Commercial Cleaners in London




The Organised Cleaning Company provides commercial cleaning services to businesses across every central London. From our base in Marylebone, we have teams of expertly trained, fully vetted (including CRB checks) and English-speaking commercial cleaners who specialise in dealing with cleaning contracts for office based and retail businesses in the heart of London.

Our commercial cleaning service in London will consistently leave your premises brilliantly clean. Whatever your needs, whether you need an office  or a retail space cleaned, The Organised Cleaning Company can provide a service that suites you.

London Commercial Cleaning Services

Our fully trained team of commercial cleaners provide our services to a wide range of commercial premises including:

  • Offices
  • Retail
  • Surgeries
  • Common Parts

and many more.

Commercial Cleaners London Value for Money

Business owners and managers are always under pressure to obtain the best return on their investment which is why we are delighted to provide a professional service which offers complete value for money coupled with a comprehensive and hassle-free service which lets you concentrate on the things you do best!

To find out how much your commercial premises would cost to clean, click here and  get a QUICK QUOTE 

Commercial Cleaning Contracts

Our commercial cleaning contracts are flexible which is why we always have a meeting with potential customers to discuss their needs which vary considerably from client to client, with different types of businesses and different sizes of businesses.

Whether you have one or two employees or employee 100′s, our commercial cleaning contracts will provide you with the service you require with the built-in flexibility to change as your requirements change.

To obtain a free quote from our The Organised Cleaning Company for our commercial cleaning service in London just follow this link and get a  QUICK QUOTE or alternatively you can call us on 020 7458 4433 or email us at

The Importance Of Pre & end Of Tenancy Cleaning for Landlords




Let’s be honest, if you’re a landlord you want the best level of rent that your property (or properties!) can achieve right?

Things like regular decoration & maintenance, ensuring your gas and electrical certificates are up to date and electrical equipment is PAT tested are all important to make sure that your property is in the best possible condition to attract good tenants who value a well maintained home. Ensuring that your property is clean and well presented at the outset of each new tenancy is also an important factor is it creates a good first impression for prospective tenants and sets the benchmark for how the property should be returned at the end of a tenancy.

This is where employing professional & reliable cleaning company to deal with pre & end of tenancy cleans is an important consideration for both landlords and tenants. Any cleaning company worth their salt who specialises in these types of cleans will ensure that your property is left spotless at the start and at the end of a tenancy. It goes without saying that when rental premises are clean, they are likely to attract many more potential tenants, which in turn means that you will be able to secure the amount of rent you desire for your property.

Potential tenants are far more likely to pay a higher price for clean and tidy premises. You’re also more likely to have shorter or hardly any void periods because a clean and well maintained property will have greater demand, meaning someone will rent it sooner rather than later. Higher rent, shorter or hardly any void periods and better quality of tenants who who’ll look after your property all contribute towards getting a better return on your rental investment.

The importance of a good pre & end of tenancy cleaning service is often underestimated and undervalued. Paying less than 5% off the annual rental income of your property to ensure that it is professionally cleaned and spotlessly presented at the end of every 6 or 12 month rental is an investment well worth making. Make sure you employ a cleaning company that specialises in pre&end of tenancy cleaning, who works with letting agents and property managers and knows the standards of cleanliness required to look after your property, your investment and your rental income.

That’s where our team of trained, reliable and English-speaking super cleaners at The Organised Cleaning Company comes in handy. We satisfy all of the above criteria and more, so why not give us a call on 020 7458 4433 or drop us a line at for a free no obligation quote. You. An also visit us at and submit your request online!

The Organised Cleaning Company profile in November’s issue of Fabric Magazine!


The Organised Cleaning Company - Fabric Magazine November 2014

We’re proud to announce that we have recently been profiled in Fabric Magazine. Fitted as “The Great Green Cleaning Machine” and labeled “Marylebone’s all shinning, all scrubbing superheros”, we’re getting recognised for the fantastic service that we provide with our end of tenancy & deep cleans, and office & retail cleaning throughout London.

