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Commercial Recycling Guide For Businesses

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We provide commercial recycling services for over 25,000 businesses across the UK. We’ve compared various reputable suppliers and have the best compared quotes available for your waste recycling needs. Get a compared quote now.


What is commercial recycling?

Commercial (or business) recycling refers to the process of collecting your company’s waste, taking it to a treatment facility where it is turned into something new.

The new material should hopefully be used, discarded and recycled again.

This has a huge impact on the environment as your commercial waste will not be sent to landfill and the demand for new resources will lessen.

What kind of waste can be recycled?

Below we list common items thrown away by businesses which CAN undergo commercial recycling:


  • Plain or printed paper
  • Receipts
  • Envelopes
  • Flyers
  • Newspapers
  • Post-it-notes
  • Paper bags


  • Boxes
  • Packaging


  • HDPE – Milk bottles
  • PET – Drinks bottles
  • PP – Butter containers
  • LDPE – Shopping bags
  • PVC – Cling film

You can read more about the various plastic recycling symbols in our guide

Some Glass

  • Bottles
  • Jars


  • Aluminium – Cans & foil
  • Steel – Food tins


  • Food scrapings
  • Small bones
  • Skins, peelings, & offcuts
  • Out-of-date food

What waste can’t be recycled?

A common mistake businesses make when it comes to recycling is that they accidentally mix their recyclable waste with non-recyclable material.

A typical example of this is pizza boxes.

Whilst these are made from cardboard, they’re also contaminated with food and grease – this means waste treatment facilities will reject the material.

Another is glass being mixed in with general or food waste. Restaurants, for instance, may accidentally throw away bottles into the food waste bin or general waste.

As a business owner, it’s vital that you ensure that your staff are correctly separating your waste and putting it into the correct bins.

Only then will you be able to have successful commercial waste recycling.

What is Dry-Mixed Recycling (DMR)?

A Dry-mixed recycling bin hosts all your recyclable material which isn’t soiled or wet. This includes paper, cardboard, cans, and plastic bottles. These materials must be free of contaminants like food or chemical residue.

Illustrations of dry mixed commercial recycling items

We provide a dry-mixed recycling service for thousands of businesses across the UK. Get a quote for your commercial recycling now.

Why use a recycling waste company?

There are a tonne of benefits to recycling. The primary benefit is the positive impact on the environment…

By using a recycling waste company, you will be sending less rubbish to landfill. It’s extremely important that we try to reduce the use of landfill sites as much as possible.

This is because the landfill waste disposal method is not only a finite solution (we’re running out of space) but it also takes waste hundreds or even thousands of years to decompose.

Whatsmore, when the waste does decompose it produces harmful gasses which pollute the atmosphere and contribute to climate change.

The UK sent over 6.1 million tonnes of waste to landfill in 2022


A severe lack of plastic recycling is also a massive problem. Often discarded plastic ends up in the ocean. In fact, around 8 million pieces of plastic end up in the ocean each and every day. This results in over 100,000 marine animals dying due to plastic pollution.

As you can see, upping the amount you commercially recycle will have a big impact on the environment.

Waste recycling targets

The UK, along with the EU is targeting the following for 2030:

  • 65% of waste recycled each year
  • 75% of packaging waste recycled each year
  • Measurable promotion of landfill alternatives for general waste
  • Stricter bans and fines on needless landfill dumping of recyclable waste

You can read more about these targets here.

How much does commercial recycling cost?

Here, at WasteManaged, our services start from just £1.17 per day and we have multiple bin sizes for your business recycling available at a low-cost price.

Is commercial recycling free?

No. Waste produced by businesses which needs to be recycled is not done so for free. However, getting a good deal on your recycling collections is easier than ever.

Fill out our quick quote form and we’ll provide the best quote we can from suppliers across the UK.

Commercial recycling bins

There are 3 typical bin sizes businesses use for their mixed recycling: 1100 litre, 660 litre, and 240 litre.

The 1100 litre bin is the largest wheelie bin we provide our customers with. This is perfect for businesses that throw away a lot of dry-mixed recycling materials like offices, restaurants, and hotels.

The 660 litre is one of the most popular wheelie bin sizes for mixed recycling. Perfect for the majority of small businesses in the UK.

The 240 litre is the typical 2-wheeler wheelie bin you’re used to. This is a great additional bin for mixed recycling for businesses that recycle a lot of waste. But it also makes for a great dedicated glass waste or food waste bin.

Find out more information about our commercial bins.

What are the 5 Rs of recycling?

We know that running a business is stressful enough. That’s why we make things simple for you when it comes to recycling. Just simply put the right material into the correct bins – we’ll take care of the rest.

However, if you want to have an even greater positive impact on the environment you should consider the 5 Rs of commercial recycling.

The 5 Rs of recycling waste managed

1 – Refuse

This means refusing to buy products which cause harm to the environment such as single-use plastics. reducing the demand for these types of materials will lead to better eco alternatives.

2 – Reduce

This means that, as a business, if you HAVE to buy environmentally harmful products you should keep this to a minimum. Only buy what you need. Keep the demand low.

3 – Reuse

If possible, try to reuse a product/material before throwing it into the bin. Think about what you throw away in your businesses, can something be cleaned and used again rather than thrown away?

4 – Repurpose

Find alternative uses for the products you buy after they’ve been used for their original purpose. For instance, could the packaging your food deliveries arrive in be used as storage containers?

5 – Recycle

This is the last part of the 5 R priority list. This is where it’s time for your used products/materials to be chucked into the correct recycling bin and sent off for treatment.

Get a quote for your business recycling now.

How do I get commercial recycling collections?

We know that you want a simple, legally compliant, and environmentally sound waste recycling service. That’s exactly what we offer our 25,000+ UK customers.

Getting your waste recycling needs sorted all starts with getting a quote from our expert friendly team.

At WasteManaged we provide a fantastic, highly rated, and recommended service: 

  • Fixed, no-nonsense monthly pricing. We’re the only UK company which offers a fixed bill each month which never changes.
  • We never charge excess weight fees – again, we’re the only UK collector to do this.
  • We offer exceptional customer support to ensure you’re always getting a service you love – if you’re not getting what you want from us, we’ll fix that for you. We’re problem solvers. 

To get a quote or advice on waste collections then fill out our rapid quote form here.

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Try our guides on recycling and location waste management below:

Aluminium can recycling
Christmas card recycling
Dry mixed recycling

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