Where there’s muck there’s brass, as the old adage goes. But the dosh went the wrong way for one Derby mum who was recently handed a £527 fine and a criminal record for illegally dumping household waste. The rubbish thing was, she reportedly hadn’t taken it anywhere. Instead, she hired a mystery disposer who dumped it by the road, leaving investigators to track her down and prosecute.[i]

That’s because the law states that it is the householder’s responsibility to check that the person they are hiring to remove their rubbish holds a current waste carrier licence and will dispose of any waste material properly.

The unlucky mum wasn’t alone. According to the Environment Agency nearly 2,800 prosecutions were made in 2010/2011 for fly tipping.

So it’s important to choose a waste remover you can trust to do the job properly – and won’t bag you a fine or court case.

What they do

A waste remover’s job is all about getting rid of things you don’t want from your home or garden, either with your assistance or using their own muscle power.

One of the most common ways to shift unwanted material, particularly rubble and waste material from building work, is to hire you a skip which you fill yourself and is taken away at an agreed time to be legally disposed of.

Other waste removers will help clear rubbish and waste from your home or garden and properly dispose of it. They’ll pack and sort it, then take it to a licensed waste disposal site for an agreed fee.

What they charge

If you’re looking to hire a skip, charges vary widely throughout the UK. They may seem expensive for taking away a lot of rubbish, but skip hire companies have to pay to empty their skips at licensed sites, which increases their costs. You pay the same price whether the skip is full or not when they take it away.

Prices differ depending where you are in the UK.

To give you a rough idea, a medium skip will cost over £200 to hire in London while the same size would be around £140 in Manchester. A large skip would be around £290 and £160 respectively.

If you’re looking for a waste remover who will load up and remove the waste material for you, they normally charge by volume of waste. Expect to pay (for rubbish to be disposed) around £350 for the same amount as two large builder’s skips, or £250 for the same amount as one.

For a house clearance that takes a full day, the price should be around £250, but this will be based on items such as furniture and appliances in saleable condition that can be converted into cash by the house clearer and not necessarily sent to the tip.

For individual items to be removed, expect to pay around:

  • £20 for a mattress
  • £40 for an appliance like a fridge freezer
  • £20 for a large electrical item

What to ask

If you are a householder, you are required by law to take reasonable steps to check that people removing waste from your premises are authorised to do so.

Reasonable questions to ask are:

  • Are you a registered waste carrier?
  • Can I to see your waste carrier licence issued by the Environment Agency or Natural Resources Wales?
  • What tier are you registered for? (most professional waste removers should be upper tier)
  • What is your full address and telephone number?

Trades to trust

The Environment Agency operates a register of waste carriers, brokers and dealers. You can use this to search your waste remover’s registration and find out what tier they are registered for.

The UK House Clearance Association promotes excellence and customer satisfaction within the UK house clearance industry.

The law

Many homeowners are still unaware that they are responsible for any waste made at a property where work has been carried out. The sole responsibility for the removal of the waste falls to the owner of the property so it’s important to make sure whoever removes it is properly licensed. Unsure? Check your carrier is registered here.

Ready to hire?

3 is the magic number

As always, try and get three quotes from three different waste removal firms to ensure you pay a fair price for the job.

Certification and references

Don’t be shy about asking for any relevant certification, particularly their waste carrier licence and proof of public liability insurance.

[i] http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/derby-mum-fined-using-facebook-rubbish-removal/story-29148433-detail/story.html