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Guide to Bulky Waste

Guide to Bulky Waste

Guide by Clearabee

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The Guide to Bulky Waste

Bulky waste is a category of waste the encompasses many different items that are common in homes and offices.

Bulky waste is large, can’t be disposed of via your normal council bin and can be difficult to handle. Common examples of bulky waste include furniture, dishwashers, baths and much more.


The UK can produce a staggering amount of bulky waste each year. Wrap claims that over 1.5 million tonnes of bulky waste are collected or taken to waste facilities every year. Unfortunately, the sheer amount of bulky waste we create and debatably some confusing information provided by councils have led to an increase in fly-tipping. Ever since 2013, cases of fly-tipping have been on the rise and in 2017 half of these incidents involved bulky waste.

We’ve put together this guide on everything you need to know about bulky waste to show how easy dealing with these items can be. From information on examples of bulky waste to how it’s recycled, you’ll find everything you need to know. If you have bulky waste that you need to get rid of, you’re also in the right place as we can collect bulky waste on a same-day basis.

Clearabee Services

If you feel like you know everything you need to know about bulky waste already then you can explore our options for removing rubbish and bulky waste below:

man and van

Man and Van

Our Man & Van service is the highest-rated rubbish clearance solution. With options for same-day collection, free early/afternoon time slots, and low-cost, two-hour time slots, we make collections as quick, affordable and flexible as possible.

skip hire

Skip Hire

Our skip hire service is an ideal solution for heavy waste or for customers who need to keep waste on-site for a period of time. Most of the skips we offer can be delivered on a next day basis with flexible removal.

Skip Bags

Skip Bags

For a fast, flexible solution for lighter waste, try our nationwide skip bag service. If you need containment for your rubbish, or maybe you just want a fixed price, our skip bags can be a great alternative to skips. You fill it - we'll collect it.

Wheelie Bin Collection

Wheelie Bin Collection

Our domestic wheelie bin service is designed for households who need a little extra bin capacity. All you need to do is book the service online and leave the bin out by 8am in the morning. When we’re on our way you will receive a text message and a tracking link so you will know the bin has been emptied.

‘Man and Van’ | Skip Hire | Skip Bags | Bin Collection



Here are some of the most common questions we get asked regarding bulky waste.

What counts as bulky waste?

Bulky waste is typically large or heavy items that cannot be disposed of via your usual council collected bin. Characteristics of bulky waste include the difficulty in regards to recycling it and the unfortunate amount which is fly-tipped. As the UK’s largest clearance company, we regularly attend jobs that involve lots of bulky waste so we’re happy to help remove this burdening rubbish.

How do you get rid of bulky waste?

At Clearabee we have plenty of options to help get rid of your bulky waste. Our most popular option is our ‘Man and Van’ service due to how convenient and quick it is. We are also able to provide Skip Bags and conventional Skips which you can fill at your own leisure.

What happens to bulky waste after it is has been disposed of?

Although bulky waste may more difficult to recycle compared to simplistic items like glass bottles, it’s still very achievable. We only use highly efficient waste facilities and are at the point where we are able to recycle over 95% of the waste we collect.

How to book a Clearabee bulky waste collection?

Our online booking process is available 24/7 and only takes a few minutes to complete. If you’re unsure about the exact quantity of waste you have, you can use our waste calculator to instantly receive a bespoke price.


Bulky Waste Definition and Examples

Defining Bulky Waste Collection

You may be asking yourself ‘what counts as bulky waste?’ and that’s a valid question as bulky waste encapsulates a multitude of different items.

With a quick search of definitions around the web, you may find phrases like ‘items you would take with you if you were to move house’ and ‘waste which is too large for your bin’.

Clearabee quote graphic

Bulky Waste Definition

Wrap’s bulky waste definition reads as: Waste that exceeds 25kg in weight or waste which cannot fit into receptacles for household waste."

This definition is only so useful as there is still some room for interpretation. Local councils have fallen victim to this as lists of what they can accept as bulky waste may vary from one constituency to another. This creates a discrepancy as to what exactly bulky waste is, depending on who you ask.

What we can draw from all these definitions is that bulky waste is very much an umbrella term. This means a waste clearance company should be flexible in what they are able to collect and the services they provide. At Clearabee we’re more than happy to build you a bespoke quote based on the waste you have. This means if you were to have a mix of items, some bulky waste and some you were unsure of – we'll be able to collect the lot and recycle it.


What Items are Considered Bulky Waste?

This is not a definitive list but here are some bulky waste examples:

Armchairs, Baths, Beds, Bookcases, Cabinets, Carpet and underlay, Chairs, Clothes rails, Coffee tables, Cots, Cupboards, Desks, Dishwasher, Doors, Drawers, Dryers, Flooring, Footrests, Freezers, Fridges, Furniture, Headboards, Ladders, Large IT equipment, Mattresses, Oven, Racks, Rugs, Shelving, Showers, Sofas, Stands, Stools, Tables, Televisions, Trampolines, Wardrobes, Washing machines.

