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Holiday home waste management

Not just a load of old rubbish but holiday home waste management is important to get right. As an owner, you may be wondering if you need to employ a commercial waste collection service. As well as the regulations you need to follow. In this article we will discuss some tips for commercial waste collection for your holiday home.

Holiday home waste collection

Waste being put in bin

The Controlled Waste Regulations 2012 sets out how local councils deal with waste from holiday lets and self-catering accommodation. It identifies “domestic properties used in the course of a business for the provision of self-catering accommodation” as a producer of commercial waste. Therefore, if you let your property to paying guests, you will not be permitted to use the council’s kerbside household collection service. You will have to pay for commercial waste collection. 

This also applies if you are not registered for business rates. Regardless of the number of days that you let your property for does not affect this. The number of days you are empty but are ready for guests also does not apply. The regulations classify holiday lets and self-catering accommodation as a business.

Selecting your commercial waste services

First and foremost, you must check that the waste carrier is registered and appropriately licensed. You can do this by searching the Environment Agency’s website. It is your responsibility to ensure that the waste carrier you employ disposes the rubbish legally.

Collecting waste

You will want a provider who can collect a wide range of refuse types. This will need to include food, glass, paper, plastic, cardboard and general waste.

bulky waste collection

Some companies offer a single bin option. They will sort refuse for you (except for food and nappies). This will minimise confusion and can be a convenient way to make sure that refuse is recycled correctly. While others charge by the bag or box. It is important to understand in advance exactly how many boxes you’ll need so you can budget accordingly. 

Collecting waste from your property

You will need to consider how easy it is for companies to collect the waste from your property. If your holiday home is in a remote location or along a narrow road, you will need to employ a service with smaller trucks so they can reach you.

Timing and reliability is everything. A driveway full of bin bags is not the first impression you want to create for your guests. Similarly, you want a provider that is thorough and won’t leave anything behind. 

Keep the waste transfer note

Check you have a completed waste transfer note for each collection. This is provided by the waste collection company, usually on an annual basis. It will also contain a list of all the services provided and the collection frequency. You must sign this and keep it for at least 2 years as proof for the council.  


Don’t be tempted to try and cut costs. Councils are wise to businesses trying to leave their refuse out with the neighbours for kerbside collection. Any businesses caught doing so could be fined

How to reduce waste collection costs

Old hand holding plastic bag in to trash

Now that you’re paying for your waste to be collected. The simplest way to lower your costs (and benefit the environment) will be to reduce the amount of waste generated by your property.  To do this in practice you’ll need to help your guests, to help you! 

Although most of us are used to recycling at home, differing collection types and a more relaxed attitude can lead to less refuse being correctly disposed.  Begin by making a simple bin schedule for your guests to follow. Clearly label bins and containers if space allows, use different containers for different types of waste. Give bins a designated area where they won’t be blown away, knocked over or besieged by seagulls or other creatures. Finally, make sure you leave clear instructions highlighting the waste collection schedule.

Useful reading:

For more information on collection and recycling for your area, visit your local council website. We have also attached some useful links below: 

Cornwall Council:

Devon County Council: 

Chenoweth Trading Company:  –  01872 501221

Biffa: – 0800 307307

Cornwall Waste Care: 807000.