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Commercial Waste Information

From 1 April 2019 the council will no longer operate a commercial waste collection service.

 pdf icon Privacy Notice-Operational Services-Waste Services general customer enquiries (email, letter and phone) [87kb]

However collections will continue as normal up to this date.

Existing customers will need to make arrangements to have their refuse and recycling collected once the Council's commercial waste collection service ceases.

Where can traders and businesses dispose of their waste from 1 April 2019?

The following is a list of sites that have SEPA Waste Management Licences in the vicinity. Organisations should contact companies in advance to determine if they are operating, they are licenced to accept their waste and will accept the waste, prior to going to the sites:  Waste Management Sites [199kb] (Opens in a new window)

The following is a link to the Resource Efficient Scotland web site which hosts the Recycling and Re-use Directory. This is a search tool that provides information on re-use and recycling services in your area:

Trade Waste Customers - Legal Obligation

All businesses and traders have a legal duty to dispose of their waste and recycling through a registered waste operator.  A new SEPA campaign will target waste producers to raise awareness of how to stay within the law when it comes to the duty to recycle. Further details are available here:

Trade Waste at West Lothian Recycling Centres

From 1 April 2019 local businesses will be able to recycle key materials free of charge at West lothian Recycling Centres. All businesses that wish to use this free service will require a Business Recycling Access Pass to deposit only:

  • glass bottles & jars
  • paper
  • cardboard
  • metal packaging
  • scrap metal (not including electrical and electronic items)
  • books
  • DVDs
  • clothes

Businesses using the Business Recycling Access Pass must be aware that they will not be able to bring in any other type of waste. This prevents commercial organisations from passing on subsequent disposal costs to West Lothian Council and its council tax payers.

How to Obtain a Business Recycling Access Pass

Details of how to obtain a Business Recycling Access Pass have been provided to existing customers.

New customers wishing to use our recycling centres to dispose of trade waste  should email to request a duty of care form.  The duty of care should then be returned as per instructions on the form  and permit received before visiting the recycling centres.

Presenting a Pass will allow access to any of the Recycling Centres during their weekday opening hours. Weekend access is for householders only. Current opening hours can be found on the West Lothian Council Recycling Centres webpage.

Businesses will not be able to recycle or dispose of any other type of waste within the Council's facilities. The waste must only come from your own business.

For more information about our recycling centres please visit West Lothian Council Recycling Centres

Collection Time

Until 1 April 2019, our commercial waste collections will run as normal and start from 7am, therefore all containers and cardboard (where you are on our cardboard collection scheme) must be presented by 7am on the scheduled day of collection.

This may mean you will need to present them the previous evening. We will not return to collect containers or cardboard after this time.

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC Codes)

It is now a legal requirement for waste producers to enter their Standard Industrial Classification (SIC code) onto Duty of Care notes.

To help you find the SIC Code for your business or organisation when filling out your Duty of Care note, please see the attached link to the Office of National Statistics:

However, you may find the following websites more user friendly:

For help and enquiries please contact the Office of National Statistics: Email: or Tel: +44 (0)1329 444970

Address: Office for National Statistics Classifications and Harmonisation Unit, Segensworth Road, Titchfield, Fareham PO15 5RR

Commercial Waste - Business Resources and Support 

Information and Guidance

Business Resources and Support

The new Zero Waste Regulations require all businesses operating in Scotland to present key recyclables, specifically paper and card, glass, metals, and plastics for recycling.  For businesses working in food retail, food production, or preparation, a separate food waste collection will also be required. Changing the way businesses manage their waste holds money-saving potential, particularly by taking simple steps to become more resource efficient.  

Business Gateway West Lothian

Business Gateway offer free advice from experienced business advisers on all aspects of starting or growing a business.

Energy Saving Trust

Offers free expert advice, support and funding could help your business to save energy, reduce costs and carbon footprint.

Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB)

Keep Scotland can support businesses by facilitating conferences and events, network facilitation, providing support and networking, auditing businesses and accrediting businesses.

Net Regs

NetRegs is a partnership between Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) in Northern Ireland and SEPA in Scotland. NetRegs provides free environmental guidance for small and medium-sized businesses throughout Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Resource Efficient Scotland

Business resources and support about the Waste (Scotland) Regulations are available through Resource Efficient Scotland.

Free, specialist advice and on-site support to help businesses cut their energy, water and material costs. Key areas include:

  • FAQ's
  • Business Benefits
  • Tools, templates and apps
  • Funding
  • Training and Events

Scottish Enterprise

Scottish Enterprise provides training and support to high growth companies based in Scotland. Advice is available for resource efficiency and waste management.

