Rubbish Clearance: Licensed Waste Carriers UK

Searching online for “rubbish clearance near me?” This comprehensive guide to rubbish clearance will endeavour to shed light on the following topics related to clearing rubbish from homes and businesses in the UK:

  • What is rubbish clearance?
  • What types of rubbish and waste can a rubbish clearance company collect?
  • Why is eco-friendly rubbish disposal important?
  • What’s the difference between rubbish clearance and a skip hire?
  • What types of individuals require rubbish clearance?
  • Should rubbish removal companies charge per weight or per volume of rubbish?
  • How much does rubbish clearance cost in the UK?
  • Do I need any documentation of rubbish removal?
  • How can I find dependable rubbish clearance near me?

Find a local rubbish clearance company

location_on is your number one choice for rubbish clearance at any time, any place, and for any type of rubbish or unwanted refuse. We operate a nationwide network covering the entirety of the United Kingdom thanks to our hardworking, independent licensed waste carrier member partners.

Our waste carrier member partners will come to your property and collect any and all unwanted rubbish, load it onto a specially adapted rubbish removal vehicle, and dispose of it in an eco-friendly way.

Want rubbish cleared for your home or business? Easy. Click on GET QUOTES and enter your postcode to find local waste carriers near you. Request one or more no-obligation quotes and schedule a convenient appointment time with your preferred rubbish removal company.

Why choose us? is your ideal partner for finding quick and affordable rubbish clearance near you. We’ve partnered with over 300 licensed waste carriers across the UK.

Table of contents:

What is rubbish clearance?

Rubbish clearance is the collection and removal of rubbish, waste, or any other unwanted refuse from a property. The type of refuse, quantity, and method of clearance varies for each and every individual, as does the purpose of rubbish removal. For many homeowners, rubbish removal is essential for keeping their home tidy and clean, whereas for business owners it may be necessary for retail shops or offices at the end of a lease that need to dispose of unwanted shelving units or office furniture, for example.

Typically, rubbish clearance is performed by a man and van team of qualified licensed waste carriers using a specially adapted vehicle such as a box tipper or Luton van to load up rubbish and haul it away to the appropriate waste disposal facility, e.g. a landfill or recycling centre.

What makes rubbish clearance an essential service is that property owners and managers can dispose of small or large quantities of unwanted rubbish quickly and conveniently compared to other alternatives such as hiring a skip bin. Moreover, rubbish removal is necessary for many waste types or quantities not accepted by local councils as part of their routine waste bin collection schedule.

Rubbish clearance

Types of rubbish: What can rubbish clearance companies collect?

Rubbish clearance companies in the UK can collect and dispose of a wide variety of rubbish and waste. A valid upper-tier waste carrier license is required to collect, transport, and dispose of many different types of rubbish and waste, but additional licences may be required for specific types of waste for businesses and industrial operations. Generally, most household clearance companies can collect and dispose of the following types of waste:

Domestic household waste clearance

One of the most common types of rubbish is ordinary domestic household waste. This includes a wide variety of unwanted rubbish and waste that can be collected by council waste bin collection teams. Some examples include:

  • Food waste;
  • Bulky rubbish such as mattresses, furniture, and white goods;
  • Packaging.

Please note that some of these types of rubbish (e.g. mattresses) cannot be normally collected by routine local council collection and should be removed by a rubbish clearance company. Binmen also will not normally take excessive quantities of ordinary household waste.


Most councils provide collection services for recyclable rubbish and waste, paid through taxes and provided weekly via a coloured bin for designated recyclables. Some examples of recyclable rubbish and waste include:

  • Glass bottles;
  • Paper, cardboard, and newspapers;
  • Metal cans.

Garden waste collection

Garden waste clearance is essential for keeping homes and gardens free from organic matter that can attract pests and rodents, mitigate the spread of weed spores, and ensure that organic garden waste is disposed of in an eco-friendly manner. Some examples of garden waste include:

  • Grass clippings and bagged leaves;
  • Twigs, branches, and plant-based organic matter;
  • Soil and compostable materials.

Commercial waste collection

Retail shops, offices, factories, warehouses, and other commercial activities may require rubbish clearance services for waste such as:

  • Office partition walls and furniture;
  • Shelving units;
  • Pallets.

