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How much does waste disposal cost? How Much to Remove Building Materials?

Waste removal costs are one of the big elements of building demolition or remodelling. The cost of disposing of waste will depend on several factors, such as the weight and type of waste material you need disposed of. As a rough idea, waste disposal cost tend to be from £64 to £94 per hour for manual clearance, or around £300 per 18-yard skip.

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Simply let us know your location and a few details of the job required, and we'll help you compare like-for-like quotes to ensure you get excellent value for money.

We'll explain some of the variables and average prices, but the key is to hire an experienced contractor with the right tools for the job, whether you have one van load of rubble or need a large grab lorry (often cheaper than multiple skips!).

Average UK Waste Disposal Cost for Building Work

There is a large difference between hiring a waste removal contractor to collect and dispose of a few bags of plasterboard and removing large-scale quantities of waste materials from a bigger construction site.

One of the first things a contractor will need to know is what sort of builder's waste you have, such as:

  • Bricks and stone
  • Rocks
  • Patio slabs
  • Tiles
  • Timber
  • Plasterboard

The cost of disposing of waste made primarily from building material waste is higher than residential or general waste because it needs to be transported to an appropriate facility via a waste contractor's licence, and there are several rules about the legal and responsible way to manage different waste items.

There are three primary ways to manage building waste; a man with a van, skip hire, or heavy-duty site clearance.

Below we've run through a few examples to demonstrate what you might need to pay.

Average Costs for Building Waste Skip Hire

Skip Size Capacity Average Price
Two to three-yard mini skip 25-35 bin bags £60+
Four to five-yard skip 45-55 bin bags £100+
Six-yard skip 65 bin bags £110+
Eight-yard skip 80 bin bags £150+
Ten-yard skip 100 bin bags £170+
12-yard skip 120 bin bags £220+
14-yard skip 145 bin bags £200+
16-yard skip 170 bin bags £220+
18-yard skip 195 bin bags £275+
20-yard roll-on, roll-off skip 220 bin bags £290+
30-yard roll-on, roll-off skip 330 bin bags £340+
40-yard roll-on, roll-off skip 440 bin bags £400+

You will need to check with the provider whether they charge a levy for building waste disposal, but it is more cost-efficient to hire the largest skip you think you might need.

Price differences between sizes are small, but the capacity of waste you can dispose of increases quite considerably, so it is far better to hire a skip that is slightly bigger than required than to find your skip isn't large enough, and you need to pay to have it emptied and returned.

Check out this video on different factors involved in waste disposal:

Check out other factors that may affect waste disposal costs such as whether you plan a small demolition such as the demolition of a wall, or a large demolition like the demolition of an extension. The location of the demolition, for example a demolition in London, would also increase the cost of disposing of waste.

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Average Costs for Small-Scale Building Waste Removal

If you are hiring a small contractor with waste removal vans, they will usually charge by weight. That is because, provided all the waste is of a similar nature, it will take the same time to dispose of the items and so will increase waste disposal costs.

Waste Volume Loading Time Required Average Cost
100 kg Ten minutes £50 - £70
200 - 330 kg 20 minutes £90 - £110
500 - 700 kg 30 - 40 minutes £150 - £170
800 - 900 kg 45 - 50 minutes £200 - £250
1,000 - 1,200 kg One hour £270 - £290

Loading times are relevant because you'll normally pay around £10 to £15 per hour of loading, so if there are very heavy waste items such as big concrete slabs, the overall cost may be higher.

We'll discuss hazardous materials shortly, but it's important to let your contractor know if there are particularly bulky, dangerous or difficult-to-handle items.

Average Costs to Hire a Waste Disposal Grab Truck

If you have a large amount of waste, a grab lorry may be suitable - they usually have a bigger capacity than other alternatives. They can lift heavy items through a hydraulic arm rather than requiring manual loading.

Grab Lorry Size Average Cost
Four-wheel truck with a seven to nine-ton capacity £275
Six-wheel truck with a 12.4 to 14-ton capacity £295
Eight-wheel truck with a 16 to 18-ton capacity £340

Grab lorries can be more efficient if you want to avoid having multiple skips or expect to accumulate a mountain of waste and rubble. You normally do not require a permit because the lorry will load up quickly, rather than needing to remain on site.

Property developments in city centres and areas without available space for a skip may decide to go for grab lorry hire.

Factors Impacting Your Building Site Waste Removal Cost

There are several things a waste removal provider will ask before they can provide an accurate quote.

First, they'll ask what type of site you have because a construction project will produce different waste with alternative handling techniques to a warehouse clearance or a fire-damaged property.

Examples of materials that a contractor will be looking out for include:

  • Asbestos
  • Chemicals
  • Fluorescent lighting tubes
  • Paint or varnish

General building waste normally comprises hardcore, bricks, cement, rubble, glass and metals, so the more information you can provide about the type of site and the materials you need to be removed, the more accurate your estimate.

Waste Removal Volume

As you've seen from the average prices above, the quantity of waste will be a factor in your budget.

