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How do you dispose of DIY waste? Clean, safe ways to deal with difficult materials

How do you dispose of DIY waste? Clean, safe ways to deal with difficult materials

Sometimes there’s nothing more satisfying than a sudden home renovation push. Have you ever had a long weekend coming up, and the next thing you know, the garden has been redone, you’ve painted a room or finally pulled up that old carpet you hated? It can feel brilliant (or perhaps you’re just glad it’s over!), but when the dust clears, the awkward part is left – how are you supposed to deal with the waste?

To help you, we’ve broken down answers to a few of the most common questions about home DIY waste, including where will accept it, disposal charges, and what you can recycle or reuse.


The recycling of old paint was removed from Norfolk recycling centres in April 2014, due to the high costs caused by recycling it en masse. So what are you supposed to do with it? It’s rare for a painting job to finish up without paint left over, and we can end up collecting old tins of the stuff – or even ‘inheriting’ them from the last people to live in our home. Disposing of wet paint at a landfill can damage plant life and wildlife, and trying to do this could land you with some nasty fines. Luckily, there are a number of safe, clean ways to responsibly get rid of that paint:

  • Dry it out! Adding cat litter, sawdust or any other absorbent material will eventually dry out the left-over paint. Mix it in, let it sit, and once the mixture is solid, you can put it in your general wheelie bins. This isn’t the kindest to the environment, but it’s legal and fine-free.
  • Use it up! Offer your unused paint to friends, family, leave a For Free sign on it outside your house to offer it to your neighbours, or you can try using online services such as Freecycle.
  • Some recycling centres will still process wet paint for a fee. However, the King’s Lynn recycling centre does not accept paint.
  • Wait for a Hazardous Waste Day (amnesty days) from the Norfolk City Council. These are days when you can declare and deliver hazardous waste fee-free. However, they are only on certain dates and in certain locations, and you will need to take the paint there yourself.
  • Use a specialist hazardous waste contractor like Baco-Compak! We know how to dispose of your paint safely, and we can come to collect it from your door along with any other DIY waste you have, any time, anywhere in the Kings Lynn area.


Ripping up an old carpet is extremely satisfying, but once it has been ripped out, it can take up so much space. How do you dispose of carpet? Whilst some types of carpet can be recycled, many types cannot. The Norfolk Government Website advertises that its recycling centres accept carpet (in the ‘non-recyclable’ dump areas), but you will need to cut it up, roll it up or otherwise work out how to get it there! Remember, it is illegal to fly-tip (dump on public land) carpets or any other waste.

If you don’t want to transport your carpet to a recycling centre, you can use a private skip hire service from a contractor like Baco-Compak. Rip the carpet up, throw it in, and we can take care of the rest.


Garden waste can be confusing – what can go in the regular bins and what can’t? What should go to the dump and what shouldn’t? Some areas will ask you to pay extra for a garden waste wheelie, and even those won’t take everything. A regular question is, how does soil disposal work?

  • Soil and sand are both forms of non-recyclable DIY waste that Norfolk recycling centres will accept, but for a fee. Be prepared to pay based on weight – if you have a lot of soil to get rid of, you might want another option!
  • Give it away: there are always people looking for new soil. One gardener’s trash is another one’s treasure! Try advertising a free soil collection on a local neighbourhood news site, Facebook Marketplace, or even by placing a sign outside your home. You might be surprised by how many people come by with buckets and spades.
  • Add to your compost bin. Or, if you don’t have one, you could buy one (either online or at your local recycling centre) and combine this soil with your old vegetables and garden waste. What was once scrap soil could one day be rich and fantastic for your plants.
  • Some areas accept soil and sand as a part of their Garden Waste wheelies, but the King’s Lynn areas does not. Check on your local council site to be sure, but many areas will not accept.
  • Hire a skip! Using a contractor like Baco-Compak means you can get rid of that soil, and any other rubbish you’ve unearthed with it, without even needing to travel.


Wood is another DIY material that recycling centres will accept, but at a fee-per-weight. Like with the other waste we have covered here, you should not put it in your regular wheelies, and we’re sorry – it might come from trees, but it doesn’t count as garden waste! Apart from fee-by-weight dumping, you have a number of options:

  • Give it away. Never underestimate what these ‘Free To Take’ signs will get rid of for you. If a neighbour is planning a DIY build of their own, some spare wood might be just what they are looking for.
  • Keep it as firewood, if you have an open fire in your home. Avoid holding a bonfire, as this is extremely bad for the environment. If you do want to have a bonfire, or plan to keep any wood for your fireplace, make sure that you only burn untreated wood – treated wood will release toxic fumes when burnt.
  • Trust the professionals! Baco-Compak can remove your treated and untreated wood and see that it is recycled or disposed of appropriately. Hire a skip or contact us to learn more.

Trickier/Hazardous Materials

We have covered some of the DIY Waste basics in this list, but predictably, home projects will usually find a way to throw a curveball. Whether it is plastic guttering, broken glass, ceiling plaster or even material that may contain asbestos, it is essential to dispose of each material correctly. Many materials, including ceiling plaster or fluorescent bulbs, have costly fees connected to them – this is because they are hazardous if sent to a landfill, and can cause sickness and injury to those handling them. When in doubt, the best course of action is to call a contractor who can take care of everything at once: at Baco-Compak, we are experienced in domestic and hazardous waste alike. Whatever it is that you need to get rid of, we are here to help throughout the King’s Lynn area. Contact us with any questions and find out how we can solve your disposal headaches today – right at your front door.

(Article photo by Tadson Bussey. View Licence)