Business Waste: The Forgotten Expense
Starting a business can be exciting and exhausting in equal measure, and one stress that can come back to haunt fledgling businesses is rubbish.
Often overlooked in the thrusts of a businesses beginning, waste can quickly become an unexpected and costly problem.
Many new and inexperienced company owners are surprised to discover that waste services are not included within their business rates, with some only realising when they are met with warnings or fines.
Business rates are a tax for commercial property calculated on the rateable value of the premises.
The rates are applicable to most non-domestic property such as offices, shops, factories and holiday rental homes or guest houses.
Some areas, like agriculture and worship, can benefit from rate relief, and properties with a rateable value below £12,000 do not have to contribute.
Confusion can arise for those with new ventures when they learn that, unlike domestic council taxes, the charge for their business does not include waste disposal services.
Contrary to residential council tax, which is the main source of local government income, only approximately 40% of the money gained from business rates are retained by councils, with the rest heading to central government.
And, although the tax goes some way to funding community services such as road maintenance, social care and preserving parks and open spaces, it can come as a shock to businesses to learn they are ultimately the beneficiaries of very little, especially not waste collections.
The reasons for business rates not including services such as waste management are due to the calculations of rateable value.
Given different trades tend to produce different amounts of rubbish, and waste production varying drastically from business to business, it is both impossible and unfair to include disposal services within business tax.
How does it work?
Businesses are therefore legally required to use a waste management service.
It is a business owners Duty of Care, a legal responsibility, to ensure the production, storage, transport, and disposal of waste is done with environmental harm kept to a minimum.
The Duty also covers waste that has left business premises, with business owners still legally responsible even at, and past, the point of disposal.
A business must complete a waste transfer note between themselves and their waste management provider which is valid for two years.
This acts as a receipt should council enforcement officers or the Environment Agency ask, and if a transfer note is not provided, a business may be held responsible should waste not be disposed of properly and safely.
Last year, a company in Birtley was fined £1,400 for failure to produce a waste transfer note when asked to do so, and a Shoreham-based builder faced a £1,000 fine in February for fly-tipped rubbish despite claiming he had paid a service to appropriately dispose of it.
It is therefore integral for businesses to select a licensed, trusted waste management service to deal with the safe and proper disposal of commercial waste.
CheaperWaste are proud to have worked with small businesses for almost a decade, helping them navigate the exciting and exhausting beginnings through to the successes, and challenges, they face along their journey.
Conceived to cater for the needs of small to medium-sized enterprises, CheaperWaste takes one new business worry out of the equation.