The Ultimate Skip Hire Advice Guide:
Skip hire is one of the UK’s leading waste removal solutions, with affordable pricing and an extensive range of sizes and shapes available. They are often used by both commercial and domestic clients for any number of jobs. This guide will run you through everything a consumer needs to know when hiring a skip, including costs, sizes, rules, permits, alternatives and much more.
How much does skip hire cost?
Skips are often one of the cheapest waste removal solutions available in the UK, but there are a number of factors that influence the cost of your hire. The main factors include sizing, location, competition and permits.
The skip bin size you require is likely to be the biggest factor in the cost of your hire. Larger skips cost more than smaller bins. When hiring a skip, it is important to estimate the amount of waste you will generate, as choosing the wrong size skip can increase costs. Hiring a skip that is too small will leave you with unwanted waste, but hiring a skip that is too large will cost more than you need to pay.
The cost of hiring a skip varies throughout the UK, with different cities, towns and locations having different prices. Generally, the South of England is more expensive, with London prices often £30-50 higher than skips hired in the North of England.
If you live in an area that has multiple nearby skip providers, you can save money on your hire. Healthy competition between suppliers can result in competitive quotes in an attempt to win your business. Many experts advise that you always request at least 3 quotes from local providers. You do not have to choose the cheapest quote, but should go with your preferred skip provider, and use any cheaper quotes to negotiate a better deal.
If you need to place the skip on council owned land, such as a public road, you will require a skip permit. Skip permits are issued by your local council, and prices range from £15 to more than £60. If you are able to place the skip on your own land, you will not require a skip permit, which can help keep the hire costs down.
For more information on pricing, check out our skip hire price guide.
What size skip do I need?
One of the best things about hiring a skip is the array of sizes available, which make them suitable for almost any job. If you are undertaking a small DIY project, you can choose a mini skip, or if you will be creating industrial amounts of waste, you can opt for a much larger 40-yard roll-on roll-off skip.
There are 5 main skip sizes available –
Mini Skips: These skips, as the name suggests, are the smallest bins available. They are popular with both domestic and commercial consumers, and are ideal when only a small amount of waste will be created. They are available in 2 and 3-yard capacities.
Midi Skips: These skips are a good mid-sized skip, and can be used as either the primary skip on small to medium sized jobs, or as a secondary skip on larger projects. Midi skips are available in 4 and 5-yard capacities, and are able to easily fit on driveways and small front yards, so you won’t need a skip permit.
Builder’s Skips: As the name suggests, these skips are a common addition to building sites. These skips are available in 6 and 8-yard capacities, and can hold a sizeable amount of waste. They are also popular for home improvement projects, especially when multiple jobs will be taking place at the same time, such as a kitchen and bathroom refit.
Maxi Skips: These skips are the largest on the traditional skip bin shape. They are available in a number of sizes, ranging from 10 to 18-yards in capacity. They are commonly used on commercial sites, or for large home improvement jobs. They can hold a considerable amount of waste, making them ideal for larger projects.
Roll-on Roll-off (RoRo) Skips: These skips are the largest available in the UK, and normally range from 20 to 40-yard capacities. The size of a RoRo skip makes them ideal for larger commercial projects, and they aren’t regularly used by domestic clients. Roll-on Roll-off skips require a considerable amount of space for placement, and are delivered by specialist lorries.
Skips are available in a range of different shapes and configurations, each suitable for a different purpose. If you require easier loading, there are skips with doors and drop-down sides, which allow a wheelbarrow to be wheeled inside to deposit your waste. There are also lockable skips, which are perfect when you need to keep your waste secure, or prevent unwanted additions to your skip.
For more information on sizing, why not check out our skip hire size guide.
What can and can’t I put into a skip?
Skips are great for most types of waste, but there are some restrictions that you need to be aware of before rushing out and booking your delivery. Items that are prohibited are normally either dangerous or require specialist disposal. Most local councils provide advice and services for the disposal of waste that cannot be thrown into a skip.
• Bricks & Rubble
• Non-Electrical Fittings
• Construction Waste
• Garden Waste
• Domestic Waste
• Hazardous Waste
• Electrical Items (WEEE)
• Fluorescent Bulbs
• Medical Waste
• Compressed Gas Cylinders
Plasterboard is also prohibited from skips with mixed waste. If you will be disposing if plasterboard, most skip companies will provide a plasterboard bag to ensure your plasterboard is kept separate from your other waste.
Do I need a skip hire permit?
