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DIY waste

Limited free allowance

You can dispose of some DIY waste for free at recycling centres. This applies to small-scale projects carried out by the householders on their own home.

How much DIY waste can I dispose of for free?

You can:

  • Take a small amount of DIY waste to your local recycling centre free of charge, up to a maximum of two 50 litre sacks or one item per visit. Please note: no single item should be more than 200cm x 75cm x 70cm in size
  • Make four single visits with DIY waste per household in any four-week period.

See what types waste we accept. For DIY waste over the free amount, please use our 'pay as you throw service'.

We will continue to accept other types of waste from households for free such as furniture, white goods, electrical items and garden waste. There is no limit on the number of visits you can make to dispose of these types of waste.

Pay as you throw service

You can pay to dispose of any amount of DIY type construction and demolition waste at any of our recycling centres.

Speak to a member of staff on arrival and they will assess your waste and take payment before you unload your waste. Please ask if you need a receipt.

We accept cash payments up to £10 at all sites. Payments over £10 must be made by card. You will pay less if you separate your waste - separated materials are charged at a lower rate than mixed loads.

We try to treat your DIY waste in the most environmentally beneficial way, by sending it for reuse, recycling or energy from waste treatment as appropriate.

You must separate plasterboard or we won't accept it.

Any decision made by our staff about DIY waste is final.

Pay as you throw guide prices

The prices of the Pay as You Throw Service for DIY waste offers very good value for money when compared to the alternatives of skip hire and licenced waste carriers.

We calculate prices based on the type and amount of waste you bring. We can't provide you with an accurate price without viewing your waste at the recycling centre.

Your load will be assessed by site staff and prices are non-negotiable. Prices include VAT at the standard rate.

Prices per 100 litres (2 x 50 litre bags) or one single item (after your free allowance)

Loads will be assessed into 100 litre equivalent amounts, so we recommend that you separate and bag as much of your waste as possible.

The price per 100 litres (2 x 50 litre bags) or single item is calculated according to waste type:

  • Flat glass: £5
  • Unsorted/non-recyclable DIY waste: £6. For example, roofing felt, plastic guttering, insulation, baths, soil, turf and other mixed DIY waste
  • Plasterboard: £12. A half-bag price of £6 (50 litres or equivalent) is available for small amounts of plasterboard. This material is difficult to throw away correctly and is expensive, requiring specialist disposal. Plasterboard is only accepted at CaisterDerehamHemptonKing's LynnNorwich NorthNorwich South and Thetford.
  • Rubble - £3.50
  • Timber - £3.50
  • Tyres (car) - £6 per tyre (max 5 tyres per household, per month) and they are only accepted at CaisterDerehamHemptonKing's LynnNorwich NorthNorwich South and Thetford.

Answers to frequently asked questions

Why has Norfolk County Council changed its DIY waste policy?

The Government has recently changed legislation to allow householders to dispose of a small amount of DIY waste free of charge from 31 December 2023. This limit is set at 2 x 50 litre bags (100 litres total) or one item in a single visit, with no more than four visits in any four-week period.

Can I bring in more than the DIY waste free allowance of two 50 litre bags or one item (less than 200cm x 75cm x 70cm)?

Yes, but any DIY waste over the free allowance will need to be paid for through our 'pay as you throw' service.

What sort of single items count as DIY waste within the size limit?

Examples of items include a bath, door, single kitchen unit or fence post. Check the A-Z of types of waste we accept.

Can I bring more DIY waste for free in fewer visits?

No. So site staff can correctly apply the free allowance to all customers, we have to use the same rules for everyone. From 31 December 2023 this is a maximum of 2 x 50 litres bags (100 litres in total) or one single item in one visit, and a maximum of four visits per four-week period. You are welcome to bring more waste than this but will have to pay for the amount above the free allowance using our 'Pay As You Throw' service.

I have paid a trades person to carry out work on my property, can I bring this waste to the recycling centre free of charge?

No. There is no free allowance of DIY type waste that has been generated from work you have paid for. You can continue to use the 'pay as you throw' service for this type of waste.

Does the County Council have a legal obligation to accept DIY type waste?

