Bulky waste collection services offered by London councils
How do London council bulky waste collection services compare with each other?
This is a guide to Council bulky waste collection services in London. It covers the following:
- Cost – how much do London councils charge to remove bulky waste?
- Internal collections – will councils collect from inside the home?
- Waste types – what waste is allowed/prohibited?
- DIY waste – will councils collect DIY/home improvement waste?
- Booking method – how can I book a collection?
- Response time – how long do I have to wait for my waste to be collected?
- Business bulky waste – will the council collect business bulky waste?
1. Cost – how much do London councils charge to remove bulky waste?
The table below shows how much each London borough charges their residents for a council bulky waste collection.
LoveJunk June 2021
*Bromley council do not have limitations on the number of items you can book for removal. We have calculated this number using their prices to collect a tumble dryer, sofa, mattress and small fridge. You can see a full price list here.
Barnet council charge their residents the highest flat fee at £105 for the removal of up to 10 items. The cheapest councils are Croydon, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest who will all take away a select number of items completely free of charge.
When comparing the cost of a London council collection per large item, Bexley is the priciest council as they charge £19 (based on a charge of £37 for the removal of two items). This is 6 times more expensive than the likes of Kensington & Chelsea, Barking & Dagenham, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham and Southwark who all only charge £3 per bulky item.
The charges and number of maximum items you’re allowed vary from council to council, but the average cost for a council bulky waste collection of 3 items in London is £46. note: this is the average of the councils that charge (five are free)
Most councils will only collect your bulky waste from outside your property so make sure you’ve moved everything in advance. It’s good practice to place your items outside the day before your collection because some councils, for example, Lewisham, charge extra if they need to revisit a property.
Some councils do offer internal collections for a premium, for example, Wandsworth who charge £89. Most councils are able to offer collections from inside the home if you’re registered disabled.
3. Waste types – what waste is allowed/prohibited?
A council bulky waste collection is for large household items that are too big for your usual bin collection. This is typically furniture, electrical appliances and white goods. Note, each council has its own list of items that they’ll accept and it’s worth checking their website before booking a collection. For example, Southwark council accept DIY waste but only if it’s doors, kitchen units or worktops – nothing else.
4. DIY waste - will councils remove my DIY/home improvement waste?
DIY / home improvement waste means stuff like rubble, tiles, radiators, kitchen units and baths. Generally, this is NOT included in council bulky waste collection service. However, a few London councils allow small amounts as part of their bulky collection service. These are Bexley, Greenwich, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kingston Upon Thames, Southwark, Sutton and Wandsworth. Kingston upon Thames will only collect very small DIY waste and Southwark will only accept doors, kitchen units and worktops.
For more info on how to dispose of DIY waste such as bricks and cement, check out our rubble removal guide.
5. Booking method – how can I book a collection?
Most councils let you book online and by phone. Below is a table showing each London council’s booking method.
6. Response time – how long do I have to wait for my waste to be collected?
You can expect to wait up to two weeks from your booking for your collection. Different councils promise different response times. Some councils may be able to pick up your waste much faster, but it all depends on how busy they are, the collection date chosen and the time of year.
7. Business bulky waste – will the council collect business bulky waste?
No, councils do not offer a service for business bulky waste because they have no statutory duty to do so. Businesses need to engage a private waste contractor or take the waste to a commercial disposal facility themselves.