Oxfordshire County Council logo

Charges for non-household waste (DIY)

Information about the charges for non-household waste (DIY) at our recycling centres.

Special notice

Information about the charges for non-household waste (DIY) at our recycling centres

RE: Government announcement on DIY Charging at Household Waste Recycling Centres

On 18 June 2023, the Government announced their intention to abolish charges on small amounts of DIY wastes brought to Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC’s). Larger amounts may still be charged for.

We are awaiting further information and guidance of when this will commence, until then all DIY charges across all of Oxfordshire’s seven HWRC’s remain in place.

Please note the Government’s announcement did not abolish all charges but set a minimum level to be accepted for free, larger amounts will still be able to be charged for.

At present the Government have indicated that the amount of waste accepted for free will be as follows:

  • the quantity of waste per visit is no greater than two 50L rubble bags or 1 bulky or fitted item no larger than 2000mm x 750mm x700mm, such as a bathtub.
  • In addition, the waste is not produced on a regular basis requiring HWRC visits more frequently than four times per household over a four-week period.
  • Always think before you throw.
  • Can the item be reused by someone else?

If you are unsure, please ask a team member on-site; we try to reuse items where possible and avoid landfill and disposal, and have reuse drop off areas on site.

A revised charging scheme has been in place across all sites since 1 October 2017. From 2020, we have also asked for all payments to be made electronically and preferably contactless. Our sites accept contactless payments and Apple/Samsung Pay, etc.

DIY wastes are primarily, but not exclusively, materials generated through construction, alteration/renovation or repair of your property and garden, or items or materials most people would not take with them when moving home e.g., floorboards, guttering, roofing materials, garden shed/greenhouse, raised beds, decking, and fencing etc. There are also charges for car/motorcycle tyres.

DIY wastes, as listed below, are legally classified as industrial waste and local authorities have no legal obligation to accept it. However, we recognise that residents require a cost-effective solution for the disposal of small amounts of DIY waste.  Where loose/deconstructed items/materials are presented, site teams will estimate the overall cost and their estimate will be final. 

Key points

  • If you cannot pay for items, you cannot deposit them. Ensure you have the electronic means to pay before travelling to our sites. 
  • Larger amounts of waste should be disposed of using local skip services or other commercial organisations. 
  • We do not accept any form of commercial or trade waste. This includes any waste originating from a business or charity, etc. Waste also becomes commercial waste where payment is made for the works or transporting it. For example, a bathroom delivered by the householder is accepted, but this should not be brought to site by the plumber or builder who carried out the work and would not be accepted. Waste is also deemed commercial from a "man with a van", house removals/clearance companies, landlords bringing tenanted waste or other commercial collection operations offering transportation of waste/goods for a fee.  It also includes waste from any business operated from your home.
  • You will still be able to dispose of all household waste free of charge at any of the county's Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs).

£2 per 20 litre bag or equivalent.

Part bags are charged as full, so one and a half bags would be £4 for example. Loose material or larger bags will be estimated by our teams on site.

The dimensions of a 20-litre bag are 53.0cm by 46.5cm by 15.5cm.

Please note The team member's decision on charging will be final.  If you feel you have been overcharged, let us know

DIY waste price list for chargeable items

Items we don't accept

Item Details
Tarmac In all grades and forms
Large quantities of material   
Heavily contaminated sandbags For example with oil or sewage
Plasterboard mixed with other material e.g. attached to tile or stud wall For example, attached to tile or stud wall
Lorry tyres  
Tractor tyres  
Commercial plant or machinery tyres  
Red or blue pallets These are commercial and should be returned to the supplier

How can I pay?

All payments should be made by electronic means; all of our sites accept contactless payments and Apple/Samsung Pay, etc. The decision of site staff is final.

Are DIY materials accepted at all HWRCs?

Plasterboard and asbestos will only be accepted at Redbridge, Dix Pit and Ardley Fields. Information about disposing of asbestos.

Are the charges the same at all HWRCs?

Yes. Standard charges are in place for the chargeable waste service at all seven HWRCs in Oxfordshire.

Will I be charged for other materials?

There are no changes or charges for normal household waste such as recycling, green garden waste, residual waste, or asbestos. Asbestos is only accepted at Redbridge, Dix Pit and Ardley HWRCs. Information about disposing of asbestos.

What is non-household waste?

Non-household waste tends to be items or materials that make up the fabric of a building such as a wall or a patio. DIY waste is usually created from the construction, alteration or repair of a home or garden.

Do local authorities have a legal obligation to accept non-household waste?

No, local authorities only have a legal obligation to accept household waste at the HWRCs. There is no obligation to accept non-household waste, which includes waste from construction or demolition activities. Some local authorities do not accept such waste.

Will the changes increase queues at sites?

We recommend planning your visit around quiet times at the recycling centres, if possible. Between 8am to 10am and 3pm to 5pm, weekdays are less busy than weekends and the middle of the day.  In the summer months (1 April to 30 September) the recycling centres are open until 8pm on Thursday evenings and are often very quiet.

I pay Council Tax, why should I have to pay extra?

Your Council Tax covers a wide range of council services provided by us, your local district/city council, and the parish or town council, if there is one in your area. We are not obliged to accept non-household waste types such as soil, rubble, plasterboard and tyres at the HWRCs, and doing so results in high disposal costs. Applying a small charge for these discretionary wastes enables the disposal costs to be covered and allows Council Tax to be focused on essential services.

Why does Oxfordshire County Council need to make savings?

The amount of funding the county council receives from central government has more than halved in recent years. With public sector budgets expected to remain under severe pressure in the foreseeable future, delivering services at the same level or in the same way is no longer feasible. Therefore, we must make some difficult decisions to deliver a balanced budget as required by law and provide vital public services to the people of Oxfordshire.

I run a small business producing DIY-type waste. Can I bring this to the site?

The household waste recycling centres are provided for Oxfordshire residents to bring their household waste for recycling and disposal. Except for Redbridge HWRC, where there is a trade area, depositing commercial waste at these sites is illegal.

We are investigating the feasibility of providing services for small quantities of trade waste at these sites in the future. Meanwhile, please continue to use your authorised trade waste disposal routes.

Other options for disposing of materials

If you wish to avoid taking your waste to an HWRC you could hire a skip, or find a waste carrier to come and remove it for you. Local waste management and skip companies can be found via an internet search. You must comply with the householder's duty of care (see below).

Suppose you would like to dispose of waste and are considering using someone from a free newspaper or any other classified publication - you will need to ensure that the person is a registered waste carrier. In that case, you must ensure that you know where the waste is being taken for disposal.

Access to the waste carriers' register set up by the Environment Agency.

The household duty of care

Under the Waste (Household Waste) Duty of Care (England and Wales) Regulations 2005, householders must take reasonable measures to ensure that household waste produced on their property is passed on to an authorised person. The move aims to crack down on fly-tipping and make sure rubbish is dealt with properly and responsibly.

Penalties for non-compliance 

It will become an offence for householders to pass on waste to an unauthorised person. A maximum fine of £5,000 may be imposed on prosecuted offenders.

If fly-tipped waste is traced back to a particular household, the householders could be fined up to £5,000. How to report fly-tipping.