council bulky waste on pavement how a council bulky waste collection service works

Council Bulky Waste Collection Service Explained


Local councils have a statutory obligation to provide residents with a from the home collection service for disposing of unwanted large items like furniture and white goods that are too big for the bin. This service is normally referred to as their ‘bulky waste collection’, ‘large item collection’, or ‘special item collection’ service. This post summarizes the scope of that service and provides some tips on when it makes most sense to use it and when it might be better to consider an alternative solution.

  1. How much does it cost?
  2. Do they collect from inside the home?
  3. What types of bulky waste does the service cover?
  4. What types of waste are not included?
  5. Limitations of council bulky waste collection
  6. Where to get more information & how to book?
  7. Alternative solutions to getting rid of household bulky waste
  8. What about business bulky waste?
  1. How much does it cost?

Charges vary by council. A small number of councils offer the service for free, capped at a certain number of times per year. The rest charge either per item or for up to x number of items. Charges are often reduced if you are registered disabled or in receipt of income support.

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  1. Do they collect from inside the home?

Most councils only collect from outside the property. So you will need to move them outside yourself in advance of collection. Note, some councils do offer an internal collection option for an additional charge or if you are registered disabled.

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  1. What types of bulky waste does the service cover?

The service is for large household items, of which furniture and bulky electrical appliances /white goods are the most common. Other typical items are bric-a-brac, exercise equipment, and garden tools. Note, several councils collect appliances separately from other junk, to assist in the recycling and keep their costs as low as possible. This can mean that you have to pay for the appliance collection separately which can increase the overall cost.

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a bulky waste collection including black bin bags refuse sacks fridge and washing machine white appliances

  1. What types of waste are not included?

Many councils do not collect DIY/ construction waste (or if they do, the rates are much higher than for furniture and appliances). This is because builder type waste relates to home improvement and not part of day to life. The theory is that the householder should therefore bear the cost of that waste themselves – just as they bear the cost of the tradesman that creates the waste.

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  1. Limitations of the council bulky waste collection service?

The main limitations of council collection service are:

a) limited types of waste – specifically no construction type waste or carpets/flooring

b) collections generally only available from outside your property

c) ease of booking & speed of response

d) collections only during a week day

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  1. Where to get more information & how to book?

Obviously the best place to find out more about the exact service offered by your council is to go their website and search for ‘bulky waste’ or enter your postcode here.

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  1. Alternative solutions to getting rid of household bulky waste?

The main choices are donation or sale (assuming any or all of the items you wish to dis+pose of are reusable); taking it to the local civic amenity site (aka ‘dump’) yourself; or using a specialist waste contractor like AnyJunk.

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  1. What about business bulky waste?

Most councils do not offer a bulky waste collection service for businesses. This is because there is no statutory duty on them to do so, and they don’t make any money out of bulky waste collection for residents. So if you are business, you will have to engage a specialist waste contractor.

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