DIY waste

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA) states that DIY waste is classified as neither household nor garden waste and as such Western Riverside Waste Authority (WRWA) is not obliged to accept this type of waste at either of its Reuse and Recycling Centres (also known as Public Tips).

What is DIY waste?

DIY waste (or construction and demolition waste) is waste that is generated through building or renovation work. Most of this type of waste is hardcore or rubble - small pieces of stone or rock used for building - or material left over after demolition (of a driveway, wall, garage, roof repairs etc).

Under waste legislation, DIY waste is classed as industrial waste even if it is generated at home, which means that the Council does not have a duty to provide a free disposal point for such waste.

Examples of such materials are:

  • hardcore/rubble/bricks
  • paving slabs
  • plasterboard
  • roofing materials
  • soil/turf
  • bath, toilet or basin unit
  • central heating system components
  • tiles
  • door, window or frame
  • kitchen unit or wardrobe
  • shed/fence panels
  • laminate flooring
  • timber, MDF, hardboard

If you are planning a project that is going to create a lot of waste, please do your best to reduce or reuse as much as possible.

Anyone wishing to deliver commercial or industrial waste (which includes large quantities of DIY waste from your home), or anyone who is not a resident within the Royal Borough, should contact Cory Environmental Ltd on 020 8871 3924 to confirm trade opening times and current trade waste charges.

Disposing of DIY waste

Many households have a legitimate need to dispose of some of the materials listed above and the Council therefore allows the free disposal of small quantities of DIY waste at the Western Riverside  Reuse and Recycling Centre. Please be aware that 'small quantities' means approximately one car load of DIY waste.

Why does the Council not accept large quantities of DIY waste?

  • to control costs to Council Tax payers: construction and demolition waste tends to be particularly heavy material (waste disposal and processing are paid for by weight so there would be a significant cost passed on to all Council Tax payers)
  • to prevent illegal use of the sites by traders: construction and demolition waste is not household waste and the illegal use of public tips by traders is a significant problem and passes further costs on to all Council Tax payers
  • to reduce congestion: large volumes of DIY waste tend to take much longer to unload than ordinary household and recyclable waste
  • to improve health and safety: by reducing the impact of manoeuvres of large vehicles on site and the potentially dangerous handling of construction demolition waste

What if someone else is doing the work on your home?

Before home improvements are carried out by a contractor, you should check what their plans are for the recycling or disposal of waste and that the cost is included in their quote. It is their legal responsibility to arrange for appropriate disposal of all waste that is generated as a result of their business activity.

In addition, when someone removes the rubbish for you, whether paid or unpaid, it is your responsibility to ensure that they have the appropriate licences to do this, such as a waste carrier's licence. If the person removing your rubbish fly-tips the waste you could be liable for a fine of up to £5,000. You can check a contractor's licence with the Environment Agency.