Skip Hire Guide

Skip Hire Guide

Skips are one of the most popular waste removal solutions in the UK due to their convenience and affordable pricing. They are available in a range of different sizes, making them a great choice for a wide array of DIY projects. Before hiring a skip, there are a few important considerations that you should be aware of, and this guide will run you through everything you need to know about skip hire.

What size skip do I need?

Skips come in a range of different sizes and shapes, from small mini skips through to large roll-on roll-off skips. In the UK, a skips capacity is measured in cubic yards, with 1 cubic yard equal to approximately 0.76 cubic metres of space. If you are confused about sizes this is a useful guide on skip sizes.

Mini skips are one of the most popular choices for DIY projects, as they are cheap and can hold the waste produced from most smaller jobs, such as a bathroom refit or garden clearance. Mini skips are available in 2-yard and 3-yard capacities, and are small enough to easily fit on a drive.

For larger projects, or when undertaking multiple renovations at the same time, you can choose either a midi (4 or 5-yard) skip or a builder’s (6 or 8-yard) skip. Midi skips are suitable for moderately sized projects, such as a kitchen refit. When you are undertaking multiple projects at the same time, such as a kitchen and bathroom refit, you would need the extra space of a builder’s skip. These skips are popular with domestic clients, and are able to fit on driveways and small front gardens.

The next available size are maxi skips, with capacities ranging from 10 to 18-yards. These are more commonly used by builders and commercial clients, rather than domestic clients, but they can be useful when a considerable amount of waste will be produced, such as a complete home renovation.

For industrial sized jobs, you will require the largest skip sizes available. Roll-on roll-off skips are available in 20 to 40-yard capacities, and are mostly used by commercial clients due to the significant amount of waste they can hold.

If you are leaving your skip in a publically accessible area, you may want to consider a more secure skip. Lockable skips are available in a range of sizes, and ensure that no unwanted items are added to your skip, as you are responsible for all of the waste in your skip when it is collected.

How much does skip hire cost?

There are a number of factors that influence the cost of skip hire, ranging from the size you require to the number of skip providers in your local area.
The skip size you require is the biggest factor in the price of hiring a skip. Larger skips cost more than smaller skips. To keep your costs down, donate or giveaway usable items, such as furniture, to reduce the skip size you will require.

Your location within the UK will also impact on prices. Skips hired in London are more expensive than a comparable service in the North of England. The number of local suppliers in your area can also impact on price, with better deals provided to consumers in areas with several suppliers, as they attempt to win your business.
Accessories and specialist skips can also increase the prices of your hire. Some councils require additional lighting and cones around skips, as well as covers, which may result in a slight increase in costs. Lockable skips also cost more than a standard skip of the same capacity.

To ensure you receive a good deal on your skip hire, experts always advise that you request at least 3 quotes from local suppliers. You do not have to choose the cheapest quote, but should choose your favourite supplier and use any cheaper quotes to negotiate a better deal.

What can I put into a skip?

Skips are useful for most types of waste, but there are a few restrictions that you need to know to ensure skip hire is the best solution for your waste. Items permitted in a skip include rubble, organic waste, wood, furniture, domestic waste, plastic, soil, construction waste, metal and much more.

Items that are prohibited often differ slightly between skip providers, but the waste that is normally not allowed includes hazardous waste, fluorescent bulbs, gas cylinders, tyres, electrical items, asbestos, paint, solvents and chemicals. Fortunately, most local councils provide alternative disposal solutions for these items.

Do I need a skip hire permit?

Skip permits are issued by your local council, and prices often vary between £15 to £60. A skip permit is required when you will be placing the skip on council owned land, such as a public road. If you are able to place the skip on your own land, or privately owned land, a skip permit will not be required. In most cases, your skip provider will arrange the permit on your behalf.

How do I know if a skip provider is reliable and trustworthy?

There are two very important items that every skip provider should have – a waste carriers licence and insurance. Waste carrier’s licences are issued by the government, and ensure that skip providers are legally compliant to carry and remove your waste. If you choose a skip company that is not licenced to carry waste, you may face a fine or prosecution. You can check the government’s waste carrier register to ensure your skip provider is licenced.
Public liability insurance is important to ensure you and your property are protected in the unlikely event of an accident. In order to obtain a skip permit, most councils require that a skip provider has at least £5m public liability insurance, as well as a waste carriers licence.

What happens to my waste after the skip is collected?

Once your skip is removed from your property, it will be taken to a sorting centre. Every skip is emptied, and the contents are sorted into different recyclables. Most skip companies achieve recycling rates of 80% or above. Waste that cannot be recycled is either incinerated or sent to landfill.
As each skip is emptied, it is important that you do not try and hide prohibited items in the middle of the skip. If prohibited items are found, you may be fined or charged for the additional disposal fees.

What skip hire alternatives are available?

Skip hire isn’t always the perfect solution for every job, but fortunately there are skip alternatives that may be better suited. Skip bags and rubbish removal teams are alternative waste disposal solutions.
Skip bags are very similar to skips, but they can be purchased from most hardware stores, which saves you having to wait around for the skip to be delivered. They are collected using a grab truck, which means that they can be placed in a number of positions that wouldn’t be accessible to a skip truck. Skip bags are generally available in 1 to 4.5 yard capacities, making them better suited to smaller jobs.
Rubbish removal teams do all the heavy lifting, and load into a van. These teams are great when all of your waste has already been created, and simply needs to be taken away. You will also not have to estimate the amount of waste you have and the skip size you require, as you only pay for the amount of waste they remove.

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