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Skip Hire Advice

Every day, lots of people hire skips. It’s not that difficult – but there are some pitfalls for the unwary. So here are five of the ten things you need to know about hiring a skip:our-trucks

1.      What size of skip do I need?

It depends on the amount of waste you’ll be creating and how much space there is in which to put the skip. There are four basic sizes of skip:

·     ‘Mini Skip’ – which will hold two cubic yards of materials. So it can hold up to two tonnes (2,000kg) of waste.

·     ‘Builder’s Skip’ – which will hold six cubic yards of materials. So it can hold up to six tonnes (6,000kg) of waste.

·     ‘Builder’s Skip’ – which will hold eight cubic yards of materials. So it can hold up to eight tonnes (8,000kg) of waste.

·     ‘Maxi Skip’– which will hold 12 cubic yards of materials. So it can hold up to eight tonnes (12,000kg) of waste.

You can also get skip bags, which hold up to one cubic yard (one tonne) of waste.

2.     What can I put in a skip?

You can put more or less anything in a skip that’s not:

·     Liquids

·     Oil, petrol or diesel

·     Paint and cans of paint

·     Fluorescent tubes

·     Gas canisters and gas bottles

·     Asbestos

·     Electrical appliances and equipment

·     Batteries

·     Tyres

·     Televisions and computer screens

·     Fridges, freezers and air conditioning units

·     Plasterboard

·     Hazardous and toxic materials

·     Clinical or medical waste, including syringes

In addition, you can’t put waste such as bricks, hardcore, concrete, rubble or soil into a maxi skip. That’s because, when full, the skip – plus the weight of the skip lorry - would exceed the vehicle’s legal weight limit.

3.     Can I put a skip in the road?

Usually, yes you can but you’ll need a skip permit from the council. The largest skip any council will allow on a road is an eight cubic yard builder’s skip. Some skip hire companies will arrange this permit for you, if you ask them.

In addition, if the skip is on public land – including the road - it’s your responsibility to ensure that the skip is visible at night, via the use of cones and electric beacons. You also need to ensure that the skip isn’t inhibiting access to your or to neighbouring premises. And, of course, it’s up to you to make sure that the skip and its contents don’t pose a fire risk.

4.     What access does a skip lorry need?

If you’re going to put a skip on your property - rather than on the road – you need to check the dimensions needed to allow the skip lorry access. Usually, skip lorries are at least 8.5 feet wide but some can be up to 9.5 feet in width. If the skip lorry is too wide to gain access to your premises, you’ll have to put the skip on the public road – and that raises the issue of getting a skip permit.

5.     Where do I find a reputable skip hire company?

By law, anyone who collects and disposes of waste must be licensed by the Environment Agency in England and Wales or, in Scotland, by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Waste carriers are licensed in order to prevent ‘fly-tipping’ (dumping waste in an unauthorised place). Indeed, if you hire a skip from an unlicensed firm which then fly-tips your waste, you may be prosecuted – and face a fine or even a prison sentence.

You can find out if the skip hire firm you want to use is an approved waste carrier by asking to see the firm’s waste carrier’s certificate or ask for its unique waste carrier number (then contact the Environment Agency - on 03708 506506 - and check that the waste carrier number you’ve been given is legitimate).

You can find a local, approved waste carrier via:

·     The Environment Agency’s online public register of waste carriers

·     Your local authority’s website, which should contain a list of all local approved waste carriers.

You’ll certainly find Waste King on the Environment Agency’s online public register of waste carriers.

These are the first five of the ten key things you need to know about hiring skips. But they’re not the only things you need to know. They’re just the ten most important things – in our view.

We can give you advice and guidance so that you can get the most reliable, efficient and cost-effective service when it comes to collecting and disposing of all waste. So, contact us on:

Freephone: 0800 141 2778 or, from a mobile, call 01442 210034.

You can also email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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