What items can I take to local tip in France? Are any banned?

Déchetteries can accept various types of non-household waste

Larger items are often taken to a déchetterie. Flytipping is illegal
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Reader Question: We have bought new furniture for our second home and need to dispose of the old. Some of it is too big to break down and put in our recycling bins. What can we do?

It is possible to take old furniture to a tip. 

There are many déchetteries (tips) around France, which allow you to bring larger items and certain other waste. 

You can find your local tip here.

One of the main things you can take is your green garden waste déchets verts, although several areas of France have started to refuse grass clippings at local tips. You cannot burn this at home although it can be composted. 

Read more: Can I burn trimmings from my French garden in spring?

There are many additional skips that are used to collect waste that should not be put in your normal bin. 

The list below gives a general overview of what can be accepted: 

  • In the rubble skip: tiles, slate, glass and mirrors

  • In the wood skip: pallets, crates, boxes, boards, plywood and structural timber.

  • In the cardboard skip: clean, folded and flattened cardboard; paper, newspapers and magazines.

  • In the green waste skip: branches, stumps, grass clippings (where permitted), foliage, etc (your déchets verts)

  • In the non-recyclable waste skip: interior floor coverings, plaster, insulation

  • In the metal skip: fencing, tubes and sheets, metal bars, cast iron objects, metal kitchen utensils, bicycles, prams, scrap metal. This does not include items which have contain asbestos or asbestos cement

  • In the eco-furniture skip: interior furniture, garden furniture, bedding (made of plastic, metal, glass or any other material)

  • In the all-purpose skip: bulky household items, demolition waste (tiles, plaster, plasterboard, parquet, carpets, etc.) from family DIY projects, glass, glass doors and windows

Larger pieces of furniture such as yours should be dismantled as much as possible to fit into the skips. 

There are also collection points for smaller items including:

  • Used batteries

  • Used light bulbs and neon tubes

  • Ink cartridges

  • Edible oils and fats

  • Polystyrene

You may need to obtain a permit to visit the tip before going.

Read more: How to get a déchetterie permit in France with a UK-registered car

What cannot be taken? 

There are certain things that cannot be taken to a tip. 

Medicine - disposing of medicine at a tip can pollute the local ecosystem. 

Unused or out of date medicines should instead be returned to your local pharmacy. 

Read more: How do I dispose of out-of-date medicines in France?

General household waste – included easily recyclable items such as glass bottles, cardboard, and plastic – should be disposed of at home or in general recycling bins. 

Gas cylinders can usually be dropped off at larger supermarkets.

Some waste will require you to contact a professional, who will deal with it at your home. 

This includes asbestos and fibre cement. This needs to be disposed of via a specialist company who will pick up the products from your home.

Car parts and bodywork have to be taken to special recycling centres. 

You can contact a local scrapping centre (centre de traitement de véhicules hors d'usage or VHU) for more information, andcan find a list of all approved centres in each department here.

If you have a septic tank, waste from it must be drained by a professional at your property. They deal with the disposal.

Curbside pick-ups

Do not forget that in some areas it is possible to organise a curbside pick-up for larger furniture items through your local commune. 

This is often free. 

In addition some companies are obliged to remove your old furniture when delivering a new set.

You can read more about it below. 

Read more: If I order a sofa in France does firm have to take away my old one?