Hand-delivered each month to 70,000 of north and central London’s finest addresses (and available for download right here), the magazine provides the ultimate guide to making the most of life north of the river and luxury property listings providing a through the keyhole look at some of the area’s most desirable addresses, and expert market news, views and advice.

For further information about our cleaning service, please contact us on 020 7458 4433 or at Alternatively you can visit our website at and submit an enquiry online!


Tidy your office for a more productive workforce



We’re all guilty of it every now and again but with research proving that a cluttered desk leads to stress and lower productivity, it’s time to rally the troops and make a conscious effort to de-clutter and tidy their workspaces.

Even if you have an office cleaner, it is still important to ensure employees take responsibility for tidying their own desks and items. We’ve put together a few top tips to help you change your cluttered and untidy office into a welcoming and productive workspace.

Be organised

By organising your desk and making designated spaces for items, it should help avoid any unnecessary clutter being left on the desk. Productivity is certainly set to decrease if you’re spending valuable time searching for particular documents, which are hidden under a pile of clutter. And if you do not have any loose pieces of important papers on your desk, it will lower the risk of these being thrown away as rubbish.

Be brutal

When organising your desk, make sure you are brutal with the items you keep. Most employees are guilty of keeping documents which they haven’t used for years. Go through your piles of paper and ask yourself: Have I used this? and Will I use it in the future? If the answer to both questions is no, you know exactly what to do – get rid of it. If you have private and confidential documents, it’s worth investing in a shredding machine to ensure these documents are destroyed properly. When you have decided on the items you are keeping, make sure you put them away in an organised manner.

Business owners should invest in some files and a cupboard where you can shut things away but can access them at any time of the day. Be careful of buying drawers and boxes to store your clutter as these are a hoarder’s dream. Drawers can also be a quick fix for many employees who will just hide things in them rather than organise the mess. Once you have a system in place, stick to it. It’s a lot easier to organise things if you do it continuously and not let it pile up.

Break the habit

Clutter in the office is often due to habit so now is the time to break the habit and start afresh. Set aside some time to clear up your office and do this on a regular basis. It will help you feel a lot calmer and motivated to work, as no one wants to face an untidy desk on a Monday morning. If you’re in a business where clients come to you for meetings, remember your office space is a reflection of your company so make sure you do not give your clients the wrong impression.

With research showing a clear link between clutter and stress, it’s important that employees keep their office environment in a tidy manner as this will lead to a happier and more productive workforce.

For more information on The Organised Cleaning Company’s commercial cleaning services please call us on 020 7458 4433, email us at or visit our website at and submit your request online.

The Organised Cleaning Company is a commercial cleaning company set up by lawyer cum-entrepreneur Matt Harris in 2011. Our office is based in Marylebone and we provide contract and commercial cleaning services throughout central London.

Benefits to hiring a Commercial Cleaning Company



One thing clients take for granted when they enter any business premises is its overall cleanliness. Keeping the office clean is the last thing you want to think about, especially when you have meetings to go to, deals to close and clients to please. This alone is a compelling enough reason to hire a commercial cleaning company to handle your cleaning requirements!

There are other factors that play a part as well, such as:

  • Managing Clients First Impressions – Clients might interpret a less than spotless facility as a reflection of the amount of care that goes into a business’s product or service and can decide to take business elsewhere.
  • Preventing Health Issues – Dust can easily accumulate in a workplace that has been neglected and employees who have allergies or breathing problems can suffer as a result.
  • Sustaining Staff Productivity and Satisfaction – Staff work better in clean environments and hiring a commercial cleaning company to keep the office clean improves moral and satisfaction in the workplace.
  • Leveraging Expertise, Experience and Equipment – While the option of hiring cleaning staff in-house is available, engaging experts at a premium is the same price to pay for the relative convenience and knowledge that a competent cleaning company can provide.

