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Legal requirements for commercial waste

You must ensure that all commercial waste is managed correctly from the point of production to the point of final disposal. As a waste producer, you are responsible for your waste throughout the whole of this process. This is called your Duty of Care.

Your Duty of Care

Commercial premises arranging for the collection and disposal of waste must comply with the requirements of Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Environmental Protection Act (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991 as amended. You can view both acts at

How to present your waste/recycling

When leaving your waste or recycling upon for collection, you should:

  • Store your waste, including recycling, safely and securely until collection
  • Ensure all sacks are tied securely and protected from scavenging animals prior to collection
  • Keep your bins locked with all waste contained within the bin
  • Only use the sacks or bin issued by the London Borough of Richmond to contain your waste (including recycling), waste or recycling presented in any other container will not be collected
  • Flat boxes and tie them up with the sack we provide for waste or for recycling accordingly
  • Stack all your waste tidily to avoid accidents
  • Ensure your waste, including recycling, does not cause litter or spillages

Waste transfer notes

Annually, under the Duty of Care, all customers are required to send us a signed Controlled Waste Transfer Note (CWTN). We are unable to collect waste or recycling without a valid CWTN. Customers are required to keep a copy of their CWTN for two years.

On the Controlled Waste Transfer Note it will ask for Standard Industry Classification code (SIC code) which describes what sort of business you are. It is a five digit number and can be found on the Companies House website.

How to find your SIC code

Visit the Companies House web page. This will bring up a full SIC code list (2007).

There are three ways to find your code on the Companies House pages:

  1. Use the Find Company Information link on the home page. Type in your company name or registration number.
  2. Look through the list to find the 5 digit code against your type of business.
  3. Use the search facility for your type of business activity.

Using a private contractor

If you use a private waste collection contractor, make sure they are a Registered Waste Carrier (they will be able to show you a certificate of registration). You can check these details with the Environment Agency. If they are not registered you should check whether they are exempt from registration, which you can also check with the Environment Agency.

Please be aware that whether you use our collection services or you use a private contractor, the Duty of Care still applies.


Our Street Scene Enforcement Officers carry out daily patrols in the Borough and will take enforcement action against commercial premises that do not manage their waste properly.

Formal enforcement action may include the issuing of Fixed Penalty Notices, notices requiring a commercial premise to provide the Council with their Waste Transfer Notes, or legal proceedings in serious cases.

Terms and conditions

Read the terms and conditions of our commercial waste and recycling contract.

Updated: 14 July 2023

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