26 Oct, 2023
Written By: Josh Morris

Bulky Waste Collection and Junk Removal in the UK: Your Questions Answered 

What is junk removal? 

In a nutshell, Junk Removal is the process where a person or business has bulky items that they need to get rid of. They may not have access to a car or van to take to the tip themselves or the items may be too large.

In this case, they would look for a bulky waste collection service from another party. Who would come and collect the Junk from your property (usually in a Van)

This is Junk Removal. 

What are my options when it comes to Junk Removal or Bulky Waste Collections 

There are a few different options for you when looking to schedule a Junk Removal or Bulky Waste Collection, and Google will have you scrolling through every Facebook Page and Website to show you all the different options available. 

Not to fear though, your general removal options that you can choose from are below:

Retailer Buy Back: Many retailers offer this service these days. This basically means that say if you are buying a new washing machine, when the retailer comes to deliver, they will offer a service where they will remove the old washing machine for you and take it away for refurbishment, recycling etc. You may have to pay a fee for this. 

Council Collection: Does what it says on the tin! You can request bulky item collections from the council, but, they are never in a rush. It can take up to 4 weeks for the council to come and pick up the junk that you want to get rid of and you will also be charged for this.

Local Waste Collection Company: Just like us! Busy Bins. We are a local waste collection company that provides a number of services to help out our local people! 

Skip Hire: Again a simple one, this is where the Skip company drop off a skip on your property or outside your house for a certain period of time and once time is up or you let them know it is full, the company will come and pickup the skip to empty and return to their base.

Hippo Bag: Hippo Bags come in three sizes: Midi bag (Can fit a Dishwasher), a Mega bag (Can fit a Tall Fridge or Bath) and the Hippo skip bag (Bathroom or small kitchen).  

Household Recycling Centre: Think of this like your local tip. You can take a variety of items down and they will then be processed and recycled by your local council. This is only open to households and not for any businesses or companies.

Reusers / Charity Collection or Donation: Sites like Freecycle: Donating any unwanted items to charity shops is a good way of recycling, or you can use websites like Freecycle to give away to someone in need.

How does junk removal work?

Junk removal is the process of removing unwanted items, debris, and clutter from a location, such as a home, office, or construction site. It usually follows the same process when booking: 

Look for a quote or pricing for your waste.

Booking your waste. 


Given date & time of collection: 

Removers come and collect your waste. 

You stay CALM & your waste is COLLECTED, see it isn't that stressful. 

What items can I have removed as junk?

The items that you can have collected range from: 

Furniture items: Desks, Sofas, Wardrobes, Beds. Mattress. 

Household Appliances: Kettle, Toasters, Ovens. Lights. 

Electronics: TVs, Computers, Laptops.

General household clutter: Bin bags and general waste. 

Office Items: Chairs, Desk, Cabinets. 

What is considered bulky waste in the UK?

Bulky Waste isn't your partner when they put on a few pounds! Bulky waste literally means any small/medium or large items that you can't fit in your general bins. Junk waste typically includes old furniture such as Sofas, Chairs etc, Appliances as in Kettles, Toasters, Microwaves, Ovens etc, electronics and other large general household items. 

Do I need a permit for bulky waste collection?

No you do not need a permit for a bulky waste collection. If you live in the inner city, you may need a parking permit. 

You will also need a permit if you are booking a skip hire and the skip will be placed on the street outside your property. 

How much does junk removal cost in the UK?

This all depends on the amount of items being collected and the type of items. I.E: Small or Big, Heavy or Light items.

Usually some companies may ask for a picture of the junk so that they can quote you for it. 

Other companies have set prices for each item, which can make it easier and quicker to figure out the cost yourself. This is what we do at Busy Bins. 

Some companies will charge an initial call out fee (we don't do this at Busy Bins) and then add the cost of the items on top of that. 

Is junk removal environmentally friendly?

Junk removal can vary in terms of how environmentally friendly it is. Basically it all depends on what happens to your junk once collected. If taken to landfill once collected from you, it isn't the most environmentally friendly option.

If, once collected, it is recycled or taken to a charity shop and resold, then this creates a more environmentally friendly process. 

Can I schedule a specific pickup time for my junk removal?

This is something that you would have to discuss with your junk removal provider. For our services, we do state that collection will be made between a certain period, for instance, 9am - 5pm. 

Are there any restrictions on the size of items for junk removal?

