Commercial Waste & Recycling

​The Council manages both commercial and household waste & recycling across the islands.

The Council is required ensure that all commercial waste and recycling is paid for by the commercial waste producer. A list of all commercial waste fees and charges can be found on our Commercial fees and charges page.

The Council cannot subsidise the cost of businesses waste disposal.

Your responsibilities as a business:

Dispose of business or commercial waste: Your responsibilities - GOV.UK (

  • keep waste to a minimum by doing everything you reasonably can to prevent, reuse, recycle or recover waste.
  • sort and store waste safely and securely
  • check that your waste carrier is registered to dispose of waste

What counts as business/commercial waste:

Any waste that comes from a commercial activity is business waste.If you use part of your home to run a business then any waste from that part is business waste. Business waste includes waste generated from self-catering holiday lets.

    Government is clear that “any waste that comes from a commercial activity is business waste.” This means that if you use part of your home to run your business, then any waste from that part is business waste.

    This covers, for example:

    • self-catering properties
    • Bed & Breakfast lets
    • home offices for small businesses

    It also captures any waste that comes from any of the following activities:

    • construction
    • demolition
    • industry
    • agriculture

    Your Legal Obligations Regarding Commercial Waste

    Any waste produced from a business is classified in law as commercial waste. The Controlled Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 details how was is classified, including waste generated by farms, pubs, self-catering accommodation, hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses when occupied by paying guests. 

    A commercial business must arrange waste collection with the Council, or another licenced waste carrier. It is the responsibility of the trader to dispose of their waste in accordance with the Duty of Care Act 1990.

    Please note that businesses have a Duty of Care to ensure that all waste is stored and disposed of responsibly.

    The Environment Agency has produced a useful guide to help businesses to manage their waste called Right Waste, Right Place.

    Commercial Waste Collections on St Mary's

    If you require your business waste and recycling to be collected by the Council, this can only be offered once a week as part of the existing household rounds on St Mary's. All businesses requiring this service will need to notify the Council by email and pre-purchase commercial waste and recycling sacks. Please email if you would like to subscribe to commercial waste collections by the Council. 

    If your business produces large volumes of waste, and you require a more frequent collection service, please contact the Council's commercial waste sub-contractor, Richard Hand Haulage on 01720 423007.

    Commercial Waste on the Off Islands

    All off island commercial waste producers must purchase the Council's pre-paid sacks to cover the cost of processing, transporting and disposing of their waste produced.

    Council waste handling includes collection (where a collection is made by the council directly –on St Martins) and disposal (on all of the islands except Tresco, where residual waste is accepted via a separate contract).

    Therefore all off island businesses, including self-catering holiday lets, are required to purchase the Council's commercial waste and recycling sacks to ensure business waste is paid for by the waste producer, and not the Council. 

    Please email to purchase commercial waste and recycling sacks.

    Purchasing commercial waste & recycling sacks

    Commercial waste and recycling sacks can be sold in rolls of 25 or individually. You can order commercial sacks by calling 01720 424450 or emailing Alternatively, these sacks can be ordered in person at the Library or Carn Gwaval Wellbeing Centre on St Mary’s.

    If you live on an off island and are unable to collect your sacks, we do offer a delivery service (please note that there is an additional charge for this service if a freight number is not provided).

    If you would like to order commercial sacks please complete the form to the right of this page and return to

    What do I include in my commercial recycling sack?

    Click here to download a PDF of our waste and recycling guidance. 


    All items must be clean & dry and free from contaminants such as food, and glitter.

    • Paper
    • Card
    • Plastic bottles
    • Plastic pots, tubs & trays
    • Household metals (aerosols, tin foil, tin cans).


    • Glass bottles & jars (we recycle these locally and so need to be taken to a bottle bank)
    • Paper of card with glue, glitter, embellishments or ribbons
    • Drink cartons
    • Tetra Pak 
    • Water filters 
    • Coffee pods
    • Pet food pouches
    • Baby food pouches
    • Plastic film & wrapping

    If you put items in your recycling that we can’t accept, all the recycling may be rejected.

    What do I include in my residual commercial waste sacks?

    Please put all non-recyclable items in your grey commercial waste sack i.e. food waste, soiled products, nappies, sanitary, plastic films and wrapping.

    Your commercial waste sacks should not contain any bulky, hazardous or electrical waste.

    Where do I take other material I need to dispose of?

    Materials such as, glass, fabrics, garden waste, scrap metal items, large rigid plastic items, household & garden chemicals, need to be brought to your local waste & recycling site for safe disposal / further recycling. Please contact or call 01720 424400 to book a slot to bring your items to the St Marys Waste and Recycling Centre.  

    Report a Missed Collection

    All material needs to be placed at your waste collection point by 8.30a.m on the day of your collection. 

    If your waste and recycling has not been collected by 4.30p.m on your collection day, please email or call 01720 424450 (voicemail only).