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Skip Hire Tips and Information

skip hire tips

Hiring a skip is a great, easy way to get rid of your waste materials quickly and efficiently and this post is a general guide to some of the more common aspects of the skip hire process. One of the first things that people consider when hiring one of our skips is what size they'll need to complete the task of getting rid of all their unwanted waste.

Ranges of skip sizes

It's important to make sure you choose the right size skip for the job as there's no point in paying for a skip that's only going to end up half full. We offer a range of sizes right up to 40 yards roll on/off skip bins so there's a size to suit pretty much any waste removal job imaginable.

Most of the larger sizes we provide are typically hired by our commercial clients for bigger projects whereas our domestic clients tend to opt for anything up to 8 or 10 cubic yards. If you're unsure which size you'll need, either have a look at our prices and sizes page first, or get in touch with us for free advice.

How big is a cubic yard?

Despite the metric system being in place for several decades, skip sizes are still quoted in cubic yards. Imagine a cardboard box that's 3ft long, 3ft deep and 3ft high; that's a cubic yard.

If you're not familiar with these measurements, then the modern-day equivalent would be a box measuring 0.9 metres long, 0.9 metres deep and 0.9 metres high - in other words, a box measuring a bit less than one a metre on all sides.

Types of acceptable skip waste

Unfortunately, it's fairly common for us to find prohibited items placed in the skips we hire. Many people aren't aware that that are strict laws that prohibit us from accepting certain types of waste materials. For convenience, here is a list of the most common ones:

  • Asbestos
  • Car tyres
  • Old style televisions
  • Fridges & freezers
  • All liquids
  • Fluorescent tubes & light bulbs
  • Gas bottles
  • Tree trunks
  • Clinical waste/ medical items
  • Items containing POPS (Persistent Organic Pollutants)

Don't despair though, as we do accept the more common items found in the home and garden - These include:

  • General domestic waste
  • Soil, rubble and clay
  • Wood and metal
  • Plastic
  • Organic waste
  • Furniture
  • Cardboard and paper

Charges for certain items

Due to the nature of their composition, there are certain items that incur a moderate surcharge. These are

  • Single Mattresses - £10+VAT each.
  • Double Mattresses - £20+VAT each.
  • Plasterboard - The first tonne is included, £175+VAT per tonne thereafter.

The reason being that the above items are difficult to recycle, meaning that they cost us more for us to handle. 

Don't hide forbidden items in your skip

Please don't be tempted to try and hide forbidden items in the middle of your skip as we sort through all the waste we receive at our Sussex waste recycling centre in order to recycle as much as we can (currently over 90% of everything we accept). If you have hazardous waste that you'd like to dispose of, the best thing to do is to check with your local council (either by phone, email or via their website) to find out if it can be accepted at your local refuse tip. In most cases this isn't a problem as virtually all types of hazardous waste can be accepted by most councils, who have specialised facilities and are equipped to dispose of it/them in the correct way.

Also, regardless of whether your skip is on your own land or on the road, it's always a good idea to make sure that other people aren't throwing their own unwanted waste in it as well. Bear in mind that you are responsible for the contents of the skip when it is collected so any hazardous restricted items found in it will be your responsibility.

How do I keep the cost down?

When you're making a mental checklist of what you're getting rid of, consider if some of the bulkier items can be disposed of by other means. We receive lots of extremely bulky items in very good condition that have no need to end up in a skip. When you take into account that the cost of your skip is directly related to its size, you could save yourself quite a bit by finding alternative methods to throwing them in a skip. Although hiring a skip has many benefits over choosing a rubbish clearance service instead, we still see some common mistakes taking place.

With this in mind, another useful tip is to make sure that the skip is not filled with large amounts of empty space. This may sound obvious but we do get lots of big, bulky items that could take up much less space if broken down into smaller parts. A good example of this would be a wardrobe that is completely empty but would easily take 10 times less space if the time had been taken to break it up and flatten it first.

Furthermore, if it's organic garden waste, consider setting up a compost heap or use a compost bin. Once properly decomposed, this type of garden waste is super-rich in nutrients and provide a natural fertiliser for your plants and trees.

Recycle by Giving away or selling instead

Many charity shops are always on the lookout for good quality, second-hand items such as 3 piece suits and bedroom furniture so it's worth checking with them first. You may not be aware that there are also websites specifically made for people to give things away for free as long as the new recipient collects them. Freecycle and Gumtree are two of the more well-established ones that spring to mind. Freecycle is a kind of recycling site that's particularly good as it's free to use and the items listed are completely free of charge too. The main purpose of the site is for conscientious individuals to give their perfectly good but unwanted away, rather than dispose of them at the local council tip. It's absolutely perfect if you're looking to furnish your home without it costing you a penny! 

What's a skip permit and do I need one?

You will need a skip permit if you want to put the skip on any public land such as the street outside you house. The cost of the permit can vary quite a bit up and down the country but typically costs from £30 upwards. We can often arrange these for you although a few local authorities require you to apply for one in person. You can find out more information by visiting our information page and looking at the skip permit section.

If you have the skip on your own land such as your driveway or garden, no type of permit is necessary.

What if a skip lorry can't get to me?

There are a few occasions where we're unable to reach certain locations. The most common is a narrow road where the householder doesn't have a garden or driveway to place the skip in or on. With roads like this, we're unable to place the skip on the road as it would clearly block traffic. Other situations could be because there is a very low bridge or a bridge with vehicular weight restrictions in place.

In all of these cases, the only alternative is to use some other method to have your rubbish cleared. You may want to consider buying some skip bags from your local DIY store or online and then filling them up as you go. Skip bags come in a range of sizes usually from 1 to 5 cubic yards so they're much smaller than an average skip. This is a good alternative but you'll still need to consider how to get rid of the waste once all of the bags are full. Fortunately, we also provide specialised grab lorry hire as part of our service; these are perfect for removing all your bags in one go.

A final alternative is to use a rubbish removal firm. A team will arrive and remove all of the waste and companies such as these mostly base their prices on the amount of waste they take away. It will usually cost a fair bit more than hiring a skip but is a workable alternative if you're unable to hire a skip for whatever reason. If you use this method, make sure you check that the firm is a properly licensed waste carrier and is registered as such with the Environment Agency (you can find our details here). If they're not, you could end up with a fine as many such companies are prolific 'fly tippers'.

If you've found this article useful but still have a few more questions, feel free to contact the Expert Skip Hire team by phone or email where we'll be able to answer all your questions.

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