Going to the tip can be one of many things - therapeutic, stressful, a hassle and even at times a must. But with so many of us trying to balance living an environmentally friendly life with freeing up space from clutter now more of us are working from home, managing our waste can get pretty chaotic.
Recently, Bristol Live reported that all three tips in Bristol will close two days a week, with the city's street-cleaning rounds having been halved amid a funding crisis. So just what are the latest rules around booking a slot at the tip?
Who can go when? What do you need to know beforehand? We've compiled a handy guide below...
Read more: Bristol Waste loses third top boss in just six months – but councillors were not told
Finding your nearest tip - opening times and more info
City of Bristol
There are three recycling centres in Bristol - Avonmouth (BS11 0YS), Hartcliffe Way (BS3 5RN) and St Philips (BS2 0QS). All require you to pre-book and all are open between 8am and 4:15pm (excluding December 25 and 26, and January 1 when they are closed).
Only Bristol residents can use these recycling centres and you must bring photo ID and proof of residence with you when you visit. Accepted forms of these include photo ID (driving licence or passport) and either a council tax bill or utility bill, or a student ID identifying you as a Bristol student.
There are four recycling centres in South Gloucestershire - Little Stoke (BS34 6HP), Mangotsfield (BS16 9LL), Thornbury (BS35 3UT) and Yate (BS37 5NL). These are open from 8:30am to 4:30pm every day, except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.
Only South Gloucestershire residents who have registered their vehicles can use these recycling centres and you must register your vehicle before you visit. You'll also need to bring proof of address and photo ID with you, too.
There are four recycling centres in North Somerset - Weston-super-Mare (BS22 8NA), Portishead (BS20 8JY) and Backwell (BS48 3JF). Opening times may vary, so it is worth checking the North Somerset Council page for the latest information, however all sites are closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day, with Backwell closing on all bank holidays.
These recycling centres are for North Somerset residents only and you may be asked for proof of address when you visit. Automatic number plate recognition is also in use.
How to book a slot
City of Bristol
You can book to use a recycling centre here. You can book up to two weeks in advance, or an hour before your visit, providing there are slots available.
People without internet access can call 0117 922 2100 Monday to Friday between 8:30am to 6pm. Lines are closed midday to 1:30pm on Wednesdays.
You do not need to book if you are visiting a recycling centre by bike, or on foot at the Hartcliffe Way recycling centre. You should aim to arrive five minute before your slot starts and you should separate materials before arriving at the site.
To book a slot you will need an email address and the registration number of the vehicle you'll be arriving in.
You must register your vehicle here at least 24 hours before you plan to visit. There are two types of vehicle registration - standard and restricted.
Standard vehicles can make unlimited visits each year and are defined as "vehicles of any size (up to 3.5 tonnes) designed for domestic use that have rear and/or side facing windows including cars of any size, campervans, people carriers etc."
Restricted vehicles are limited to 12 visits per year and are defined as "vehicles of any size without rear seats and/or windows, including cars, 4x4s, pick-up trucks, camper vans, MPVs (people carriers), "4×4s, pick up trucks or people carriers (MPV) without rear seats and/or windows or with an open back, flat bed vehicles, box vans, horse boxes with integrated cab and agricultural vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes."
You will need a vehicle permit if you want to bring waste to these recycling centres when using:
- a van
- a trailer (sized 1.8m to 2.4m) – trailers over 2.4m in length will be refused entry
- a 4×4 vehicle with pick-up or panel bodies, including vehicles with aftermarket seating fitted into the rear of the vehicle
- a panel van – any type of van that has a payload and panels instead of windows, including vans with aftermarket seating in the rear and aftermarket windows fitted, unless it is taxed as a minibus
- pick-up truck
- commercial vehicles, vehicles up to 3.4 tonnes with Luton type bodies, flat beds or tipper backs
- vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight of 3.5t or above are not allowed entry to the centres at any time
A permit is not required for normal household vehicles.
There’s no charge for the vehicle permit and you can access the recycling centres Monday to Saturday during normal opening times. Permitted vehicles are not allowed access on Sundays.
The vehicle you're travelling in
City of Bristol
Vans and trailers will need a permit to visit a recycling centre. You can apply for one here and it should take around five days to approve your application.
