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Gardening, renovation, and construction work can create excess soil whether you’re working on a personal or professional project at home or at work. Disposing of soil is challenging as it’s heavy, bulky, and messy – especially if it rains and gets wet. And you can’t just throw soil away in a general or garden waste bin.

Recycling soil for use elsewhere and responsible disposal prevents it from ending up in landfill where it takes up valuable space. As a business or household, you must ensure the safe and legal disposal of any soil waste. Consider the following options for a fast, easy, and affordable way to dispose of soil in the UK.

At Divert we can collect soil waste from homes and businesses as part of our garden clearance services. Call 0333 444 0118 or contact us online today.

How to Dispose of Soil

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Which bin can 
I put soil in?

You cannot put soil in most household waste bins. It should not go in a general waste bin as soil is too heavy and it may end up in landfill or incineration. Soil in landfill takes up valuable space and can become contaminated. This is a waste as most soil can be reused.

In some places in the UK, you may be able to put soil in a garden waste bin. Check with your local authority first though, as it’s not accepted in all garden waste bins. There may also be maximum weight or volume limits. Generally, it’s safest to avoid disposing of soil in a bin and consider other alternatives.

Reuse soil in other projects

Any excess soil of good quality should be saved and reused where possible if you have space and plans for future gardening projects. There are two main types of soil of differing quality:

  • Topsoil – this is the dark and crumbly layer of soil found in the top 30cm. It’s the most valuable and better-quality soil that’s useful for effective drainage, raised flower beds, and even garden turf. Topsoil should be kept and reused or given to someone who can use it in their projects.
  • Subsoil – chalk and clay soil found 30cm or below the ground is considered subsoil. This isn’t as good a quality as topsoil, although there are ways to improve it with fertilisers and aeration. You’re less likely to have as many uses for subsoil but it could be improved or added to compost in some instances.

Before reusing soil you should check its suitability for growing plants with a few simple tests. Assess its compaction, workability, water infiltration, soil structure, and tilth. If the excess soil is of decent quality then you could reuse it to build raised flower beds or add to plant pots in your garden for growing flowers, shrubs, vegetables, and other plants.

Take excess soil to the tip

Most household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) in the UK accept soil waste from homes. However, there are normally restrictions and maximum volumes that limit how much soil you can dispose of at your local tip. Charges may also apply to get rid of soil at a HWRC, which is often based on weight or volume.

Taking soil to the tip is also time-consuming, messy, and hard work. You’ll need to bag up all the heavy soil, lift it into your car or van, and unload it into the container at your nearby HWRC. It requires at least two people and depending on how much soil you’ve got you might make multiple trips.

Donate unwanted soil

Consider giving away excess soil if you can’t reuse any of it or don’t have enough storage space. Contact local community groups as they might be able to use it for any gardening projects, such as planting new flowerbeds at a community centre. Farmers, parks, friends and family may also have uses for excess soil.

Another option is to sell or donate your excess soil online by using Gumtree, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Freecycle. Advertise the soil as it is, whether it’s good quality topsoil or poorer quality subsoil. Some people might take low-quality soil off your hands to use for laying a patio or as the base of a flowerbed.

Donating soil online also means you can save yourself some time and effort by requiring whoever wants it to collect it. This means you won’t have to load the heavy soil into a car or van for delivery. If you’ve got lots of soil you can even let multiple people come and take some, filling their own bags or containers until it’s gone.

hands planting plants in a bed of soil inside a greenhouse.

Hire a skip

Hiring a skip to get rid of lots of soil can seem like a good idea at first. Skips come in various sizes and accommodate heavy waste, so you can find one suitable for the amount of unwanted soil you’ve got. Then you simply chuck the soil straight into the skip and wait for the company to remove it.

However, you need space on your site or driveway to place a skip on private land. Otherwise, you’ll have to get and pay for a permit to place a skip on the road outside. It can also take longer as you wait for the skip to be delivered and removed.

Plus, there are all the costs of skip hire – you pay the same price whether you completely or only half fill the skip. Consider the differences between skip hire and using a man with a van.

Use a waste management company

Save time, money, and effort by recycling soil with a professional waste management company. At Divert we can collect waste soil from businesses and homes as part of our garden waste collection services on a one-off or regular basis. Book removal at a time and date that suits you.

We divert all your soil away from landfill to ensure it’s reused and responsibly disposed of for added peace of mind. Labour is included so our team will load all your excess soil into one of our vans or trucks. Licensed waste carriers then remove your soil and ensure safe and legal disposal.

All your soil is removed in one go with no need for permits or to pay to hire a skip. Get started with a free no-obligation quote for soil removal today. Arrange garden waste collection for your business or household – call 0333 444 0118 or contact us online.

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