With years of experience, The Organised Cleaning Company knows how to carry out your cleaning requirements both effectively and efficiently. Visit our website for more details and request a free quote, or give us a call on 020 7458 4433 for all your commercial cleaning needs.

Who Hires a Domestic Cleaner?


This week, our guest blogger Sharon Freeman provides some insight into the advantages and what to look out for when hiring a domestic cleaner for your home.

In the UK, families are trending toward hiring professional help to keep their homes clean.  There are many benefits to this, including giving families more free time together, improved sanitation at home and reduced stress levels –  all just by living in a consistently cleaner environment. Today, professional cleaning is a job which gives people opportunities to earn a living wage with benefits, regardless of their level of education.  

Isn’t it expensive?

Of course, the cost of hiring a cleaning professional has traditionally been a far lower percentage of income in the UK than in places like Australia, New Zealand and the United States.  Now, with the common nature of personal maid services, cleaning agencies and professional cleaning companies, it’s possible to pay less based on the frequency and duration of the service you require.  Many families only use a cleaning service for a few hours every one to two weeks.

Are there benefits besides a clean home?

There are some families who are interested in making the switch to a domestic cleaning service can’t quite seem to justify the expense. However, they might do well to realise that keeping their house clean does more than create a pleasant environment.  Kitchen and bathroom fixtures and appliances fall into disrepair because of limescale buildup, which can be prevented by frequent cleaning.  Carpets and wooden floors alike stay in better condition, and will not need replacing as often, provided they are kept clean and well maintained.  If you’re planning to sell your house at some stage or simply want your home to stand the test of time for future generations, investing in cleaning is an investment towards preserving the future value of your abode.

Are there ethical drawbacks to hiring a domestic cleaner?

Many people look at hiring a domestic cleaner as something reserved for elite families who think they are too good to do their own cleaning.  Of course, it’s never possible to speak for everybody and there are families who hire professional cleaners for this very reason, but most families simply don’t have enough time to clean the house as thoroughly and as often as they would like to.  That being said, it’s important to consider the following points before hiring a professional cleaner or professional cleaning service:

  • Be prepared to pay at least minimum wage (£6.35) or, if based in and around London, a London Living Wage (£8.55). Research what responsible companies in the area are charging, and paying their employees.
  • Find out whether the agency or cleaning company you employ provides their employees with all the required statutory benefits.
  • Make enquiries of the agency or cleaning company as to whether employees are being treated fairly. Ask to speak to agency representatives and ask to interview potential cleaners yourself.  After all, you are opening up your home to these people and the level of service and respect will increase the more happy the professional cleaner is with his or her labor situation.
  • Ensure that any agency or cleaning company you use hires only properly vetted and eligible workers. 
  • Never hire an undocumented worker as an independent contractor.  Even though the price may be lower per hour, the cost could be far greater in the long run.  Doing so can lead to a legal nightmare if discovered, especially for you as the ‘employer’ who will be expected in the eyes of the government to provide the proper benefits to all ‘employees.’  This also continues the negative pattern of exploiting vulnerable undocumented families, which is very unethical.

At The Organised Cleaning Company, we offer a professional domestic cleaning service and only employ fully vetted (including CRB checks) staff who have plenty of experience cleaning residential homes. We also ensure that our staff are looked after and paid well for their work, which ensures happiness in the workplace and enables us to maintain our exceptional cleaning standards. If you’d like to try our domestic cleaning service, follow this link for more details, call us on 020 7458 4433 (UK only) or email us at

Sharon Freeman is a professional freelancer who writes about cleaning and the latest commercial cleaning trends in the cleaning world.

Corporations are at the heart of sustainability dynamism


Back in September, Matt Harris attended a waste awareness course at Bywaters, who provide recycling and resource management services. One of Matt’s fellow attendees that day was Yousuf Jamil, an Environmental Assessor and UK-based environmentalist. Over the last few weeks, Yousuf kindly agreed to prepare a guest post  for The Organised Cleaner regarding sustainability and corporations. Given that Matt only recently had his ‘Sustainability Driven Service’ article published in November’s edition of Tomorrow’s Sustainable Cleaning, I thought this would be a great follow-up post so enjoy!