When you submit your quote request form, it's great to have a rough idea about the amount of building materials you need to dispose of because this may dictate the right option - whether manual removal, a grab lorry or hiring a skip.

Contractors charge per ton, per van or lorry load, or per skip, and they'll be able to advise you if you're unsure what weight your rubbish will be or which option is most appropriate.

Non-Standard Waste Removal

We've discussed the general waste materials you'd expect to find on a building site. Still, if there is anything dangerous or with specific regulations about safe disposal, it will impact your budget.

Waste removal contractors must follow requirements set by various bodies, including the Environment Agency, Public Health England and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Anything that could be contaminated, poses a health risk or requires a specialist disposal method needs to be assessed before a contractor can organise disposal.

Safety Requirements in Removing Building Materials

Safety is key, and it is never advisable to handle building waste yourself, primarily because there is a significant risk of sharp edges, and extremely heavy items can be difficult to handle without commercial equipment.

However, the other factor is that site clearances follow a range of safe work procedures and will need to specify whether each material can be recycled or disposed of.

Depending on the nature of your waste disposal requirements, a contractor might:

  • Apply a range of methods, such as soft-stripping vs full site clearance or removing specific heavy items or waste materials.
  • Need to submit a Site Waste Management Plan to explain how they will legally manage each type of material present.
  • Require specific waste transfer documentation, such as a duty of care waste transfer note or hazardous waste consignment note.

Most site clearances are relatively straightforward, but if there are potentially hazardous or contaminated items, including asbestos, the contractor will need to follow additional measures to ensure the material is removed, handled, transported and disposed of safely.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, we've run through some FAQs about the cost of removing building materials and the factors that impact your overall budget.

What Is the Best Way to Dispose of Building Materials?

There are several waste disposal options, and the best route depends on the nature of the waste and the volume.

For example, you could hire a skip, contract a team with a waste disposal lorry, or book a grab hire truck to remove larger piles of rubbish.

A local contractor will be able to recommend the most suitable options.

Is It Cheaper to Hire a Skip Rather Than Pay for Waste Collection?

Possibly - although not necessarily! Skips are commonly found on building sites and are an easy way to accumulate waste as you go and organise a collection only when the skip is full.

The benefit is that you can keep the skip for as long as you need (although you might pay extra for an extended service), and, if you've booked a large enough skip, you might only need to cover the costs of one removal charge for the duration of your project.

If you have a smaller amount of building waste, it could be cheaper to have a rubbish removal van attend and load up your waste materials - they will have the same waste carrier's licence but specialise in smaller quantities of building site waste removal.

Why Does Building Waste Need to Be Handled By a Firm With a Waste Carriers Licence?

There are strict rules about transporting and managing waste items - if you hire someone without any accreditations or professional qualifications, they will likely fly-tip your waste.

In that situation, you may be fined up to £50,000, so it is essential you hire a credible professional with the right legal documentation to handle the waste.

Waste Carrier Licences come in different tiers, so any vehicle that is permitted to carry construction waste should have an Upper Tier Licence, allowing them to manage anything from general rubber to tubing and tiles.

Lower Tier Licences cover waste removal companies that manage more standard waste, such as office waste.

How Can I Verify If a Building Waste Removal Company is Authentic?

When you submit a quote request form through our free service, you'll receive up to four pricing estimates from approved local companies - each is a verified business with the appropriate skills and licensing to handle building waste.

Otherwise, you can look into a potential waste carrier, ask about their experience and qualifications, or check whether they have a Waste Carriers Licence, professional indemnity insurance and the right equipment to manage your waste removal.

You can also look at online reviews for any contractor you are considering hiring to check that they have a good reputation and have provided a decent service to previous customers.

What Hidden Costs Should I Be Mindful Of When Hiring Someone to Dispose of Building Materials?

There are several variables in the average cost of removing building waste, and it is important to know what is and is not included in your quotation and any elements of the service provided that might change your final bill.

For example, your quote should itemise things like:

  • Cost per collection to empty and return a skip.
  • Labour charges to manually load waste items into a van.
  • Fuel or transport costs for each trip to your site.
  • Charges associated with hazardous material handling.
  • All aspects of waste handling and disposal.

A trustworthy contractor will always be able to run through each aspect of your building material removal, advise on the best methods to use, and explain anything that could potentially change - such as if they discover hazardous materials.

What Costs Are Involved in Waste Disposal?

A contractor can't simply unload building waste at a landfill facility - they need to ensure that anything recyclable is dropped at a recycling plant and will pay varying amounts depending on what they need to dispose of.

Landfill taxes are charged on any waste that cannot be recycled, and a lorry will pay a gate fee, charged per ton, to attend a recycling or landfill site. Most facilities charge around £6 per ton.

If you have any materials within your waste that can be salvaged or sold as scrap (such as metal, cardboard or bricks), your contractor may be able to offer a rebate or discount on the total cost.

Related Reading

  • https://householdquotes.co.uk/rubbish-removal-costs/
  • https://www.checkatrade.com/blog/cost-guides/rubbish-removal-prices/
  • https://www.businesswaste.co.uk/commercial-waste-collection-costs-2022/

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