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Northampton Town Centre Environmental Policy

The Northampton Town Centre Environmental Policy aims to improve everyone’s experience by helping to keep the area clean and tidy through the removal of waste receptacles from pavements and highways.

All organisations have a responsibility to ensure any waste arising from their activities is handled, stored and disposed of in a responsible manner. 

We are committed to working with businesses and commercial waste companies to see that no waste is left on the streets outside the specified timed collection slots. 

Read the full policy

How businesses can comply with our policy


Businesses are expected to store all recycling and waste receptacles securely off the public highway.

Where receptacles cannot be collected from the storage point, they may only be presented on the public highway within the timeslots set out in the policy. Once emptied, they must be returned to their storage point.

Commercial waste

Businesses producing commercial waste shall provide safe and secure storage points and collection points within their originating premises for any clinical trade waste or hazardous trade waste.

All commercial waste bins must be labelled to show business ownership.

What happens if businesses don't comply

Enforcement action may be taken where businesses persistently place their waste on the highway outside of the timed collection slots.

Northampton is a vibrant bustling town with a wide variety of attractions and activities. This new approach to storage and presentation of waste in Northampton town centre initially, will help create a cleaner, greener and safer town.  

We hope to encourage more visitors to Northampton, to support the many independent shops, restaurants, venues and bars, and help support our local businesses.  

Waste permanently stored on our streets attracts vermin, causes litter and encourages fly tipping, as well as obstructing pavements for our visitors and residents, especially those with mobility issues. Improving the appearance of our streets will benefit all who use them - and be good for our businesses too.

The new standard for commercial waste storage and presentation is being rolled out in Northampton town centre initially, and we hope it will eventually apply to all businesses in the West Northants Area.  

We would encourage you to familiarise yourself with the standards and speak with your commercial waste collector for advice on any changes you may need to make to your waste collections.

We are currently operating 2 collection windows where waste can be presented for collection.  Outside of those times, no waste should be stored or presented on public highways or pavements. The current windows for waste presentation and collection are from 6am to 9am and 4pm to 6pm.

We have written to every business within the pilot area setting out details of the new policy.

We will be working hard over the coming months to visit all the affected businesses and help to support you with the changes. However, storage and disposal of waste is ultimately the responsibility of the business, and you must make sure you have suitable collection arrangements in place.

No, if your bins are stored on and collected from within your premises or on your private land then these changes will not affect you. However, you will need to ensure you attach the agreed label to all your bins, helping with identification of any stray bins.

No, but you must have the landowner’s permission to store your bins on the land. Bins will still need to be kept secure, labelled and comply with your Duty of Care and the environmental policy. They must not be stored on a public highway, including highway verges, pavement or roads and should not cause detriment to the local amenity.

There are 2 time slots available for presentation of your waste: 6am to 9am or 4pm to 6pm

If your planning restrictions makes it impossible to comply with these times, please contact us at [email protected] so we can discuss this further.

Your commercial waste is your responsibility and will need to be stored within your property or on private land. Please speak to your commercial waste contractor for advice. You could consider having your waste collected from within your business, increasing the frequency of collections or using collapsible bins or sacks. 

There are several commercial waste collectors operating in Northampton that can help you explore the options available.  You may also wish to speak to neighbouring businesses to try and arrange a shared storage arrangement which must not be on public highway, including verges, pavements or roads.

Having waste collected more frequently may carry an increased cost; however, recycling more may result in saving money. The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 require you to follow the waste hierarchy.

By analysing the waste, you produce and following the waste hierarchy you may lower the amount of waste you generate and the collections you require. The Waste and Resource Action Program (WRAP) website has some helpful advice.

Professional commercial waste collectors in the Northampton will be able to help you reduce, reuse, recycle and provide options which could save you money.

If for some reason, your commercial waste contractor cannot collect your waste you will have to take it off the street and re-arrange collection. 

It is not acceptable to put out your waste and leave it there when your business is closed; this is a failure in your Duty of Care. You would need to discuss missed collections with your contracted collection agent.

Commercial waste can only be presented during the 2 time slots (6am to 9am or 4pm to 6pm), regardless of the receptacle it is placed in. 

You will be permitted to present bags for collection providing they are pest proof and have the name of your business on.

We will work with you and your business as much as possible to help you comply with these changes. 

Should your commercial waste be found on the street outside of the stated collection time, enforcement action may be taken against you. This could result in a fixed penalty notice of £100. Further legal action could lead to a fine of up to £20,000 upon conviction in a magistrate's court.

If you are concerned about not being compliant, or want advice, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

  • Educate - The council will provide information to businesses about their legal responsibilities, council expectations and how it will act against poor Commerical waste practices;
  • Engage - The council will engage with businesses, with annual visits, and where necessary will issue Section 47 Notices to outline your requirements clearly; and 
  • Enforce - The council will ultimately take enforcement action when businesses do not adhere to their legal requirements or the presentation standards.

No. Commerical waste sacks/bags are not suitable for glass, which may get broken and burst the bag. Placing glass waste in bags is not acceptable due to the risk of injury to your staff, members of the public or commercial waste contractors. Please speak to your waste contractor to look at alternative options including smaller containers which can be stored on your property and/or the frequency of your collections.

Food businesses must have adequate provision for the storage and disposal of food waste and other refuse. To comply with the collection windows, it will be necessary to temporarily store food waste within your premises until collection day. 

The following will help you to comply with food hygiene and health and safety requirements and protect against rodents and other pests: 

  1. Consider different ways of food waste disposal. This could include more frequent collections of smaller quantities of waste. 
  2. Ensure bins are a sufficient size for the quantity of food produced. 
  3. Food waste must be stored in closable rigid pest and leak proof containers within the premises. 
  4. Carry out regular clean ups, including the rear of premises, car parks and delivery and storage areas. 
  5. Waste cooking oil must not be poured down drains and must be kept separate from other food waste. 

Bristol, Westminster, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh have all taken a similar approach and seen a significant improvement to the appearance of their cities.

You should contact your commercial waste contractor for further assistance on how to comply with the new standard. Should you have any further enquiries please contact [email protected].

Last updated 28 May 2024