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Taking DIY waste to a recycling centre

A woman sanding a doorway while her husband holds their child

Taking DIY waste to the recycling centre

DIY projects can be a great way to improve your home. However, disposing of the waste generated from this kind of work can be a project in itself. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about taking DIY waste to a recycling centre in Bristol.

What counts as DIY waste?

A bucket of broken plasterboard and other DIY waste

First, it’s important to understand what materials count as DIY waste. DIY waste includes items such as rubble, soil, plasterboard and ceramics. Asbestos counts at DIY waste but it is also hazardous waste and should be disposed of differently. (Find out more about disposing of hazardous waste.) 

 Once you’ve sorted out your DIY waste, it’s time to take it to a recycling centre. 

Where to take your DIY waste

The 'soil and rubble' sign at the recycling centre

Bristol has three recycling centres located in Avonmouth, Hartcliffe Way, and St Philips. Before arriving on site, you will need to book a slot in advance using the online booking system. This system removes the need to queue and ensures that there will be sufficient capacity and plenty of space on site for everyone wishing to visit a recycling centre.

When you arrive at the recycling centre, make sure to follow the signs and the instructions of the staff on site. They will help you know where to unload your waste and what items can be recycled or reused. DIY waste can often be recycled into new materials, such as aggregates for use in construction projects. 

How much does it cost to take recycling to a recycling centre?

Two women kneeling to mark measurements on laminate flooring

DIY waste charges remain in place at the Household Reuse and Recycling Centres. The Government has not set a date for when DIY charges will be removed but we expect it to be later this year. Charges for the disposal of DIY waste came into effect on 3 April 2023. The charges were put in place to help bridge a funding gap, while maintaining environmental commitments and minimising any impact on residents.

DIY waste charges:

  • £2.90 per sack of soil and rubble: bricks, blocks, slates, tiles, rubble, paving slabs, concrete, gravel, tarmac, stones, soil, sand, hardcore and sanitary ware.
  • £4.50 per sheet of bag of clean plasterboard: plaster and gypsum related products.
  • £9.50 for plasterboard with other materials attached: such as tiles, foil insulation or any other materials.
  • £11 per bag/sheet of asbestos: cement bonded asbestos only, maximum sheet size of 10ft (3m) x 4.5ft (1.5m).

Please note that asbestos must be double wrapped in heavy-duty polythene and completely sealed. You must not mix bagged asbestos with any other waste and staff will not be able to assist with loading asbestos into the skip.

You can pay at the time of booking on the Bristol City Council website. 

The following types of DIY waste are free to dispose of at the recycling centres:

  • wood
  • metal
  • plastic windows, doors and door frames
  • plastic pipes, guttering, facia, soffit, skirting, cladding and loose plastics
  • plastic, fibreglass or composite toilets, sinks, baths and shower trays
  • shower screens
  • water tanks
  • insulation materials
  • roofing felt and roofing sheets
  • tyres (excluding commercial and agricultural vehicle tyres)

Taking DIY waste to a recycling centre is a great way to dispose of it sustainably. By doing so, you can ensure that as much of your waste as possible is recycled into new materials or reused. 

Finally, it’s important to remember that the Household Reuse and Recycling Centres are just for household items. Any waste from a business should be taken to the commercial waste transfer station instead.

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