Bulk uplift alternatives

Has your council cancelled all bulk uplifts? Are the waste disposal sites in your area shut? 

Some Councils have suggested that you put your bulk uplift items in the backcourt. This is probably not a good idea and there are alternatives:

  • Your shared back court is one of the few spaces that you and your neighbours have available to get some fresh air.
  • In addition, there is some suggestion that rats and other wildlife are venturing further afield as streets are so much quieter.  Don’t give them a home near you!

Here are some ideas of how to dispose of rubbish responsibly and legally.

govanhill backcourt rubbish.jpg
Do you want to look out on this?John Gilbert 2019

Small items

These can be put into your standard waste bins and the best time to do this is  just before bins are collected in order to leave plenty of room for food, dirty nappies etc.  Don’t leave items next to the bins as they probably won’t be collected. Check your councils website for details of what is being collected and when.

Commercial disposal companies

Some commercial companies are still operating, particularly those that make compost from garden waste.  You MUST check that they have a waste disposal license.  Ask the company for their Registration Number and then check them against the register held by SEPA.

Scottish Environmental Protection Agency Register of Licensed Waste Carriers

Garden waste

Soft matter like leaves and grass can be composted.  The Royal Horticultural Society has some good and simple advice on how to do this. 

In general, group compost heaps don’t work as you don’t get the right mix of ingredients and people can add items such as cooked kitchen waste that can attract vermin. One person should be the head composter and invite other people to leave suitable materials beside the heap to be added at the right time.  The only items you want donated from the house are dead cut flowers, veg peelings and small quantities of paper or card.

Branches and twigs can be gathered into heaps in a shady spot where they will form a suitable home for  wildlife such as insects, grubs and fungi. 

RHS Composting advice

RHS Wildlife Gardening Advice

gardens 7.jpg
Upcycled plant pots from water bottlesAnnie FlintPlant up plastic bottles punched with drainage holes and hide them behind pallet wood edgings

Giving items away


If you wouldn’t give your item it to someone you know, don’t give it to charity.

Charity shops are not open just now so store up your items until lockdown is over and then check first that your charity is able to take donations.  Many are likely to be overwhelmed as soon as the lock down ends.

Local websites

The following websites will allow you to list items for sale or to give away.  These are free and local – good for items that people can pick up as long as they can do so as part of their permitted period of exercise or if this is an essential item

  • Nextdoor
  • Gumtree
  • Freegle  (Freeshare) is taking offers of items to be passed on but is not listing anything during the lockdown. Register and they will contact you when they reopen.

See how to manage a socially distant pick up below

Saleable items

These are more commercial sites that will normally charge a listing fee and commission on the final sales value. Make sure you are able to safely pack and post the item you list.


Socially distant pick ups

Please remember that this is only for essential items or those that can be picked up during someone’s permitted period of exercise - ie can be carried away on foot or by bicycle.

Givers and sellers

  1. Get a mobile number from the person who is going to collect so that you can put them off if you or anyone in your household develops symptoms at the last moment
  2. Just before the agreed pick up time, clean your item as best you can and wipe down with dilute bleach or disinfectant if suitable.
  3. Don’t ask people into the close or stair. Put the item you’ve sold or agreed to give away outside your street front door at a precisely agreed time.
  4. Keep in touch via text so you and your item don’t need hang about in the street.
  5. Stand at least 2m away from your item when the person comes to look something over or collect
  6. Use Paypal for payment or have a stone to hand to hold down the £5 notes
  7. Have gloves, hand gel etc available when you hand over items and take cash.
  8. Do your regular handwash as soon as you get back in your own place.

Buyers and collectors

Treat items as if they have come from someone who has Covid-19 on a “better safe than sorry” basis.  Quarantine or wash items when you get home.  Suggested quarantine times are:

  • Paper and card – at least 1 day
  • Other items – at least 3 days

Wash fabrics at 60 degrees.

Wash down other items with soap and hot water and then wipe down with dilute bleach or disinfectant if suitable.