Construction & demolition debris removal

Homeowners remodelling their homes, builders, and demolition contractors frequently require construction and demolition debris removal services. Some common types of construction & demolition debris include:

  • Inert waste such as concrete, bricks, and aggregates;
  • Excavated soils;
  • Timber and scrap metal.

Generally, DIY waste from homeowners can be collected by a licensed waste carrier provided that none of the waste contains hazardous substances such as asbestos. Commercial and industrial building and demolition waste should only be undertaken by an established waste management company qualified to handle these types of waste.

Hazardous waste

Most rubbish clearance companies cannot collect, transport, or dispose of hazardous waste. Common examples of hazardous waste include:

  • Asbestos;
  • Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE);
  • Batteries.

Local councils typically have guidelines for how residents can dispose of hazardous waste in a responsible and legally compliant manner. Some waste such as electronics may be recyclable but typically requires an additional surcharge, e.g. TVs and monitors.

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The importance of eco-friendly rubbish clearance

Eco-friendly rubbish removal is not only important for protecting the environment and keeping Britain clean and tidy, but it can also save homeowners plenty of money as well. All homeowners should endeavour to minimise needless waste and to follow the three R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Business owners have an additional duty of care to protect the environment by ensuring that they are always choosing licensed waste carriers and obtaining Waste Transfer Notes (WTNs) for full accountability and compliance.

By reducing waste and recycling as much as possible, rubbish clearance companies can minimise landfill waste and instead divert as much as possible to recycling centres, thereby saving them (and by extension, their customers) money.

Fly tipping is a big problem in the UK and causes an eyesore, attracts pests and rodents, and is a punishable offence if the individual (or a rogue trader) is caught illegally fly tipping. If the waste can be traced back to your property, you could be liable as well.

Always deal with legitimate, qualified, vetted and approved waste carriers and choose to connect with licensed waste haulers committed to eco-friendly rubbish removal.

Man and van rubbish clearance vs skip hire

There are many ways to dispose of unwanted rubbish from your home or business. Some of the most common ways to do this include disposing of it yourself at a designated licensed waste facility, skip hire, and calling a rubbish clearance company near you.

What are the pros and cons of these different methods of rubbish clearance?

Man and van

Man and van

Our crew will come to you in a specially adapted vehicle, to clear and remove all kinds of waste from your home or business. You can leave all the hard work to us.

Skip hire

Skip hire

We offer greater flexibility than ordinary skip hire services, and you only pay for the amount of waste that the man and van teams load up and remove.

DIY rubbish clearance

Getting rid of unwanted rubbish and waste yourself may seem like an affordable alternative to hiring a private company, but there are still many responsibilities you must undertake. Firstly, you must have a vehicle capable of safely transporting your rubbish to a waste disposal facility and you must ensure that the site has a valid environmental permit to process the waste.

All of this takes time and effort and you may need to pay to rent a suitable vehicle for transporting the waste. All said and done, the amount of potential money saved may be meaningless considering the time and effort involved with DIY waste disposal.

Hiring a skip

Building contractors and homeowners undertaking remodelling or demolition projects generate a continuous flow of waste such as insulation, timber framing, concrete, bricks, soil, and other construction and demolition debris. For these types of projects, a skip bin hire is often a convenient solution.

For most other circumstances, a skip hire is typically not recommended since it can be more expensive than one-off rubbish clearance services. Moreover, the skip bin can only accept a specific type of designated waste up to a given capacity and permits may be required if the skip bin needs to be placed on public right-of-way, e.g. on a street interfering with parking.

Hiring a man and van rubbish clearance company

For most ordinary household clearance and commercial property rubbish removal needs, a man and van rubbish clearance team is often the most convenient and cost-effective solution.

A man and van rubbish removal team is typically an independent, local, licensed waste carrier that specialises in household clearance, office clearance, furniture removal, bulky item removal, and other common rubbish and waste clearance tasks for their customers.

Rubbish clearance with a private company offers many advantages to the other methods of rubbish removal mentioned above. A man and van team can remove rubbish from anywhere on your property (i.e. no need to place items at the kerb), can handle mixed rubbish and waste and sort it appropriately, will collect and transport rubbish to waste disposal sites, and many offer clean-up services as well for your property.