Skip permits are required when you place a skip on council owned land, such as a public road. If you are able to place the skip on your own land, such as a driveway, you will not require a council skip hire permit. Skip permits are issued by your local council, and prices vary throughout the UK, with most permits costing between £15 and £60. Permits are normally obtained by your skip provider on your behalf, and are generally valid for 2 weeks to 1 month.
Can I have a fire in my skip?
No, you cannot light a fire in any skip. Not only does fire cause damage to the skip and paintwork, but it is also a contravention of the fire safety guidelines. If you light a fire in your skip, you will be liable for damages and may be prosecuted by the Environmental Agency. We strongly advise that you do not light a fire in a hired skip.
What are skips commonly used for?
Skips can be used for a wide range of different projects, from small DIY jobs right through to industrial construction sites. Skips can be used for virtually any job that creates waste, and are particularly useful when the waste will be created over several days or even weeks.
Common DIY projects that are ideal for a skip include kitchen and bathroom refits, garden clearances, excavation work, shed and conservatory removal, knocking through a wall and interior remodelling, as well as many other home improvements.
Skips are common on most building and commercial sites that generate waste due to the fact they are so versatile, convenient and affordable.
Is skip hire environmentally friendly?
You may be surprised to learn that skip hire is often an extremely environmentally friendly waste disposal solution. Most skip firms aim for over 80% recycling rates, whilst others achieve in excess of 90%.
Once your skip has been collected, the contents are emptied and sorted into piles of recycling. Recycling helps reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, and also ensures that skip hire remains affordable for consumers. The waste that cannot be recycled is often incinerated and used for energy creation.
Waste that is commonly collected during skip hire and is recycled include organic waste, wood, plastic, metal, furniture, soil and rubble.
Is skip hire the best option for my rubbish removal?
Unfortunately, not everything can be thrown into a skip, so it is important that you consider the type of waste that you have before rushing out and booking a skip. Rules and regulations are constantly changing, so even those who have hired skips in the past may not be aware of what you can put in a skip. A good example of what can no longer be thrown in a skip is plasterboard, which must now be disposed of separately to other waste after an EU legislation change.
Hazardous or dangerous materials must not be thrown in a skip, and electricals are also prohibited. Common items that are allowed in a skip include old furniture, gas cookers, wood, plastics, organic waste and even the kitchen sink. For a better understanding of permitted and prohibited waste, check out our guide on ‘What can you throw in a skip?‘.
Skip hire is a cheap and convenient waste disposal solution for most projects. They can be hired by both domestic and commercial clients, and are regularly used on building and constructions sites. Skips provide the convenience of an on-site waste removal solution, and can be filled as the waste is created.
The main skip hire alternatives are skip bags and rubbish removal teams. Both of these have their own pros and cons, as we explore below.
What are the skip hire alternatives?
Whilst skip hire is a popular waste removal solution, there are some circumstances where skip hire alternatives are better suited. The two main skip hire alternatives are skip bags and rubbish removal teams.
When access to your property is restricted and you will only be producing a small amount of waste, a skip bag may be a useful alternative. Skip bags can be purchased from most larger hardware stores, and are available in sizes ranging from 1 to 4.5 yards. They are collected using a grab lorry, which can often access places that may be difficult with a skip truck, such as over small fences.
Rubbish removal teams are another very popular waste removal solution. These services are best suited to projects where the waste has already been created, and simply needs to be collected. Another benefit is that you do not have to estimate the skip size you need, as they load directly into a truck or van and you only pay for the waste that is removed. These services do not provide the convenience of throwing away waste as it is created, and can also be costlier than a skip.
If you have electrical items (fridges, ovens, televisions, etc.), or other items that can’t be put in a skip, your local council will normally have a service that can assist you (often provided for free) or they can provide local services that can collect your specialist waste.
How long can I hire a skip for?
The length of time you require a skip is likely to vary depending on your project, with some jobs taking longer than others. Most hire periods run from 1 to 14 days, and the average cost of extending your hire is approximately £10 per week. A few skip providers are now providing unlimited skip hire periods, which allow you to keep the skip for the duration of your project, and fill it as the waste is created.
Skips can normally be collected as soon as the project is completed. Once your skip is full, you simply need to call your skip provider, and pick up will normally be arranged within 24 to 48 hours.
Most council skip permits are valid for between 2 weeks and 1 month. If you are placing the skip on council owned land, you may need to pay to renew your skip permit, which can make longer hire periods costlier.
