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Wed 10 May 2023

Do Local Councils Do House Clearances?


Local councils are responsible for a wide range of services, including waste management, but house clearance can be a grey area. One question that often arises is whether your local council will offer a house clearance service.

The answer is, it really depends on where you are. Some councils do offer house clearances, but it won’t be free and could even cost more than hiring a professional house clearance company like the Zero Waste Group.

In some cases, local councils will only offer to do a paid house clearance in certain circumstances. For example, if the property is deemed to be a health and safety risk or if there is no one else available to clear the property. The service might also only be available to those who are vulnerable or have special circumstances.

Overall, while some local councils do offer house clearance services it’s important to check their prices first, as it could be more cost-effective to hire a private company to clear the property.

What is a House Clearance?

A house clearance is the process of removing all the household items from a property or part of a property. It is usually done when someone moves out, passes away, or when the property is being renovated or sold.

Some people prefer to do it themselves, while others hire a professional house clearance company. Local councils also offer bulky waste collection services, but they do not offer house clearance services.

During a house clearance, all the items in the property are sorted into different categories, such as items to be kept, donated, sold, or disposed of. Items that are no longer needed or wanted are either donated to charity, sold at a garage sale or auction, or disposed of at a landfill – when Zero Waste Group do a house clearance, we donate as much as possible, and have a record of diverting as much as 92% of waste away from landfill.

There are some things that you can’t take to landfil including hazardous waste, electrical appliances, and certain types of furniture. These items need to be disposed of in a specific way, which is all part of the Zero Waste Group service.

Responsibilities of local councils

Two of the key responsibilities of local councils are legal obligations on waste which ties into their environmental responsibilities.

Local councils are legally responsible for waste management in their communities. This includes collecting and disposing of household waste, recycling, and managing hazardous waste. They must ensure that waste is disposed of safely and that it does not harm the environment.

Local councils are also responsible for managing public spaces, such as parks and open spaces. They must ensure that these spaces are well-maintained and that they are accessible to all members of the community. They must also ensure that they are managed in an environmentally sustainable way, for example by using sustainable materials and practices.

In summary, local councils have many responsibilities, including legal obligations and environmental responsibilities. They must ensure that they provide services to their communities in a fair and equitable manner, that they promote sustainable development, and that they protect and enhance the environment in their communities.

How will a local council assess a house clearance

If your local council does offer house clearance, they will go through a process first.

Assessment of the property

Before conducting a house clearance, local council officers will assess the property to determine the scope of work needed. The assessment will include an evaluation of the size of the property, the number and type of items to be removed, and the level of cleaning required. The assessment will also identify any hazardous materials or items that require special handling.

Removal of items

Once the assessment is complete, the local council will schedule a date for the house clearance. On the day of the clearance, council officers will arrive at the property with a team of trained professionals and the necessary equipment to remove the items. The team will carefully remove all items from the property, including furniture, appliances, and personal belongings.

During the removal process, the team will take special care to identify any items that can be recycled, reused, or donated to charity. These items will be separated from the rest of the items and taken to the appropriate facility for further processing.

Disposal of items

After all the items have been removed from the property, the local council will dispose of them in an environmentally friendly manner. The council will take all non-recyclable items to a licensed waste disposal facility, where they will be disposed of safely and responsibly. Hazardous materials will be disposed of in accordance with relevant regulations.

In conclusion, local councils provide a valuable service in conducting house clearances. They assess the property, remove all items, and dispose of them in an environmentally friendly manner. This ensures that the property is left in a clean and safe condition and that unwanted items are disposed of responsibly.

Costs of local house clearances when done by councils

Local councils charge for their house clearance services based on the amount of waste that needs to be removed. This is usually measured in terms of weight or volume, and the cost can vary depending on the local council’s pricing structure.

For example, in some areas, the cost of a council house clearance may be based on the number of skips required to remove the waste. In other areas, the cost may be calculated based on the weight of the waste, with a set fee charged per tonne.

It is worth noting that some local councils may also offer a free or reduced-cost house clearance service for certain households, such as those on low incomes or those who have recently experienced a bereavement. However, eligibility for these services can vary depending on the local council’s policies and availability.

In addition to the cost of the house clearance itself, there may be additional fees to consider, such as parking permits or congestion charges if the clearance team needs to park in a restricted area.

There is no one set price.

Alternatives to Local Council House Clearances

If a local council house clearance is not an option, there are a few alternatives available. Here are some options:

Hiring the Zero Waste Group

An alternative to local council house clearances is to hire a private company like ours. We do house clearances in the whole of the south coast, including:

Donating or selling items

Another alternative to local council house clearances is to donate or sell items. This can be a great way to reduce waste and help others in need. There are many charities and organisations that accept donations of furniture, clothing, and other household items. Some organisations will even pick up the items for free.

If you have items that are in good condition but you no longer need, you can also sell them. There are many online marketplaces where you can sell items, such as eBay, Gumtree, and Facebook Marketplace. You can also hold a garage sale or sell items at a car boot sale.

It is important to note that some items may not be accepted by charities or may not sell. In this case, you may need to dispose of the items through other means.

Disposing of items

If you have items that cannot be donated or sold, you may need to dispose of them. There are several options available for disposing of items, including:

  • Skip hire: Hire a skip and fill it with the items you need to dispose of. This can be a cost-effective option for large quantities of waste.
  • Recycling: Many items can be recycled, such as paper, cardboard, glass, and plastic. Check with your local council to find out what can be recycled in your area.
  • Rubbish removal: Hire a rubbish removal company to dispose of your items. This can be a good option for large or bulky items.

It is important to dispose of items responsibly and legally. Illegal dumping can result in fines and legal action.

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