The Difference Between Commercial Bins and Household Bins

What is the difference between household and commercial bins? It must be a question you have asked yourself over and over again. Oh, you haven’t? Well, we’re deep thinkers when it comes to the world of bins, so we’ve answered it for you anyway!

As a business owner you need to understand what the differences are and what your responsibilities are for your waste, not knowing could cost you a pretty penny.

Household bins

Domestic waste is waste that is generated because of daily life at your domestic dwelling. This waste should be disposed of in household bins.

Household bins are provided to your property as part of the provision from your local authority. Households will be provided with a combination of bins for segregating waste. What your council collects depends on your local authority.

Your local council has a legal obligation to collect your bins, this will be done on a rota basis. General waste bins are often collected twice a month and other bins may only be collected just once, but each local council will differ in what they provide.

Commercial bins

This is where things get more complicated as commercial bins are regulated very differently to household bins. It is important as a business you know what you need to do with your waste to avoid any fines.

Commercial waste is waste of any type that comes from a commercial business. This includes places such as health services, charities, manufacturing, accommodation, to name a few.

Businesses are required by law to have a contract with a waste removal company that will manage disposing of their waste appropriately. This is something a business owner needs to organise to ensure waste is dealt with correctly. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (section 34(7)) failure to comply with your duty of care of commercial waste is punishable by a fine.

If you run your business out of part of your home, you need to still follow the commercial waste regulations. If you try to sneak commercial waste into your household bin and this is discovered, you can be fined. There are examples in the past of people being fined as much as £600 for disposing of commercial waste in household bins.

By law, businesses have a duty of care when it comes to dealing with their waste. Waste must:

  • Be stored securely and safely 
  • Not cause pollution to the nearby environment or the nearby people 
  • Be packaged in suitable containers that ensure that waste cannot fall out, blow away or escape 
  • Have sufficient security to ensure nothing can be stolen by vandals or animals 

The key differences between commercial bins and domestic bins 

Despite commercial and domestic bins both being used to collect and dispose of waste, there are some key differences between the two:

  1. Size 

You will find that commercial bins are bigger than domestic wheelie bins. This is simply because businesses will generate more waste than a domestic property.

2. Availability 

Companies will have to pay for their bins and enter contracts with waste companies. Household properties receive bins free of charge from the council and these will be at the property from day one.

3. Types

Household properties will receive various bins, and these will differ depending on their local authority rules. Commercial properties can request several types of bins such as hazardous waste or larger sized glass bins.

What bins can I buy for my commercial property?

Once you have arranged a waste removal company to collect the waste your company generates, you need to look at what types of bins you need.

Clinical waste bins 

One bin that has become increasingly popular over the last 18 months are the clinical waste bin. These are commonly found in hospitals or doctors but as more companies look to protect against COVID-19, clinical waste bins are found in offices, restaurants and bars.

Here are examples of clinical bins available:

Food and bottle bins

More popular with pubs, cafes and restaurants.

Bottle bins offer a great solution to transporting bottles. This can either be full bottles that are needed to replenish stock or empty bottles that need transporting to the main bottle waste bin.

Our Recycled Black Wheeled Bottle Bin – 135 Litre offers a large capacity and eco-friendly method of transporting bottles.

Food bins, or mobile ingredient trucks, are used by bakeries or restaurants to transport or store food ingredients. Like bottle bins, food bins vary in size, and we have various options available:

Larger general waste bins 

One thing that all businesses, schools and any other commercial property will need is a large, heavy-duty bin that is used to collect the general waste from smaller bins.

These are a crucial part of your waste collection as they are where you’ll store the rubbish before it is collected.

We again have various size options for this type of bin, as well offers for buying multiple bins at one time:

Why are commercial bins more regulated?

You are probably thinking, why are commercial bins so much more challenging work than household bins? Let’s have a look at why.

Some waste that is produced by commercial properties is classed as ‘Regulated Waste’ which needs to be managed appropriately. A good example of this is potentially hazardous materials that need to be managed safely and disposed of correctly. 

Another important reason is the fact that commercial properties produce a lot more waste than the average household each week. The amount of waste produced by commercial properties would be an unfair amount of workload on what are already busy local councils.

If you want to find out more about your responsibilities as business owner, then check out for all the governments guidance.

If you’d like to find out more about the bins we have available, please contact our sales team on 01777 858009 or email

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