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How to dispose of rubbish in London

6 March 2022

5 ways to dispose of bulky rubbish in London

Our how to dispose of rubbish in London guide. Covering everything you need to know about how to dispose of stuff like sofas, fridges and DIY watse too big for your normal bin. Key sections are: 

  1. Reuse options - donating unwanted bulky items in London
  2. Council bulky item collection service  
  3. Man & van rubbish collection (and how much they cost) 
  4. Skip hire  
  5. HWRCs / civic amenity sites for London residents 


1. Reuse options in London - donating your bulky waste

The greenest and cheapest way to dispose of something if it is still in working order and good condition is to give it to somebody to be reused. You can donate directly to an individual or to a reuse charity. Please note, if you wish to donate upholstered furniture to a charity, it must have a fire safety certificate. 

Donate to a Person Directly 

A simple way to donate to an individual is to list it on LoveJunk and tick the ‘reusable’ box. This notifies reusers in the London area about the item and, if someone wants it, they can send you an offer via our app to pick it up for free. You could also try other reuse sites, for instance Freegle, Freecycle or Nextdoor.

London Reuse Charities 

Below is a list of local London Reuse Charities that collect good items for free. Bear in mind that they are charities, so response times and service levels can vary greatly. 

Charity Address Phone
Age UK Unit 21, West 12 Shopping Centre W12 8PP 080 0077 8751
Barnardos 414 Brixton Rd, Brixton, London SW9 7AY 020 7274 4165
BHF (Wandsworth) 153-155 Wandsworth High St, London SW18 4JB 020 8712 5350
British Heart Foundation (Brixton) 36 Acre Ln, Brixton, London SW2 5SP 020 7160 6210
British Red Cross (Battersea) 11-12 Bramlands Cl, Battersea, London SW11 2NT 020 7228 3820
British Red Cross (Fulham) 260 North End Rd, Fulham, London SW6 1NJ 020 738 56071
Cancer Research UK Butterfly Walk, 7, Camberwell Green SE5 8RW 020 7701 2500
DEBRA 17-23 Woolwich Rd, London SE10 0RA 020 8858 5194
Emmaus (Brixton) Fairfax House, Overton Rd, London SW9 7JR 030 0123 2001
Emmaus (Lee High Road shop) 332 Lee High Road Lewisham, London SE13 5PJ 020 8852 5365
Emmaus (Poplar shop) 175 - 179 E India Dock Road Poplar London E14 0EA 0208 854 3426
Emmaus (Plumstead shop) 226 Elmley Street Plumstead London SE18 7NN 0208 854 3426
Oxfam See all London stores 0300 200 1252
PDSA See all London stores 0800 917 2509
The Salvation Army See all London stores 020 7367 4500
Sense See all London stores 0300 330 9257
Shelter 123C King St, Hammersmith, London W6 9LG 020 8563 2388
Sue Ryder 1 Market Pl, Bermondsey, London SE16 3UQ 020 7394 8384
YMCA 214 Elephant and Castle, London SE1 6TE 020 7703 7963
Betel UK 8/9 Chorlton Cross, Manchester, M21 9AQ 0161 860 6312


For a more detailed analysis of reuse in London, check out our Guide to Freecycle London and other Reuse Options.


2. Council bulky item collection service in London

Every London council offers residents a bulky item collection service. The costs range from free (Enfield, Harrow, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest) to £70+ in Richmond. For full details check out our guide to London council bulky waste collection service and prices. Understandably, council collections take longer than private waste companies and are less flexible with pick-up times. So, if you don't have time to lose, we recommend you consider private waste collector.


3. Man & van rubbish clearance collectors

If you cannot donate your item and don’t want to or cannot use the council bulky collection service, then you will likely require a licensed man & van rubbish collector. A man and van waste contractor comes to the property, loads up your bulky waste and takes it away for disposal. The key differences to the London council bulky waste collection service are:

  1. Speed - private waste contractors can normally pick up the same day
  2. Labour - they can collect from anywhere on the property
  3. Type of waste - they can take all types of waste (whereas councils tend only take non-DIY waste)

Do make sure that if you use a private man & van company that they have a license from the Environment Agency and valid public liability insurance. Don't fall prey to cowboy collectors who fly tip your waste and pocket the money!


Finding a reliable and cheap waste collector in London

Find fully licensed, local man & van businesses in London using the LoveJunk marketplace. LoveJunk ensures all collectors are licensed and insured and also provides the detail of where your waste ends up and how much avoids going landfill. Simply post a photo of your waste and receive no obligation quotes instantly. Cheaper, faster and greener. That is why LoveJunk is so widely recommended by councils.



Example London bulky waste collections with prices

The cost of a private man and van collection largely depends on the type and quantity of waste and your flexibility about when you need it removed. Our Rubbish Removal Prices tool shows the latest jobs along with match times and photos. Below are a few examples of rubbish removal jobs in London.


Double mattress London, £35

Three seater sofa, £40

White bookshelf, £10

Old carpet waste, £40

General junk, £75

Flatpack cardboard boxes, £55


4. How to dispose of rubbish in London with Skip Hire

Another way to dispose of bulky waste is by hiring a skip. Skip hire is generally much more expensive than using a man & van but a skip is useful if you have lots of messy waste. For more information on skip hire, read our Ultimate Guide to Skip Hire.