Who needs rubbish clearance?

Rubbish clearance is a rapidly growing industry, serving homes and businesses in urban and rural areas all across the UK. What types of customers commonly request rubbish removal services?

Domestic household clearance

Perhaps the largest market segment of the rubbish clearance industry is for domestic household rubbish clearance services. Full and partial house clearance and garden clearance services are ideal for many different types of customers, such as:

  • Homeowners;
  • Tenants;
  • Landlords or letting agencies dealing with eviction cleanouts;
  • Estate and probate clearance of properties of deceased individuals for inheritors, executors, and/or legal professionals;
  • Hoarders;
  • DIY home remodelling.

Domestic household clearance can include anything from removing ordinary household rubbish to the removal of large, bulky items such as furniture and white goods, garden waste collection, and much more.
Some rubbish removal companies can also help dismantle and dispose of garden sheds, conservatories, swimming pools, trampolines, and other large items.

Commercial business rubbish removal

Commercial waste collection and disposal is commonly offered by private rubbish clearance companies, depending on the type and quantity of rubbish or waste. For routine collection of waste, and especially hazardous waste, it is often better to arrange for professional waste management services on a contractual basis with a company specialising in these services.

For many small- to medium-sized businesses in need of one-time or infrequent rubbish or waste collection, however, rubbish clearance companies can make economical sense and provide outstanding efficiency whilst minimising disruption to your normal daily business operations. Some examples of commercial waste removal clients include:

  • Retail shop owners;
  • Office managers;
  • Hospitality businesses such as restaurants and hotels;
  • Building and demolition contractors;
  • Manufacturing facilities;
  • Warehouses;
  • Schools, universities, and other educational institutions;
  • Event management businesses;
  • Entertainment venues.

Rubbish clearance companies that provide commercial waste collection services generally only handle non-hazardous waste. This could include items such as shelving units, some electronic equipment, office furniture, partition walls, some building and demolition debris, packaging, and much more.

Weight vs volume: how is rubbish removal charged?

Most private rubbish removal companies typically use box tippers, Luton vans, or smaller transit vans to collect and transport rubbish. LGVs with a maximum capacity of 3.5 tonnes typically weigh anywhere from around 2.0-2.5 tonnes without any payload, i.e. just considering the weight of the vehicle, fuel, and personnel. That leaves approximately 1.0-1.5 tonnes of carrying capacity in most typical rubbish clearance vehicles.

Having said that, some rubbish removal companies charge by the weight of rubbish but most charge per fraction of the vehicle’s payload, e.g. ¼ full, ½ full, or full. Furthermore, most rubbish removal companies charge by the approximate cubic yard of rubbish, something that should be determined in their initial quote.

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The cost of rubbish clearance in the UK

The cost of rubbish clearance varies significantly depending on a wide range of factors, but typically labour, quantity, and type of rubbish to be collected are the main determinants of the final quoted price. On this latter point, it is essential to always obtain a quote before agreeing to have any rubbish removed. Licensed waste carriers listed on provide no-obligation quotes.

Many rubbish removal companies will either ask for a photograph of the rubbish that needs to be removed or will come in person to inspect it and provide an on-the-spot quote. The quote should be inclusive of labour and be free from any “hidden” charges and should accurately reflect prices on their website for the amount and type of rubbish to be removed.

As mentioned in the previous section, rubbish removal man and van teams tend to charge per cubic yard of rubbish and/or according to how full the vehicle is (¼ full van, full van, etc.). Specific types of rubbish will command a surcharge, such as mattresses, TVs, tyres, or any other type of waste that waste disposal facilities charge on a per-item basis.

Responsible and compliant rubbish removal: Documentation and accountability

Anyone can claim to provide rubbish removal services in the UK, but not everyone is doing so legally. Fly tipping often happens with careless individuals tossing rubbish onto private property or into a ditch on the side of a motorway, but often this behaviour comes from rogue traders posing as rubbish clearance companies without a waste carrier license.

