..... ..... .....
..... ..... .....
...... ......

Disposing of Building Waste on Self-Build Sites

When you self-build, one of the decisions you will have to make is how to dispose of your construction waste.

This article examines the different types of waste that the build process produces and provides suggestions for disposing of it.

Minimise waste

Waste disposal is both expensive and time-consuming, so it makes sense to keep waste levels to a minimum. It’s also a good sustainable building practice.

The planning process should involve identification of the waste types that each job will create, and explore ways to incorporate that waste into other parts of the build. For example: take the soil produced by digging the foundation and use it for landscaping, or take the rubble from knocking down old walls and use it as hardcore in the base of a road or patio.

Recycle whenever possible

If you can’t recycle some or all of the build waste, someone else may have use for it. Skip firms frequently recycle collected waste materials. It makes sound business sense and helps to keep costs low.

Alternatively, you can peruse recycling websites or general listing services like Gumtree or Ebay to find people who can use the waste materials and will pick them up.


Specialists in Construction Insurance

Hazardous waste

Before commencing a self-build or renovation project, identify any hazardous materials that will be used. Some substances, such as asbestos, will need to be taken away from the build site and removed by companies specially licensed to do so. Attempting to dispose of these materials yourself is both illegal and dangerous with possibly serious effects on your health.

Some types of waste, such as plasterboard and electrical items, cannot be disposed of by tossing them into skips. They need to be dealt with using alternative methods.

Skip selection

An alternative to a skip can be to lead the waste away in a van or with a trailer to a local tip where items such as plasterboard and rubble can be separated. Bear in mind however the costs of this can easily take over the cost of skip hire. Factor in your time, the distance and fuel it will take for a return trip to the tip and the environmental impact or multiple trips. It's also worth mentioning that many tips now charge vans for tipping commercial waste.

When you’re dealing with a lot of construction waste, skips are a convenient disposal method. When ordering one for the build site, bear the following points in mind.


If more than one skip is needed, the costs will soon add up. To find the best value skip hire in your area, visit resource sites such as skipandbin.com.


It’s too easy to underestimate the amount of waste your self-build project will create. If you're undertaking a renovation project, stripping out a bathroom or kitchen can produce enough material to rapidly fill a 4 cubic yard skip. A recommended course of action is to consult with your skip hire company: the staff can help you estimate the amount of waste that the build will generate.

Storage location for the skip

Before you hire the skip, figure out where you are going to keep it for the duration of the project. Strange as it sounds, many self-builders forget to set aside storage space for the skip. If it has to be left in a public place or out on the road, permission and possibly licensing may be required. If they are, you’ll want to arrange for them well in advance, as obtaining permissions of this type can take time.

These tips will help ensure that construction waste does not become an issue or slow down your build project. Waste disposal may not appear to be as important as purchasing tools and materials, but proper planning for it will keep the project on schedule and even improve its sustainability.


Stay Updated

Join our email list to receive useful tips, practical technical information and construction industry news by email. Relevant to everyone in the industry. Your details will be shared with no one else.