We have a legal obligation to provide recycling centre facilities for household waste, which is waste arising from the day to day running of a household and not part of the house itself.

Items from repair or improvement of houses, for example DIY-type waste, are classified as construction waste and there is no requirement for Torbay Council to provide any service for the disposal of this material or accept it free of charge.

Waste created from landscaping or garden alterations such as dismantling a rockery or digging up a patio/concrete hard standing, is also not classified as household waste.

However it is recognised that facilities are still needed for residents to dispose of small quantities of DIY waste from minor home improvement projects and we therefore permit for small amounts of this type of waste to be disposed of free of charge as long as it is sorted into separate material streams such as wood, metals, rubble/hardcore/bricks/slabs/ tiles and plasterboard but restrictions do apply. Minor projects do not include waste generated by the renovation of kitchen or bathrooms.

Small quantities of DIY waste are the equivalent of what can be transported to the site in the back of a family car, twice in any one year that can be lifted safely by one person. If a household is generating any larger quantities than this then they must hire a skip or arrange for alternative private disposal via a suitable licensed company. It is up to the staff working on the site to ensure that these guidelines are adhered to and sometimes this will mean that they will need to make a judgement about the type and/or quantity of waste. They ultimately have the power to turn people away from the site or to advise them that a charge for waste disposal will be made.

Please see the list of items that are accepted free of charge and those items that are not accepted below.

  • Paper, junk mail, newspapers and magazines
  • Cardboard
  • Ferrous and non-ferrous metals
  • Plastics
  • Large Domestic appliances, including cookers, microwaves, washing machines etc
  • Small Domestic appliances, including toasters, hairdryers, music players, etc
  • Fridges and Freezers
  • TV’s, PC’s including monitors
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Plate glass
  • Steel and aluminium cans and foil
  • Clothing, textiles and shoes
  • Car batteries
  • Waste engine oil, cooking oil and other lubricants
  • Green Waste
  • Wood, wood derivatives and timber
  • Liquid cartons known as Tetrapak
  • Paint
  • Furniture
  • Gas bottles
  • Household batteries
  • Fluorescent tubes
  • Light bulbs
  • No commercial asbestos
  • Sharps/clinical items - Visit Clinical waste page to arrange for home collection
  • Animals/animal bedding
  • Fireworks, flares, explosives and ammunition – please contact the local police for advice.
  • Waste from major renovations (eg. kitchen / bathroom or other major room renovations).

Waste from the following groups/premises/activities will not be allowed free of charge at the Recycling Centre, but will be accepted over the commercial weighbridge and charged at the current rates.

  • Landlords disposing of waste from rental properties
  • Educational or Medical Establishments
  • Charity shops; charitable organisations and premises (except where otherwise agreed in writing with Torbay Council)
  • Any club, society or other association of persons (including allotment organisations).
  • Religious establishments
  • Prisons or Probation service
  • Agricultural holdings, including small holdings and paddocks (excluding waste from the farmhouse itself)
  • Waste from shops, businesses, traders including business waste associated with people working from home.
  • Removal firms
  • "Man and Van” or house clearance operators
  • Waste from rented Holiday Homes/Holiday Lets/campsites/caravan parks.