Charges scrapped for DIY waste at Swanage tip

Households will no longer have to pay to get rid of DIY waste at recycling centres including Swanage, as Dorset Council introduces a new scheme from the start of 2024.

It’s being forced by the government to drop the charges at all its tips, along with councils across England, from Monday 1st January 2024, although they will be closed on New Year’s Day as it’s a bank holiday.

Swanage tip

Charges for four small bags of rubble, hardcore and soil, over a four week period, will be abolished

Cost Dorset Council £500,000 per year

The new government legislation is intended to encourage households to dispose of DIY waste responsibly and improve recycling, which Dorset Council has to comply with.

However the council claims the move, while saving money for those doing home improvements, will cost it £500,000 per year, which will now be passed onto all Dorset council tax payers.

Swanage tip

Plasterboard isn’t hazardous in itself but if placed in landfill it can release toxic hydrogen sulphide gas, so has to be recycled, which can be more costly

Current charges

Dorset Council currently charges households £1.50 for disposing of a small bag of rubble, hardcore or soil and £1.50 for a large item like a ceramic toilet or bath. It charges £2.50 for a small bag of plaster board or plaster powder and £10 per sheet of plasterboard.

The costs at other councils vary, with some charging more and others charging less or nothing at all. Now across England all charges will be abolished for small amounts of DIY waste.

Swanage tip

Swanage tip will still monitor the quantity of rubble, hardcore, soil and hardcore that is disposed of, by keeping the skips fenced off

New scheme

In Dorset, a new system will be introduced to allow small amounts of DIY waste to be brought to a tip by residents for free, but charges will be retained for materials over these quantities.

From Monday 1st January 2024, residents will be asked to pre-book their DIY waste via the Dorset Council website or its customer services phone line.

The allowance, over no more than four visits per household, in any four week period is:

  • A maximum of 100 litres (equivalent to 4 standard 25 litre rubble bags) of DIY waste


  • A single article no larger than 2000 mm by 750 mm by 700 mm in size (roughly the size of a standard bath)
Swanage tip

Recycling of general household rubbish, wood, metal and garden waste will remain free and unaffected by the changes

“Easier for rogue traders to attempt to illegally drop off commercial waste”

Councillor Laura Beddow, Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for culture and communities, said:

“This new legislation simply transfers the cost of disposing of DIY waste from those who produce it to all council tax payers, leaving less money for already stretched council services.

“Since we introduced charges back in 2016, we have seen no impact on fly tipping levels, so we do not believe removing these charges will reduce the illegal dumping of waste.

“The new rules also make it easier for rogue traders to attempt to illegally drop off commercial waste, costing taxpayers even more money.

“While we have no choice but to comply with the legislation, we believe it still fails to provide councils with the tools needed to truly tackle fly-tipping, reduce waste, and increase recycling.”

Swanage tip

Diverting textiles from landfill by recycling old clothes is now a common practice and remains free for households

“Doing the right thing with DIY trash”

Announcing the new legislation in June 2023, government environment minister Rebecca Pow said:

“We want to make it as easy as possible for people to dispose of their waste properly and that’s why we are removing the financial burden on doing the right thing with DIY trash.

“This not only supports our wider work to tackle fly-tipping and waste crime, but we are helping home improvers across the nation make their dream projects a reality.”

Further information

  • From January 2024, more about the new scheme and how to pre book DIY waste will be on the Dorset Council website
  • Government announcement about the new legislation

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