Can skips be hired by domestic clients?
Yes, they certainly can! In fact, a large majority of skip consumers are now domestic clients. Private consumers hire skips for any number of projects, most of which centre around home improvements.
Domestic clients normally hire smaller skip sizes, including mini, midi and builder’s skips, as these bins provide ample space for smaller projects. Skip bins are commonly used by domestic clients for bathroom and kitchen refits, as well as garden clearances.
If you are hiring a skip for the first time, you have come to the right place. Our site has a wealth of information to get you up to speed with everything a consumer needs to know about hiring a skip. If you can’t find the information you need, get in touch and our friendly team will be happy to help, or for the best skip hire deals in the UK, request a quote today!
How do I find a good skip hire company?
There are thousands of trusted, reliable and reputable skip providers throughout the UK, who will ensure a high quality service. When searching for a skip firm, it is essential that you always check that they have insurance and a waste carriers licence.
All service providers should have public liability insurance. This insurance ensures you and your property will be protected in the unlikely event of an accident. Most councils insist that skip providers carry £5m public liability insurance before they will issue a skip hire permit.
A waste carriers licence is a government issued document that allows holders to carry waste for commercial purposes. A skip hire provider must have a waste carriers licence to legally removed the waste from your site or property. If you choose a company that is not licenced, you may face a fine or prosecution.
Skip Hire Services has a waste carriers license, and we have £5million Public Liability Insurance.
How can I avoid a cowboy skip hire company?
It is important that you choose a skip provider who holds a current waste carriers licence, which you can check on the Environmental Agencies online register. You will be able to search for the company’s name or registration number, and their details will be displayed, including the expiry date of their licence.
It is also a good idea to ask for a copy of their public liability insurance certificate. In order to place a skip on council land, and obtain a skip permit, most councils require at least £5m public liability insurance. This insurance is important in protecting you, your property and the public in the unlikely event of damage or injury.
Who hires out skips?
Skips can be hired from a few different providers. Most skip providers are independent companies, that operate in their local area. There are also a number of national skip hire firms, that operate throughout the UK and have numerous locations and recycling centres. Some councils also provide skip services, although these operations are normally only available to local residents and skip sizes are limited.
Most skip hire operators are also associated with the waste industry in other ways, commonly running recycling centres, providing rubbish removal teams, grab lorry hire and many other waste disposal and management solutions.
How are skips delivered?
Skips are delivered using either a truck or van. Vans can only be used for smaller skip sizes, and most skip providers opt for lorries over vans.
When you order your skip, a delivery date and time will be arranged. A delivery truck will then need access to your preferred delivery location. If you are placing a skip on the road, the lorry will need access to the area in front of the skips required location for unloading. If you are placing the skip on your own land, it is important that you are mindful of the width and height of the delivery truck, especially if you have pillars either side of your driveway.
As roll-on roll-off skips have a different shape, they require a specialist skip lorry. Due to the size of these skips, they require a large area for unloading. Roll-on Roll-off skips also need a flat and hard surface (such as concrete or tarmac) for loading and unloading.
What access will the skip lorry need?
When hiring a skip, your lorry driver will need access to your property in order to make the delivery and collection. Some residential areas have vehicle width and height restrictions, which your skip providers will need to be aware of at the time of booking.
Once the lorry is at your property, the skip will be unloaded to your preferred location. There should be ample space in front of the skips destination, as the lorry will have to be positioned for loading and unloading.
If you are having roll-on roll-off skip delivered, even more access in front and behind the lorry will be required. Your skip provider will be able to provide further instructions based on your chosen skip size.
As a general guide, your drive or skip location should be at least 2.75m (9 ft) wide. Skip lorries can weigh more than 8 tonnes, so the ground needs to be secure and able to support the weight.
What happens to the waste I throw away?
If you are not familiar with skips, you may be surprised to learn that your waste doesn’t just end up in a landfill, but a majority is recycled. Once collected, your skip is taken to a sorting centre, where the contents are split into different piles of recyclables.
Recycling is one of the best ways skip providers can keep their costs low, and it saves waste going to landfill. Most companies achieve recycling rates in excess of 80%, with many recycling more than 90% of all waste they receive. The waste that cannot be recycled is normally used for energy production. This makes skip hire a sustainable and environmentally friendly waste removal solution.
How does the process of hiring a skip work?
Hiring a skip is a simple and straightforward process. First, find skip providers and request a quote. Experts always advice you receive at least three quotes, as this will give you a better understanding of the costs for your local area.
