fees. A few modest bags of paper are much more manageable than several tonnes of dusty rubble.

Business location

It pays to be well connected. If your business has a remote location, it will take longer for your waste management company to collect the waste and deliver it to a waste transfer station. Consequently, you’ll be paying extra for the additional fuel and time required. On the other hand, if you live in an expensive city such as London, you’re better connected, but prices are generally much higher.

The solution: locate your business in a well-connected place that isn’t London.

How much will commercial waste disposal cost my business?

Rates vary from company to company, so it’s important that you do some shopping around to find the best price. To start collecting quotes for commercial waste disposal, simply click the orange button below, fill in the form, and our suppliers will be in touch. You can also check out our list of the best waste management companies.

To start collecting waste disposal quotes for your business, simply fill in this form and one of our trusted suppliers will get back to you.

Other commercial waste disposal costs

That’s not all – here are a few extra waste-related costs to think about.

Admin charges

Every waste management company has its administrative fees, but you can keep these to a minimum by switching to direct debit payments and paperless billing. The majority of companies will also charge you for a Waste Transfer Note (WTN), which is a legal document that describes the waste your business is producing. There’s a fee every time a WTN is completed, but you can make things more economical by purchasing a 12-month WTN season ticket.

Gate fees

The gate fee is charged at waste processing facilities (e.g. landfill sites or recycling plants), and is currently around £6 per tonne (according to the Waste Resources Action Programme, or WRAP). Your waste management company will pay this fee and then pass it on to you in your invoice. Keep your total waste tonnage low, and you’ll be paying less in the way of gate fees.

Congestion charge

If your business is based in London within the charging zone, your waste management company will have to pay the congestion charge in order to come and collect your trade waste. The current rate is a daily charge of £11.50 between 7am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Don't forget. If your business has to buy, sell or transport waste products as part of its day-to-day operations (e.g. builders, gardeners), you’ll need to buy a license from the Environment Agency to become a registered waste carrier. This costs £154 and will need to be renewed every 3 years (for certain businesses) at a cost of £105. Without the license, you’ll be breaking the law and could be fined up to £5,000.

To find out more about WTNs and other waste legislation, visit our guide to trade waste disposal regulations.

Commercial waste regulations

There are responsibilities you must adhere to once you start generating commercial waste. Fortunately, we’ve got a whole page on it – learn all about trade waste disposal regulations.

How to save money on commercial waste disposal

There are four ways that you can decrease your spending on commercial waste disposal: eliminate, reduce, re-use, and recycle, which spells out the indecisive acronym ERRR. For example, think about making your company paper free, ordering things in bulk to reduce packaging, and removing single-use plastic cutlery.

Commercial recycling is certainly the best way forward. Not only is recyclable waste far cheaper to process than any other kind of waste, but it can have a huge impact on the way consumers perceive your business. In 2017, a Unilever study revealed that 33% of customers prefer buying from brands that do environmental or social good, so make sure you recycle your waste (and tell everyone about it). Check out our full guide to commercial recycling.

What now?

It’s time to get personal. You won’t have a clear idea of how much commercial waste disposal is going to cost you until you’ve received bespoke quotes from our professional suppliers.

To get waste disposal quotes for your business, all you have to do is fill in this short form by answering some simple questions about your business. This will help us to understand your specific waste management needs so that our advisors can get you tailored waste disposal prices for your business. It’s really as simple as that, and completely free of charge!

Fran Whittaker-Wood
Fran Whittaker-Wood Editor

Fran is The Eco Experts’ resident solar panel and double glazing oracle She loves orangutans and is passionate about protecting the planet’s rainforests from the unsustainable production of palm oil. And minstrels.

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