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

SEPA helps business and industry to understand and comply with their environmental responsibilities and legislation and have a range of enforcement powers which SEPA can apply to ensure regulations are complied with. SEPA also works with the Scottish Government to deliver Scotland's Zero Waste Plan.

The Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust provides advice for businesses, governments and the public sector on opportunities in a sustainable low carbon world. Carbon footprinting and tools, guides and reports are available for businesses.

The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM)

CIWM is a professional body which represents over 7,000 waste professionals working in the sustainable resources and wastes management sectors-predominantly in the UK but also overseas. CIWM sets the professional standards for individual working in the industry and has various grades of membership determined by education, qualification and experience. CIWM provides training, advice and networking for the business sector.

Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS)

Zero Waste Scotland provides support to businesses is designed to help grasp opportunities to boost your bottom line.

Waste prevention and resource efficiency is where real cost savings can be made.  Preventing waste in the first place holds the potential to save Scottish businesses up to £2billion. The hospitality sector alone could save £64 million by cutting out food waste.

Additional Information/Initiatives

Please also see the West Lothian Council - Information for Businesses webpage for further information on government initiatives and helpful tips to assist your business in reducing waste.

Additional information on blue bin, glass, food waste and cardboard

Blue Bin Mixed Recycling 

What can now go in your Blue Bin

Clean, empty plastic pots
All Clean Empty Plastic Pots

e.g. Yoghurt and pudding pots, noodle pots, ready-made soup and pasta pots.

Clean, empty plastic tubs
All Clean Empty Plastic Tubs

e.g. Ice cream, margarine tubs, ready meal tubs. Tip: Take the lids off and put them in the blue bin too.

Clean empty trays
All Clean Empty Trays

 e.g. ready meal and microwave food trays, fruit punnets, biscuit trays Tip: Rinse to make sure they are not contaminated by food waste.

Clean plastic lids
ALL Clean Plastic Lids

 e.g. lids from plastics bottles, margarine tubs, ice cream tubs and coffee jars Remove them and put them in the blue bin.

Clean, empty plastic bottles
ALL Clean Empty Plastic Bottles

e.g. Plastic drinks, detergent and shampoo bottles. Lightly rinse and squash them to save space. Tip: Remove the lids and put them in the blue bin too. You can recycle clear and coloured plastic.

Clean, empty plastic bags
Clean Empty Plastic Bags

e.g. Clean carrier bags, bread bags, pre-packed vegetable bags, cereal and pasta bags. Tip: Please don't anything inside plastic bags, it prevents them being separated at the recycling facility.


e.g. Newspapers, coloured magazines, brochures, catalogues, unwanted mail, envelopes, including those with windows, shredded paper, phone directories, yellow pages Tip: Remove the plastic bags from junk mail or magazines and put them in the blue bin too.

Clean card and cardboard
Clean Card and Cardboard

e.g. Cereal boxes, kitchen and toilet roll tubes, washing powder boxes, corrugated cardboard boxes Tip: Flatten cardboard boxes to save space.

Clean empty cardboard cartons
Clean empty Cardboard Cartons

e.g. juice, soup, custard and smoothie cartons. Tip: Flatten to save space and remove lids and put them in the blue bin too.

Clean, empty steel and aluminium tins and cans
All Clean Empty steel and aluminium tins and cans, aluminium foil, trays and empty aerosol cans

Tip: Make sure aerosol cans are as empty as possible and that foil and cans are not contaminated by food waste. You don't need to remove labels. Put the lids in the blue bin too.

Top tips:

  • Everything must be clean and dry - wet and dirty materials such as food and drinks wastes, nappies and pet wastes spread through the whole load and mean it can rejected and landfilled
  • Please rinse cans, plastic bottles, trays, containers, packaging and cartons to remove food and drinks residues
  • Please do not place any material inside plastic bags. This prevents the material from being separated for recycling at the Materials Recycling Facility.
  • You don't need to look at the recycling symbol on plastic containers, they can still be recycled
  • You can recycle clear and coloured plastics
  • If your blue bin contains items in black bin bags or bin liners it will not be collected.
What NOT to put in your Blue Bin

Please don't put these in your blue bin

Containers soiled with food waste
Materials contaminated with food waste.

Food waste spreads through the load when compressed in the collection vehicle, so the paper and cardboard becomes wet and dirty and can be rejected by the recycling facility or manufacturers  This is our biggest problem with contamination.

Nappy and food waste
Nappies, pet excrement, general household waste, other wet wastes.

Wet materials spread through the load when compressed in the collection vehicle, so the whole load can be rejected by the recycling facility or manufacturers.

Glass bottles and jars.

Glass is usually broken by being compacted in the back of the collection vehicle and spreads when deposited at the recycling facility. It can then hurt the staff that sort the materials on the manual picking lines and it also contaminates the paper, cardboard and plastic, which means that it can be rejected by the manufacturers.