Under current legislation, DIY waste is classed as 'construction and demolition' waste and falls under the category of 'industrial' waste. However, the Government has updated legislation to treat a small amount of this waste as household and therefore provide a small free allowance for this type of material per household.

Current legislation includes:

  • Controlled Waste Regulations 2012, Schedule 1, Part 3 classes construction and demolition waste (or DIY waste as we call it) as industrial waste, and not household waste, and therefore we can make a charge for it. The 2023 amendment specifies that waste below the limits set in the policy must be treated as household waste.
  • The Environmental Protection Act 1990, Part 2, section 51 which requires the County Council to provide residents with sites for the disposal of household waste.
  • The Local Authority Charging Order 2015 which prohibits charging residents for the disposal of household waste or for entering or exiting recycling centres.

 

Are the charges the same at all recycling centres?

The charges are the same across all our recycling centres.

Will I be charged to dispose of other waste?

Charges are for DIY-type waste. Household waste is accepted free of charge. Other charges include tyres and trade waste.

What is DIY type waste?

As a general rule, non-household or DIY waste items are materials created from the construction, demolition, alteration or repair of a home or garden. Materials may include a sink, bath, kitchen unit, radiator, fence panel, guttering, rubble, soil and turf.

It doesn't include asbestos or paint/thinners which are classed as hazardous waste.

We only accept paint on our annual hazardous waste days but if you thoroughly dry out the unwanted paint you can put it in your rubbish bin (not your recycling bin) for collection. More information about disposing of paint.

We don't accept asbestos at any of our recycling centres, even during our hazardous waste events. More information about asbestos removal and disposal.

What about fly-tipping?

Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of waste. Fly-tipping is a crime that should be reported to your local district, city or borough council.

The majority of fly-tipping is of items that would have been accepted free of charge at our recycling centres, such as sofas, white goods and other electrical items and garden waste. We'll continue to accept this waste for free.

Previous changes to our recycling centre service, such as making sites part time, have not shown an increase in the illegal dumping of waste. It is not expected that allowing a small free allowance of DIY waste from householders will impact fly-tipping.

Norfolk data from incidents on public land shows that only around 4.1% of incidents of illegally dumped waste relate to construction or demolition waste.

Learn more about SCRAP fly-tipping in Norfolk.

I pay council tax. Why should I have to pay to dispose of any of my DIY waste?

Your council tax goes towards the operation of household waste recycling centres. DIY-type waste has previously not been classed as household waste and not included in your council tax.

However, changes to legislation in 2023 mean that councils are required to accept a small amount of DIY waste from householders free of charge. It is not possible to accept unlimited amounts due to the high cost of disposal of these materials and the ability of the service to handle large volumes of such waste.

Charging for additional DIY waste ensures that as much of your council tax payment as possible goes towards paying for essential services.

Other options for disposing of DIY waste

For larger projects producing more DIY waste, other options include hiring a skip or employing a licenced waste carrier.

Visit Norfolk Recycles website for more options on how to dispose of your DIY waste.

Make sure you factor in the cost of disposing of DIY waste when planning your next DIY project. If you use the recycling centres regularly to dispose of DIY waste, you may be asked by staff to complete a form to declare the number of visits you have made.

If you employ a trader to dispose of waste, you need to be aware of your householder duty of care.

The householder duty of care

Under the Waste (Household Waste) Duty of Care (England and Wales) Regulations 2005, householders must take reasonable measures to ensure that waste produced on their property is passed on to an authorised person.

If you are a householder, it is your responsibility to check that any trader removing waste from your property is a registered waste carrier. You can check this on the Environment Agency website.

Rogue waste operators will charge you for waste disposal but may not pay to use the commercial waste sites that they are supposed to use and fly-tip it instead. If their fly-tipped waste is traced back to your household, you could be fined.

My small business creates DIY waste. Can I take this to a recycling centre?

You can dispose of commercial waste for a charge at Thetford, King's Lynn, Dereham, Norwich North, Norwich South, Hempton and Caister recycling centres. There is no free allowance of DIY waste for businesses.

Read more about disposing of business waste.