Skip Hire Guide (8 Things to Know Before Hiring a Skip)


Hiring a skip can cause a few headaches if you've never done it before. There's a lot of different things to consider when it comes to skip hire. To help make it all a bit easier, our skip hire guide is full of useful information to make hiring a skip stress-free and straightforward.

  1. Which Size Skip Do You Need?
  2. What Can Go in a Skip?
  3. Permits and Liscences
  4. Skip Hire Prices
  5. How Long Can You Have a Skip?
  6. When Is Your Skip Collected?
  7. Are There Access Restrictions?
  8. How High Can You Fill a Skip?

1. Which Size Skip Should You Hire?

The ideal size of skip depends on the amount of waste, the type of trash and, how much space is available for the skip. Choosing the right skip sizes guarantees a cost-effective waste removal solution for most commercial and domestic needs.

Hiring a container that is too small may mean that you need to hire an additional skip to remove the rest of the waste so if you hire a skip that is too large, you end up overpaying.

The larger the skip, the cheaper it works out per cubic yard of waste, but make sure you have enough waste to fill it. Otherwise, you'll end up only filling half a skip and paying for thin air.

It's also important to know that most councils do not allow skips bigger than an "8-yarder" to on a public highway.

At ISM Waste & Recycling, we have a broad range of sizes to choose. Available in 2 yards, 4 yards, 6 yards, 8 yards, 10 yards, 12 yards, 14 yards, or 16 yards. You can be sure that we've got the right skip size for you.

For DIY projects around the house, mini skips (e.g. 4-yard skips) are usually ideal. If you're renovating a room in your home, such as the kitchen or bathroom, a small skip will be suitable. The smaller skips for hire are perfect for waste such as stones, soil or, furniture. Hiring a mini skip will save you multiple trips to the tip. Not to mention the charges at the tips (an essential factor that's regularly get overlooked when throwing away household rubbish).

Tradespeople and builders most commonly use medium-sized midi skips; hence, the name builders skip. This size is best for larger domestic projects and, small commercial projects.

Maxi skips are more of a niche. Larger skips such as 16-yard skips are better suited to bulky refurbishment works or, large house clearances. They hold the equivalent of 160 bin bags but can't be used for bulky waste as the skip lorry would not be able to carry the weight legally.

2. What Can You Put In a Skip?

Skips are excellent for getting rid of most commercial, domestic and trade waste, but there are restrictions. Hazardous waste and materials that are threatening to human health and the environment are prohibited. More things are considered hazardous waste than you may think.

Accepted Waste

  • Wood
  • Soil
  • Rubble/bricks
  • Polystyrene
  • Plastic
  • Metal
  • Garden waste
  • Furniture
  • Empty tins
  • Domestic waste
  • Cardboard
  • Bricks
  • Paper

Prohibited Waste

  • Asbestos
  • Batteries
  • Clinical and medical waste
  • Electrical equipment (WEEE goods)
  • Fluorescent tubes
  • Fridges and freezers
  • Gas canisters/gas bottles
  • Hazardous and toxic waste
  • Liquids
  • Oil, petrol and diesel
  • Plasterboard
  • Tyres

3. What is a Skip Permit or Skip License?

If you put a skip on a public highway (an on-road skip) rather than private land, you will need a skip hire permit from your local council. The license is organised before the delivery of the skip.

Skip permits cost extra, and prices can vary from council to council. We can arrange the skip hire permit for you and put all the necessary health and safety measures in place.

4. Skip Hire Prices

How much should you expect to pay for skip hire? Prices vary considerably due to a variety of factors, and you need to consider them all to get the best value.

The size of the skip is the most significant factor that determines the price of the skip. The location can affect the price; typically, the South is more expensive than the North based on higher costs of disposal and operation.

Another thing to consider is whether or not you require a permit; however, usually, these permits aren't particularly expensive. Landfill tax is higher than ever at nearly £100 per tonne of waste in 2019, so non-recyclable waste can be costly.

The national average price for an off-road 8-yard skip is around £250 (£300 including VAT). 

5. How Long Can You Have a Skip?

If the skip gets placed on a street, the duration of the councils skip hire permit will determine the maximum amount of time you can hire a skip. Skip hire permits are typically 28 days so it won't often cause any issues.

The duration of skip hire can be tailored to your specific needs if it's on private land or, within the skip hire permit duration if it's on the road.

6. When Is Your Skip Collected?

Skips are collected once you request a collection. You can either organise a collection date at the time of booking if you know how long you need it for or, call us at a later date once you have filled your skip.

Skip collection is generally within two working days of your chosen date but can be as soon as the same day when available.

7. Are There Access Restrictions?

Skips get delivered on large lorries that are wider and, a lot heavier than cars. Easy access for a car doesn't mean a skip lorry will have easy access.

Plan and make sure that there is enough space for the skip lorry to access the area you want the skip to be located or, consider altering the location. Sometimes an on-road skip will be the best option, or sometimes it might have to be placed further away from your property or site if space is at a minimum. If access is restricted check beforehand that the dimensions of the lorry will fit.

When a full skip gets taken away, the weight of the truck will be even more substantial with a full skip on the back, so that's something to consider too.

8. How High Can You Fill a Skip?

Skips can only be filled to the height of its sides because otherwise, the skip driver may refuse to collect it. Transport laws make it illegal to move a skip, which is not 'level-loaded' and for genuine reasons. Overfilled skips can exceed legal weight limits for the lorry and, can be dangerous to drive on the road.

Overfilled skips can't be properly "sheeted" (covered, so waste materials don't fall out of the skip) which can be dangerous for the public.