Local skip hire companies  

Here is a list of licensed skip hire companies that serve the London area:

Company Name Telephone Number
7 Days (London) Ltd 07868 846 823
A G Skip Hire 07805 210 416
B & K Environmental Services Ltd 08448 008 861 
Battle Skips 020 8960 0302
Best Clearance Ltd 07737 639 920
Biel Brothers Ltd 020 3780 2277
C Povey Skip Hire 07860 227 040
Central Waste Services Ltd T/A Skip It 020 7384 1221
Deep Skip Hire Ltd 07949 695 050
Dunning Waste Management Ltd 020 8903 4714
Flowers 2000 Ltd (aka Able Skips) 020 8830 8774
Gowing & Pursey Skip Hire 020 8963 4070
Ground Skips Ltd 020 8830 9530
Hodgson & Sons Ltd  0345 194 9401
J O'Doherty Haulage Limited 020 8807 7722
J Simpson Waste Management Ltd 020 8993 9777
Keith's Rubbish Clearance Ltd 07956 868 427
London Skip Hire Ltd 020 8542 3333
McGrath Brothers (Waste Control) Ltd 020 8985 5000
Metro Waste 020 7720 277
NJB Recycling Ltd 020 8786 7000
O'Donovan (Waste Disposal) Ltd 020 8801 9561
P B Donoghue Construction Ltd 020 8208 2211
Powerday PLC 020 8960 4646
Quattro (UK) Ltd 020 8838 2720
Quick Skip Hire Ltd 020 8574 6333
Recycle All Ltd 0800 774 7005
Space Rubbish Ltd 07985 109 173
T. Kearney Skip Hire Ltd 020 8903 0160
Waste & Site Services Limited 01784 258 480
X-Bert Haulage Ltd T/A Glynns Skips 020 8969 6666


Skip prices in London

Skip hire rates still vary depending on where you are in London. For example, North West London is one of the cheaper areas. This is because the depots of several skip companies are based there and so their lorries do not need to travel as far to drop or collect your skip.  This impacts their costs and the rates that they charge.

Typical skip hire prices (including VAT) for mixed general waste before any skip permit or parking bay suspension fees. These prices are for a skip located off the road (eg. in a driveway).

Rates don’t really vary if you hire the skip for a few days or for a couple of weeks. This is because the main costs to the skip company are the delivery, collection and disposal, and not the loan of the skip

Builder skip: 6 – 8 cubic yard skip @ £260 - £280 

Maxi skip: 10 - 12 cubic yard skip @ £340 - £370



Skip Permits and Bay Suspensions London

If you need to place your skip on the road, you will need a skip permit license and possibly a CPZ parking suspension. 

The below table link to every London borough council website and lays out the cost of a skip permit and duration as well as parking bay suspension cost and duration.

List of council skip permit links and details

Council Skip Permit Min. Permit Duration Parking Bay Suspension Parking suspension Duration
Barking & Dagenham £59.00 14 days £134.00 Per day
Barnet £57.46 14 days £45.00 Per day
Bexley £49.70 7 days £30.00 Per day
Brent £56.00 14 days £49.00 Per day
Bromley £39.00 14 days £20.00 Per day
Camden £58.16 14 days £42.21 Per day
City of London n/a
Croydon £66.00 14 days £40.00 Per day
Ealing £50.00 14 days £50.00 Unlimited
Enfield £75.00 14 days £15.80 Per day
Greenwich £61.00 28 days £51 Per day
Hackney £100.00 28 days £34.00 Per day
Hammersmith & Fulham £80.00 28 days £44 / £66 1st 5 days / Subsequent days
Haringey £87.45 28 days £26.35 Per day
Harrow £61.00 14 days £34.30 14 days
Havering £80.00 14 days £20.00 Per day
Hillingdon £51.50 14 days £31.00 Per day
Hounslow £90.45 14 days £52 Per day
Islington £98.00 Per month £66.50 Per day
Kingston £133.00 Per month £50.00 Per day
Lambeth £60.00 14 days £43.38 Per day
Lewisham £66.00 Per month £50.00 Per day
Merton £70.00 4 weeks £25.00 Per day
Newham £70.00 7 days £25.00 Per day
Redbridge £169.00 14 days £40.00 Per day
Richmond £75.00 21 days £41.00 Per day
Southwark £82.50 Per month £40.00 Per day
Sutton £81.93 14 days £55.00 Per day
Tower Hamlets £50.00 14 days £45.50 Per day
Waltham Forest £100.00 14 days £45.00 Per day
Wandsworth £37.60 14 days £37.00 Per day
Westminster £81.00 Per month £52.00 Per day


5. London recycling centres & tips for householders 

If you have the time, a vehicle, and the strength to carry your rubbish to the tip yourself, this is an alternative for bulky waste collection. Be sure to find out what your local tip does and doesn't take first. You can find a list of permitted and prohibited items on their websites.

Below is a map of tips in London, but for detailed information check out our guide to London rubbish tips including opening times, prohibited waste, vehicle restrictions and opening hours. 


Map of London council recycling centres

map of London tips

source LoveJunk  (Dec 2021)



Thank you for reading! We hope you found our how to dispose of rubbish in London guide useful. For further reading, check out:


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