Legal Waste Disposal – Guide for New Businesses

By Cassie Fung on 17th February 2023 (updated: 18th December 2023) in News & Blog

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You’ve got everything planned out perfectly for your lovely new business when something not-so-exciting popped up in your mind: What do I do with all the waste in the bins?

It can be a chore to implement the legal responsibilities of waste disposal but we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll cover 3 things to look out for when managing your commercial waste.


Waste Carrier License and Waste Transfer Note

In the UK, any person who transports and disposes of commercial waste should be registered and acquire a waste carrier license. If you want a waste management specialist to do the work, then you should check if they have the waste carrier license and obtain the waste transfer note.

The waste transfer note is a document that shows who you are transferring your waste to. It can be used for each load of waste; or more ideally, it can be an annual document called a season ticket that contains transfers of up to 1 year.

The waste transfer note has every detail of your waste transferal and disposal process. This helps track where the waste is going and ensure they are being disposed of legally. Your waste carrier will give you a copy of the waste transfer note with the details of the transfer including:

  • Type and volume of waste involved
  • Date and place of the transfer
  • Signatures of you and the waste carrier
  • And more…

Remember to keep this document for at least 2 years. When local authorities ask for your proof of legal waste disposal, the waste transfer note will be what you need.


Extended Producer Responsibility

The extended producer responsibility is a new regulation that starts from 1st January 2023. It targets all businesses that are involved in packaging activities. These activities can include the use of materials to protect goods, decorate products, or even supplying the materials.

Below are the affected businesses, sorted into ‘small’ and ‘large’ organisations:

Small Organisations Large Organisations
£1 million – £2 million annual turnover Over £2 million annual turnover
Supply 25 – 50 tonnes of empty packaging and packaging goods Over 50 tonnes of empty packaging and packaging goods


If your business is qualified as one of the above, you will be obligated to report activities that concern your packaging materials and process. The main responsibilities include:

  • Create an account and get registered on the government website
  • Record and report data on the packaging and packaged goods you handle and supply in the UK from 1st January 2023
  • Pay an annual fee to the environmental regulator
  • Buy Packaging Waste Recycling Note and Packaging Waste Export Recycling Note from re-processors to prove you are recycling properly (for large organisations only), which proves you have recycled packaging waste legally


Your Registered Waste Provider

Something menial like waste tipping shouldn’t impede your exciting new business. If you would like a provider to handle your waste, it is important to find a knowledgeable waste provider (with a waste carrier license) who can guide you through completing your legal responsibilities step by step and comply with all your special needs for your business.

Aside from helping you, the provider should also be legally compliant themselves. The waste industry is one of the most dangerous industries in the UK and it would ease your mind to know your provider is doing their best to ensure the safety of their staff and the public. Look out for any related qualifications or certificates they hold.

Got more questions on managing your waste for your new business? Contact our friendly team for a no-obligation chat.

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