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Waste removal: a regional perspective

On the face of it, waste removal is both a mundane topic and task, yet it is a surprisingly emotive subject and one that elicits a variety of opinions and views.

In our quarterly business barometer for which we survey 1,000 SME owners across the UK and Ireland, we asked them a number of questions on the topic – and this is what we found out…

Question: Does your business require emergency waste to be removed?

For 23% of businesses – nearly one in four – the answer is a firm ‘yes’, while for 70% it’s an equally firm ‘no’; the rest (7%) have no idea. 

The ‘yes’ figure rises to 34% for Greater London businesses and falls to 13% for those in Wales, which speaks to accessibility and population density of the two regions. 

Question: Are waste removal services regular enough?

For 75% of firms, yes they are; however, for the other 25% they definitely are not. The sentiment in the West Midlands and Scotland trends below the national average, at around 70%, while in East Anglia and the East Midlands they’re pretty happy with the regularity of their waste removal services.

Question: Does your business ever run out of storage for waste?

Unsurprisingly, a large minority of businesses – a quarter – do run out of storage at some point. The problem is particularly acute in Greater London (33%) and Scotland (35%). Wales and Northern Ireland – fortunately for them – don’t feel the same level of pain, with only 16% and 14% saying ‘no’. 

Question: Have you ever lost business because of waste removal problems?

For more than one in six businesses (16%), the answer is affirmative, with the biggest problems being faced in North East England (27%), Great London (25%) and the West Midlands (22%). At 28%, businesses with a turnover of between £500k and £1m have their own issues with lost business as well. 


For the full set of figures or for your local data, please contact