Residents in Bath and North East Somerset are being notified of new limits on how much domestic DIY waste they can recycle at once and how often, due to a change in government legislation.

Recycling of domestic DIY waste will continue to be free of charge at Bath & North East Somerset Council’s recycling centres, however no more than the equivalent of two 50-litre bags of plasterboard, rubble, soil and ceramics is allowed to be disposed of in a single visit.

The number of visits is also limited to four single visits per household in any four-week period.

The council will introduce the changes from March 4th.

Currently, the council permits a maximum of six black sacks per week of this type of DIY waste to be disposed of free of charge, which does not comply with the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) legislation published in December 2023.

This legislation was updated by DEFRA to ensure that waste regulations are applied fairly and that residents can continue to dispose of small-scale DIY waste from their own home improvement works for free.  

DIY waste is considered to be plasterboard, rubble, ceramics and soil from construction or demolition works, including preparatory works at home, arising from work carried out by ordinary householders with no specialist skills. This differs from waste created by builders working on people’s homes, which is classed as commercial waste and should not be brought to the recycling centres.

Councillor Tim Ball, cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services at the council, has approved the changes in a single member decision. The single member decision report can be found here

Councillor Ball said: “Disposal of DIY waste from residents at our recycling centres has always been and will continue to be free, but the new legislation more clearly sets out the limits on the volume brought in any one visit and also the frequency of the visits.

“This will not restrict householders in carrying out small-scale renovations and improvements to your homes as you will still be able to bring your DIY waste to us without charge. However, the waste must meet the government criteria for domestic waste which is two 50-litre bags per visit and a maximum of four visits per household in any four-week period. Our recycling centre staff will be on hand to assist you with the changes when you visit.”

Residents who have waste in excess of the limits are encouraged to hire a skip or use a licenced waste removal company.