This all depends on how much is needed to be collected at once & how large the actual item is. For instance, if you have a Grand Piano or any Large Machinery such as Sun Beds, Hot Tubs etc this may be an issue to get collected. 

Items that can be dismantled and put back together can be collected but very large bulky items that are hard to move or dismantle could be refused and you would need a specialist for these types of items. 

If there are a lot of items to be collected, the company may suggest collecting over days or weeks.

Do I need to be present during junk removal?

Short answer...No! You will inform the waste removal and recycling company of where the waste is and this will be collected from this spot. As long as this is in an accessible area.

What happens to my junk after it's collected?

After collection, your junk is usually sorted, recycled or disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.

Unless you use a Facebook Cowboy Collector who takes great pleasure in charging you £10 just so that they can dump it on the side of the road for free.

Always be wary of using unprofessional collectors, as they will most likely not have a Waste Carriers Licence. 

Can I donate items instead of having them removed?

This is entirely up to you. 

If you feel that your items still have some life in them, and that it would be a waste to get them removed and disposed of...by all means speak to a local charity such as Cancer Research or Scope, as they are always welcome to take in items such as Sofas, Wardrobes etc. 

Is junk removal covered by my local council or do I need to hire a private company?

Junk Removal is covered by your local council, but, unlike your bins, you do have to pay for this to be collected. Whoever you choose, be that your local council or a private company, you will have to pay for this. 

Are there any items that are prohibited from junk removal?

Items such as: Sunbeds, Hot Tubs and Pianos are difficult to remove and a manual handling risk for removal team. Hazardous materials also can't be collected.

When booking a waste clearance service, if you can't see it on the website when you go to book online, always make sure to get in contact with the licensed waste company to see if it is something that they would be happy to take, otherwise they may turn up see the item and tell you the homeowner that they cannot collect. 

Nobody wants that!

How do I prepare my items for junk removal?

Discuss this with the company who are collecting your junk but most companies will ask to make sure that your items are easily accessible at the front or back of the property. This is so that if you aren't available, the company can collect regardless, and it also saves time for you and the collector. 

You will also find that most companies may not have insurance to enter peoples homes, so this is why they ask to leave outside the property. 

How can I estimate the volume of junk I have for removal?

Short answer is, you shouldn't have too! Usually if it is a large amount of household waste that either has been outside or stored, the company will ask for a picture that they can then estimate the volume for you. 

If you do have large, consistent amounts and wanted to estimate, you can do this by following these steps: 

Inspect: Visually eye up the items you need to have removed. Walk through your property and make note of all the items that you want to dispose of.

Measurements: For larger items like furniture and appliances, measure their dimensions (length, width, and height) in inches or feet. Multiply these measurements to calculate the volume of each item. For example, a sofa that is 7 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 2 feet high has a volume of 7 x 3 x 2 = 42 cubic feet.

Packing Materials: If you have junk in boxes or containers, count the number of boxes and make note of the size.

Online Tools: Some junk removal companies provide online volume calculators or guides on their websites. These tools can help you estimate the volume of your items based on the type and quantity of junk you have.

Photographs: Take photographs of the junk you need to have removed. These visuals can be helpful when discussing the volume with junk removal services or obtaining quotes.

Can I schedule regular junk removal services?

You would have to get into contact with the junk removal company to look at scheduling this. Most companies do just offer an order as you go service, meaning you go on and book a bulky waste collection as and when you need it. 

At Busy Bins, we do offer regular collections for any of your commercial waste, business waste or household waste. 

Can I request same-day junk removal services?

We would always say to allow at least 24-48 hours for collections to be made. Some companies may offer same-day junk removals, but this would be dependent on your area and of course the company. Same Day collections may also be significantly more expensive. 

How far in advance do I need to book junk removal services?

Again, we would say look to give yourself at least 24-48 hours leeway when booking your collection date. 

What is the disposal process for electronic waste (e-waste)?

Electronics are everywhere and I know we all hoard our old phones but what about the e-waste that we actually do throw away once in a while?

Well, it doesn't just end up in some random dump. 

First, they gather up all that e-waste from all sorts of places. Then, they go through all of it, separating the fixable stuff from the useless junk. The good stuff gets fixed up and given to people who need it. 

Meanwhile, the useless junk gets sent off to special recycling places where they break it down and salvage all the valuable bits like metals and plastics.

Oh, and those parts with dangerous stuff, i.e Batteries? They make sure to handle and dispose of those safely. 

