westminster commercial waste

020 7641 6180

General waste in Westminster

General waste is any waste that cannot or should not be recycled, including materials such as non-recyclable plastics. Another name used for it is ‘residual waste’. If your business is looking for a reliable, cost effective general waste collection then Commercial Waste Services can help. We can collect whatever volume of general waste your business produces and dispose of it safely, without the use of landfill or exporting it abroad.

It’s important to choose a general waste collector that does not export waste or takes it to landfill because the waste deposited in landfill sites never fully degrades and produces methane, which is an extremely powerful greenhouse gas. Landfills also produce leachate, which is created when rainwater seeps through landfilled waste and absorbs pollutants from it. Landfill leachate can contaminate groundwater and drinking water supplies. Some commercial waste collectors simply send their waste abroad for cheap incineration, with up to 1.7 million tonnes of London’s business waste exported this way rather than put to good use closer to home.

We can help you dispose of your general waste locally and in the most environmentally friendly way possible. You can read more information below about how our general waste collection service works.

  • Hand towels
  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic film and wrapping
  • Composite materials such as sachets and trays
  • Plastic crates
  • Polystyrene
  • Food waste (if you do not use segregated food waste recycling)
  • Food soiled items & packaging
  • Wooden packaging
  • Nappies/sanitary items
  • Sandwich and salad packs
westminster commercial waste
  • The general waste we collect is used as fuel to generate electricity and district heating for London homes. It will also power our electric collection vehicles.
  • We are reliable. Our collection crews have a 24/7 presence in Westminster. We are never far away from your business to help you.
  • We are flexible and we can help you to tailor waste services that suit your business requirements.
  • Our collection vehicles are low emission or fully electric.
  • We dispose of your waste locally rather than transport it across the UK or Europe - most of it is treated within 8km from Westminster.
  • We are based in Westminster and don’t travel long distances from vehicle depots into Westminster to collect your waste, minimising vehicle movements.
  • Our general waste collection is cost effective: we beat any quotes from others. You also do not pay VAT which improves your cash flow.
westminster commercial waste

Get started with general waste collections

Step 1

Step 1
Get started with general waste collection bags or bins

If you have off-street storage space, we strongly recommend using one of our general waste bins which come in big and small sizes depending on how much rubbish you produce. Bins are more hygienic compared to single use plastic bags and also avoids burdening the street scene and your neighbours by placing bags out for collection.   Download our bin range guide to find out which size would suit you best.

If you can’t store a waste bin within your premises, then you can use the red bags for general waste collection. They are sold on a prepaid basis, so you only have to pay for what you actually use and no contract is required. Just order the bags online or by phone, fill them with rubbish and leave them out for collection at the scheduled time.

Order recycling bags

Step 2

Step 2
Sort your general waste into the right bag or bin for collection

There are some materials that require special treatment and therefore you should never put them in your general waste bin or bag. Hazardous waste, paint, clinical waste, bulky waste, electrical items and sharp items must all be disposed of using a separate collection service which you can arrange with us.

If you have recyclable materials then please keep these seperate and use our recycling bins or bags for these.

Download recycling guide

Step 3

Step 3
We collect your general waste

If you are using red general waste bags, then you must leave these out at your street’s scheduled time. Do not place them out on the street outside of these times. If you are using general waste bins then you can decide the time when your waste is collected. We can collect general waste bins from once a week to up to 4 times a day, 365 days a year.

View collection times
Get a quote

Step 4

Step 4
Your general waste is sent for treatment locally

The next step in our general waste collection is that we send the waste a short ride from Westminster to SELCHP (South East London Combined Heat and Power), our energy recovery facility (ERF) in Deptford.

See where we send all of our waste

Step 5

Step 5
Energy recovery

The general waste that is sent to SELCHP is as a fuel to generate enough electricity and district heating for 50,000 London homes and to generate the power for our electric collection vehicles. This makes a formidable closed-loop solution by using the electricity generated from Westminster’s waste to power the trucks and collect more of it. It also helps tackling fuel poverty by supplying cost effective district heating which eliminates the need for each home connected to the scheme to have individual gas boilers for heating. This improves London’s air pollution since gas boilers are a major contributor to poor air quality in the capital. Did you know that just 1 bag of waste used as fuel at the ERF generates enough heat for 7 hot showers?

Step 6

Step 6
The final step in the general waste collection

Once the waste has been fully combusted for energy generation the remaining ash (called ‘bottom ash’) is recycled into an aggregate used in road building and construction. Any metals that remain in the bottom ash are segregated for recycling using magnets and eddy currents. This ensures that any metal items disposed of via Westminster City Council are recycled.

westminster commercial waste

Learn more about managing general waste in Westminster


Ultimate guide to commercial waste recycling

Improve your waste management with our ultimate guide on commercial waste recycling. Start reading now to discover how your business can recycle more and have less environmental impact.

Download now
recycling guide


9 Quick tips for reducing waste

This useful guide presents 9 tips that will help you reduce the amount of general waste you’re creating, save time, reduce your waste costs and help the environment.

Download now
reducing waste westminster


General waste poster

We have a range of posters that you can download and place around your workplace or on your bins to remind people what waste belongs where. They are the perfect way to ensure that your recycling is not being contaminated and your general waste levels are kept to a minimum.

Download now
recycling posters


What happens to our rubbish and recycling?

Download our infographic to understand what happens to the general waste and recycling that Westminster City Council Commercial Waste Collect. You will see that everything we collect has another use!

Download now
What happens to waste in Westminster


What waste goes where?

With all of the different bins and waste types in Westminster, it can be tricky sometimes to know what waste goes where. We have now made your life easy by creating a simple guide, showing you exactly where you need to put your general waste, recycling and specialist waste streams. 

Download now
where to put waste westminster


Waste audit

Our waste management audit will allow our experts to identify the services that your business requires. An audit is a good way to start recycling more of your business’ waste. Our expert will come to your premises at a time that suits you and provide you with valuable insight into how you can take your waste management to the next level.

Book now
waste audit
westminster commercial waste

Areas of operation

Whilst we only offer our services to businesses in Westminster, we can help you to find the best possible waste and recycling services if you have sites outside of Westminster. For example, if you are a chain with multiple locations in London or across the country, we can still help you.

View all of the neighbourhoods we work in