“Sustainability may still be in its infancy in absolute terms, but the move towards building ethically sound businesses has steadily gained momentum to last many years. Protecting the brand values, producing environmentally responsible products, carbon neutrality and social responsibilities are the new challenges for board members. Many of these values have are embedded within the DNA of many new business organisations. In recent research carried out by (Sustainable Business magazine) and Temple Group in the UK found that almost seven in 10 businesses (69%) consider sustainability to be a priority business driver for success in 2012, 40% of those see it as a high priority, i.e. at the core of their business strategy. 

The rapid increase of sustainability into corporate culture obviously tells us something. First of all, corporation’s survival is at stake if they do not embed these above mentioned values within their overall mission and vision. Secondly, it is very logical to do so. The logic is to protect the triple bottom line (e.g. economic, social and environmental aspects) where all businesses are facing new environmental challenges, trying to achieve things that can make a difference to our society and planet, as well a to the business’ environmental performance and its productivity, efficiency and profits.

One of the biggest changes that has happened over the past two decades within the larger manufactures, is a holistic approach in thinking and planning all the way from digging the raw-materials from the earth to manufacture the products, distribution, selling and disposing the waste. Every step of the process touches the very core of three pillars of sustainability – the triple bottom line. Similar changes have happened also within the service sector organisations. They are very keenly following their economic, social and environmental performances of doing their business. They are also part of overall sustainability package. 

The strategies to achieving a sustainable business outcome is to first secure brand integrity, transparency and authenticity. It is easier & cost-effective for those businesses that have already received considerable attention for many years as an ethical business,  and have environmental sound practices & social obligations within their overall corporate strategy. I’m not suggesting that the new sustainability practitioners will have a hard time – not quiet, they will immediately be picked up by the customers, then the business organisation can further strengthen their brand reputation by engaging more on social and environmental obligations and the effect could be even stronger. 

Businesses need to drive the green tech innovation (sustainability through green innovation), which would touch the fundamentals of sustainable business practices and have the aim of reducing waste, require less water and energy, minimise greenhouse gas emissions and use more recycled and alternative materials to manufacture the same products. Also, it’s important to encourage the entire supply chain as well as their customers to drive the green technological innovation to achieve similar benefits. By doing this, it is possible to bring everyone on-board within the sustainability obligations. 

Sustainability doesn’t mean that it is all about cutting down CO2 emissions. It is in fact a tiny part of the whole sustainability dynamism. As our society is facing increasingly negative impacts of global warming from the green house effects, minimising CO2 emissions has now become a norm. Sustainability dynamism is obviously much bigger than this. It’s not only saving water, energy, wise and careful use of resources or eating organic foods, but also about social policies related to employees and their communities, which are equally important as driving the green technological innovation or any other aspects of business growth. Social policies such as equal opportunity and diversity, appropriate laws against discrimination, action against forced labour, health & safety, work-life balance, pension schemes, freedom of association and collective bargaining, possibilities of internal promotion for the employees are also very important. Likewise, policies related to communities such as human rights, job opportunity, infrastructure development, environmental protection and biodiversity conservation etc. are immensely important in achieving sustainability goals. They are two sides of the same coin and part and parcel of ‘the triple bottom line’. 

Larger business organisations are perhaps one of the biggest sectors in our society, employing millions of people and many cases operating almost every country in the world. Near sustainability is possible if every business organisation and their employees do their part towards shaping a better tomorrow. Successful businesses will be those who recognise sustainability issues and put into practice sustainable environmental management plans and consider the competitive advantage that greening their products & services and having clean technology in place can help bring them closer to a sustainable future.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Yousuf Jamil is a UK-based environmentalist. He has extensive experience in working with business and environment sectors for many years. Climate change and sustainability issues are one of the main areas of his research interest.

