Bulky Waste Guide
It’s an inevitable part of everyday life that items of furniture, white goods etc will wear out and need replacing, creating large bulky waste items that have to be disposed of. Unfortunately many are too large to go into your normal council collections, so how do you get rid of your unwanted, often broken and unusable furniture and white goods?
Here we will go into what you can and can’t get rid of at your local tip and how you can safely dispose of old and bulky waste items such as fridges, freezers, sofas, mattresses etc.
Bulky Waste At the local tip
The first port of call for many people when disposing of bulky waste is their local tip or recycling centre. Most large items can be taken to your local tip, however there are some items that are not accepted such as fridges and freezers, mattresses, asbestos etc. For a full list of what you can and can’t take to your local tip, please check with your local authority.
If you have an item that is in good condition, but you no longer have a use for it, then why not donate it to a local charity shop or Freecycle group? This is a great way of reducing waste and giving something back to the community.
Specialist waste disposal services
There are many specialist waste disposal companies that will take away your large, bulky items and dispose of them safely and responsibly. These companies often have their own tips and facilities so can take items that your local authority may not be able to accept. However, this service does come at a cost, so it is worth shopping around to get the best deal.
Many of these companies also offer a ‘skip hire’ service which can be great for larger home renovation projects where you will have a lot of waste to dispose of. A skip can be delivered to your property and then collected when it is full, meaning you don’t have to make multiple trips to the tip.
If you have large, bulky items that you need to dispose of, then there are plenty of options available to you. The most important thing is to make sure that you dispose of your waste responsibly and in line with your local authority’s guidelines.
Where to throw away furniture?
Large items of furniture, such as sofas, beds, wardrobes etc can be difficult to get rid of once you no longer want them and making sure that you throw out your unwanted bulky items responsibly can be a bit of a headache.
So, how do you dispose of furniture quickly and with the minimum of fuss? Read on and you’ll find the answer to some of your frequently asked questions on how to dispose of bulky furniture.
How to get rid of a sofa?
Most UK households change their sofa or 3 piece suite approximately every 10/11 years which means there is likely to be quite a large turnover of unwanted sofas and armchairs clogging up our disposal centres.
With a care for the environment it makes sense to try to reuse the sofa if it is still in good condition and there are a number of ways you can do this easily.
Firstly, you can advertise it through local and online outlets either for free, or if in very good condition you could ask for money for it. The important thing here is that whoever is the next owner of the sofa then takes responsibility for its removal from your property which takes the task disposing of a bulky item off your shoulders.
Secondly, if you don’t fancy the obvious downsides of having to deal with people coming to view it, you could simply donate it to charity. Many of these offer a free collection service. As long as your old sofa is in good condition and complies with the UK safety regulations they’re likely to be happy to take your old sofa off your hands.
Another option, if your sofa is not good enough to be reused but you don’t want to simply throw it away, is to break it up and recycle its components. However, this is not an easy task and not for the faint hearted but does get around the issue of disposing of an awkward and bulky sofa.
Can I just take a sofa to the local tip? If you have an old or damaged sofa that you need to get rid of, and it is not worth reusing or recycling, there are still a few options available to you.
You can take the sofa to your local tip or recycling centre, however not all centres accept large items like this. It’s a good idea to check first. You should also be aware that weekends and evenings tend to be their busiest times so some queuing may be necessary.
Many sofas are likely to be too big for a standard sized car but before you consider hiring a van or trailer, or borrowing one from a neighbour, it is worth noting that most waste recycling centres will not allow commercial vehicles and large trailers in without a permit.
Your local council may be another source of getting rid of unwanted items such as old sofas and chairs. They can be a cost effective option, but you should keep in mind that you may have to wait a while for a collection.
Alternatively, you can hire a specialist waste disposal company to take away the sofa, and the problem, for you. It may be a more costly option compared to your local council but, they will take care of the whole removal, right from your living room to the recycling centre at a time suitable to you, which can be within hours of you getting in touch with them.
How to dispose of a fridge or freezer?
When you need to dispose of a fridge or freezer, it’s important to do so safely and responsibly. There are a few things you need to keep in mind, such as the fact that fridges and freezers may contain harmful gases that can be released into the atmosphere if they’re not disposed of properly. Because of this there is an additional charge associated with their disposal.
You have a few options when it comes to getting rid of your old fridge or freezer. You can contact your local council to see if they have a specialised collection service for items such as these. Or, if you are able to, you can take it to your local recycling centre yourself where it will be dismantled, and the materials recycled. However do check first before going to the trouble as not all waste centres will take a fridge or freezer. The disadvantage of these options is that you have to do the hard work yourself and in terms of getting a council pick up you may have to wait some time before the fridge/freezer is removed.
