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How to dispose of garden waste

2 February 2022

7 ways to dispose of garden waste

Looking for info about garden waste disposal? Want details about prices, convenience and how to save money? Look no further! Here's the 7 ways to dispose of garden waste, starting with the cheaper options:

  1. DIY - make your own compost
  2. Reuse
  3. Council garden waste collection service
  4. Skip bags/ hippo bags
  5. Skip hire
  6. Bonfires
  7. Man & van garden waste removal
      1. Prices
      2. How to reduce the cost of garden waste



1. DIY reuse - make your own compost

Making your own garden compost can be quite time consuming but it’s a really effective way of disposing of your garden waste while being environmentally responsible and even better, it’s free!

compost garden waste

You can make your own compost by using grass trimmings, leaves, bark and old compost leftover in plant pots. Grass trimmings can also be left on the grass to decompose and provide nutrients for your lawn. Make sure you use both dry and moist matter in your compost as moisture is important in the composting process. Here is a great step-by-step guide on composting.


2. Reuse online

Depending on the type of garden waste you have, there may be some people out there looking to pick it up for free. For example, if you have intact tiles, great quality (unbroken!) plant pots, soil, bricks etc, try posting them online to reuse platforms. Great places to post are Gumtree, Facebook marketplace, Nextdoor or LoveJunk.

Increase the chances of reuse by taking good quality pictures in daylight. Include a detailed and accurate description of what can be reused. Adding a short backstory can also help give credibility to a reuse post. For example, are you doing a shed clear out? Redesigning your garden? Let people know!



3. Council garden waste collection service

Most councils offer some form of garden waste collection, similar to their bulky waste collection service. The service varies by council around the country but most charge annually and are subscription based. Though generally quite good value, they tend to be quite rigid in that you have to sign up by a certain date. For example by April to get green collections for that following year. 

See your local council’s website for details. However, if you’re looking for garden waste disposal on an more ad hoc basis (rather than regular collections for the year), read on for details about skips, skip bags and private waste collectors.


4. Skip bags

Skip bags (or Hippo bags) are strong waterproof bags that come in various sizes. They’re a popular option for smaller garden projects as a great alternative to skips. They don’t take up nearly as much space as a skip but are still useful for containing messy waste like rubble and soil. 

hippo bag of garden waste

If this seems like the right option for you, we’ve written a full article on Skip Bag Collection.


5. Skip hire

Consider skip hire if you have a large project that will create a lot of messy waste. When deciding which size, bear in mind that some councils don’t allow skips bigger than 8 yards on public roads. So unless you have space on your driveway or front garden, you may be limited on which size you can get.

hire a skip for garden waste

By the way, you can also get smaller skips (2 or 4 yards) but for this size we recommend the cheaper option of skip bags (see above). See our Skip Size Guide for guidance on how much can fit in each. Plus our Skip Hire Guide for step by step advice.


6. Bonfires

We don’t love this option because it is not very environmentally friendly! But for completeness, we’ve included the option of bonfires.

Burning your garden waste is completely legal. But, there are laws against the nuisance the smoke causes. For this reason, make sure the waste is as dry as possible to reduce smoking. This means no damp leaves or wet wood! And maybe check whether or not your neighbours have laundry out to dry before you start…

If you want to burn your garden waste, an incinerator is a much safer and faster way to do it. Take a look at this guide on how to use a garden incinerator.


7. Man & van waste collector

Paying a man & van waste removal company to clear your garden waste is usually the fastest and most convenient way to do it. Some can come on the same day if you need it gone urgently! Waste removers charge based on the volume and weight of waste as well as how much time it takes to load into the van. See our tips below on how to reduce the costs of garden waste disposal.

It’s really important to check that the waste carrier you hire has a license with the Environment Agency. Unfortunately, it’s very common for cowboy collectors to charge what seems like a very competitive price to collect, only to dump it in a layby somewhere. Garden waste can still be environmentally hazardous if fly tipped, and you will be fined if it’s traced back to you!



How much does garden waste disposal cost?

The average price for man & van garden waste collection falls within £20-£70. However, clearance costs vary depending on:

  1. Type of garden waste (light e.g. grass, branches, twigs, or heavy e.g. soil, stones, bricks)
  2. Urgency of collection (same day will cost more)
  3. How difficult the waste is to load (i.e. how much extra labour involved)

If you’d like to get some quotes from local, fully licensed waste collectors, you could post a listing on the LoveJunk marketplace. It’s free to post and there’s no obligation to accept any offers if you change your mind. Or, see real, up to date charges on our Rubbish Removal Prices comparison tool. Below are a selection of garden waste removal jobs that happened over the LoveJunk marketplace.


Example garden waste disposal jobs

Garden waste, £35

Small heavy garden statues, £30

6 bags of garden waste, £40

Garden waste disposal, £45

Pile of garden waste, £90

Garden fence, £30

Green waste, £75

Garden table & chairs, £20

Skip bags full of garden waste, £110

Garden rubble, £45

Tree cuttings, £70

Hippo bag of garden waste, £80


How to reduce the cost of garden waste disposal

Garden waste tends to be really bulky and heavy, two things that drive up the cost of waste removal. So, here are a couple of ways to save money on garden waste disposal.

1. Separate green waste

Garden waste can be broken down into two types:

  • Green waste = small twigs, grass trimmings, leaves, weeds and flowers.
  • Mixed general waste = plant pots, soil, bricks, garden furniture, larger branches etc.

Mixed general waste is not as easy as green waste to dispose of and so costs more to get rid of.  Therefore, it’s a good idea to separate these two waste types into individual piles.

Top tip: if you’re using a skip company or man and van clearance company to remove your garden waste, make them aware of the waste types you have as they’re normally able to offer a reduced fee for green waste.


2. Reduce the bulkiness of your garden waste

The more space your waste takes up, the more expensive it will be. This is why it’s a great idea to break down any waste where possible, for example:

  • Cut up branches 
  • Place heavier items on top of pile to push down and squash the waste
  • Bag up leaves and grass cuttings


Finally, thanks for reading!

We hope you found our article about how to dispose of garden waste useful! If you have more waste to get rid of, find out how to dispose of rubbish with our complete guide.


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