You can follow Yousuf’s blog, Environmental Affairs, and find out more information and insightful posts on sustainability by following the link. You can also connect with Yousuf via LinkedIn.

Sustainability Driven Service


Both Matt Harris and I have been canvasing a cleaning publication called Tomorrow’s Cleaning via twitter to spread the word about sustainable cleaning and have a regular content about the sustainable cleaning industry in the magazine.

At the moment, Tomorrow’s Cleaning is the only publication that has a dedicated sustainable cleaning supplement, which is issued quarterly. We’ve asked for it to be issued monthly and this is something which the magazine will consider once the profile of sustainable cleaning has been raised sufficiently enough. A bit of a chicken and egg situation because without regular press it takes longer to raise the profile! In any event, Charlotte asked Matt to contribute to this quarter’s edition of the Tomorrow’s Cleaning Sustainable Supplement which was issued yesterday.

Tomorrow’s Cleaning has a readership of 58,000 people and gets distributed to those in the property, retail, leisure, government, transport and manufacturing sectors. November’s supplement will be circulated weekly through the month of November, so having  contributed to the supplement means The Organised Cleaning Company will have its profile raised significantly.

You can read the full edition of Tomorrow’s Cleaning Sustainable Supplement right here, and I’m also re-blogging it below for the benefit of my readers. Check out the cheesy photo of Matt Harris at the end! We’re interested in your comments on the article so like The Organised Cleaning Company’s Facebook page and let us know what you think, or comment on this blog post right here!

“Sustainability driven service 

Matt Harris, owner of The Organised Cleaning Company, explains the positive effects a sustainability driven cleaning service has on people, the planet and profits.

It’s safe to say that green cleaning is no longer regarded as a passing fad. The advancement of ecological cleaning products, cleaning technology such as microfiber and different energy efficient & water saving equipment has made the concept of green cleaning more commonplace at facilities throughout the UK.

Nowadays, however, clients are demanding more sustainable practices from their service providers to ensure that they’re wasting less, reusing more and reducing their harmful effects on the environment. Recent survey results revealed that sustainability may be the deciding factor in more than 40% of business negotiations.

In order to provide a sustainable cleaning service, cleaning companies have to do more than simply using ecological products and innovative technology, and adopt the triple bottom line at the core of their business – People, Planet, Profit:

People: This element is often considered in terms of stakeholders who have an interest in how the business is run. Often, the three main stakeholder groups are shareholders, employees and customers.

A sustainable cleaning service will add value to shareholders by enhancing stakeholder value, which includes making the role of a cleaning operative more satisfying for greater job satisfaction in order to maintain high levels of performance. Recruiting staff within close proximity of facilities, cutting traveling time, costs and CO2 emissions, whilst enabling staff to take on more work or a second job. Daytime cleaning also allows staff to engage with customers during regular working hours, which helps build rapport and develops their inter-personal skills.

From a customer perspective, they have to satisfy their own stakeholders by taking active steps to embrace sustainability. Employing a sustainable cleaning company will be a contributing factor to their ‘green’ credentials and can add a certain amount of environmental kudos.

Planet: One of the challenges faced by today’s society is taking responsibility for the environment for future generations.

A sustainable cleaning service minimises its impact on the environment not just by using less toxic, ecological products or reusable cleaning materials, but by providing a service that increases energy efficiency & encourages a waste hierarchy (Reduce/Reuse/Recycle), in order to reduce a facility’s carbon footprint and the amount of waste it sends to landfill. Carrying out a lifecycle analysis, implementing a daytime cleaning regime and identifying & effectively managing processes that produce the most waste all contribute to a facility functioning more sustainably.

Profit: A key advantage of a sustainable cleaning service is that its operational efficiency enables cost savings at facilities.