Rather than wait, you could get a waste removal company, such as JS Removals, to take the problem away for you. This can usually be accomplished within a day or two of you contacting us, we’ll do all the manhandling, so you don’t have to, and we’ll ensure that your fridge or freezer is disposed of responsibly.
What to do with an old mattress in the UK?
You have a few options available for getting rid of your old mattress. The most common option if the mattress is in very poor condition, is to take it to the local dump. However, this isn’t always the best option for the environment nor is it easy as a mattress can be a bulky item and often difficult to manoeuvre, especially as it is usually located in upstairs bedrooms. That’s where a specialist waste removal company could be your best option as they will have the man power needed to remove the mattress from your home and take it to a suitable recycling centre.
Another option is to recycle the mattress. This can be done by taking it to a recycling centre or by hiring a company that specialises in recycling mattresses. This is an especially good option if you’re looking to be more eco-friendly.
If the mattress is in good condition, you could also try selling it or donating it to a charity. This is a great way to give your old mattress a new lease of life and help someone in need at the same time.
Other bulky items of household furniture and electrical goods that you may want to dispose of include what is quirkily called WEEE. WEEE stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, and it covers any household electrical item that is powered, either by being plugged in to an electrical supply or runs on batteries. As a consumer you have a responsibility to ensure that these items do not simply end up in your kerbside bin. Obviously smaller items of WEEE can be simply taken to your local recycling centre in your car boot but some of the larger items are not so easy to transport yourself.
How to get rid of a cooker?
As with other large household appliances it is possible to arrange for your council to pick up an unwanted cooker however you would need to check first to make sure they will accept them. Of course this option means you still have the problem of getting the cooker outside your property and you may have to wait a while before the item is removed.
From an environmental point of view, and assuming the cooker is still in full working order, it could be more appropriate to sell or donate the cooker rather than throwing it away. These days there are plenty of options to sell items online. Alternatively you could contact local charities who would be glad to come and collect a working cooker to help people in need.
How to dispose of a washing machine?
Again, your council may take away a washing machine from outside your home, however it is a very heavy item that will be difficult to manoeuvre outside. Always check first whether it is one of their approved items for collection.
Likewise, if you can transport it yourself, you could take it to your local waste recycling centre, but you should check first that they accept them.
One of the reasons washing machines are especially heavy is because they have a large concrete block in them which acts as a stabiliser during its spin cycles. This along with the drum which needs to be heavy duty and a heavy electric motor make moving a washing machine back breaking work and probably best left to an experienced team used to handling bulky items like this. If you are intending to transport it yourself, it may make sense to dismantle it first.
What to do with an old TV in the UK?
If it is still in working order the best thing to do with an old TV would be to donate it to a local charity. That way your old television can go on to provide entertainment to a new family or perhaps a community hub.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer to get some cash for it you could advertise it for sale online or in your local area.
If you are upgrading what about an exchange? A bit like a car, you can trade up your old TV for a newer model with some companies. Samsung and Zarax are just two who will take in an old TV and give you money off an upgraded model.
If the TV is not working, it becomes a little trickier as televisions are classed as hazardous waste and can’t simply be thrown in the bin or skip. However, there are still ways to dispose of a broken TV. Your local council may offer a bulky item collection service that will take an old TV but be sure to check first. If you can take it to your local recycling centre yourself, most of these will accept TV’s for disposal.
Don’t let your bulky waste become fly tipped
Whatever bulky item you have that you need to dispose of you need to be wary of rogue collection companies. Sometimes, going down the cheap route, can lead to trouble and there are plenty of cowboys who will offer to remove your unwanted items for a very small fee, that may be tempting, however this could simply end up with you getting into hot water because they dump your waste illegally. If you pay someone to remove your bulky waste, do make sure that they are a legitimate company before they take your items. This is easy to do by checking that they have a Waste Carrier Licence, are registered with the Environmental Agency and have the necessary insurances in place.
At the time of writing these are the bulky waste items that most councils in the East Midlands won’t collect:
- Builders rubble (paving slabs, bricks etc)
- Gas cylinders
- Vehicles or vehicle parts
- Liquids or hazardous waste
- Garden sheds
- Petrol lawnmowers
- Garage doors
- Commercial waste
But you’ll need to get in touch with your local council for a specific list of what is prohibited.
If you have any of the above JS Removals will happily give you a quote for removing and disposing the above items quickly and efficiently.