If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Not only do illegal fly-tipping rogue traders pollute the environment through the improper and illegal disposal of waste, but any waste that can be traced back to your property could lead to penalties against you.
For this reason, it is essential to only choose reputable, established, licensed waste carriers in the UK by using a platform such as

Waste transfer notes for rubbish clearance

Business waste clearance should always be done in a legally compliant manner by obtaining a waste transfer note (WTN). This document provides accountability and is part of the duty of care of businesses to responsibly handle waste, which includes choosing legitimate and genuine waste carriers.

Homeowners that need to dispose of an old mattress or clean out a flat for a new tenant, for example, do not require a WTN. Nevertheless, a detailed and itemised invoice or receipt should always be provided. This is sufficient and is acceptable as evidence for the disposal of your rubbish or waste.

Rubbish clearance near me: Frequently asked questions

What is rubbish clearance and why do I need it?

Rubbish clearance is the removal and disposal of unwanted rubbish or waste from a property. You may need rubbish clearance if ever you want to declutter your home, move out of your flat or home, or for many other reasons.

What types of items can be collected during a rubbish clearance service?

Almost any type of ordinary household rubbish or waste can be collected by licensed waste carriers, such as white goods, furniture, some electronics, garden waste, some construction and demolition debris, and many other types of rubbish or refuse.

Is rubbish clearance eco-friendly and how is waste disposed of responsibly?

All rubbish clearance companies should be licensed waste carriers, which means they have a responsibility to transport and dispose of rubbish and waste in the appropriate waste processing facilities, e.g. landfills and recycling centres. Rubbish clearance from small, private, independent man and van teams tends to be eco-friendly because it is cost-effective and preferable to seek alternatives to landfill disposal whenever feasible to do so, such as recycling or donating items.

What's the difference between rubbish clearance and a skip hire?

Rubbish clearance involves a man and van coming to your property to physically remove unwanted rubbish from your property and to sort it and dispose of it at a waste disposal site. Skip hire involves having a skip bin delivered to your property and filling it yourself with rubbish. Skip bins are quite restrictive in what types of rubbish and waste they allow, how much is permitted, and will remain on your property until collected by the hire company.

Do I need to be present during a rubbish clearance or can I schedule it when I'm not at home?

It depends on the company. You don’t always have to be home for an appointment with a rubbish clearance company, so long as all unwanted rubbish is placed outside and does not cause an obstruction. Of course, this involves physically moving all rubbish yourself and leaving it exposed, so it may be preferable to be home to let the man and van team collect items themselves.

What should I look for in a reputable rubbish clearance company, and how can I ensure they are licensed and trustworthy?

In the UK, rubbish clearance companies should always possess a valid upper-tier waste carrier licence, or equivalent, in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. Furthermore, check the online reviews of your preferred rubbish clearance company and choose a reliable rubbish removal partner near you by using

Can hazardous waste be removed during a rubbish clearance?

It depends. Certain types of hazardous waste such as asbestos, solvents, batteries, and pesticides cannot be easily transported or disposed of and as such, few rubbish removal companies can handle these types of waste.

Is it okay if the amount of rubbish that I need removed differs from what was initially quoted?

Your rubbish clearance company should always be willing to provide you with a free and transparent quote for their services based on the type of rubbish and the quantity you need removed. If there is a discrepancy between the rubbish and the quoted amount, you should rectify this with the rubbish removal team or notify them that you don’t require their services if you believe you’re being scammed by a rogue trader.

What is a waste transfer note and do I need one?

A Waste Transfer Note (WTN) is required whenever a waste carrier transfers waste from a client’s property to a waste transfer station, or whenever a receiving party transports the waste to a waste disposal facility. Homeowners do not need a WTN, but a detailed invoice or receipt should be issued for recordkeeping and accountability purposes.

Choose a licensed rubbish clearance company

Much like with other trades such as auto glass repair and replacement in the UK, rubbish clearance companies vary significantly from one to the other in terms of quality, dependability, and prices. Unlike with auto glass repair and replacement, however, waste disposal is regulated and you should always be choosing licensed rubbish clearance companies and never dealing with rogue traders that engage in illegal fly tipping.

To find reputable, affordable licensed waste carriers near you, choose and get a free quote today.

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