Commercial Waste

By Tabitha Mishra
Last updated: November 12, 2018

What Does Commercial Waste Mean?

Commercial waste consists of waste from premises used mainly for business, trade, recreation, education, sport, or entertainment. It typically excludes waste generated from households, agricultural operations, or construction activities.

Unlike residential waste, commercial waste is not collected by municipalities. As such, it is not to be disposed alongside domestic waste.

Waste from smaller shops and business parks where local authority waste collection agreements are in place falls under the category of municipal waste.

Safeopedia Explains Commercial Waste

Unlike industrial waste, which comes from factories and industrial plants, commercial waste is generated by the activities of wholesalers, catering establishments, shops, offices, schools, and non-manufacturing processes within industrial facilities.

Responsibility for Commercial Waste Disposal

The disposal of commercial waste is typically the responsibility of each individual business. Companies are expected to make their own arrangements for the collection, treatment, and disposal of waste generated from business activities.

Failure to have the waste collected in a manner that conforms with local laws can carry fines and penalties.

Managing Commercial Waste by Following the Waste Hierarchy

Commercial waste can be managed and reduced effectively according to government guidelines by adhering to the waste hierarchy:

  • Source reduction – The most effective way to manage waste is to reduce the amount of waste generated at the source. This can be done by changing the type of materials used, using processes that require fewer items, or replacing disposable components with reusable ones.
  • Reusing materials Reusing materials that can be cleaned, repaired, and repurposed is another highly effective approach to waste reduction.
  • Recycling – Recycling is the extraction of usable materials from items that can no longer be used. These extracted components are saved from the waste stream and using recycled materials can eliminate some of the packaging waste that comes from using new materials.
  • Energy conversion – Waste to energy (WTE) is an option for non-recyclable waste that is capable of being converted to electricity, fuel, or heat through combustion, pyrolization, gasification, anaerobic digestion, or other processes.
  • Treatment and disposal – Some of the commercial waste that cannot be reduced, reused, recycled, or converted energy can be treated by shredding, incinerating, or anaerobic digestion.

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