Skips are extremely useful when you have a large amount of waste to get rid of. For example, if you are doing some renovations in your home or clearing out your garden, you may find yourself with a lot of rubble, garden waste or old furniture that you want to get rid of. Using a skip saves you the hassle of making several trips to the tip. However, you cannot put whatever you like into a tip. Whilst the range of materials that you can throw into your skip is quite broad there are some legal restrictions involved. To ensure that you only fill your skip with the right materials, we have created a handy guide to what you can and cannot put in a skip.
What can you put into a skip?
There are so many things that you can put in a skip. And, for most DIY or gardening work you will most probably be safe throwing everything into the skip. To be more specific, there are various groups of waste materials that can go into your skip. Let’s take a closer look at them.
1. Bricks and rubble
As long as your bricks do not contain asbestos or other harmful materials, you can throw them straight into the skip. The same goes for the rubble that comes from breaking up old floors, knocking down walls and similar activities.
2. Garden waste
Grass, broken wooden decking, branches and chopped tree trunks can all go into the skip.
3. Wood and plastics
All woods and plastics can go straight into the skip, as long as the plastics do not fall within the list of things that cannot go into skips (for instance if they are plastic electrical appliances.
Any scrap metal can go into a skip, as long as you are not throwing an electrical appliance into it.
From old armchairs to unwanted garden furniture, all types of furniture can go into the skip.
Throw soil, sand or gravel into your skip. The only exception is soil that is contaminated (either chemically or biologically), which cannot be put into a skip.
7. Non electrical appliance
Old enamel toilets or cracked sinks can all go straight into the skip, no questions asked.
8. General domestic waste
The waste that you throw into your household bin can also be put into a skip. This includes packaging.
9. Anything else
People may have some weird and wonderful items in their homes and gardens that do not feature on the list above. The general rule here is, if something is not explicitly prohibited from going into a skip then you will most probably be able to put it in. If in doubt, just check with your local authority. Below, you will find a paragraph that concisely explains what materials are expressly prohibited from being thrown into a skip.
What can I not put in my skip?
There is a reasonably substantial list of items that ought not to be put into a skip for health and safety reasons. These include the following hazardous or polluting materials: asbestos, chemical waste, medical waste, petrol, oil, and diesel. In addition, no white goods (i.e. fridges and freezers) can be put into skips. Tyres are not allowed in skips, nor are electrical goods. Plasterboard and gypsum waste are not allowed in skips – so make sure to treat these separately if you are doing DIY. Finally, old paint cans, fluorescent tubes (e.g. of the kind that are used for lighting), batteries and pressurised cylinders are all prohibited from going into skips.
Are there any exceptions to these rules?
Some local authorities have the ability to recycle some of the less hazardous items on the list of items prohibited from skips. For instance, sometimes you will be able to put white goods or tyres into a skip and have them recycled by your local authority. It is essential to check beforehand with your local authority, however, to ensure that they cater for your needs.
What will happen if I put something in my skip that I shouldn’t?
Usually, your skip company will refuse to remove your skip. Or, you may be fined. In some cases, people have been criminally prosecuted for throwing contaminants or other hazardous items into skips.