New to First Mile? Looking for extra information on business recycling? If you’ve got a question, just enter it below to filter our frequently asked questions
Your business rates don’t cover waste collection and disposal, which means you’re legally required to appoint a licensed waste carrier to handle your business waste responsibly for you. You also have a legal obligation to ensure your business recycles as much of its waste as possible.
We provide free official documentation, over 20 recycling services, and a suite of Service Extras to help you recycle your waste to the max.
Our prices vary according to area and requirement, but they’re always competitive. For most of our customers, we work on a pay-as-you-go basis also, so you’re not tied into a contract, and you won’t pay a penny in admin fees.
We ensure our Benefits create a service that is excellent value-for-money, and we offer a range of complimentary Service Extras that will help you to leave a greener footprint and make savings.Get in touch for a no-obligation quote.
Absolutely. We provide core recycling services in London city and Birmingham and can arrange nationwide services for larger accounts, working in partnership with trusted providers in those areas.
We also offer a RecycleBox service, which you can send to us packed with goodies to be recycled from any part of the country.
Get in touch to see how we can serve your business.
First Mile provides London recycling services in 27 boroughs, as well as in Birmingham. More than that, if your business is in London, our vehicles are never more than ½ an hour away from you!
We’re also able to arrange nationwide services for larger accounts by working in partnership with trusted providers in those areas.
Plus, we offer a RecycleBox service, whereby you can post back to us all nature of recyclables from any part of the country.
We genuinely care about our customers and the environment, so we make it easy for you to recycle your business waste in a way that is cost-efficient and leaves the greenest possible footprint on the planet.
We’re passionate about making our services as Green as can be! We believe in a world where you can recycle everything, and we’re constantly working on ways to make it a reality.
To begin with, we work closely with you to help you understand the services you need in order to recycle your workplace waste to the max. Then, we provide ongoing support with a range of complimentary Service Extras to help maintain and enhance this.
We operate a strict zero-to-landfill policy, meaning that all of your waste goes to generate green electricity and doesn’t end up rotting in the ground for hundreds of years.
Our carbon-neutral fleet of trucks, including electric and Euro 6, travels along optimized clean-air routes to reduce CO2 emissions, and we were the first to introduce a bike to make 100% environmentally-friendly sack deliveries in Central London.
Our award-winning pre-sorting facility the Sacktory® helps us to achieve a 66% recycling average, while our innovative RecycleBox and RecycleLab seek end-of-life solutions for hard-to-recycle materials.
Mixed Recycling or DMR is everyday amounts of clean, dry products.
Included: White & coloured office paper, brochures, envelopes, magazines & newspapers; paper plates; cardboard; plastics, plastic bottle recycling & packaging; tubs; pots; aluminium tins, cans & foil
Excluded: Food; plastic bags; crisp packets; glass; coffee cups; tissues & kitchen roll; plastic film; biodegradables; napkins
If your business generates larger amounts of any individual material that Mixed Recycling accepts, it's better to use one of our dedicated services eg. Paper recycling. This is because the more you separate, the more efficient your recycling and the higher your recycling rate.
General Waste is anything you can’t recycle easily, including the items excluded from mixed recycling.
Included: Expanded polystyrene; tissues; contaminated packaging; wood; napkins; food (but it’s cheaper to recycle this -and the right thing to do!)
Excluded: WEEE (electronics); batteries; toner; clinical waste
After collection, our award-winning pre-sorting facility the Sacktory® diverts any recyclable items to their relevant specialist destinations, while the rest is sent for incineration to create Green energy. Absolutely nothing goes to landfill.
Your food waste goes to feed an anaerobic digestor.
No! We work with most of our customers on a kerbside pay-as-you-go basis, while wheelie bins require a 90 day notice period.
Larger accounts may choose to sign a Service Agreement, or provide us with one of their own.
For smaller businesses, through a personal login access to our portal, with 24/7 support from our customer services.
For larger ones, with the help of a dedicated account manager.
We collect up to 3 times daily, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year, at a time to suit your business and in accordance with any local time band regulations to ensure you’re not at risk of receiving any fines.
For the waste needs of many smaller business, our Mixed Recycling hits the spot, alongside Food and General Waste.
But we also provide over 20 recycling services, including those appropriate for higher volume or specialist items: the more you separate, the more efficient your recycling and the higher your recycling rate.
The best place to start is by identifying the kind of business you are and investigating the services most popular to your sector.
Then you can either sign up online through our portal if you feel you have enough information, or we can talk you any questions on 0800 612 9894 to help get you started.
We handle all waste, almost all of which is recycled, with the General Waste remainder incinerated to create green energy. Nothing is ever sent to landfill.
We provide over 20 recycling services, including those appropriate for higher volume or specialist items.
