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Top 6 waste regulations that are not adhered to in Westminster

Commercial Waste Services Westminster
Commercial Waste Services Westminster

Curious to know about the six waste regulations most commonly not adhered to in Westminster? Could your business be contributing to some of them? Read on to find out.

It’s easy to make mistakes when it comes to waste and recycling, so we’ve created a run-down of the top six waste regulations that are broken in Westminster.

Here are the top six, as well as how to fix them:

1. Placing waste and recycling sacks out at the wrong time

In Westminster, waste and recycling sacks are sometimes put out for collection at the wrong time. Waste bags can only be presented for collection at designated times, which can be found here.

Waste bags left out at the wrong time are enforced by the City Council’s enforcement teams, for example via Fixed Penalty Notices such as those issued under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Please note that Commercial Waste Services does not look after the enforcement of waste regulations. This is done by a separate independent department.

Dumping waste bags and cardboard boxes on the street outside collection times causes a multitude of issues:

    1. Accumulations of waste bags on the pavement negatively impacts how people view the area. It is bad for business since a negative perception will lead to people avoiding the area.
    2. It can be an obstruction to pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users.
    3. Leaving waste and recycling sacks out for longer than intended increases the chance of them leaking, tearing, or causing littering issues.
    4. Accumulations of waste bags are unhygienic and can attract vermin such as rodents, foxes, and other scavengers.

Find out more about putting your waste bags out correctly.

2. Not using a licensed waste carrier for commercial waste collections

Another common regulation that is broken in Westminster is when businesses don’t hire licensed waste collectors (‘carriers’) for their waste collections.

Businesses that use illegal waste collectors contribute to waste related crime and fly-tipping issues. These are highly damaging for our environment. Using illegal waste collectors also means that a business loses control over where their waste ends up.

By selecting Westminster City Council Commercial Waste Services as your chosen provider, you can be confident that your waste is in good hands and will be managed responsibly. We even have a dedicated page showing you where your waste goes.

Related read: How do you know your plastic waste is actually recycled?


3. Not recycling or contaminating your recycling

Not recycling is another common infringement businesses make. It is crucial for businesses to commit to recycling everything they can to ensure resources are conserved and not wasted.

Contaminated recycling is another common issue we see in Westminster. Putting the wrong items in your recycling, sometimes hoping they might be recycled, does more harm than good. Only place the correct items in your recycling. Otherwise, they will all end up being disposed of as general waste.

It is also important that your recycling is clean and dry. When you don’t rinse out bottles and containers, food remains can contaminate your recycling. This simply means that, despite your good intentions, it will not be recycled.

Find out more about what happens when you don’t rinse your recycling.

Ensuring you place the right items in your recycling and that they are clean and dry is the best way to guarantee they can actually be recycled.

If you’re unsure about which bin each material goes in, download a copy of our ‘What waste goes where?’ guide.

4. Dumping commercial waste in bins for household recycling or street litter bins

Disposing of commercial waste in household or street litter bins is another regulation that is often broken and that businesses should watch out for.

Businesses cannot use on-street recycling centres or litter bins. The capacity of these bins is insufficient for the volume of waste from businesses, which causes them to overflow.

In addition, by law, each and every business must have a collection contract in place for the waste they generate and prove where this has been disposed of. Using the on-street bins is not a legal way for businesses to dispose of their waste.

When we find that businesses use our on-street bins, we will take enforcement action. This includes recovering the costs caused by the business abusing the facilities.

It is easy to be compliant — just set up a collection agreement with us now.

5. Not bundling cardboard boxes and not attaching the yellow cardboard sticker

When cardboard isn’t bundled and contained when placed out for collection, it easily spreads throughout the street and creates litter. Cardboard boxes placed out for collection must be flat packed, tied up and have a cardboard sticker attached. Without attaching a yellow cardboard sticker you are fly-tipping, so please ensure you attach one to your cardboard waste.

You can order cardboard stickers easily through our online portal. Simply create an account, fill in your details, and place an order. Alternatively, you can contact our service desk on 020 7641 6180 to place an order over the phone.

To help you segregate your paper and cardboard for recycling, why not display our paper and cardboard recycling poster on your business’ premises? If you’re looking for more information on cardboard recycling, take a look at our complete guide to cardboard recycling in Westminster.

6. Storing commercial waste containers on the pavement or street

Containers and wheelie bins for commercial waste cannot be stored on our pavements and streets. If you want to use these containers for your business’ waste and recycling collections, you must ensure they are stored off-street and on your own property.

Bins stored on the highway lead to street clutter and also attract fly-tipping. In certain cases, they have also been found to be a security or fire risk when left on the pavement or street.

If you want to find out if your business can safely accommodate waste bins, why not request a free waste audit? We will be happy to advise you on the best waste management options for your business.

At Westminster City Council, we know it can be difficult knowing what waste goes where. That’s why we’ve created a guide to ensure you never feel confused again. Click below to download the guide.

what waste goes where guide

Haven’t found what you’re looking for? See more of our waste guides here.


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