council large item collection & disposal options

Council large item collection for Londoners

10 May 2020

Looking for a council large item collection? Councils provide residents with a couple of ways to get rid of stuff that’s too big for the wheelie bin.  Either you can take it yourself to the local household waste recycling centre (HWRC) or you can book a collection to have it collected from your home and disposed of by the council. This article considers both of these options and how they differ across London boroughs.

  1. What is a HWRC?
  2. Which bulky waste disposal solution is best?
  3. Council bulky waste collection services in London
  4. Household Waste Recycling Centres in London
  5. Alternatives to using the council

1. What is a HWRC?

Before we start and to avoid any confusion, please note that ‘HWRC’ is just another name for your local tip or dump.  Some councils refer to HWRCs as civic amenity sites or CA sites.  Household waste recycling centre obviously sounds a more environmentally positive than ‘dump’ and reflects how most of the waste is now recycled or reused, rather than sent to landfill.

2. Which Council Bulky Waste Disposal Solution is Best?

There is no right answer. Whether one option is better for you than another depends on a number of factors.  Here are the main ones to bear in mind:

table comparing council bulky waste collection service to taking rubbish to your local tip


3. Council large item collection services in London

The table below shows how much each council charges householders for a bulky waste collection along with the maximum number of large items they will remove.  We’ve ranked it in order of cost because it makes it a little more exciting (!?) but bear in mind that, whilst some councils are cheaper than others, they may not offer to pick-up as many items at one time. Also most councils offer substantial reductions for residents on income support and some charge significant premiums for certain items like fridges and enhanced services like next day, internal or weekend collections.

LoveJunk 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.

The council charging residents the highest flat fee is Barnet, who charge £105 for the removal of up to 10 items. However, if you compare the cost of collection per item, Bexley is the most expensive at £19 per item (or 2 for £37).  Next is Havering (£14) and then Richmond upon Thames (£12).

Not all councils in London expect you to cough up for their removal service though – Croydon, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest all offer their service free of charge.  However, it’s important to note that it’s only free up to a specific number of items (e.g. Croydon is free up to 4 items) and if you’re in need of a bigger removal you’ll need to pay.

To find out even more details about London council bulky waste collection, including if they remove DIY waste, how to book and prohibited items.

4. Household Waste Recycling Centres in London

If you have the means of transport, time and energy to load up your car, then taking your bulky item yourself to the tip is the cheapest way to dispose of your waste, rather than having it collected by the council.  HRWCs accept more types of waste than the council bulky waste collection service and normally at no cost.

Here is a map of all the HWRCs in London.

map of London HWRCs, rubbish tips and Civic amenity sites

Source: AnyJunk June 2020

No. Recycling Centre / Tip/ HWRC / CA site in London Postcode
1 Acton Reuse and Recycling Centre W3 8DJ
2 Barking & Dagenham, Frizlands Lane Recycling Centre RM10 7ES
3 Barnet Civic Amenity Site N12 0RF
4 Bracknell Household Waste Recycling Centre RG12 1RB
5 Brent, Abbey Road Recycling Centre NW10 7TJ
6 Bromley, Churchfields Road Reuse and Recycling Centre BR3 4QR
7 Bromley, Waldo Road Civic Amenity Site BR1 1QX
8 Camden, Regis Road Recycling Centre NW5 3EW
9 Croydon, Factory Lane Reuse and Recycling Centre CR0 3RL
10 Croydon, Fishers Farm HWRC CR0 0LB
11 Croydon, Purley Oaks HWRC CR8 1DG
12 Ealing, Greenford Reuse and Recycling Centre UB6 9AR
13 Enfield, Barrowell Green Civic Amenity Site N21 3AU
14 Greenwich Reuse and Recycling Centre SE28 0AF
15 Haringey, Western Road Reuse and Recycling Centre N22 6XJ
16 Harrow Recycling Centre HA3 8NT
17 Havering, Gerpins Lane Reuse and Recycling Centre RM14 2TW
18 Hillingdon, New Years Green Lane HWRC UB9 6LX
19 Hillingdon, West Drayton Civic Amenity Cite UB7 7QT
20 Hounslow, Space Waye TW14 0TH
21 Islington, Hornsey Street Reuse and Recycling Centre N7 8HU
22 Kingston Household Recycling Centre KT1 3GZ
23 Lambeth Reuse and Recycling Centre SE27 9BD
24 Lewisham Reuse and Recycling Centre SE14 5RS
25 Merton Recycling and Reuse Centre SM4 4AX
26 Newham, Jenkins Lane Reuse and Recycling Centre IG11 0AD
27 Redbridge, Chigwell Road Reuse and Recycling Centre IG8 8PP
28 Richmond, Townmead Road Reuse and Recycling Centre TW9 4EL
29 Southwark HWRC SE15 1AL
30 Sutton Reuse and Recycling Centre SM3 9QH
31 Tower Hamlets Reuse and Recycling Centre E14 9RG
32 Waltham Forest Reuse and Recycling Centre E17 8AX
33 Wandsworth, Smugglers Way HWRC

SW18 1JS

Here is a link to detailed information on every London household waste recycling centre including opening hours, whether they require ID, whether you need to book in advance and what types of waste they allow.

5. Alternatives to a council collection or going to the tip

If you don’t want to have to wait up to two weeks for the council or don’t have the wheels to take your waste to the tip yourself, there are other alternatives. In particular, you could hire a skip or use a private waste contractor for a same day rubbish removal - just click on any of the big green buttons on this page to find your cheapest available collector today.


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