A bar owner says it is “morally repugnant” to have to pay thousands of pounds to your waste supplier, even if his business is closed and generates no waste.
Jack Williams, 32, owns Small Ships bar in Falmouth and says Biffa’s lack of understanding during the coronavirus pandemic could end up bankrupting his business.
But Biffa said she was trying to find a solution with the bar.
He said: “The government demanded that all bars close last month and we fully support it.
“Almost all of our suppliers, from licensed wholesalers to security providers – even utility companies – have been very supportive during this unprecedented crisis.
“Everyone except Biffa, who, even though there is no waste to collect, insist on charging one of their smaller customers 50% of the collection costs.
“I have written to them asking them to suspend or suspend our agreement until my business is allowed to resume operations, but so far they are unwilling to do so – the 50% discount being the limit of their “good will”.
“I think it’s morally repugnant to charge for a service that is neither required nor provided, but they clearly don’t and are happy to rush their smaller customers. “
Jack opened the bar in 2018 and says he understands it’s a tough time for Biffa too, but even BT has agreed to put billing on hold until trading resumes.
He estimates the waste contract before the 50% discount is costing him over £ 2,000 a year.
Jack added, “Because we’re a very small business, we’ve had government help, but the problem is, we have no idea how long this money will have to last.
“Each expense must be reviewed and controlled. We have no outstanding balance and not paying the rent is not an option as our landlady lives above the bar and needs the money to survive.
“It seems morally questionable that we are being billed for a service that we are not receiving. The waste contract is a big expense and even having to pay half at that point is important. We have to be one of their smaller contracts and it could end up bankrupting us.
A spokesperson for Biffa said: “We are in direct contact with our client, Small Ships in Falmouth, and look forward to finding a friendly solution that works for both companies at this difficult time. “