Once you have received a quote that you are happy with, it is time to book. Some skip providers will be able to provide the skip on the same day, if you order in the morning and they have availability. Generally, your skip will be delivered within 24 to 48 hours of ordering. You can also opt to have the skip delivered on a specific date.
Once you have filled your skip, you will call your skip provider and arrange for the collection. Most collections can be made within 24-48 hours of notifying your provider. The skip will then be taken away, and your waste will be sorted for recycling.
How can I find a Budget Skip?
Skip hire is one of the most affordable and convenient waste removal solutions available in the UK. There are a wide range of skips available to suit almost any job, big or small.
When it comes to ensuring you receive a great deal on your skip hire, it is important to search around for local suppliers, and request multiple quotes. If you can place the skip on your own land, you will not require a skip permit, which can help reduce costs.
When hiring a budget skip, always ensure the company is insured and licensed to carry waste. Public liability insurance is important to protect you and your property in the unlikely event that something goes wrong. A waste carriers licence is a legal requirement for skip providers to remove the waste, and you can be prosecuted or fined if you choose a skip provider who is not licenced.
Find out more about our budget skip hire services.
Will the skip damage my driveway?
In most cases, putting a skip on your driveway won’t cause any damage. Soft tarmac and paved driveways can be marked or damaged by heavier skips or the lorries loading support beams. To prevent damage, wooden planks and sheets will be used to ensure no damage to your driveway.
What is a wait and load service?
Wait and load services are similar to a rubbish removal service, and can be useful when the waste has already been created and simply needs to be thrown away. With a wait and load service, the skip is lowered for easy filling, but remains with the truck. Wait and load skip services are ideal when space is limited, but you have a considerable amount of waste to dispose of.
Wait and load services are also useful when you do not have any space on private land, but do not want to pay for a skip permit. Wait and load services are often slightly cheaper than regular skip hire.
What happens if I fill my skip and need a new one for more waste?
If you fill your skip, but still have more waste that needs to be thrown away, we can switch out the full skip and replace it with a new skip at the same time. This is useful for clients who are producing a steady amount of waste for a prolonged period of time, but do not have the space for a larger skip.
How do I arrange collection of my skip?
Once your skip is full, arranging collection is easy. Most skip companies will provide a number which you call to notify them that your skip is full. Collection will then normally be arranged within the next 24 to 48 hours.
Will someone need to be present when the skip is delivered?
In most cases, it is important that someone is there when the skip is delivered and collected. During delivery, your skip provider will run through some rules and regulations, as well as health and safety, with you. You will also need to be there to ensure it is placed in the correct location.
When your skip is collected, it is important that the driver is aware of what waste is in your skip. As such, it is generally a good idea that you are there during collection.
Can I put the skip on the road or pavement outside my property?
Yes, skips can be placed in a number of different locations, including public roads and pavements. There are certain rules that must be followed when placing a skip on a public road, and many councils impose their own regulations, such as lighting at night to alert drivers of the skips presence. If you are placing a skip on council land, you will require a skip permit, which can cost from £15 to £60.
How quickly will the skip be delivered?
As most skips are booked with locally based providers, delivery can often be arranged quickly, and in many cases delivery can take place in the same day as the order. The speed at which the skip can be delivered is dependent on the availability of skip lorries and drivers, who will be able to make the delivery.
In most cases, your skip will be delivered within 24 to 48 hours of making the booking. If you require the skip further into the future, this can be arranged and your skip will then be delivered on your preferred date.
If I hide prohibited waste in the middle of the skip, will it be found?
After your skip has been collected, all of the contents are emptied for recycling. As a result, any items that are hidden within your skip will be discovered, so it is not recommended that you attempt to hide prohibited items in the middle of your skip. If restricted items are found, you may be fined and have to pay the additional disposal costs.
You are responsible for all of the waste that is in your skip at the time of collection, so you should be mindful of unwanted waste additions from members of the public. If you are leaving your skip in a location that is easily accessible to the public, you may want to consider a lockable skip, which will keep your waste secure and prevent potentially prohibited items being added to your skip.
How much waste can I put in the skip?
The amount of waste you will be able to put into your skip is dependent on the skip size you choose. For example, a 2-yard mini skip has a 2 cubic yard capacity, and can hold approximately 25 black bin bags.