Today’s ecological cleaning products require smaller inventories of stock to clean facilities, and by training staff to products & equipment correctly ensures that there’s less wastage so that inventories last longer. Buying concentrated products in bulk and decanting them reduces transport costs and emissions, whilst producing less packaging waste. Using an electric fleet of vehicles when staff, products and equipment need to be moved from different facilities, produce zero emissions, save on road tax and are up to seven times cheaper per mile than diesel vehicles.

Reducing the amount of energy consumed (lighting accounts for 16% of the UK’s total energy use, with commercial properties accounting for 43% of this usage) & the amount of waste produced (waste accounts for 4-5% of a company’s operating costs) at facilities will also have a significant impact on a customer’s bottom line, especially with rising energy costs and landfill tax.

In short, a sustainable cleaning service has a positive effect not just on the bottom line of businesses by having a positive effect on profits, but also a wider reaching effect of protecting the two other “Ps” that constitute the triple bottom line – people and planet.”


Waste Awareness Part 4 – The Law and Environmental Aspects


In the fourth and final part our this series on waste awareness, I’ll briefly cover the legal, health & safety and environmental aspects of waste. If you’ve been following this series you’ll already have read up on the definition of waste (Part 1 – What is Waste?), the waste hierarchy (Part 2 – Waste Minimisation) and waste management (Part 3), so I’m hoping that this last post in the series will complete an elementary understanding of waste in the UK.

Safety & Environmental Aspects

Health and Safety ExecutiveThere’s a raft of Health & Safety legislation which imposes requirements on employers and employees to safeguard their health and safety in the workplace. The three major topics to be considered from a waste perspective, are the storage, handling and dispatch of waste.

In most circumstances, mechanical means should be used to transport heavy waste materials and care should be taken when lifting waste materials into skips or containers. If there is any danger of cuts or contamination, gloves should be worn to carry waste materials. Where heavy materials are being carried by employees, an appropriate risk assessment should have been carried out coupled with the required training to perform the task.

When dealing with chemical waste, the safety requirements will often be detailed in the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH sheets or Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and a number of safety issues should be considered when storing waste such as personal protective equipment, segregation of incompatible waste, chemicals, bunding of liquid waste containers or tanks and skips should be correctly loaded so that they don’t become overweight or allow the waste to stick out.

The nature of the waste dictates that environmental aspects such as litter, odour, vermin, dust, vapours and spillages or leaks should be considered when storing waste. To minimise the potential impacts of storage of waste, thought needs to be given to the types of waste and the best form of containment for those wastes.

The Law

Everyone has a legal responsibility to ensure that all waste is dealt with properly and that it’s ultimately disposed of in the right place. The purpose of UK waste law is to control the keeping, transport, treatment, deposit and disposal of waste and covers all sections of waste management, including:

  1. Storage of waste at producers premises
  2. Registering waste carriers and brokers
  3. Licensing/permitting of waste treatment and disposal facilities
  4. Monitoring and control of waste
  5. Keeping appropriate records
  6. Specific control of hazardous waste
  7. Obligations for waste recycling or recovery

Waste legislation also specifies the obligations on Waste Collection Authorities (local councils) to collect waste and consider recycling.

Duty of Care

The most fundamental part of UK waste law is duty of care. The purpose of the duty of care is to make sure that anyone who imports, produces, carries, keeps, treats or disposes of waste or acts as a broker, takes all reasonable measures to ensure that they and others they might hand the waste to, manage the waste according to the law and prevent its escape. It also requires that appropriate records are kept by anyone who handles waste at any stage. The duty of care applies to all controlled waste, whether it comes from the household, commerce or industry. The waste producer has a clearly defined responsibility for waste that it produces to ensure that it is disposed of correctly.

Whenever waste is transferred from one party to another, a transfer note must be completed by both parties. Waste must be accurately described including a six digit European Waste Catalogue code. The written waste description provided must be adequate to allow the person receiving the waste to comply with their own legal obligations including duty of care and others such as health & safety. Regulations also require that all those who carry controlled waste must be registered with the relevant agency.

