Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Managing customer waste at retail and wholesale businesses

Recycling at retail and wholesale shops

You may provide recycling banks for plastics, paper and glass, on your premises, for example in a car park, or you may offer free collection of batteries or waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). You could provide an incentive, for example reductions in your store, for customers who recycle.

What you must do

Provide a free take-back system for batteries

If you sell more than 32kg of portable batteries to end users per year, you must allow customers to return waste batteries free of charge to all your retail outlets. This applies if you sell batteries in a store, online or via mail order.

For more information see our guidance on selling batteries.

Provide a free take-back system for WEEE

If you sell electrical and electronic equipment to end users, you must have a free take back system for customers to dispose of their WEEE. You can set this up yourself or you can join the UK distributor take-back scheme.

For more information about your obligations, and more details about how to comply, read our guidance for distributors and retailers of electrical and electronic equipment.

Good practice

Have a maintenance agreement with recycling bank owners

If you have recycling banks or 'bring banks' on your premises, have a written agreement with the company that owns the banks about how often they are going to be emptied or replaced. This agreement might be with your local council or with a waste management company.

Your agreement could also state how you will deal with any problems with windblown rubbish or misuse of recycling banks.

If windblown litter becomes a problem around recycling banks on your land, you could cause a nuisance to the local community. Your local council could serve a litter abatement notice on you, and you will have to clear the area.

For more information, see our guidance on noise, odour and other nuisances.

Host a charity recycling bank

You could provide banks on your premises to collect for a charity. Charity banks can be used to collect second-hand clothing, shoes, books, CDs and DVDs. It is best to contact the charity of your choice directly if you want to host a bank for them.

Alternatively, you could provide a collection scheme. For example, Community RePaint has collection points at DIY stores for recycling unwanted paint.

Community RePaint

Inform your customers

Tell your customers about the services you offer. Make it clear what types of waste and recycling facilities you have.

SEE ALSO: Retail and wholesale, Reduce reuse, recycle tour business waste

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