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Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland
Trusted Trader

Edinburgh Trade Waste

Updated: Wednesday 01 June 2022

Whether you operate out of a shop, office, restaurant, van or your home you need to make sure you’re using the right bins and have your waste collected by a licensed waste carrier.

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What is trade waste?

Trade waste is any waste or recycling produced by any type of business, regardless of size. All businesses in Scotland have a legal obligation to separate their waste for recycling and dispose of it via a licensed waste carrier. This is called your Duty of Care and is part of the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012 and the Environmental Protection Act (1990).

Legally you must recycle and dispose of your waste safely and in an environmentally friendly way.

Why do I need to use a waste carrier?

A licensed waste carrier will make sure your waste is recycled and disposed of safely, legally and in an environmentally friendly way. Keeping our city clean and green helps to encourage tourism, business investment and retail customers - all of which can benefit Edinburgh businesses.

If your business cannot provide evidence that you have appropriate waste arrangements you risk being prosecuted and fined up to £1,000.

What do I do with my trade waste?

Whether your business produces one bag of waste or recycling a week or several bags a day you need to dispose of it responsibly using a licensed waste carrier.

Several companies offer trade waste disposal and collection services in Edinburgh. These companies will help you work out the best solution for your business and advise you on how to manage, sort and store your waste.

You can find these companies online or in the telephone directory by searching for ‘trade waste’ or ‘waste disposal’.

Where do I store my waste?

Your trade waste bins and bags are only allowed on the streets at certain times of day instead of being left there all the time.

This means you will need to store your business waste on your own premises or land and put it out for collection during a pre-arranged time slot. You can find out more by visiting the City of Edinburgh Council website:

Don’t get caught out!

Dumping any items on public or private land is illegal and may result in fines of up to £40,000 or imprisonment. Businesses are also not allowed to use the on street communal bins – these are for residents only. The Council will fine and prosecute anyone found dumping waste illegally or businesses using communal bins.

Further info

Email, the Council’s compliance team if you have any questions or want to find out more or visit their website:

You can also visit the Right Waste, Right Place website for more information and we have included their Duty of Care guide below.

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