Food waste in black bag
Materials placed inside plastic bags.

At the materials recycling Facility blue bin material is spread out by a low level bar as it goes onto the conveyor belts for mechanical, then manual sorting lines. If material is inside plastic bags it prevents it being separated for recycling.   In addition unfortunately plastic bags often contain material like food waste, pet waste and general waste, which if opened spread across the conveyor belt, causing the whole process line to be stopped and cleaned, causing delays and increasing processing costs.

Clothing, textiles and shoes.

Clothing, textiles and shoes cannot be accepted in the blue bin. They also absorb any food and moisture when mixed with the load in the back of the collection vehicle and become soiled and unusable   They also cause operational problem at the recycling facility as they wrap round the wheel of the conveyor belts at the recycling facility, which have to be stopped and cut out.

Polystyrene packaging, polystyrene egg cartons and polystyrene food trays.

The recycling facility is not designed to capture this material.

Broken Toys
Broken plastic toys.

Potential to damage sorting equipment and recycling facility not designed to capture this material.


Glass Recycling

How to recycle your Glass

Glass must be:

  • Collected and stored separately to other recyclates. We will provide you with purple bins for this purpose. It cannot be presented in the blue bin as this would contaminate the other recyclates.
  • Colour segregated into clear, brown and green glass streams. The purple bins we can provide have different coloured lids to denote the colours.
  • Glass bottles and jars only. Therefore no window glass or other types of glass can be accepted.

Glass collections require a set of three bins to segregate clear, green and brown glass e.g. 3 x 240 litre bins or 3 x 1100 litre bins.

A set of three 1100l segregated glass containers will only be provided following a site visit and assessment by Waste Services to ensure the ground conditions are suitable for manoeuvring this type of container from the collection point to the vehicle.

Cardboard Recycling

How to recycle your Cardboard

To ensure an uplift of your cardboard, please:

  • Present your cardboard from 7am, so waste may need to be presented the previous evening.
  • Only present cardboard. Please do not include other materials such as plastic, bubble wrap or polystyrene.
  • Ensure cardboard is flattened and packed and stacked in a way so it will not cause litter. This can include presenting it within a cardboard box, or secured in bundles with tape or string.
  • Ensure cardboard bundles are of a size and weight that they can be easily handled

If you do not present your cardboard as requested, it may not be collected.

Food waste

How to recycle your food waste

If you process, prepare, distribute or sell food and produce over 5kg of food waste per week, you must present it for separate collection from 1 January 2016. This service can be used for ALL cooked and uncooked food waste, leftovers from meals and food preparation or out of date food from cupboards or fridges, but please do not put any liquids or oils in the caddy or bin. We will provide you with green caddies or wheeled bins for food waste collections.

What types of food can I put in my food waste caddy or food waste bin?

  • Dairy produce
  • Meat, bones, fish, egg shells
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Bread, cakes, pastry
  • Rice and pasta
  • Tea bags, coffee grounds

Food Packaging is accepted, but please try to minimise this wherever possible.

Animal By-Products

What are the requirements for uplift and disposal of animal by-products

You should not use your non recyclable waste bin for the disposal of Animal By-Products as it may be landfilled.

The following foodstuffs can be uplifted by us in our food waste recycling collection, or by other carriers registered to do so:

  • Shops/ Retail -fresh or frozen products: raw meat, uncooked sausages, burgers and bacon.
  • Butchers - fresh or frozen products: raw meat, trimmings, fat, small bones, uncooked sausages, burgers, chickens, other poultry and game
  • Fishmongers - fresh or frozen products: raw fish
  • Bakery- discarded raw meats or raw meat based products which have not undergone heat processing
  • Pet Shops - products of animal origin based pet foods

Any contaminated packaging will require it to be treated as an animal by-product, and disposed of accordingly, but please try to minimise this wherever possible. Category 3 material includes parts of animals that has been passed fit for human consumption but which are not intended for consumption, either because they are not parts of animals that we normally eat (hides, hair, feathers, bones etc) or for commercial reasons. Category 3 material includes former foodstuffs (waste from food factories and retail premises such as butchers and supermarkets).

Disposal of catering waste is not controlled by these Regulations. Catering waste is defined as all food, including used cooking oils, originating in restaurants, catering facilities and Kitchens, including central kitchens and household kitchens.

If you are unsure as to whether these Regulations apply to you please call Environmental Health on 01506 775400. Further information on Animal By Products can be found on the Scottish Governments website 

You are reminded that failure to comply with the Animal By-Products (Scotland) Regulations 2003 may result in more formal action being taken against you and/or your company. A person guilty of an offence under these Regulations shall be liable on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or both; or on indictment, to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.