Skips are heavy duty open top metal box containers available for hire to fill up with general non-hazardous waste. They are convenient for use as the hire service includes delivery to your location, and also the collection when you have filled it up with the waste. The waste is then sorted and re-cycled as much as possible as part of this hire and waste disposal service.
The skips are available for hire in a number of different sizes. The smaller skips are about the size of a small car between 2-4 cubic yards/meters, the general mid range are the size of an average car 6-8 cubic yards/meters, and the larger ones are the size of a panel/ transit van between 10-12 cubic yards/meters. The smaller sizes are ideal for garden waste and where storage of the skip is limited. The mid range skips are most common for general house renovation and building work, but require at least a car sized area for locating it whilst it is being filled up. Remember that you also need further space for safe access to dump the waste in to it, and need to make sure that the skip lorry can deliver and collect the skip without causing damage! The larger skips usually are containers with higher side walls enabling bulkier waste storage, but this will generally require ramped access so the effective working footprint will be larger. Certain skip hire companies on request may provide drop down doors to help cart waste in to them, but ensure that these are safely operated and the doors secured appropriately.
If you are unable to place the skip safely on your own property without causing an obstruction to the general public and your neighbours, it may be possible to place in on the roadway nearby. However, for the safety of the road users and passing public the position of where and how the skip can be placed will firstly need to be assessed by your local authority and skip hire company. Application for this assessment should be made prior to ordering the skip, so that a permit is available to use the allocated space for the skip on delivery. Issues that may restrict the placement will depend on the road width, high demand for parking and close proximity to road junctions and pedestrian crossings. The local authority may charge for this permit and possibly charge extra if the position is part of a marked parking bay within a controlled resident parking area. Furthermore, if you place the skip on a grassed verge along the pavement you will be liable to limit and repair any damage to this area caused as part of the arrangements. It is strongly advised that you seek guidance from the skip hire company when ordering your skip in relation to where it can be safely placed, and whether they can advise or obtain on your behalf the permit when placed on the road.
Every business involved with waste transportation must be registered with the Environment Agency. A reliable skip hire company will be registered such that it understands its obligation for safe waste transportation, transfer and disposal. The waste producer is responsible for its safe disposal, so any hazardous waste should not be put in to the skip. Items like tyres, electrical equipment, freezers and fridges, plasterboard, things that may explode or build up gases, any containers used for or containing hazardous liquids like oil, batteries and poisonous or fuel type liquids, etc. These items must be disposed of separately and responsibly, and any possible contaminants notified to the skip hire company. The filling up of the skip should always be carried out safely and considerately without disruptive noise and excessive dust. It is better to order a slightly larger skip then overfill it beyond its level or weight limit, as the skip company may refuse to remove the skip if it cannot safely up load the filled skip and transport its waste for disposal.
Skip hire prices vary nationally, and depend on the hiring company, size of skip and type of waste that it will be filled with. Generally, you should expect to pay from £100 for the smaller skips, about £180 for the mid ranged and nearer £260 for the larger size types (prices include VAT). Often payment for the skip hire is upfront to the hiring company when placing the order or on delivery of the skip. When it has been filled you arrange for its removal with same hire company, usually up to 2 weeks hire is allowed but the hire period should be agreed when ordering. Once requested, all reliable skip companies will arrange for collection within the next 48 hours. As a result the skip hire company appears to make its money when delivering the empty skip rather than after collecting it when full with waste. But as the customer you will want the reliability from working together with the skip hire company that will deliver and collect when it is convenient for yourself. A local hire company will be more suited to your needs, as it will understand the restrictions on the placement of skips and the requirements for permits within your local authority area. Furthermore, the hire price should be the cheapest at it is efficient by reducing the haulage and transportation costs, and the company should be reliable as it is keener to maintain and develop local customer satisfaction.
There are several national skip hire companies that appear to find you the cheapest local supplier. But are they really the cheapest? Or are they just brokers that inflate the cost for making the arrangements between the customer and skip hire company?
As an alternative and possibly avoiding the need to contact several local skip hire companies directly and repeating your needs to each one, it would be economical to have customer focused companies that market your needs rather than just meet them. The skip hire market is very competitive, but the customer should be rewarded for being local, disposing waste responsibly and arranging it for recycling by a reliable company.