piano disposal guide London

Piano Disposal – Ultimate Guide to Disposal and Dismantling

1 September 2021

Piano disposal can be tricky due to the instrument’s sheer size and weight, but we’ve created a guide on everything you need to know about piano disposal and dismantling.  So, if you’ve decided the piano isn’t for you, this is the guide for you.

This guide covers:

  1. How to dispose of a piano
  2. How to dismantle a piano
  3. Piano reuse options
  4. Piano disposal near me – will a Man & Van remove my piano?
  5. Are pianos included in council bulky waste collections?
  6. Can I take my piano to the tip?
  7. How much is piano disposal? – A price comparison


1. How to dispose of a piano

Your piano disposal options largely depend on how reusable your piano is and if you have the means to transport a piano.  If you have a piano you no longer want, you have the following options to consider:  selling/donating your piano, using a waste contractor for the disposal, using the council’s bulky waste service or taking it to the tip.


old piano


2. How to dismantle a piano

Transporting a piano can be difficult due to its size, which is why it’s sometimes a good idea to dismantle the piano first for easy transport.  However, this option is only good if you’re not hoping to reuse the piano, as taking it apart will most likely damage some of the pieces.

How to take a piano apart:

  1. Open the piano keys lid and take off the piano desk.  The piano desk is removed every time the piano is tuned, so it should be easy to lift.
  2. Unscrew the piano keys’ lid.
  3. Unscrew the key stop rail – this is the bit of wood that keeps the keys in place.
  4. Remove the keys by simply pulling them up.
  5. After that, you’ll need to get on the floor and remove the screws which are underneath where the keys were – this will let you take off the key slip and the lower front board to expose the strings and pedals underneath.
  6. Unscrew the pedal mechanisms.
  7. Remove the piano side supports.  The easiest way to do this is with the piano lying on its back.  The frame is held in place with screws, so you’ll need to remove them and then pull the side planks off.
  8. Finally, remove the screws and bolts attaching the harp to the piano body.  Remove all screws you see.

Here’s a great YouTube video that shows the process.



3. Piano reuse options

Selling or donating your piano can be tricky. Chances are you won’t get much for your piano unless it’s a Steinmann or Bechstein. Unfortunately, old pianos are money pits and now cost more to restore than buy a new one. So, this means people would usually rather buy new than buy your old piano.

There’s also the added problem of transport – due to the sheer size and weight of the piano, they’re also hard for people to come and collect unless they have a van. This means you might have difficulty trying to donate or sell your piano, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible, and it’s still worth a try before sending it off for disposal.

However, if you want to go down the donation route, you could ask local schools or theatre groups if they’d like it. As pianos can be costly if it is working order, this is a great option. Alternatively, you could offer it on online sites such as Freegle or Freecycle or try Piano Adoption – the world’s largest free piano adoption site.


4. Piano disposal service near me 

If you want a piano disposal service near you, try a Man & Van waste contractor. Most man and van contractors drive light goods vehicles and can take about 1.0-1.5 tonnes of waste.  Smaller pianos normally weigh around 180 – 270kg and grand pianos can weigh up to half a tonne. So, as long as the collector has the capacity in the van for the piano, they should be more than happy to take it.

The best advice is to get quotes from a few local contractors, or alternatively, you could list your piano on the LoveJunk marketplace. All you need to do is set a price you’re happy to pay for the rubbish removal and wait for a local, licensed contractor to accept the job. Simple!



5. Can the council collect my piano?

Some council’s bulky waste collections accept pianos, but many do not unless the piano is already broken up and therefore not able to be recycled. In London, for example, Havering, Ealing, and Tower Hamlets will not take pianos at all, while Haringey council accepts them as long as they’re broken up prior to collection. You can check your local council’s website to find out if they accept pianos and how much it costs. If you live in London, we have an ultimate guide to council bulky waste collection.


old damaged piano


6. Use your local HWRC

If you can dismantle and take the piano to the tip yourself, it’s a great option especially if you’re looking to save money.  Household Waste Recycling Centres are usually free to use, however, please remember to check your local HWRC’s website before visiting, or contact them to find out if they charge. 

For example, North Yorkshire council says that if you have musical instruments (including pianos) in a usable condition, you can take them to the reuse bay at their HWRC sites. However, if it’s unusable they request the piano is broken up beforehand and taken to the wood skip at the tip.

If you live in London, check out our ultimate guide to London’s civic amenity sites and if you are interested in furniture removal please see our furniture removal guide for more info.


7. How much is piano disposal? – A price comparison

The cost of piano disposal depends on:

  1. Where the piano is within your property – if it is easily accessible for the waste contractors to remove
  2. If the piano is already broken up into pieces, or whether it is not working, but still whole
  3. The make of the piano – whether it is old and handmade or newer and mass-produced

Below are some example piano collection and disposal jobs carried out on LoveJunk. The average cost of a piano collection using the LoveJunk app ranges from £50 – £200.


Piano and stool, £100

Old piano, £100

Good condition piano, £70

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