Time for a clear-out? Many homeowners hire a skip bin to make home improvement projects faster and more convenient. But certain items should never be placed in a skip bin, even in small quantities.
Before you start chucking your construction waste into a skip, read this blog to learn which waste types should be handled by dedicated recycling centres instead.
What is a skip bin?
The term “skip bin’ refers to large metal containers that are purpose-built for large-scale rubbish removal. Skips are designed to sit comfortably on skip removal lorries so they can be quickly taken off-site when full.
A skip company rents the skip container to homeowners, business owners, and construction companies to help dispose of all kinds of rubbish, from food waste to garden waste – even human or animal waste. You’ll need a skip hire permit (granted by local councils) to place a skip on public property like roads or footpaths.
Waste items that cannot be placed in a skip bin
If you place prohibited items in the skip, you risk endangering the health of those working on your project. You also risk contaminating the air and soil around your skip, which can have long-lasting environmental consequences.
To avoid putting yourself, your crew, and your environment at risk, keep these items out of your skip:
Hazardous chemical waste
Chemicals like paints, solvents, and oils are considered hazardous waste and prohibited in skip bins. Local councils usually have dedicated recycling centres to receive this kind of waste.
Your old computers, TVs, and batteries can’t be mixed in with your skip waste. These contain harmful elements like lead and mercury, which require specific methods of disposal. Your local recycling centre will take electrical items to keep them out of the skip and put them in the proper recycling stream.
Asbestos, once commonly found in wall and ceiling insulation, is now known to be extremely dangerous to humans. Inhaling asbestos fibres can cause severe damage to your health, so there are strict regulations regarding its disposal. If you find asbestos on your property, hire professionals who can remove it safely and legally.
Never toss needles, expired medications, or other clinical waste into a skip bin. These items could cause infection or disease in yourself or your crew. They require careful, specialist recycling methods. Your local council may provide a recycling service for them, but you can often take medical waste items to your chemist, who will know how to dispose of them properly.
If you place tyres into the skip, they quickly become a fire hazard. But, old tyres can be recycled by dedicated recycling facilities. So take your tyres to a recycling centre and keep them out of the skip.
If glass bottles are placed in a skip and get covered by other waste and debris, they’re put under pressure and pose a serious risk of exploding under the weight of the rubble. The good news is that glass is widely recycled, so place glass bottles in your regular glass recycling bin instead of the skip.
Flammable or explosive materials
Never place anything flammable or explosive in a skip! Unsurprisingly, fireworks, fuel, and other combustibles can explode under the weight and pressure of other waste. These items are highly dangerous and should be handled carefully by dedicated recycling specialists.
Refrigerators and air conditioners
Appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners contain chemical coolants like freon. These chemicals are harmful to the environment and must be carefully removed from the appliance before the components can be recycled. Check with your local recycling centre to learn how they recommend disposing of these items.
Any oils (even cooking oils!), sewage, and liquid chemicals can be potentially hazardous to the environment. If they’re dumped into a skip, they can easily leak into the soil and groundwater. Do yourself, your garden, your family, and your environment a favour – take liquid waste to a proper recycling facility.
Choose responsible skip hire services
Careful waste management isn’t just a buzzword – it’s vital to keeping our local soils, rivers, flora, and fauna healthy.
Cheap skip hire prices often reflect risky waste management practices. When hiring skip containers, you can demand better for yourself and your locality.
At the Waste Group, we prioritise responsible waste management. We’ve been doing this for decades, so we know how destructive indiscriminate waste disposal can be. But by working together, we can keep hazardous materials out of the skips and in the right recycling hands.