What waste disposal services are available?

Getting rid of large amounts of household and garden waste or bulky unwanted furniture can be a hassle. If you hire a professional company to tear out a hedge, to replace your drive-way or to complete another task which generates a large amount of waste, the cost of its removal will be included in your quotation. If, however, you choose to undertake a project which generates a lot of waste yourself, you will be faced with the inevitable problem of disposal. There are very strict commercial and industrial regulations concerning the disposal of waste, as careless disposal can cause numerous environmental problems and can, in some cases, even be hazardous to human health. For this reason, it is the responsibility of average home owners, as well as businesses, to dispose of their waste safely and legally. The following article will offer advice about the best way to go about disposing of common household waste.

Routine disposal of garden and household waste

Most household rubbish is destined to end up in one of the 4000 landfill sites located around the country. The rubbish collected from wheelie bins each week by the local council and most of the rubbish dumped in local tips will end up there. Unfortunately, these sites are very bad for the environment, as they release methane and other gases which contribute to global warming. The average homeowner can reduce the amount of waste they contribute to these environmentally damaging sites by as much as 50% by thinking carefully about how they dispose of rubbish in their home. Whilst it might be tempting to simply throw all types of household waste into the wheelie bin and leave it on the curb once a week to be collected, home composting is far more resourceful. Most councils now provide brown wheelie bins and organise regular collections in an attempt to encourage homeowners to be more environmentally friendly. You may save yourself the hassle of a regular trip to the local tip by filling your brown bin with garden waste including hedge trimmings and grass cuttings. You can also put some kitchen waste, including peelings and tea-bags into a brown bin, as well as wood ash and paper products. If you regularly produce a lot of waste suitable for the brown bin, you can buy an additional bin from your local council for around £15. This can be arranged by visiting or telephoning your local council office, or by filling in an online form on the council's website. It is also possible to recycle garden waste yourself by creating your own compost heap. This can be as simple as arranging your garden waste into a big pile and covering it with a waterproof sheet. If you are concerned about your compost becoming unsightly, you could purchase a compost bin from your local DIY store for £15-20. For very little effort, you will be rewarded with a very effective (and completely free!) soil fertilizer.

How can I dispose of large amounts of garden waste?

Of course, it will not always be practical to dispose of your garden waste in this way. If you have removed a whole hedge or a tree from your garden, for example, you will have very little chance of fitting the remains into a brown bin or onto your own compost heap! Larger amounts of garden waste can be dumped at your local waste tip. Please note that the tip attendant will expect you to produce a permit from your local council if you are dumping a large amount of garden waste. These permits are issued to private home owners to prevent businesses from attempting to avoid disposal costs by dumping their waste in tips designed for household waste. You should be able to obtain a permit with minimal hassle by calling into your local council office, but make sure you have one with you before you turn up to the tip with a car or van full of waste! Alternatively, you might be tempted to hire a skip. Companies offering skips for hire can be easily found in the Yellow Pages, but you should think twice if you feel tempted by this option. Skips are bulky, and can be awkward to load and remove. You also might want to consider the third alternative of hiring a van to transport your waste to the tip. A trip or two in a van ought to be sufficient for most private gardening projects. If the amount of waste you have makes even this seem unfeasible, you might want to think about hiring a professional to do the job for you. Your money will buy you freedom from the trouble of doing a large job yourself, and will remove the problem of disposal, as this will be included in your quotation.

How can I dispose of unwanted furniture?

If the furniture can be easily disassembled, you should be able to dispose of it at your local tip. It is better, however, to consider the possibility of recycling your unwanted furniture. If it is in a fit state to be used again, you might be able to donate it to a local charity. The best way to go about doing this is to ask local charities if they would be able to receive the donation, or to contact the recycling department of your local council, most of which now have a recycling and disposal service.

How do I go about arranging for my local council to pick up my unwanted furniture?

You can go into local council office, or arrange a collection by telephone call. (The phone number will be in the Yellow Pages and on the council's website). Alternatively, you could fill in an online form, which should be easily accessible from the website.

How much will it cost?

Local councils generally charge for their disposal services. The cost varies between councils. As a rough guide, one local council charges £22.50 for the removal of 3 large items, and £7.50 for the removal of each additional item.

Is it worth hiring a waste disposal company to dispose of my waste for me?

Probably not. Businesses often hire waste disposal companies because they know how to handle hazardous waste safely and legally, or because they have a very large amount of waste to dispose of. Waste disposal companies frequently dispose of items seen as hazardous, such as items containing refrigerants or ozone depleting foam, including fridges, freezers and air conditioning units. That said, it is usually only worth hiring a waste disposal company if there are a great number of such items to dispose of, or if you are trying to dispose of a very large amount of waste. Waste disposal companies ensure that the correct documentation required for the disposal of hazardous waste is completed, and will take the items to a place where the hazardous elements can be removed and disposed of correctly, and the remainder can be recycled. The cost of such services depends upon the nature and amount of the work required. Companies will provide quotations on request. However, this will usually be unnecessary for the average home owner, as local councils will also remove 'hazardous' items legally and safely, and will ensure that the disposal is handled in an environmentally friendly way. As councils can dispose of any item found in the average home, their services will satisfy the requirements of most home owners.

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