The waste producer also has a responsibility to ensure that their waste is being transferred to a registered waste carrier or, if they transfer it themselves, to a suitable licensed disposal facility. The waste producer should carry out regular checks on their waste contractors to ensure that they remain registered to carry waste.

The main Government agencies in the UK concerned with the enforcement if waste legislation are the Environment Agency (England & Wales), Scottish Environment Protection Agency and The Environment and Heritage Service (Northern Ireland).

Hazardous Waste & Packaging Waste

Hazardous Waste Regulations ensure that wastes are dealt with carefully and safely. The classification of hazardous waste can be quite complex and depends on the type of waste and the waste process from which it derives. When hazardous waste is transferred to a carrier, both the producer and the carrier must check and sign the consignment note having regard t their duty of care, at any stage, to ensure that the waste is properly packaged and labelled to comply with relevant transport regulations. For any hazardous waste that is sent to landfill, and additional Waste Acceptance Criteria is required by the Landfill Directive and further information on this should be obtained from a specialist waste manager or waste management company.

The Packaging Waste Directive 1994 (adopted into UK legislation by the Packaging Waste Regulations 1997)  places obligations on certain businesses to recover and recycle specified tonnages of packaging waste each year. Regulation in 2005 required business to register with the relevant agency or via a compliance scheme, with new targets having been set for 2008, 2010 and 2012. The regulations apply to any organisation with a turnover of over £2m p/a and producing or using more than 50 tonnes p/a of packaging. If it qualifies, the organisation will have to account for the recycling and recovery of a specified percentage of the waste it creates.

And finally…

One element in the waste industry which has caused a lot of controversy recently is landfill tax. The object of this tax is to make landfill increasingly more expensive and to encourage waste producers to consider alternative options for their waste before sending it to landfill. There are two rates of landfill tax depending on whether it’s active waste (most kinds of household, commercial or industrial waste) at £64 per tonne or inactive waste (such as rocks or soil) at £2.50 per tonne. The cost of landfill tax is on the increase annually and can be a big cost to business, so the incentive for finding alternative options for waste that businesses produce is significant.

As with all law, there are also penalties for any breaches. Cases can be tried in the Magistrates or Crown Courts which can impose high penalties such as fines (up to £50,000 in the Magistrates and unlimited in the Crown Court) and/or imprisonment (up to 12 months in the Magistrates and 5 years in the Crown Court) so it pays to follow the letter of the law precisely to avoid being penalised.

Waste Awareness Part 3 – Waste Management


 I’ve already helped define what waste is in Part 1 (What is Waste) and Part 2 of the series covered avoiding the production of waste (Waste Minimisation) as part of this series. In the third of my four-part series on waste awareness, I’m going to set out information on the disposal of waste, which is the very last option in the waste hierarchy.

Waste Strategy 

As landfill is a major source of methane (a powerful greenhouse gas contributing to global warming), the EU Landfill Directive has set ambitious targets for the reduction of biodegradable municipal waste (See Part 1 – What is Waste) sent to landfill:

  1. Reducing municipal waste to landfill down to 35% of the 1995 tonnage by 2020;
  2. banning co-disposal of hazardous waste & non-hazardous waste, and requiring separate landfills for hazardous, non-hazardous and inert waste;
  3. banning landfill of tyres and certain other wastes;
  4. banning landfill of liquid wastes, infectious clinical waste and certain types of hazardous waste together;
  5. increasing standards of landfill.

Meeting these target is a major challenge and the Government has introduced its Waste Strategy for England (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have separate strategies) which concentrates on the reduction, reuse and recycling of waste.   The Government has placed a number of restrictions on the disposal of waste including financial tools such as Landfill Tax, to disincentivise landfilling and make other ways of dealing with waste more financially attractive.

Waste Disposal Routes

There are a number of routes to disposing of waste and all parties, including the waste producer, have a legal responsibility to receive or dispatch waste in a way that satisfies their duty of care (more on this in Part 4!). The responsibilities of each person in the waste chain is set out below.

