Frequently asked questions
1. I pay business rates, why don’t these cover my commercial waste disposal?
Commercial waste disposal is not covered by business rates. You are free to choose whichever licensed waste company can provide the best solution for you. We provide trade waste services and may be able to offer you containers and collection(s). Please contact us if you would like a quote, complete our contact form.
2. My business produces hardly any waste, how will I know what I need?
Regardless of the volume of waste your business produces you must still dispose of it legally using a licensed waste company. We, or others, can advise you on the options and solutions available to you. Smaller businesses may find it more cost effective to join up with other businesses and share a waste contract. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your options, or get a quote, complete our contact form.
3. Can I use the existing on street communal bins for my business waste?
We provide these bins for our domestic residents only and businesses are not allowed to use them. Often businesses misuse these bins, causing them to fill up and overflow, meaning there is not enough capacity left for residents. If we discover a business using these, we will issue a fine to them.
4. What happens if my containers get smelly?
As the hirer, you are responsible for the cleanliness of your container(s). If our staff feel they have become too smelly, or a hazard to empty (because of leakage or pests), we will not empty them until you have cleaned them.
5. Can I revise my contract at any time?
Generally we do not allow contract amendments mid-term, however we understand circumstances can change and can discuss changes with you to suit your business needs (although this can be subject to us charging you an additional amount, dependent on the circumstances). If you want to change your contract, please complete our contact form.
6. How do you know what is business waste and what is domestic waste?
We will only collect waste from customers who have a contract with us. We provide special containers for these customers; our trade commercial waste wheelie bins have blue lids or labels to help our customers and crew differentiate between them and our domestic customers’ waste. We also provide recycling box and bag stickers to some of our commercial customers. Our collection crews will only take commercial bagged waste away if it is within a pre-paid blue bag or cardboard is a ‘carryable’ bundle and has a pre-paid red label on it.
7. What happens if I forget to put pre-paid labels on my cardboard or I have run out of blue bags and use other bags?
You should contact us immediately and let us know, as we will not collect waste if it is not in the right container(s). Dependent on the circumstances, we will advise you whether we can return, in some circumstances we may need to make an extra charge to send our vehicle back to you.
8. How can I purchase blue bags or red labels from you?
You can order blue bags or red labels online, by paying in advance for them. We sell blue bags in increments of 50 and red labels in increments of 10. If you order less than 100 blue bags, or any amount of red labels, you can request we post them to you free of charge, or you can collect these from one of our Barnstaple, Ilfracombe or South Molton Offices. If you order over 100 bags you can wait until our crew visit you in the following three weeks, or collect them from one of our offices (please see our contact details).
9. Do I need to pay bin hire for general commercial or trade waste bins?
Yes, you pay bin hire for general waste containers / bins (we do not make any hire charge for recycling containers); you will pay for the number of weeks the bin is on your business site, regardless if we have emptied it or not.
10. Why should I recycle?
Not only do we all have a duty to reduce landfill waste and protect our environment, you will save money on your collections by using our commercial recycling services instead of general waste collections.
11. Can I just burn my waste instead of paying you to take it away?
No, burning waste can cause environmental pollution and you may be breaking the law. If one of our Environment Wardens, or an Environment Agency Officer asks you how you dispose of your business waste you will need to produce a Commercial Waste Transfer Note, to prove you are disposing of it correctly and legally.
12. Do you collect trade or commercial bulky items, like old refrigerated units?
No, our bulky waste service is for domestic properties only.
13. Why have I received a ‘ticket’ from you?
If our crews note your waste exceeds the capacity of the container we have supplied, they will ‘ticket’ you for excess waste, by an estimated container volume of the extra amount you left out and we will invoice you for this extra amount on top of your contract with us. This system is onerous in administrative time, so we will monitor these and more than three ‘tickets’ per year will incur an additional administrative charge and one of our team contacting you to discuss you having a bigger, or more, containers.
14. I need to change the number of containers I have, can I do this?
Yes, we can make arrangements for this if you give us details of the changes you want (although, we may make a charge if you make numerous changes during your contract with us). Please complete our contact form.
15. Do I get a discount for having multiple bins?
We competitively price all our services, so do not offer a discount for multiple containers. However, we encourage customers to recycle more and send less waste to landfill, so you may wish to replace some of your general waste containers with recycling containers, for which we do not make any hire charge.
16. I do not need a regular collection from you, what are my options?
You may choose a blue bag collection, which you can place out whenever you have filled them; you will need to know when our collection teams will be visiting your area and place the bags out for them by 7am that day. Otherwise, we can offer a variety of regular collection frequencies, dependent on when we visit the area. Please contact us and let us know what you would like and our team will be able to advise if we can accommodate your needs. Please complete our contact form.
17. Do you refund a collection charge if one or more of the bins or containers are empty when you are due to collect them?
No, the charges we make for our services are for our crews to visit and be prepared to empty all the bins / containers registered at the commercial address. You can contact us to amend the number of containers you have to suit your business needs (although we may make a charge for this). Please complete our contact form.
18. What if my circumstances change and I want to cancel my collections?
We understand your circumstances may change and will be able to cancel your contract with us. Please tell as soon as you can, using the contact form. You may terminate your account immediately, or give us a three months’ notice period before the end date. In either case, we need this in writing and you will be subject to paying a three month termination fee, or 40% of your un-expired fee, whichever is the greater.