Whatever's left of that e-waste then gets taken care of according to the rules in the area. It either ends up in landfill or gets burned up in a controlled way.

Can I get a receipt or certificate of disposal after junk removal?

As long as you steer away from those pesky cowboy builders, you will most definitely get a receipt for your purchase, which will show you the items that have been collected.

If you haven't received a receipt, make sure to ask. If it is a more commercial, regular collection of large items, then you will most likely be given a certificate of disposal .

Can I hire a junk removal service for a house clearance?

Of course! You will find that most if not all junk removal companies will offer to collect items for a house clearance.

This is their bread and butter so to speak. 

Is there a weight limit for items that can be removed as junk?

This would all be influenced by how much waste the collections service can move. 

They will usually judge the weight of your items prior to collecting though, so they will know how much space they would need in their van to collect and an estimation on how much it is going to weigh, so they would always have to find the solution, not you as a customer. 

Do junk removal companies offer services on weekends or holidays?

It is pretty much always going to be weekdays, but some providers may do weekends. 

People need to have lives! We can't be hauling junk 7 days a week, let us breathe! Some providers may do weekends but not us! We work Monday to Friday & you will catch me swinging Sat-Sun (The Golf Club that is BTW not keys in the bowl)

Holidays collections will  happen, unless otherwise stated on their website or when contacted, but you will find most junk removers operate over the holidays and bank holidays. 

How do I dispose of garden waste, such as tree branches and shrubs?

If the garden waste like grass or hedge cuttings are mounting up, this can be placed in your Food Waste/Garden Waste rubbish ready for collection from your local council.

If you find that there is a lot of soil in there with it, your council will not collect this due to the weight. If you have a large amount of garden waste we would recommend looking at a junk removal service (This isn't a service that we currently offer). 

What are the payment methods accepted by junk removal companies?

Most Junk Removal companies will use: Debit or Credit, PayPal or AMEX.

You may also find that some companies do take cash on collection, but in this day and age it is most likely going to be an Online Transaction. 

Can I request a junk removal service for a single large item, like a refrigerator or sofa?

Of course, you can request a single large item to be collected such as a Fridge or Sofa from all collection providers.

Just to point out, some companies may actually frown upon just collecting a smaller singular item like Microwaves, Kettles, Cushions etc but not us at Busy Bins. How can the professional service with a smile ever frown?

How do I report illegal dumping or fly-tipping in my area?

If you ever see the rogue traders out and about illegally dumping waste or fly-tipping, make sure to follow these steps to report them:

1: Take Pictures - Take pictures of the fly-tipping area, so that there is evidence. 

2: Note down information - Information such as Time, Date, Address & if you have spotted any one, make sure to take the dumping vehicles registration. 

3: Contact City Council / Local Council - Now that you have all the details, get into contact with your council and pass the relevant information on. You can do this via your local councils website. 


We know that when you are sitting on a pile of junk it can be right pain and not we don't mean physically! Hopefully by answering some of your the questions above we have eased your mind and made you more confident of where & when to start when getting your junk removed. 

It doesn't have to be a struggle or a worry of where your waste is going to end up or if the company are going to turn up and instantly add £30 extra onto the total because they didn't spot half an empty cardboard box in the pictures that you sent over!

As always: Ask Questions, Compare Prices, Compare Reviews & stay sustainable!

Hopefully, now that you know exactly what to look for in your junk removal, why not come and join the company that knows exactly what to offer?

We operate a collect as you pay service for any items, large, small or down right stinky, so you can sleep easy knowing that you won't be sitting on that pile of junk for long. 

Here are a few more reasons why you should use us for your next bulky waste collection.

  • Fully Accredited & Licensed. 
  • Easy to contact or book: You can do it 24/7 online at www.busybins.co.uk or give us a call on 0161 766 3330. 
  • No quotes, just simply select which items you want collecting and we will do the rest. 
  • Most importantly...you know that you waste is being disposed of in the correct manner by a reputable company. If you wish to see any of our legal documentation then please email binfo@busybins.co.uk and we will be happy to provide copies of this. Our waste carriers licence number is CB/DU222271 for any online checks you wish to carry out.

So come and take part in the service with a smile. Don't just take our word for it though, throughout our 7 years of being in business, we have received over 800 verified customers reviews who have rated us 4.9 out of 5 on our service. 

We are so proud of them!

To have a peek out our reviews, click here

To book your next waste collection, contact us today: www.busybins.co.uk or 0161 766 3330

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