Waste improvement for businesses

Waste improvement for businesses

We're introducing a new standard for how commercial waste should be stored and how waste bins or sacks are presented on the highway and public land.

Bristol is a vibrant, bustling city teeming with independent shops, restaurants, venues and bars. As we look to recover from the impacts of the pandemic, we are changing our approach to waste collection to encourage visitors back to the city by creating a cleaner, safer, litter-free environment.

Streets that are free from trade bins and waste:

  • are more pleasant and inviting for residents and visitors
  • allow people more space to move around the city
  • are better for people with mobility issues or with pushchairs
  • have improved access and appearance which can also help businesses to attract more customers
  • attract less vermin
  • causes less litter

A new standard for Bristol

Under the new standards you are not allowed to store commercial bins on the street or pavement (on the highway or on public land), or to leave sacks for collection overnight.

From now on the following rules apply:

  • commercial waste can only be stored in or on your business premises
  • commercial waste can only be put out for collection during allocated time slots depending where you are in the city

Westminster, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh have all successfully employed a similar system with a significant improvement to the appearance of the city.

Old City pilot area

We're starting with a pilot scheme in the Old City before rolling out the new standards to other parts of Bristol.

In the Old City waste can only be put out for collection and collected between:

  • 5.30am to 10.30am and 5.30pm to 8.0pm, Monday to Saturday
  • 8.30am to 10.30am and 5.30pm to 8pm on Sunday

There are no evening collections for the traffic restricted parts of King Street, Broad Street, and St Nicholas Street.

The pilot scheme will begin with a period of engagement, allowing businesses time to understand the new rules and get new collection arrangements in place.

Map of the Old City area

map showing Old City streets in the pilot area

How you must present your waste for collection

Containers must:

  • have a closed and locked lid
  • contain all the waste
  • have no side waste or litter left around them
  • be placed in a suitable or agreed location
  • be clearly labelled with the name of your business

Containers must not:

  • be overfilled so that the lids won’t close
  • have lids left open or unlocked
  • have side waste and litter left around them
  • be easily accessible to the public or animals
  • pose a health and safety risk
  • block access to public highway
  • pose a fire risk

These rules apply to all sizes of commercial waste containers.

Further Information

Changes to your waste arrangements leaflet (pdf, 1.7MB) (opens new window)

Frequently Asked Questions (pdf, 178KB) (opens new window)

Commercial waste Duty of Care (pdf, 255KB) (opens new window)

What happens next

You should contact your commercial waste contractor to ask for changes to your collections.

Contact us if you have any questions or if you need additional evening collections, by email at