Procure Smart

Business waste contracts explained

Image demonstrating how different bin sizes look from 120L to 1,100L.

We are not telling lies when we say that we love to talk about business waste contracts at Procure Smart.  Hear us out, we haven’t totally lost it.

Businesses come in all shapes and sizes in the UK.  Two businesses with identically-sized buildings, situated next door to each other, may have completely different waste needs and costs.

The reason we love waste is because the complexity involved in contracts provides huge opportunities for efficiencies.  This means we can often delight our customers with beneficial switches they did not know were possible.

This blog covers all of the high-level business waste contracts knowledge you need to know.

Your business waste responsibilities

Businesses are mandated to:

  • Keep waste to a minimum by preventing disposal as much as is reasonable
  • Sort, segment and store waste safely
  • Attain a waste transfer note for each load of waste which leaves your building
  • Ensure your waste disposal carrier is appropriately registered and licensed

You may be surprised to read the final point; however, illegal disposal of domestic and commercial waste is a common issue in the UK.

If your business waste is hazardous, you have extra “duty of care” responsibilities, which we’ll save for another blog.

What determines your costs

Generally speaking, there are three variables to consider. 

  • The type of waste
  • Your business’ location
  • The amount of waste

Your business’ locality to a waste collection route, and which route it is, will impact your price.  Remote businesses with fewer collections points en route will incur higher charges for this element.

Likewise, your price will be impacted by the size of the container which is collected and also its weight.

Business waste contracts and bills

As an unregulated sector, business waste contract bills do not need to follow a standard format and are often very difficult to understand and a little bit… rubbish.

Firstly, that means that you need to have a strong account manager at your supplier of choice, who will deal with any issues and answer any questions you may have.  Reading digital reviews is always important due diligence whenever choosing a B2B supplier.  So, ensure you double down on understanding the customer experience provision of your proposed supplier before signing on the dotted line for this reason.

The things to look out for on your bill or quote include:

1  Hire price

Your supplier will actually provide your bins.  The cost of this will change depending on their size.

See the diagram below for a representation of different bin sizes.  The standard line-up is:

120 litres; 240 litres; 360 litres; 660 litres; 1,100 litres.  Additionally, the largest containers are known as Front End Loader (FEL) containers or Rear End Loaders (REL).

120L1-3 bags240L3-4 bags
360L4-5 bags660L10-12 bags
1,100L15-18 bagsFELUp to 80 bags
RELUp to 160 bags  
Examples of how different sized bins look, from 120L to 1,100L

2  Collection price

We’re sure you don’t want that waste sitting outside your premises forever!  This is the charge on your bill for actually collecting your bins.  This will differ depending on frequency, location and size of your bin.

3  Waste transfer

We like to know our waste is appropriately sorted and prepared before being disposed of.  There are waste processing centres to carry out this important task.  Depending on your type of waste, this cost is variable.

Unsorted, mixed and general waste are the most expensive; food and recyclables are cheaper; and glass and paper are the cheapest.

4  Landfill tax

Three things in life are certain; or so the saying goes.  Like collection costs, this is based on the amount of rubbish you are disposing of as a business.

This is increased annually.  Currently (price set from April 2023), you will pay £102.10 per tonne or £3.25 on the lower rate.

You qualify for the lower rate of landfill tax if:

  • The waste comprises only material listed within the 2011 Order.  These include:
    • Rocks and soils
    • Ceramic or concrete
    • Minerals
    • Furnace slags
    • Ash
    • Low activity inorganic compounds
    • Calcium sulphate
    • Calcium hydroxide and brine

For the full details and lists of items which sit beneath each of these categories, you can check the order itself, here.

5 Admin fees

Depending on where your business is situated, there may be additional costs inbuilt due to tunnel fees, congestion fees or even the ever-unpopular ULEZ charges.

Gate fees are what your supplier pays each time it deposits a load at a recycling or landfill site.  This will be included in your price, but not necessarily itemised.

Waste Transfer Notes (WTNs) are key parts of the administration process within business waste disposal.  They are burdensome and require correct filing and recording for two years.  Your supplier will manage this and charge you for the time spent.  It is important you ask for copies of these.

Cheaper business waste

Obviously, there are a lot of moving parts in business waste contracts.  That makes for somewhat of a moving feast when it comes to negotiating the right deal.  Additionally, different suppliers can offer contracts at different prices due to their locality, current routes and their own processes.

Waste’s impacts on the environment also leave the sector under constant scrutiny for additional charges and reporting. 

There is an annual inflation-linked charge increase and regular reviews of legislation around disposal of waste, meaning that contracts must be managed very closely.  All of this means that there are major opportunities for efficiencies and savings within this outgoing.

Despite this, and somewhat understandably, businesses tend to have their eyes on other plates they have spinning.

It is advisable, therefore, to work with a business waste expert.  Thankfully, we can provide that service at Procure Smart and take that task off the hands of busy business owners.  We work with a panel of business waste suppliers covering the whole of England, Scotland and Wales; each with their own unique strengths. 

Key features we can provide include:

  • Fair use policy: reducing and preventing fines for overfilling your bills by a tolerance
  • Online portals to allow improved monitoring of contracts and services
  • Reliable customer service phone lines
  • The ability to FIX your retail charge for up to three years, allowing improved cost certainty versus the rest of the market

As always with Procure Smart, our quotes are no-obligation, fast and free.

Speak to us today to assess your waste contract with a view to making it slicker, greener and cheaper.

Switching with Procure Smart also gives you access to a range of other switching services and potential discounts associated with bundle-buying of services such as waste and water.

Speak to us to find out more today; simply complete the form below and we’ll be in touch TODAY.

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