Household waste recycling centres' provision and usage policy

Policy statement 4: acceptance of discretionary wastes

The following waste is classified as industrial, not household waste:

  • waste that is generated through building or renovation work 
  • waste arising from preparatory works for such construction or demolition works
  • DIY waste

This term applies even if the waste is generated by the householder in their home. We do not have a duty to provide a free disposal point for such waste.

We will accept some waste from small home DIY projects. However, you must not exceed these limits: 

  • one bin of either soil, rubble or plasterboard or a combination of the materials equal to a single bin full. A bin is equal to 100 litres capacity or two 50 litre black bags
  • a single article of waste no larger than 2000mm x 750mm x 700mm
  • four single visits per household in any four week period 

Examples of this type of this discretionary waste include:

  • bath
  • toilet pan
  • cistern
  • kitchen worktop
  • shower door or shower tray
  • fence or shed panel
  • engine oil
  • water tank
  • standard door
  • kitchen unit (wall or floor)
  • plaster or plasterboard
  • radiator
  • fitted wardrobe or bedroom unit
  • gas cylinder
  • winder frame (no glass)
  • roofing felt and tiles
  • wash basin or kitchen sink
  • soil and rubble and other inert waste
  • guttering and drain pipe
  • sheet glass
  • fire extinguisher

Alternative disposal methods

Householders with large quantities of discretionary waste should consider alternative arrangements for disposal. Options may include:

  • hiring a skip or hippo bag
  • employing a licenced waste contractor
  • using a public weighbridge at a commercial waste disposal or recycling facility
  • enquiring whether their local waste collection authority provides a suitable collection service

You have a ‘duty of care’ with regard to the disposal of your waste. When arranging alternative disposal, you must make any necessary arrangements and cover the disposal costs.

Duty of care (householders)

If you arrange for someone to take away any of your waste, you are required to take reasonable steps to ensure that:

  • the person or company you are handing the waste to is legally authorised to take it
  • they transport the waste and dispose of it safely

For this, they need to be registered as a licensed waste carrier. You should check the Environment Agency’s list of registered waste carriers or call them on 08708 506 506. It is prudent to keep a record of the waste carrier’s details, including vehicle registration.

If your waste is fly-tipped and you did not check, you could be liable for a fine of up to £50,000, plus other costs.