The Self Build Self Help Site Waste Management
Sub header photo of topsoil removal
In todays environmentally concious times, there are a few important considerations. Its not rocket science but sometimes the cost can seem like it!

Site Waste Management Plans

From April 2008, any construction project in England costing over 300k will need a Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP) - see the relevant Environment Agency page.


The cost of removal of waste can be quite considerable - the days of someone paying to take your top soil away are long gone. If you have a lot of topsoil, or subsoil to remove, unless you can find someone to pay for topsoil, you will probably have to pay to remove any that you cannot accomodate when landscaping. The 2 main options are: If you have clean topsoil or subsoil that has not got too much stone, then usually this can be taken away in bulk and will go to cap a landfill - at your considerable expense! Haulage companies may offer you 2 choices:
  1. rental of a lorry and a charge per ton. Our local rates for 07/08 have been 28 per hour and 4 per ton
  2. charge per ton. Our local rates for 07/08 have been 6 per ton
The option depends on how quickly you can fill a lorry. If you have a small digger at your disposal (something over 1.5 ton, otherwise it'll take forever) then it will take something like 15 - 30 minutes to fill a 16 tonner and hire of a lorry per hour may be best.

If you can hire a large digger (we mean something like 13 ton - the haulage company may have one) then paying per ton may be the option. Discuss it with the haulage company.

The cost per ton to remove rubbish is very expensive. Typically about 70 per ton via a haulage company. For a skip, the cost is about 50 per ton, plus the skip hire of around 50.


So it makes sense to recycle. See if you can bury rubble - deeply. Take plastic, cardboard and wood to recycling points. Well, you are probably aware of the options.

All builds generate a lot of wood waste. If you don't have a use yourself, consider the National Community Wood Recycling Project which aims to save you money and stop timber waste going to landfill.

Hazardous Waste

Asbestos waste (you may have to demolish an old building with asbestos roof) needs specialised contractors. Check the H&SE site for the regulations.

Invasive Weeds

If you have any invasive weeds on your site then there is very strict legislation covering their removal - check out the Environment Agency site: Prevent Japanese knotweed from spreading and their PDF on

One ton disposal bags

There are specialist companies that will deliver and collect one-ton bags - check some companies in the National Directory - waste management