Waste Producer – The waste producer decides on which route is chosen to dispose of waste. The most important point for the producer is to know its waste so that important financial, legal or environmental decisions on how to handle the waste can be made. The type of waste and description of waste will dictate how it’s handled & stored to meet safety and environmental obligations.

Segregation of waste may be necessary as different waste has different disposal routes. For segregation to be effective it should be done as close as possible to the point of waste production. Good waste management practice should also ensure that people are accountable for the cost, nature and description of waste .Having made a decision about the segregation of waste, the next step is to decide on the best disposal route by:

  • Appointing a registered waste carrier;
  • Contracting with a registered waste broker; or
  • Delivering waste to a suitably licensed waste facility direct.

Waste Broker – Brokers usually deal with complex hazardous waste or where the producer has a number of sites spread over a wide geographical area. Brokers will contract with other waste specialists to provide a complete waste service of waste collection and disposal. All brokers must be registered with the Environment Agency and clients must check that the broker is indeed properly registered.

Waste Carrier – Waste carriers are specialised contractors with purpose-built vehicles or containers for carrying waste. Whoever is appointed as the waste carrier must be given an adequate description of the waste it will be transporting so that this can be carried safely and transferred onto the next person in the chain.

The waste carrier can only be responsible for the waste described to him by the producer and should check the waste ‘so far as reasonably practicable’ to ensure that it is the waste as described. Therefore, if the waste is wrongly described to the carrier, the producer may be responsible for it, not the carrier. The waste carrier has to keep appropriate documentation about the wast it carries and also needs to be registered with the Environment Agency.

Waste Management Facilities – There are a variety of waste disposal facilities throughout the UK. Because of their specialised knowledge & position in the waste disposal chain, they’re in the best position to identify where something has gone wrong further up the chain (e.g. wrong description, wrong waste) and it’s not uncommon for a waste disposer to reject waste where it has been incorrectly described. Waste disposers have a responsibility, once they’ve accepted waste, to process it only in the manner that is allowed in their licence or permit and to ensure best environmental practice:

  • Transfer Stations – They bulk up waste to make subsequent transport more efficient, and also sort and separate materials for recycling (sometimes known as Material Recovery Facilities or MRFs). The bulked residues will then go to landfill, recovery or treatment, in larger containers or vehicles.
  • Thermal Treatment Facilities – These facilities subject wastes to some form  of heat treatment, converting the waste into another form and recovering energy from the material. Two types of waste normally incinerated are either combustible household, industrial and commercial waste or hazardous waste. Thermal Treatment Facilities have to meet stringent standards for all emissions and require complex equipment to clean the discharges to the environment.
  • Treatment Facilities – These operations process the physical or chemical treatment of waste to change its nature so that it’s a useful secondary material or more suitable for landfill. Examples include composting, oil and solvent recovery, refuse derived fuel and solidification.

Landfill – Landfill is the process of placing waste below or above ground to get rid of it and at the same time either restoring land to its previous level or providing an attractively mounded landscape. The Landfill Directive has restricted what waste can go to landfill. Biodegradable and hazardous wastes cannot go to landfill without some sort of pre-processing in a treatment facility.

Waste Audit

An essential feature of good waste management practice is waste auditing so that detailed knowledge is gained of the wastes being produced by a business. A waste audit will identify a) types of waste b) quantities of waste and c) points of waste production. Waste audits should be carried out in a systematic way and legal obligations should be considered at each stage.

Carrying out a waste audit should be a combination of both waste data collection and a review of processes. From this information it’s possible to see which activities in a department produce waste and what types of waste, and consideration can also be given to how raw materials, processes or waste handling methods can be changed to reduce or prevent waste.

In the last of this four part series on waste awareness, I’ll be covering safety, environmental and legal aspects of waste. Hopefully, at the end of the series I will have provided you with some useful insight on the importance of managing the waste that your business (or home) produces, the options available to you before having to dispose of waste and how the effective management of waste can have a significant impact on your business’ bottom line.