Cllr Karen Rowland, Reading's Lead Member for Environmental Services and Community Safety, out collecting bulky items with Reading's waste team

New free bulky waste collection service begins

  • Reading households can now book a free bulky waste collection every six months
  • New free service will assist residents to dispose of large items and reduce number of trips needed to the re3 centre
  • £250,000 annual investment will also help to discourage fly tipping

A BRAND new free Council service has launched today which allows residents to dispose of large items they no longer want, without even leaving the house.

A £250,000 a year investment by Reading Borough Council in a new doorstep bulky waste free collection scheme will enable all households in the borough to book one free collection every six months to dispose of up to three items at a time (or one fridge / freezer).

The Council will collect anything from beds to bicycles, cots to cookers and tables to tumble dryers for any resident who books a slot.

The free service has been introduced by the Council to aid those that might not have vehicles to dispose of large items easily and safely, to combat incidences of fly tipping and to reduce the number of trips people need to make to the re3 centre.

Across the town, a total of 80 slots - 16 free pick-ups each weekday – are available each week. Bookings have opened today (Tuesday 31 May) for collections starting on Monday 6 June. After the first week new slots will be made available 14 days in advance on a rolling basis.

These can be booked online from today, with collections starting on Monday 6 June, by going to Residents who do not have internet access can book by telephone with the Council’s call centre on 01189 373787.

The Council is expecting demand to be extremely high for the service. With limited slots available each week, it is asking residents to be patient and check back again another day to book their slot if none are available.

In addition to the free service, residents who need more collections than the one free one per six months are able to also book paid for collection slots, starting at £52.50 for three items.

Three items – or one if it is a fridge or freezer – can be left at the kerbside on the day of the booking. To see a list of the most commonly collected bulky waste items which you can have collected, go to

Reading Borough Council is also urging residents to think about the life cycle of their items and where possible to always think to reuse and recycle. We are encouraging residents to sell items they no longer want, give them away for free on ‘freecycling’ sites, or donate them to charity. Some charities even offer free collections of items such as furniture.

Karen Rowland, Lead Councillor for Environmental Services and Community Safety, said:

“This free doorstep collection scheme will make an enormous difference to households all around the borough. As we look to encourage sustainable transport, fewer people have vehicles to get items to the re3 centre easily. For those with cars, we hope this will also reduce the number of trips they need to make to re3 – all steps towards our net zero carbon ambitions by 2030.

“The helpful and easy to use scheme also reiterates that there is absolutely no excuse for fly tipping, which is a blight on our borough that degrades the quality of life for all residents and is a problem that we are tackling head on.

“We are asking residents to be patient as the new service gets underway. We expect the service to be very popular, but with those who book straight away unable to book again for six months, you will get your chance to make use of the service. There is also a paid for service available, along with other options such as freecycling sites and charity shops to help you dispose of unwanted items”.