Trade waste service

Regulations for businesses

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. A licensed waste carrier will ensure this is done. Keeping our city clean and green helps to encourage tourism, business investment and retail customers - all of which can benefit Edinburgh businesses.

We do not offer any Trade Waste service.

What to do with 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 tell 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’.

Find out more about when to present your waste.

Scotland's Deposit Return Scheme

Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers was due to begin in July 2022, but has been delayed until October 2025. This will be a new law introduced by the Scottish Government to reduce litter and encourage recycling.

If you are a shop, café or other business who sells drinks in clear plastic bottles and cans to drink away from your site, you’ll need to prepare to act as a collection point and arrange for these to be recycled. It will no longer include drinks sold in glass bottles, at least to begin with. 

Find out the latest updates on DRS on SEPA's website.