What Cannot Be Put In A Skip?

Items that can't be put in a skip

Hiring a skip from Expert Skip Hire is cheap and convenient, but there are a few things you'll need to know regarding what you can and can't put in one of our skips. Firstly, we're licensed as a Waste Carrier for non-hazardous waste by the Environment Agency and as such, there are certain items that we're not permitted by law to collect. Amongst other things, these include:

  • Asbestos
  • Car tyres
  • Old style televisions
  • Fridges & freezers
  • All liquids
  • Fluorescent tubes & light bulbs
  • Car batteries
  • Gas bottles
  • Clinical waste/medical items

If there are any other materials that you're not sure about, contact us prior to booking your skip to confirm whether we can or can't collect it/them.

Asbestos

As most people will no doubt be aware, asbestos is an extremely hazardous material and MUST be disposed of safely, and in the correct way. Years ago, asbestos was a widely used and common material found in factories, schools, offices, shops etc. and even in our own homes and gardens. If you had an old brick shed in the garden or a prefabricated garage, there was a good chance that the roof was made from asbestos. Before the dangers of inhaling asbestos fibres were fully understood, it was an extremely popular material for several reasons; it was strong, cheap to buy, a good sound insulator and was also fire, heat and electrical resistant. It was used in appliances as electrical insulation and was also used as building insulation - You could even find it in your oven gloves years ago!

If you have (or suspect you have) asbestos that you need to dispose of, we strongly recommend contacting your local council to find out their policy on this particular type of waste or alternatively, find a local company that can legally dispose of your unwanted asbestos for you.

Here are a few asbestos-related resources to get you started:

Recycle for West Sussex

Rother District Council

Health and Safety Executive

Search for your nearest Local Council run here: bonded asbestos disposal site in East Sussex

Car Tyres

Whilst we're not licensed to dispose of tyres and can't collect skips with them in, there are companies in Sussex that can dispose of old car tyres for you. Even better, many local Sussex council recycling depots can accept them if you take them there, but you should check with them first to confirm this. Also be aware that there may be a small charge per tyre, depending on where you get rid of them. Don't be tempted to try and burn them on a bonfire in your garden either. It's actually illegal to burn certain types of household waste nowadays and tyres give off large amounts of thick, toxic smoke when you burn them. This is bad for your neighbours and bad for the environment, so make sure you dispose of them safely and legally.

Old Style CRT Television Sets

Whilst we are able to dispose of modern style flat TVs and computer monitors, we can't collect the older, bulky CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) TVs. These are the types of sets that typically have curved screens and a large plastic cover that protrudes at the back. The tubes contain a vacuum and will explode if they are broken intentionally or accidentally. Once again, you should contact your local council to arrange taking your old TV to your nearest Council Recycling Centre.

Fridges and freezers

If you make a trip to your local council recycling centre, you may well catch a glimpse of dozens or even hundreds of old fridges and freezers all standing together in a corner. Many councils will accept your old white goods and this is by far the best place to take them in our opinion. Some fridges and freezers contain fluorinated greenhouse gas (also known as ‘F gas’) Many older fridges and freezers typically contain hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) gas. Due to its nature, the gas is usually recovered by your local council. We can't dispose of fridges and freezers and won't collect a skip if these items have been put in it.

Gas Bottles/Cylinders

Although made of metal, which under other circumstances, we're happy to accept, you're not permitted to put gas cylinders in your skip - even if they are empty. The flammable nature of the gas inside is an explosive danger and even if you think your gas bottle is empty, it will still often contain a small amount of pressurised liquid. Due to the potential risk of the gas bottle being punctured and/or exposed to heat or fire, your gas bottles must be disposed of elsewhere. You can usually take them to your local dump or in most cases, back to the retailer they were purchased from. If they're larger camping gas bottles, the retailer will often pay you for returning them, so they can refill them and sell them to other customers. If you're unsure what to do with your unwanted gas bottles have a quick read about recycling gas bottles for more information.

Liquids

There are numerous reasons that we won't take a skip if it has bottles or tins containing any kind of liquid in it. For starters, we can't be sure what type of liquid the bottle may contain. It could be a used glass bottle that now has petrol or paraffin in it, or it could contain other types of flammable or caustic liquid that if broken, will eat its way through the metal of the skip. There are also many types of liquids that can be harmful to wildlife and fish, and shouldn't be poured down drains or tipped into a river. They can also eventually pollute the water supply if they are tipped directly onto the ground and allowed to seep into the soil. If you have any containers that you wish to dispose of in your skip, please ensure that they are empty first.

Fluorescent Tubes & Light Bulbs

These items usually contain gas and are made of very thin glass. You should handle these items with care as they may contain mercury, which if inhaled, can be toxic. Be sure to handle your light bulbs and fluorescent tubes safely and do your utmost not to break them! It’s also illegal to mix hazardous waste with either non-hazardous or other types of hazardous waste. For your safety and the safety of our staff, we can't accept light bulbs and recommend that you contact your local council for free advice about disposing of them safely.

Clinical waste/ medical items

There are certain companies around the UK that specialise in the collection of clinical and medical waste. Some of the larger ones have contracts with local hospitals and you'll often see their skip bins at your local hospital, including 'sharp bins' for needles/ syringes etc. Due to the complex nature of medicines and other single-use medical items, we cannot accept any type of clinical or medical waste in our skips.

Car Batteries

Whilst we can take smaller, general-use batteries that you find in your home, such as in torches or remote controls, we can't take car batteries. These contain highly corrosive acid which should not be poured out. The battery acid should also not come into contact with your skin as it will burn you. Make sure you wear protective gloves as a car battery should be handled with care. It can be taken to your local council recycling centre where they will be accepted. The battery also contains the valuable metal,  lead - A typical car battery contains around 60% of it.

Summary

We hope you've found this brief guide useful, and please be aware that this is just a summary. If you have any items you're unsure about, please get in touch with us to confirm if you can put them in the skip you hire.

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