What are the rules for taking a rental van to your local waste centre?
There are lots of reasons to choose a van over a car to do your next tip trip:
- You’ll pack far more into a rental van, so what would have taken several trips will take just one or two
- You can pack in bulky items that simply wouldn’t fit in your car
- You don’t have to worry about your car’s upholstery getting ripped, soaked, muddied or otherwise damaged
- You won’t risk damaging your suspension if you transport heavy loads
But hang on a minute. As practically sensible as hiring a van might be, aren’t you going to run into problems when you turn up to your local waste collection depot with a van load of rubbish?
How do waste recycling centres usually treat vans?
Understandably, most waste centres treat vans as commercial vehicles, and often there will be charges for tradespeople who use the tip regularly (if they are allowed to use the centre at all).
Do I need a permit to take a hire van to the tip?
Frequently yes. All councils operate slightly differently, but many local councils that allow vans will only let them on site if they have the required permit. Permits are usually free to local residents who want to dispose of household junk, but you will need to apply in advance of your trip.
Are there restrictions on the waste I can take?
Yes, and you’ll need to view your local authority’s waste and recycling information for the specifics. In general, you won’t be able to take prohibited items (such as asbestos, petrol or car parts).
And you won’t be able to take commercial waste under a domestic permit.
Are there limits to how many tip trips I can make?
Usually, yes, and these are becoming tighter all the time. Some authorities, for example, are now allowing all local residents 12 trips per year, whether that’s in a car or van. So if you’re going to spend the weekend making multiple trips, you could find your allowance disappears fast. After that, you’ll either have to pay, or you’ll be refused entry.
It’s another example of where hiring a van for the job could make life a lot easier, as you may only need one or two trips.
Are there special rules for hire vans?
Sometimes. Leeds Council waste services, for example, offers up to four temporary permits per year, each of which last 14 days, which you’ll need to apply for to bring a rental van on site. Again, the permits only relate to domestic waste.
You should also check any vehicle restrictions before hiring your van, to ensure you don’t rent a vehicle too big for the waste centre. Warwickshire County Council Waste Services, for example, allows any van or pickup up to 2.2 tonnes (effectively a small van or SWB van), but not anything heavier/larger.
In contrast, North Lincolnshire Council Waste Services allow vans up to 3,000kw with a permit, which would bring some panel vans into play.
Bolton Council doesn’t appear to have any special requirements other than that waste is domestic only.
To be on the safe side, even after checking the latest information online, we’d recommend taking your hire agreement with you so you can prove that you are a) local and b) only disposing of domestic waste.