The weight that a skip can hold is also related to the size you choose. As a general rule, 1 cubic yard is equivalent to 1 tonne. As such, a 2-yard skip can hold 2 tonnes of waste, and a 5-yard skip can hold 5 tonnes of waste. This rule only applies to smaller skips, up to a maximum capacity of 8-yards. Larger skips need to be filled with a mixture of heavy waste (such as rubble or soil) and lighter bulky waste (such as wood or furniture), or the skip lorry may not be able to carry the load.
Below is our skip hire size infographic, which will help you understand the size and capacity of each skip, based on how many black bin bags will fit inside.
How full can I load the skip?
It is important that you do not overfill your skip. You should not fill the skip past the top of the sides to ensure that it will be safe to load and transport. Most companies will refuse to take a skip if it has been over-filled. If you have underestimated the amount of waste you have generated, you can consider hiring an additional skip.
What is the usual skip hire period?
Most skips are hired for between 1 day to 2 weeks. The length of hire is dependent on the project that is being undertaken, and the time it will take to create, collect and throw away the waste. A lot of skip providers now offer unlimited skip hire periods, whilst others charge a small fee of approximately £10 per additional week required. Once your skip is full, you simply need to call your provider and collection will be made within 24-48 hours.
Can skips be delivered on the weekend?
Yes, most skip providers do have the option to have your skip delivered or collected on the weekend, but delivery slots are often limited, so it is advisable that you book in advance. Saturday delivery is more common than Sunday deliveries, as fewer skip companies operate on Sundays.
Are there any important safety measures?
To ensure the skip is used safely, there are a few measures and rules that should be followed. Some are carried out by the skip provider and others are the responsibility of the consumer. It is important that skip hire rules and regulations are followed to ensure the public’s safety.
It is important the skip contents do not protrude outside of the skip. This could pose a hazard for both pedestrians and road users when the skip is place on a road or publically accessible land. It is also important that skips are not overloaded, as items can be hazardous if they fall out during transit.
Cones and amber lights should surround the skip, making it more visible at night. The skip should also have reflective markers along the sides. This is the responsibility of the skip provider, and is often a requirement in order to obtain a council skip permit or license.
Skips should not be placed on pavements that block pedestrian access, in front of driveways, over manhole covers, drains, grates or obstruct other access points.
Hired skips should not be filled with waste that pose the risk of fire, explosion or present a health or environmental hazard. If you have any doubts, you should contact your skip provider.
How can I save money when hiring a skip?
There are a number of ways to save money on your skip hire. Below are some of the best ways to find the best possible skip deal.
Choose the correct size: One of the biggest factors in the price of a skip is the size you choose. Larger skips cost more than smaller skips, so ensure you estimate your waste accurately to ensure you are not paying more than you need to.
Sell & Donate: Giving away and selling your unwanted items, whether it be a used sofa or an old gas cooker, can significantly reduce the amount of waste you will need to throw away. It can also make you some money if you are able to sell usable items.
Check Licenses: Skip providers are legally required to have a waste carriers licence to remove your waste. If you do not choose a provider who is licensed, you can face a fine or prosecution, both of which will cost you money.
Compare Multiple Quotes: Skip providers are more than happy to provide you with a quote based on your specific needs. It is important to remember that you receive quotes skips that are comparable in size and waste type. You do not have to choose the cheapest quote, but instead should opt for your preferred supplier and use any cheaper quotes to negotiate a better deal.
For more information, check out our guide on ‘How to find a trusted Cheap Skip Hire Service?‘.
Why can’t you put plasterboard into a skip?
In 2011, there was a change in legislation that meant that plasterboard and other gypsum products must be disposed of separately to mixed waste. This is because research showed that in a mixed waste setting, dangerous gases were emitted during decomposition. As such, plasterboard is no longer permitted in a skip with other waste, and should be disposed of separately. In most cases, your skip provider will have special plasterboard bags which can be used to ensure your plasterboard does not mix with your general waste.
What is a Skip Trailer?
Skip trailers are just like a normal trailer, but on wheels. They can come in a range of sizes, and normally have capacities similar to traditional mini and midi skips. Skip trailers are generally lockable, which ensures your waste is secure, and also prevents any unwanted additions.
Whilst skip trailers are only relatively new in the UK, they have been used in Australia for some time, where they have been a huge success. They are available at most larger hardware stores, making them convenient for DIY projects.
Unlike a traditional skip, you will not require a skip license if placing the skip on a road. This is because the skip is seen as a trailer, rather than a skip, which can help save you money. They are also useful when access is restricted, as they are delivered by smaller vehicles, and can be wheeled into place.