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Westminster City Council

When Premises Licensing clashes with waste regulations

If you operate premises that is required by law to have a Premises License – for example for supplying alcohol or food, providing entertainment or running certain businesses – there can be clashes between the licensing conditions and other operational requirements such as waste collection.

To take business waste collections as an example, a particular licensing condition may require a business that waste is not handled or collected between 20h-08h but the scheduled waste collection time in a particular street would require that same business to only place waste out for collection between 06:30-07h.

Licensing clashes – How can this happen?

Licensing conditions are often a set of standard conditions which oblige a licensed business to operate in a certain way which prevents detrimental effects in its surrounding area from happening. Before a license is granted a public consultation is held with stakeholders such as neighbours and the police. This enables for additional conditions to be added to the license in order to prevent specific issues from arising, for example noise, litter and other environmental nuisances. The Licensing Act 2003 gives the basis on which licenses can be issued and for certain additional conditions, for example around handling waste, to be added to the license. A business requiring a license needs to agree to the conditions imposed or object against them if they are unworkable or contradictory. The responsibility for this sits entirely with the business applying for the license. Once a license and its conditions are agreed upon by the business they are definite and can only be changed by submitting another license application. If you require further information ask the licensing officer dealing with your case. They’ll be happy to advise you.

Waste management has its very own set of rules and laws which aren’t tied in to licensing legislation. For example in Westminster you can only present bags of waste on the street during certain times. Waste placed out outside these times will get enforced against and a Fixed Penalty Notice might be issued.

If a business has agreed on certain restricting conditions in their license they could be prevented from complying with waste management legislation. The onus is on the business to ensure they highlight and resolve this before agreeing on the conditions in the license.

Understanding ‘standard’ AND ‘detailed’ conditions for business waste collections.

Your Council’s Licensing section can impose standard restrictions as part of a premises license on how how waste is handled from your business. Depending on the nature of your business and local objections and concerns they may also add some detailed and specific conditions. This could well mean additional conditions for waste storage and collection.

This can lead in a small number of cases to being told not to handle or place waste out for collection at a certain time whilst official collection times actually fall within that imposed time frame.

This can be really frustrating if the first time this becomes apparent is a through a complaint or even a fine. So what can you do to avoid this happening?

Avoiding a clash between licensing conditions and waste collections times.

These simple steps will help you avoid a clash happening.

  1. Thoroughly check ALL of the conditions (‘standard’ and ‘detailed’) in your premises licensed as issued by your local licensing authority (usually the council). Most problems arise because no-one has read and understood the conditions fully! For Westminster City Council please visit the following pages for more information westminster.gov.uk/licensing .
  2. If you are not able to meet the conditions of the license due to a contradictory condition such as restrictions on waste collections, then let the licensing section of the council issuing the license know immediately.
  3. Ask your licensing officer to liaise with the section in your local council that enforces waste management rules and legislation and find a joint resolution
  4. Agree on a premises license with non-contradictory conditions.

Finally, do remember your waste responsibilities

In addition to sorting things like collection times, remember you must:

  • Only present waste on the street during the official collection times. This applies to all businesses in Westminster.
  • Comply with the requirements and conditions around waste storage in your planning permission where applicable
  • keep waste to a minimum by doing everything possible to prevent, reuse, recycle or recover waste (in that order) – get our help to do this
  • separate and store waste safely and securely
  • Only employ an Environment Agency approved waste collector
  • complete the Waste Transfer Note your waste carrier provides you with, sign it and return it to them, keep a copy of it yourself for a minimum of 2 years

You have extra responsibilities if you’re dealing with clinical and hazardous waste.


We also have a guide on how businesses and organisations can reduce waste, please click on the link below to get your copy. Click here to get our Guide on Waste Reduction