Making life easier with a skip

Most people, at some point in their lives, will need to hire a skip. These large, open topped containers can be used either by businesses or by individuals to deposit waste where the quantities are too large for the usual refuse collection services to remove. The skip is normally dropped off by the hire company, left at the customer’s disposal for a certain number of days, then picked up again by a purpose built wagon. This should then dispose of the contents in a responsible manner.

Skips are particularly useful if you are planning any sort of home improvement project, such as replacing your roof, putting in new windows or stripping out a central heating system. They can also be used for garden clearances, providing a solution to the question of what to do with awkward garden sheds or greenhouses.

It’s important to choose the right size of skip for the purpose. If in doubt, go for the larger size; you don’t want the wasted time and expense of leaving a job half-done and having to reorder a second skip. Bear in mind that there is often a fill level on the skip over which you must not go. This prevents the load from becoming unstable in transit.

If possible, arrange for the skip to be put on your own driveway, as putting it on the public highway requires a permit from the local council. This permit is normally arranged by the skip provider, although some councils do require that the customer applies to them directly.

A skip on a public road is subject to a number of regulations. It must be away from any manholes with the longer sides parallel to the kerbside, as close in as possible. It must be marked off with traffic cones and well lit at night. The name and telephone number of the skip hire company must also be clearly shown.

There are certain household items that are deemed hazardous and which must not be put into a skip. These include refrigerators, freezers, electrical appliances, tyres, batteries, asbestos, gas bottles, fluorescent light tubes, solvents, fuels, aerosols and medical waste. If you are unsure about anything, contact the skip provider for confirmation.

There are many skip hire companies in the phone book, but how do you know which one to choose? Personal recommendations are always helpful, but you can also get the measure of a company by the way that they handle your enquiry. They should also be clear about how they intend to dispose of your waste. If possible, check that they hold a valid waste removal licence. In the eyes of the law you are responsible for your rubbish, and if it is not disposed of properly then you are liable.

The best skip hire firms will separate your waste into recyclable and non-recyclable materials, donating any reusable items to charity. Some even process the biomass into fuel so that only the minimum ends up in landfill. This is certainly an elegant solution to the problem of rapidly declining landfill space.

Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons