What are you allowed to put in a skip?


Understanding which items, you are legally allowed place in a skip and just as importantly what items you can’t is important to know.  In recent times several items have been classified as hazardous and therefore prohibited by skip companies. In this post we will explore the various types of skips from mixed waste to dedicated wastes items and aim to provide help, advice and assistance when identifying allowable items and how to deal with and manage those that are prohibited.

The question of what you are able to put into a skip and those that you cannot depends on various factors. Businesses and the general public will have a number of different challenges with regards to waste disposal. Generally, a private individual who’s having a “clear out” will opt for a general mixed waste skip and allowable items include:

Timber, kitchen cupboards and carcasses, scrap metal, green garden waste, clothing and other material, building waste (not plasterboard, or asbestos), hand tools, glass, plastic, cardboard and packaging, paper, ceramics plus almost any other non-hazardous items.

What size of skip do I need?

When choosing the size of skip required it’s important to assess how much waste you have, how bulky it is and if you have the space for a skip of the size you need. Skips are usually measured by their cubic yard capacity and sometimes skip companies will give an indication of how many sacks of waste each skip size can accommodate. This is however a very rough guide depending on what you intend to dispose of. If you are disposing of bulky but lightweight items then you will need a large 6 or 8 cubic yard skip. If your waste is dense such as bricks and rubble you may find that a smaller 4 cubic yard skip is suitable, however please calculate which is the right one for you.

What can I put in a skip?

When asking the question about what can be placed in a skip it is probably more helpful to advice which things can’t. The most common items which cannot be place in a general mixed waste skip are and to explain the reasons for (other than the most obvious) are as follows:

Asbestos, Plasterboard, Tyres, Cans of paint, Electrical items including TVs and monitors, Batteries, Solvents, Gas cylinders, Medical waste, Fuel and fluorescent tubes. In addition, without an additional charge, many skip suppliers will not accept mattresses, sofas or carpet so it’s worth checking first.

Asbestos dust is highly dangerous to health and therefore only registered asbestos removal contractors should be used to dispose of it.

Plasterboard needs to be separated from other waste and usually requires a dedicated skip. New legislation requires that plasterboard needs to be buried in specially constructed landfill, which is sealed because as it begins to breakdown is can produce an offensive smell.

Paint and solvents contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are harmful to the environment and it can also damage machinery at waste processing centres such as conveyor belts and electrical equipment.

Electrical goods are subject to the WEEE directive (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment) and therefore needs specific attention.

All of the above said you are able to dispose of several otherwise prohibited items at your local household recycling centre. In addition, there are various options for disposing of paint. See our blog written specifically for this – How to dispose of paint UK?

To find out more about skip hire and to get an instant price, why not visit our skip home page to get an instant quote on a range of skip sizes – 2 yard, 4 yard, 6 yard, 8 yard along with other sizes available. We offer a friendly and convenient nationwide service.

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