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Top waste collection options for small business

In the bustling commercial landscape of the UK, small businesses are increasingly conscious of their environmental footprint. Among the myriad of operational concerns, business waste collection emerges as a pivotal point of focus.

With stringent regulations and a growing demand for sustainability, selecting top-rated waste collection services is not only a legal necessity but also a strategic business decision.

Understanding business waste collection needs

Before diving into service providers, small businesses must first assess their waste production. Different types of waste—organic, recyclable, hazardous, and general—require different handling and disposal methods.

The frequency of collection and the size of the waste bins are also crucial considerations that can affect costs and operational efficiency.

Regulatory compliance

In the UK, the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 outline the responsibilities of businesses regarding waste. Small businesses must ensure their chosen waste collector is licensed and adheres to these regulations, providing the necessary Waste Transfer Notes for record-keeping.

These figures are estimates and can vary based on the specific service offerings and location. It is recommended to contact the providers directly for accurate quotes and service details.

Top-rated business waste collection providers

ProviderTrustpilot ScoreMinimum Contract LengthAnnual Duty of Care CostWaste Collection Starting PriceRecycling Collection Starting Price
Veolia UK3.8 stars1-3 years£70 – £80From £120/monthFrom £120/month
Biffa3.1 stars1 year£60 – £90From £100/monthFrom £130/month
SUEZ recycling and recovery UK2.8 stars1 year£60 – £85£110 – £135/month£120 – £130/month
WasteCare2.1 stars6 months – 1 year£75 – £95£105 – £120/month£135 – £150/month
First Mile4.7 starsFlexible£65 – £105Around £130/monthFrom £125/month
RecycleZoneN/AFlexible£55 – £85From £120/monthFrom £150/month
Enviro Waste4 stars1 year£67 – £79From £125/monthAround £120/month
Greenline Environmental3.5 starsFlexible£70 – £90£125 – £135/monthFrom £120/month
Business waste collection providers compared

Veolia UK

Renowned for its comprehensive waste management solutions, Veolia offers tailor-made services for small businesses. With a commitment to zero landfill, they provide innovative recycling and waste-to-energy options.


One of the UK’s leading waste management companies, Biffa delivers reliable and responsible waste collection services. Their small business package includes mixed recycling and general waste collection, with flexible scheduling.

SUEZ recycling and recovery UK

Focusing on sustainability, SUEZ provides small businesses with recycling-led waste management services. They are notable for their resource-efficient approach and circular economy principles.


This company stands out for its national coverage and wide range of waste management services tailored to small businesses. WasteCare is particularly adept at handling hazardous waste and offers a unique ‘Pay-As-You-Throw’ scheme.

Emerging challenger waste collection solutions

In the competitive sphere of waste management, a number of lesser-known ‘challenger’ companies are making inroads with innovative and often more personalised services that can be a good match for small businesses.

These challengers are carving out a niche by focusing on customer-centric values, flexible solutions, and sustainability-focused practices. They often provide the added benefit of detailed waste reporting, helping businesses to better understand and manage their waste streams.

Small businesses stand to gain from considering these emerging players in the waste collection sector, not just for their competitive pricing but also for their fresh approaches to managing waste in a manner that aligns with modern values and regulatory demands.

First Mile

A disruptor in the industry, First Mile offers a technology-driven service that prides itself on high recycling rates and user-friendly reporting tools, allowing businesses to track their environmental impact easily.


Operating with a unique model, RecycleZone connects small businesses with local waste collectors, providing competitive pricing and a community-oriented approach. Their services are especially suitable for businesses looking to support the local economy.

Enviro Waste

A family-run business that has gained recognition for its commitment to customer service and environmental sustainability. Enviro Waste provides a bespoke collection plan that includes a zero-to-landfill option, appealing to the eco-conscious business owner.

Greenline Environmental

This company offers a flexible 24/7 waste collection service designed to accommodate the unpredictable waste generation patterns of small businesses. Their digital booking system allows for convenient scheduling of collections.

Considerations for selection

When selecting a waste collection service, small businesses should consider the provider’s recycling policies, customer service reputation, and additional support services. It’s also advisable to compare quotes and negotiate contracts that align with business needs.

Leveraging waste management for business growth

Effective waste management can enhance a small business’s brand image, appeal to eco-conscious consumers, and even lead to cost savings through efficient recycling and waste reduction strategies. It’s an investment that not only fulfils legal obligations but also contributes to the broader corporate social responsibility goals.

Business waste collection – Closing thoughts

For small businesses in the UK, engaging with a top-rated waste collection service is a decision that carries weight beyond mere operational needs. It reflects a company’s ethos, its respect for environmental regulations, and its commitment to the community.

In the dynamic world of business, effective waste management is not just about disposal; it’s about demonstrating responsibility and foresight in every aspect of operation.

For more, see our guide to best waste management companies.

FAQ on waste collection for small business owners

What types of waste collection services do small businesses typically need?

Small businesses generally require services for general waste, mixed recycling, glass, food waste, and sometimes hazardous waste if applicable to their operations.

How often should waste be collected from a small business?

The frequency depends on the volume of waste generated. Some businesses may require daily collections, while others might need weekly or bi-weekly services.

Are there any legal requirements for waste disposal in the UK?

Yes, businesses must comply with the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and Duty of Care Regulations, ensuring waste is stored properly and transferred to an authorised person.

How can I reduce my business’s waste management costs?

You can reduce costs by segregating waste to avoid contamination, reducing waste production, and negotiating better terms with your waste collection provider.

Is recycling collection more expensive than general waste collection?

Not necessarily. In fact, recycling can sometimes be cheaper than general waste collection as recyclable materials can be sold and repurposed.

Do I need to separate my recycling, or will the waste collector do it?

This varies by service provider. Some require pre-separation, while others offer co-mingled recycling services where they separate materials at their facilities.

What is a Waste Transfer Note, and do I need one?

A Waste Transfer Note is a document that details the transfer of waste from your business to the waste handler. UK law requires businesses to keep these notes for at least two years.

Can I change my waste collection provider if I am not satisfied?

Yes, you can switch providers, but you should be aware of any contractual obligations you may have with your current provider to avoid penalties.

What should I do if my business produces hazardous waste?

You must use a waste collection service that is licensed to handle hazardous waste and follow specific guidelines for its storage and disposal.

How do I choose the right waste collection provider for my business?

Consider their compliance with regulations, customer service, pricing, flexibility in service options, and their environmental policies. It’s often beneficial to read reviews and compare quotes before deciding.

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