It is worth noting that it is illegal to bring business, trade or construction waste to recycling centres and vehicles above 2.4m high will not be able to use the St Philips Recycling Centre. They will only be able to use the Hartcliffe Way Recycling Centre throughout the week or the Avonmouth site on Saturdays only, between 8am and midday.
You can ride a bike into all recycling centres, but you will still need to bring ID and proof of your Bristol address. You'll also still have to join the queue of other vehicles.
You can register:
- up to two standard vehicles (unlimited visits) or
- one standard (unlimited visits) and/or one privately owned restricted vehicle (limited to 12 visits per year) or
- one commercial vehicle* if it is your households only vehicle (limited to 12 visits per year)
If you hire a vehicle to use at the Sort It recycling centre you must bring the hire agreement, proof of address and identification with you. The vehicle must only be used to dispose of your own household waste.
Hired restricted vehicles (vans) have a 12 visit limit and you will need written permission from the business owner to register a commercial vehicle.
You need to make an appointment if you wish to use a Sort It recycling centre on foot.
What you can bring
City of Bristol
According to the official Bristol City Council guidance, if you bring bags of general waste, you may be required to sort through them to ensure all recyclable items are removed. There are tables and boxes provided to help you.
Here's a full list of everything you can bring to the tip:
- batteries (car and domestic)
- books, DVDs and CDs
- electrical appliances, household only, large and small, known as Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)
- glass bottles and jars
- glasses (spectacles)
- green waste from gardens
- hard plastic (such as old toys, household items, drainpipes)
- hazardous household waste, check before you bring anything
- household furniture
- oil (used engine oil, and cooking oil)
- paper and magazines
- plastic bottles
- refrigerators and freezers (domestic)
- rubble and soil
- scrap metal
- shoes, clothes, textiles and rags
- shredded paper
- televisions and monitors
- tin cans, foil
- wood waste
There are weekly limits of six 25kg bags of DIY and construction waste at the tip and anything above this limit is classed as industrial waste, even if it is brought from home. Soil and rubble will be refused id mixed with other materials, too, so you must separate them before bringing them to the site.
Examples of DIY and construction materials are:
- hardcore rubble and bricks, concrete slabs
- roofing materials
- any waste mixed with other DIY or construction waste
Bristol City Council guidance says: "Only three sheets or three 25kg bags of bonded asbestos will be accepted per visit or per week, whichever is less. All asbestos must be double wrapped in polythene and sealed with tape.
"You must not mix bagged asbestos with any other waste. We can only accept cement bonded asbestos. We will not accept unwrapped asbestos.
"Before you visit us, please call 0117 922 2100 to check there's space in our skip for your asbestos." Guidance also says you can take all paints to a recycling centre, too.
You must only bring household waste to the recycling centres. South Gloucestershire Council guidance says: "You can take household waste and recycling, including large items such as mattresses, carpets and DIY waste. You must sort your recyclables before you visit.
"You must keep stuffed furniture and soft furnishings separate to other waste and recycling when you take it to a recycling centre. Look out for the new areas for these items at the recycling centres or ask a member of staff for help.
"If any of your waste has been produced from a business or commercial activity you cannot bring it to our recycling centres. Check how to dispose of business and commercial waste, including waste produced by a business in the home.
Find out what can be recycled at each location here.
North Somerset recycling centres accept all materials collected from your kerbside collections and will also accept:
- car batteries
- cooking oil
- electrical and electronic equipment
- engine oil (maximum of 20 litres per resident per month)
- fluorescent tubes
- fridges and freezers
- garden waste
- household and garden chemicals
- ink cartridges
- mobile phones
- scrap metal
- tapes and discs
- textiles (must be bagged)
- TVs and monitors
- washing machines and tumble dryers
- wood and timber
- hard plastics
They do not accept:
- clinical waste
- vehicles that have reached the end of their life, including boats, caravans and trailers
- very large electrical items like servers and air conditioning units
- ammunition or explosives
Click here to find out more about construction and non-household waste charges.
Selling and donating at Bristol Recycling Centres
There are a range of ways to sell and donate items at Bristol Recycling Centres. Find out more here.
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