Why would I need to hire a skip?
Many of the home improvement projects covered in these Guides, especially Building, Decorating and Gardening, can produce waste. If it’s a small amount you can take care of it yourself, but what if it’s too much for your household rubbish bin? Then you’ll need to call a Skip Hire Company to take it away for you. Here’s what you need to know before you call.
What size skip do I need?
It depends on how much rubbish you need to throw away, of course. ‘More is more’
is a good rule of thumb: You’ll save time and money hiring a skip that is slightly too large
, rather than hiring one that is too small and then having to call the company for a second skip. More importantly, overloading
skips is illegal
(see 'Safety First!' section). Skips come in several sizes and price ranges:
Good for garden and/or household
- Capacity: 1-2 cubic yards (0.76 - 1.5 cubic metres). About 25-35 black bags.
- Height: 2' 6" (0.76m).
- Length: 5' (1.52m).
- Width: 4' (1.22m).
- Price: About £ 65, depending on the company and your location.
Good for larger garden, household and commercial
- Capacity: 3-4 cubic yards (2.5 - 3.5 cubic metres). About 35-45 black bags.
- Height: 3' 2" (0.97m).
- Length: 6' (1.83m).
- Width: 4' 3" (1.29m).
- Price: About £ 90, depending on the company and your location.
Good for larger construction/home improvement
- Capacity: 6-8 cubic yards (4.6 - 6.1 cubic metres). About 65-85 black bags.
- Height: 4' (1.22m).
- Length: 12' (3.66m).
- Width: 5' 6" (1.68m).
- Price: About £120, depending on the company and your location.
These are the sizes you are most likely to need. Your skip hire company should be able to provide larger sizes and even covered skips, should you need them.
Skip Hire Permits
Putting your skip on the road.
Depending on where you live, you might be required to apply to your local council for a permit before
you put a skip on the road. However, some councils will require the skip hire company
itself to apply for the permit, which will save you the trouble. If that’s your case, make sure the hire company has a current
permit, as most permits are only good for about two weeks
. Look in our Further Reading
section for the direct.gov webpage, where you can find out how to apply.
Putting your skip on your own driveway.
You don’t need to worry about any of the above if your skip can be put on a driveway or any private land. However, make sure you actually own the land: You might not own the grass verge in front of your house!
There’s no room here for my skip!
In large cities such as London there’s usually not enough road space on which to put your skip. Not a problem, as local skip hire companies will know this and have several options to offer you, such as skip-bags or other rubbish clearance schemes. They might also offer to wait while you load.
There are some things you can’t
put in a skip:
- Refrigerators and Freezers
- Clinical/Medical waste
- Any Liquids (including Oil, Paint and Solvents)
- Fluorescent Tubes and Light Bulbs
- Vehicle Batteries
- Gas Bottles
- Any Hazardous, Flammable or Toxic material.
If you happen to have any of these things or materials, ask your skip hire company, they should be able to help or suggest someone who can.
- Don’t place your skip over manhole covers or any other utility access.
- Make sure your skip is easy to see: Place reflective material on both ends of it and cones or flashing lights around it if it’s dark or foggy.
- Keep all contents inside your skip: If things stick out it may be dangerous for pedestrians and drivers.
- Don’t overfill your skip. It is illegal.
- Don’t put your skip on the pavement, or where it might obstruct access to your neighbours’ driveways.
- Use Common Sense.
Beware of the cowboys!
Make sure the skip hire company you choose is registered as Environment Agency
approved (see website in our Further Reading
section). You’ll find a list of approved skip hire companies from all over the U.K. in our Pros Directory
It saves money to consider at least three estimates from three different companies before choosing one. This is the recommended approach when choosing any property professional or contractor.