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As hospitality businesses begin to resume operations after lockdown, you will likely have beverages that are now out-of-date and therefore not fit for consumption. According to Thames Water, liquid waste that is disposed of into sewers from a business or industrial process must be handled and treated safely before it goes back into the environment.

With a large number of hospitality businesses having to dispose of out-of-date beverages, including beer, cider, wine and spirits, this could put a strain on the sewage treatment process, which could ultimately lead to pollution. So how do you dispose of this type of waste while minimising your impact on the environment?


Contact your water company for permission to dispose of beer, cider, wine, spirits and other beverages

It is mandatory that pubs and restaurants get permission from their water company (i.e. Thames Water) before disposing of beer, cider and other unsaleable drinks down the drain and into the sewage system.

Water UK Chief Executive, Christine McGourty, says that we need to consider the environmental implications of pouring large quantities of beer into the sewer system, where it can then reach rivers and waterways:

“It’s important this process is managed carefully to avoid any damage to fish and marine life. The quicker landlords can get applications in, where there’s no alternative disposal route, the easier it will be for water companies to help them open in time, and we’re all looking forward to that.”

According to the British Beer and Pub Associations (BBPA), water companies are well equipped to quickly process and respond to applications for the disposal of beer and cider into the sewer system, allowing you to resume operations swiftly and efficiently.

Upon approval of your application by Thames Water, you will be given a start and end date to dispose of your unsaleable beverages. If you do not contact your water company, you could be committing an offence under the Water Industry Act 1991. Should your request be refused, you will have to find other means of disposal (e.g. contacting Commercial Waste Services for a specialist collection).


Refer to this information from Thames Water to follow the processes in place for beverage disposal.


How we can help

When it is not possible to dispose of expired beverages through the sewer system, or if your supplier cannot take them back, we can help through our specialist liquid waste collection service. The waste we collect will then be used to produce animal feed or energy via anaerobic digestion.

Please contact us today to find out how we can best assist you.

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