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Items such as armchairs, beds and large kitchen appliances can’t be put out with your normal collection. So, what do you do with these items when you no longer need them?


If your family or friends do not want the items, there are other options you can look into before it becomes waste:

  • donate it to charity – some offer free collections, try Sue Ryder, the British Heart Foundation, and DEBRA
  • offer it online through FreecycleFreegle and other online marketplace apps or advertise it in a local shop or free ad newspaper.
  • sell it to a local second hand furniture company.

Port Solent Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC)

Larger household items can be taken to the HWRC, where certain items can be sold on for reuse if in good condition. Please ask a member of staff on arrival at the site about where to place the item.

Some items are restricted and/or chargeable including:

  • Plasterboard
  • Asbestos
  • Rubble
  • Soil
  • Ceramic sanitary ware (including sink basins, pedestals, bidets and toilet cisterns)
  • *Upholstered domestic seating (including sofas, armchairs, upholstered chairs, stools and footstools, bean bags, floor or sofa cushions)*

More information about accepted and restricted items on the HWRC website

*Note on upholstered furniture

Residents need to ensure waste upholstered domestic seating is kept whole where possible, due to new regulations that came into place on 1 January 2023.

Upholstered furniture may contain some chemicals which can be harmful to the environment if not disposed of responsibly. Any damaged parts must be contained (bagged or covered with duct tape) to reduce the risk of any textile or foam escaping into the environment when being transported.

Larger household items – Council collection

If none of the options above are practical, then Portsmouth City Council will collect larger household items from your home and dispose of it in the correct way.

  • Collections take place on a Tuesday.
  • Items must be available from 7am on the scheduled day of collection.
  • We can only collect items on ground level and easy access to the road e.g. forecourts. If you live in a flat fronted property, items can be placed out on the pavement no earlier than 7pm the evening before the scheduled collection day.
  • Council staff and collection operatives will not enter properties or back gardens to collect the items or help move items.
  • Only the items listed for collection at the time of booking will be taken.
  • A maximum of 3 cubic metres will be taken on each collection e.g. a three-piece sofa suite or a washing machine, a fridge (excluding American-style fridges) and an armchair.

The cost of a collection starts from £30 (payable in advance). If you wish to cancel your collection, please contact us before lunchtime the day before your scheduled collection day for a full refund. Contacting us later than this may result in no refund or a part-refund.

If you are a Portsmouth resident in receipt of Council Tax Support (CTS) you can get one free collection per year. To qualify, you will need to provide proof that you get Council Tax Support either by showing us your award letter or by giving us permission to check your records online.

For free collections, we will only take a maximum of two square metres away – this is roughly the size of a two-seater sofa or a washing machine and armchair. For collections of more than two square metres, there will be an additional charge and payment will be asked for at the time of booking.

To get an estimate, quotation or to book a paid or free collection call 023 9284 1105.

What can we take away?

  • Sofas
  • Beds
  • Mattresses
  • Fridges (these are charged at £30 each or £45 for an American-style fridge)
  • Washing machine
  • General household items and furniture

Please note: In order to comply with new regulations which came into place on 1 January 2023, we will bag upholstered furniture, so it is kept separate from other types of waste on the collection vehicle. This is because some upholstered furniture contain chemicals which can be harmful to the environment if not disposed of responsibly.

What can’t we take away?

  • Asbestos
  • Building and DIY waste such as soil, rubble, tiles, concrete, bricks etc.
  • Plasterboard
  • Paint tins containing paint (paint tins must be empty)
  • Gas canisters
  • Batteries
  • Car engines
  • Tyres
  • Garden waste
  • Fluorescent lighting tubes
  • Commercial or trade waste
  • Ceramic sanitary ware – sink basins, pedestals, bidets and toilet cisterns
  • Anything longer than 6ft
  • Anything too heavy for two people to lift safely such as a piano, waterlogged mattresses and sofas

Where does it go and what happens to it?

Bulky items are sent to Warren Farm transfer station in Fareham. Materials are then either recovered for recycling (e.g. metals) or sent to a Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) facility, which shreds items and produces fuel pellets – this helps us to divert waste away from landfill. The remaining materials which cannot be recovered or sent to the SRF facility are then landfilled (2020/21 – 3%).

Householder responsibility

Householders have a duty of care to ensure their waste is disposed of legally and safely. It is your responsibility to check that anyone taking waste away from your home has a waste carrier’s licence. They should give you a written notification of how they will be disposing of your waste.

This means that, if you ask a ‘man with a van’ to dispose of your DIY rubbish or the contents of your old shed, and he subsequently fly tips it or disposes of it illegally, you are responsible. You could be taken to court and fined up to £5,000. Protect yourself by taking reasonable measures to check that your household waste is passed on to an authorised person.

You can check if someone has a waste carrier licence on DEFRA’s website by searching their business name or address.