19. Which days can you collect from us?
As we cover all of our district and some of Torridge District Council’s district too (general waste collection and cardboard only at present), we have different collection vehicles in different areas on different days. Please complete our contact form to check when (or if) we cover your area. Our visits can vary from once a fortnight to several times a week. When / if you sign a contract with us, we will give you a note of your collection days, when your service starts or if we need to make any changes subsequently.
20. What happens if you miss one of my collections?
There are a number of reasons why we may have missed your waste collection, the most common being adverse weather (like snow or ice), road closures / blocked access or a vehicle breakdown. If we fail to collect your waste due to circumstances beyond our control, we will collect your usual containers and an appropriate amount of excess waste at the next collection. If we miss your collection due to a vehicle breakdown or other operational reason, we will try to return within five working days, so your collection may be late; please leave your container(s) out for us. Whatever the reason, we want to know we have missed you, so please tell us on our contact form.
21. What happens if I miss one of my collections?
If you did not put your container out for us on the day we designated as your collection day, or early enough (by 7am), we will not empty it, not return for it and not collect excess waste at your next collection. Therefore, please make sure you have your containers available for our collection crews on time for the next collection.
22. Can I get a rebate from you if my bin was missed?
No, however we will collect your waste the next time we are able to, or take appropriate excess waste at your next collection. If you have experienced more than three missed collections by us within your contract year, you can give us your feedback to investigate what may be the root cause of the problems. Under our feedback policy, we will consider any compensation claim you may wish to make at that time.
23. My business is closed on the Bank Holiday day my collection is due, what should I do?
Our crews do not work on Bank Holidays and we generally run our services one day later into the following weekend on these weeks. We will expect you to leave your bins out for us to collect a day late, so if they need to be emptied, please arrange for your bins to be out for collection in the usual collection place.
24. My bin has been stolen or gone missing, what should I do?
You will need to let us know via our contact form; dependent on the circumstances we may charge you for a replacement and make arrangements to deliver you a replacement bin within three weeks.
25. My bins are damaged, need oil, a new lid or other repair, can I get help please?
You will need to let us know via our contact form; dependent on the circumstances we will repair or replace your bin if the damage is due to reasonable wear and tear. If not, we will charge you the cost of a replacement. You will need to oil the bin yourself.
26. Can I not just take my recycling to a local Recycling Centre?
No, Devon County Council provide these sites for householders, not businesses and most are not licensed to receive trade waste. If you have commercial recycling, please let us know via our contact form and we will advise you if we can collect this from you.
27. Is there a maximum weight of waste I can put into my bin?
Yes. Please see the pictures of bins and their capacities on our commercial waste containers page. Our crews will judge if your container is too heavy to empty and leave you a note to explain why they have left them behind (our bin-lifts cannot cope with excessive weight and risk breaking the vehicles). If we advise you that your bin is too heavy, you must take some waste out of it until it is lighter and we will empty it on your next collection day, assuming it is light enough then.
28. What types of trade waste and recycling services do you offer?
We can provide separate containers for the following collections of waste types, the prices are available via a quote, please use our contact form.
Recycling - we do not currently collect commercial food waste
- paper – green bag, 240 litre wheelie bin or 360 litre wheelie bin
- cardboard - brown bag, pre-paid red-labelled bundle, 240 litre wheelie bin, 360 litre wheelie bin, 660 litre wheelie bin or 1100 wheelie bin
- plastic bottles / tubs / trays / pots, cups / cans / aerosols / clean foil, drinks cartons – recycling box, 240 litre wheelie bin, 360 litre wheelie bin
- glass bottles and jars – recycling box or 240 litre wheelie bin
- 240 litre green wheelie bin
General waste or refuse - non-recyclable, non-hazardous waste
- pre-paid blue refuse bags / sacks, 240 litre wheelie bin, 360 litre wheelie bin, 660 litre wheelie bin or 1100 wheelie bin
29. What can I put into my general waste bin?
We accept most types of non-hazardous general waste, however we prohibit the following:
- any liquids
- any hazardous items
- fluorescent light bulbs or fluorescent light tubes
- waste electronic and electrical equipment (for example, fridges, TVs, kettles etc.)
- builders rubble or bricks
- special waste (for example, clinical waste or industrial chemical waste)
- raw meats
- NOTE: from 2020, this list will include recyclable waste
30. What if I want an extra collection, can I pay as I go?
No, unfortunately we are going to be phasing out our pay-as-you go services. By a very special arrangement only will we be able to provide these in exceptional circumstances only, like a one-off event or festival.
31. Do you charge VAT for commercial waste collections?
Generally, no; we charge VAT where advised by HMRC (for example, should another waste management company subcontract to us to collect waste then we charge VAT). If we carry out the collection of your waste on behalf of your business directly then there is no VAT.
32. Why have your charges gone up?
We constantly have to review our commercial waste charges to our customers, as we have to meet external charges from other organisations (fuel suppliers, landfill owners and vehicle makers). This means we need to change our prices to remain competitive, yet cover our costs. In addition, you may have had a change to your waste collections from last year (maybe excess waste, a bigger bin or more bins). It could be we only charged you for part of last year, whereas this year’s invoice will be for a full year (1 April to 31 March). Please check your invoice, letter and waste transfer note from last year.
33. What are my payment options?
We expect all payment in advance of the services we provide and accept card payments, your options are here. We can take a cheque payment, or, by prior agreement in certain circumstances, regular Direct Debit payments. We also accept cash at our Barnstaple Office only (Lynton House). From April 2019 all blue bags and red labels must be paid for in advance.
If you have any more questions, please contact us and we will be able to assist you.