1 June 2020

Who’s Responsible for Removing Renovation Rubbish?

Read Time: 4 mins

Whether it’s a newly-fitted kitchen, a whole-house renovation or a dining room extension, many customers are often left with the unwanted remnants of their refurb. Be it builder’s waste, kitchen tiles or plastic piping, homeowners and contractors alike regularly have a handful of questions such as; “Who is responsible for the waste removal from a bathroom refit?”

With that in mind, this guide sets out to let you know exactly where you stand with regards to unwanted waste, whether you’re a builder, handyman or customer.

What waste should be removed by tradesmen?

Any waste that is produced during the process of renovative or repair work should be removed by the tradesmen concerned, whether it’s a commercial or domestic customer’s premises. Old units that are being replaced, such as boilers or fridges become the contractor’s responsibility to remove and dispose of safely so as to remove the possibility of hazards occurring.


Similarly, the packaging of a new boiler, bathroom suite or kitchen units are brought onto the customers’ premises by the contractor and therefore remain in the contractor’s possession. Items such as tiling or flooring which are delivered by a third party also sit as the responsibility of the contractor.

The Gov.UK website declares that “any waste that comes from a commercial activity is business waste” and that all waste should be kept to a minimum via reuse, recycling, or recovery. The Wrap website offers guidance on how to meet the reuse, recycle and recovery guidelines.

Do contractors need a Waste Carrier’s Licence?

In short, yes. Any contractors who are intending to remove waste from a site or property will need a Waste Carrier’s Licence or risk being faced with a fine of up to £5000.

The kind of licence a contractor requires will depend on what waste they intend to carry. With this in mind, there are two types of licence. The Lower Tier Licence is suitable for a contractor who is intending to remove the byproducts of their trade: be it a plumber or carpet fitter removing pipe or carpet offcuts. Full carpets or boilers, however, need an Upper Tier Licence.

The Upper Tier Licence is suitable for construction rubble and demolition waste which includes but is not exclusive to soil, concrete, bricks, glass, wood, plasterboard, asbestos, metal and plastic. This also includes any waste materials which are produced as part of a construction project or small-scale activity such as a replacement bathroom or kitchen, or a gardener replacing fencing, decking and slabs.


In each instance, after carrying waste, a Waste Transfer Note should be issued.

What is a Waste Transfer Note?

In addition to Lower/Upper Tier Licences, a document of waste transfer must accompany each instance of waste disposal and be stored as a record after the fact. This note includes: the address, date and time of the transfer as well as names, addresses and signatures of both the producer and carrier. The waste carrier’s SIC (Standard Industrial Classification of Economic Activities) code is also included.

The Waste Transfer Note also includes a description of the waste as well as the relevant European Waste Catalogue codes. The note details an indication of quantity and/or weight of the waste, whether it is loose or contained, and a statement confirmation that the transferor has attempted to reuse or at least recycle the waste before disposal, as set out by Regulation 12 of the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011.

As a contractor, do I need to amend my insurance details to carry waste?

Businesses that are intending to carry waste, no matter how big or small they are, will need to instruct their insurers accordingly. Standard commercial vehicle insurance does not provide cover for the transfer of waste and as a result, could result in considerable legal complications in the event of a road traffic collision or similar incident.


Does waste need to be disposed of immediately?

Of course, waste can always be disposed of immediately after completing a job. A licensed commercial waste facility will issue a tipping notice to document the transfer of waste from the contractor to the Waste Transfer facility.

However, this is not always practical and there are certain allowances in place. Waste can be stored at a site under the contractor’s control or at their depot with a mind to be disposed of at a later date. This waste should only be a product of the work carried out on the customer’s behalf and it must be securely stored.

Flammable waste, combustible materials and asbestos however, are prohibited from being stored and must be disposed of at a Waste Transfer Facility as soon as possible. Take a look at the following link if you still have questions regarding who is responsible for removing business or commercial waste.


Whether you’re a contractor or a customer, Clearabee can handle all of your rubbish removal requirements. As the UK’s largest clearance company, we are able to provide a waste collection service wherever you are in the country. From skip hire for kitchen and bathroom refits to our increasingly popular skip bags for smaller-scale renovations, we have the solution for you. With digital Waste Transfer Notes issued for each and every job, as well as a diversion from landfill rate of over 95%, you can have confidence in Clearabee.

Removing rubbish. It’s what we do.


About Clearabee

Clearabee operates nationwide on-demand rubbish clearance and waste removal services, with over 120 vehicles and 300 directly employed staff. Our core services include our industry-leading rubbish clearance service as well as our skip bag, commercial skip hire and sofa removal services.

Clearabee has been ranked as the fastest-growing waste management company in Europe for 3 years running and featured on The Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track for the last two years.

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