This may not be an exhaustive list so if you have an item that is not on this list, it’s worth enquiring with Clearabee as we’ll most likely be able to take it away.


Bulky Waste and Furniture Recycling

With the nation growing more conscious of its waste, the UK managed to reuse

As seen in our sofa removal guide, there are plenty of options when it comes to reusing bulky waste. Certain bulky items like furniture lend themselves to being easily reusable. They are sought after items that are often looked after, which keeps them in good condition even when they are being replaced.

You would think that items like baths may be difficult to sell once used, but you’d be wrong. If in a good condition and removed carefully you’ll be able to sell your used bath. There's a large market for used baths, showers and other examples of bulky waste that you may be surprised by.

The rising popularity of sites like Gumtree, Freecycle, Sphock and Facebook Marketplace allows many items like chairs and tables to stay in the economy, instead of going straight to landfill. Many people rely on opportunities like these as you can quite easily furnish a home purely from second-hand items, which are a fraction of the price of new items. Many tips around the country have set up their own shops where you can purchase perfectly usable items that were originally destined to the bin.

Your old bulky waste can also go on to support a charitable cause. Plenty of charities around the UK will accept items like desks, stools and chairs if they are in a good condition. Keep in mind that not every charity will be able to accept these items, so make sure you perform some enquiries before turning up with a mass of bulky items. Items like sofas and furniture will also require their fire safety label to still be attached or else they cannot be legally sold.


What Happens to Bulky Waste & How is it Recycled?

Here are a few examples of different ways in which bulky waste can be recycled and how the materials may be used in the future.

Bear in mind that with a Clearabee collection, over 95% of the waste will end up being recycled.


Once dangerous items like compressors are removed, the fridge enters a giant shredder. The powerful blades and chains of the shredder will tear the fridge down to more manageable pieces of plastic. The plastic produced by recycled fridges is that of a lower quality grade than most. This means it can't be used for items like drinks bottles but often goes on to be used in cheap plant pots.



Like a lot of bulky waste, the carpet needs to be shredded. This is so the individual materials can be separated as the carpet may have components made of nylon and cotton. These separated materials can then be used to make items like cushions and more carpet.



Similar to carpets, mattresses must be broken down and their different materials must be separated. This is why items like glass bottles are so easy to recycle, as they’re only made up of one material. Mattresses are intricately designed products, so a lot of the time these different materials will have to be picked out by hand. Metals are valuable when it comes to recycling and some can be retrieved from the mattress by magnets. The metal from your humble mattress could then go on to be used in cars.



Figures from the US show that the average TV width was 23 inches in 1997 and in 2018 the average screen width was 47 inches. What was once something you could easily pick up on your own is now a large and bulky item. The plastic shells can be recycled into new products which can be made from lower-grade plastics. TVs can also be home to relatively valuable metals like copper which can be recycled into pipes, wiring and much more.


Options for Bulky Waste Disposal and Collections

Bulky Item Collection

You may have bulky waste that is past the point of being able to be reused. You may also want to have your bulky waste removed as you need it gone quickly.

A Clearabee collection can be the perfect solution as we can provide professional rubbish removals on a same-day basis.

How to Get Rid of Bulky Waste?


Our most popular service is our ‘Man and Van’ rubbish removal. With this, one of our Clearabee vans and two of our waste operatives can be at your home to collect all of the waste you want to get rid of. We allow for flexible load sizes so are happy to tackle varying quantities of waste. We want to provide a service which is nearly as sustainable as reusing your bulky waste so have striven to divert as much away from landfill as we can. We have got the point where we are able to recycle over 95% of the waste we collect but are always looking for ways to improve. As a result, we have also planted the Clearabee forests which are expected to offset thousands of tonnes worth of carbon emissions.

If you’re looking to remove waste at your own pace then our Skip Bags can provide an ideal solution. They’re just like having a skip at your home which you can fill at your pace., but a lot more convenient Here’s a quick look at the sizes they come in and how much bulky waste you could fit into each:

A Small Clearabee Skip Bag

Skip Bag Options From Clearabee

  • A mini bag can fit around 25 bags of sugar.
  • A small bag can fit 2 washing domestic machines.
  • A medium could fit 3 washing domestic machines.
  • And a large bag could fit around 9-10 washing domestic machines.

If these don’t provide you with the solution you’re after we can also provide a conventional skip hire service.

Household Recycling Centers and Council Collections


Clearabee Services

Just to recap Clearabee offer a wide range of services that will help you with the removal of your bulky waste items.


‘Man and Van’ | Skip Hire | Skip Bags | Sofa Removal