Household DIY waste charges to be scrapped under new government rules

The long Easter weekend is the perfect time to get stuck into a DIY project. If that sounds like you, then you’ll be delighted to hear that plans announced this week will make it easier and cheaper for households to dispose of DIY waste.

At the moment, many local waste and recycling centres charge to take items that have been leftover from DIY and decorating projects, such as plasterboards and bath units. However, plans set out by the government will mean household DIYers will not be charged to get rid of waste products.

DIY waste charges to be scrapped

The decision is part of the government’s aim to crack down on fly-tipping, a problem that spiralled during the pandemic. In 2015 the Government banned backdoor charges on local residents disposing of household rubbish at household centres – this included DIY household waste. However, a loophole meant for construction waste has meant a third of Local Authorities have been charging for DIY waste.

paint brushes in a can

Image credit: Simon Whitmore

It is this rule that a technical consultation that was published this week aims to change. The new changes could save households £10 per individual items, such as a sheet of plasterboard.

‘Spring often feels like a good time to pick up tools and refresh our homes and gardens. DIY projects, building some raised beds in the garden or re-tiling a bathroom will look great, but they are not without their mess,’ says Environment Minister Jo Churchill.

‘It’s really important that any leftover materials – if they cannot be reused or repurposed – are disposed of correctly so that they don’t cause unnecessary or unsightly damage to our environment.’

wooden dowls and paint brush

Image credit: Adrian Briscoe

‘Being able to do this free of charge at a local recycling centre and without having to book a time slot to do it, would mean fewer people are tempted to put DIY waste directly into their bin, or – even worse – fly-tip their rubbish.’

Fly-tipping is a crime that costs up to £392 million a year. Last year 1.13 million fly-tipping incidents were reported, this was up by 16 per cent from the year before.

In addition to the new measures to make it easier for DIYers to dispose of rubbish, a call for evidence on the use of booking systems at recycling centres was launched this week – some of which were brought in when restrictions were imposed during the pandemic – amid concerns these could be making it harder for people to dispose of their waste.

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