For the waste needs of many smaller business, our Mixed Recycling hits the spot. But the more you separate, the more efficient your recycling and the higher your recycling rate, so it’s good to use separate services where you can.
You can order more sacks from the Portal
Absolutely. Our Recycle Box welcomes anything that doesn’t fit the profile of a traditional service, such as coffee pods. We’ll either send it to the right home straight away or to our one-of-a-kind Recycle Lab to figure out a solution.
For larger items, such as mannequins and unwanted furniture or sand and soil removal, our Clearances service is at the ready.
The best way to improve your recycling rate is by adding more services to divert materials going into general waste. We have over 20 to choose from, and our team of recycling advisors can help you choose the right ones for your business.
They’re also eager to help you become even more sustainable and come armed with a full range of Service Extras all geared to helping you improve your recycling rate.
Visit our Recycling Services to learn the specific materials each can accept.
Our regular customer service helpline is open 08:00 – 18:00 Mon-Fri, supported by a 24/7 helpline for out-of-hours emergencies.
Contamination results when materials not acceptable to an individual service find their way into a sack or bin.
The extent of the contamination depends on the nature and volume of the unacceptable material, but we have plenty of Service Extras, from top-tip posters and site audits through to our award-winning pre-sorting facility the Sacktory®, to help minimise the issue.
Your recycling rate corresponds to your recycling reports and is based on the capacity of your order over the year.
You can learn more here
Because they need to be weatherproof and durable enough to hold their contents.
However, they are all made from 100% LDPE recycled plastic via our long-term trusted suppliers Abbey Polythene in Southampton, U.K.
You can recycle your cardboard by 3 methods:
- Flattened, bundled with a sticker: PAYG (pay as you go) collected kerbside
- In the Mixed Recycling sacks: PAYG collected kerbside
- In a Mixed Recycling wheelie bin: Fixed-schedule wheelie bin service
All your business waste collection - Mixed Recycling collection through to Cardboard collection and used Cooking Oil collection - is collected onto one truck because this enables us to collect more during one journey, thereby reducing traveling distances and so reducing our CO2 emissions.
Once back at our depot the sacks and containers are sorted into their separate recycling streams, much of it by our award-winning pre-sorting facility, the Sacktory®.
(NB. Your food gets its own secret spot at the front of the truck- check it out when you next see one of our trucks!)
Yes. We accept crates either as a pallet collection, where we can collect up to 2 items. Or, for larger quantities, we can arrange a clearance that takes into account the volume, weight and nature of the waste.
Yes. This will reduce plastics, tins, and foil from being contaminated. Dry crumbs are OK, but wet/damp food waste will contaminate. We recommend a quick rinse with washing up water rather than the fresh stuff right out of the tap.
Tins can be recycled infinitely, and it’s cheap to do so too.
Regardless of their shape, size, and colour, undamaged glass bottles and jars go into our glass sacks, where they can be recycled 4-6 times on average, after which they are be crushed and used for aggregate.
Materials such as windows, mirrors, drinking glasses and broken glass go into general waste, wrapped in newspaper or similar, to protect the handlers collecting them.
Mixed recycling sacks come in two different sizes: Medium (5kg weight limit) and Large (8kg weight limit).
Or for larger amounts we have a range of wheelie bins with the following volume capacities: 240L, 360L, 660L and 1100L.
There is no need for clothes to be washed using First Mile’s clothes and textile recycling service. Once collected, reusable clothes are sorted, washed and sold in the UK and abroad, while dirty or damaged clothes are sent to be recycled into items such as cleaning cloths and seat padding.
Glass separated from Mixed Recycling and recycled in a glass-only bin can be recycled into new glass bottles, while mixed glass is more likely to become damaged or crushed and is, therefore, only suitable for road aggregate.
And if you’re wondering where to recycle wine bottles, these go empty and unbroken into our glass bins also.
No, not to worry. These can be placed as a whole into Mixed Recycling.
They go in Mixed Recycling, as long as they are completely empty. We don’t accept compressed gas canisters, due to their hazardous nature when compressed in a compactor.
Yes. If it is clean, pop it in your Mixed Recycling.
Our team of trusty drivers need to be able to identify your rubbish on the pavement, and they do this via our branded sacks.
Our sacks are made from 100% recycled plastic that are transparent so that we can see inside and readily spot when the wrong materials have been put in the wrong sacks- a.k.a contamination.
Can't find what you're looking for?
0800 612 9894
8.30am – 6.00pm Mon–Fri.
6.00pm – 8.30am Mon–Fri out of hours support
24 hour Sat-Sun out of hours support
First Mile Head OfficeFirst Mile,
22 Highbury Grove,
London, N5 2ER
First Mile Sorting DepotFirst Mile Depot,
38a Minerva Road,
You're two steps away from a cheaper, greener recycling service.