How To Declutter Bulky Waste Items

declutter bulky waste items

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Decluttering your home is often a long tiring process. Not only do you have to go through all of your things but you also have to find a way to get rid of your unwanted items. Things like books and clothes are fairly easy to get rid of but what do you do with the bulky waste items?

What Are Bulky Waste Items


When you begin to declutter your home you may find you have some bulky waste items that you want to get rid of which cannot be donated or sold and are too big for your bin. 


This can include items like…


  • Broken furniture
  • Broken appliances (fridge, dishwasher)
  • Old worn-out bicycles
  • Old mattresses 
  • DIY waste (rubble, broken tiles) 
  • Old doors & windows 
  • Old fence panels etc 


All of the things above require a little bit more planning when it comes to waste removal as they need to be disposed of safely and legally. You can find out more about the different classes of waste on the Wrap website.


Between 2017 and 2018 the local authorities in England had to deal with 998,000 fly-tipping incidents! Two thirds of that involved household waste. Which is quite staggering. 


The question is how can you dispose of bulky waste items responsibly?
bulky waste items

How To Get Rid Of Bulky Household Waste


The good news is that there are several different legal options for you to choose from…


  • End Of Life Programmes 
  • Retailer Take-Back Service 
  • Local Recycling Centre 
  • Council Collection Service
  • Man & Van Rubbish Removal Service 
  • House Clearance
  • Hire a Skip   
  • Hire a Skip Bag 


Below I have covered each option in more detail. The option you choose will vary on your needs and circumstances. 

Ask If The Retailer Has An End Of Life Programme 


A few companies are now starting ‘end of life programmes’ for the goods they sell. That means when the item is no longer usable you can send it back to the retailer and they dispose of it for you. I’ve come across a few of these type of schemes recently.


I know that Stasher will take back their reusable food bags. They then use them to make flooring for playgrounds. 


Georganics also offer a ‘send it back’ service. Every part of their electronic toothbrush is recyclable meaning when you can no longer use it you send it back to them to be recycled. 


I know these aren’t ‘bulky’ items they just happen to be ones I have come across recently. It’s certainly worth doing your research to see if you can send back your appliances. Or even better check to see if the manufacturer or retailer has an ‘end of life’ scheme before you buy the product in the first place.

How to declutter bulky waste items
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Retailer Take-Back Service 


Slightly different to the end of life schemes some retailers also offer to dispose of your old item when you’re upgrading to a new one. For example, when you have a new fridge delivered they may be able to take your old one away for you at the same time. It’s always worth checking to see if they offer this service as it will save you time and money.

Take It To Your Local Recycling Centre 


Some counties have council-run recycling centres and others are private. Find your local recycling centre,  go on their website and see what you can take there. It does vary from site to site but below is an example of the sort of things they take… 


  • Batteries (car batteries and household batteries)
  • Cans
  • Cardboard
  • Clothes and textiles
  • Cookers
  • Energy-saving light bulbs
  • Engine oil
  • Fridges and freezers
  • Fluorescent tubes
  • Gas bottles
  • Glass
  • Green/garden waste
  • Household chemicals
  • Household waste including large bulky items
  • Items for reuse
  • Metal
  • Newspaper and magazines
  • Plastic bottles
  • Soil and rubble 
  • Small electrical items
  • TVs/monitors
  • Tyres 
  • Wood

Council Collection Service 


All local councils must offer a council collection service for bulky waste (doesn’t include trade waste). This service is supposed to be free but they can charge a fee to cover the transport. It’s worth noting that although this may be a cheaper option than hiring a waste removal company the wait times can be very long! The items would need to be stacked up outside the front of your property too which doesn’t look great. 


It’s still worth looking into though if you’re not in a rush to get rid of your items and you’d like to save a bit of money.

Hire A Man & Van Rubbish Removal Service 


If you have a lot of different items to get rid of then it’s worth considering hiring a man & van rubbish removal service. It’s a case of does what it says on the tin! A man (or woman) will arrive at your home with their own van. They then load up the van with all of the waste you want to be removed.


They will remove items from anywhere in your home so you don’t need to stack all of your items outside the front of your house. This makes it a particularly good service for the elderly or people with limited mobility. Or even just people who are short of time.

Use A House Clearance Company 


Unlike the man & van services a house clearance company generally specialises in secondhand furniture and bric-a-brac. They clear your home with the aim of selling on as much of the items as possible. On some occasions, if the home is filled with items that they know will fetch them a good price then they charge very little for the house clearance itself.


House clearances are good for people who just need everything gone. For example, people who are moving abroad or sadly, clearing out a relatives home that has passed away.

Hire A Skip 


If you have a lot of bulky waste items to dispose of then you could consider hiring a skip. This can be quite an expensive option although on the plus side, you’ll be able to get rid of all of your unwanted items in one. The skip would normally be placed in your drive or outside the front of your house.

Hire a Skip Bag 


If you’re short on space outside your house then a skip bag might be a good option for you. They are small but very strong bags used as a skip. You buy the bag and then pay a waste collection service to take it away. Prices can vary depending on your needs, so it’s worth doing some research before you commit.

About Gina Caro

Gina is a content creator and award-winning blogger. Her aim is to help you live a more sustainable & simple life.  Her blog covers zero waste, minimalism, wellbeing & thrift. She currently lives in Cornwall with her partner, two kids and Charles the dog. 

Georgina Caro Gypsy Soul

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