Skip hire is a convenient and efficient way to dispose of waste, whether it’s from a home renovation project or a commercial construction site. However, not all types of waste can go in a skip, and it’s essential to know what can and can’t be disposed of in this manner to avoid any potential hazards or penalties. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive list of what can and can’t go in a skip to ensure responsible waste disposal.

What Can Go in a Skip?

  1. General Household Waste: This includes items such as packaging materials, paper, plastics, and non-hazardous household items.
  2. Garden Waste: This includes grass clippings, branches, leaves, and other natural materials.
  3. Furniture and Appliances: Most furniture and appliances can go in a skip, including mattresses, sofas, and refrigerators.
  4. Construction and Renovation Waste: This includes bricks, tiles, wood, and other materials from construction or renovation projects.
  5. Hazardous Waste: Some hazardous waste, such as asbestos, can be disposed of in a skip, but it must be handled and labeled correctly.

What Can’t Go in a Skip?

  1. Asbestos: Asbestos is a hazardous material and must be handled and disposed of by a specialist company.
  2. Batteries: Batteries contain harmful chemicals and should not go in a skip. They can be taken to a recycling centre.
  3. Chemicals and Paint: Chemicals and paint can be hazardous and should not be disposed of in a skip. They can be taken to a recycling centre or specialist waste disposal company.
  4. Electrical Equipment: Electrical equipment, such as TVs, computers, and appliances, should not go in a skip and should be taken to a recycling centre.
  5. Gas Cylinders: Gas cylinders, whether full or empty, should not go in a skip and must be disposed of correctly.

How to Properly Dispose of Items Not Allowed in a Skip

  1. Contact Your Local Council: Your local council will have information on how to dispose of hazardous or restricted waste in your area.
  2. Take Them to a Recycling Centre: Many items that can’t go in a skip can be taken to a recycling centre for proper disposal.
  3. Hire a Specialist Waste Disposal Company: For hazardous materials or items that cannot be disposed of through regular channels, hiring a specialist waste disposal company is the safest option.

Conclusion: Responsible Waste Disposal is Important for the Environment

Knowing what can and can’t go in a skip is essential for responsible waste disposal. Not only does it help protect the environment, but it also ensures the safety of others and avoids any potential legal issues. Remember to always check with your local council and follow proper disposal guidelines for a cleaner and safer community.

General Household Waste

When disposing of general household waste, ensure that recyclables such as paper, cardboard, glass, and plastic are separated from non-recyclables. Items such as food waste, broken ceramics, and sanitary products should be placed in the general waste bin.

Pro-tip: Always check your local waste disposal regulations to stay updated on what can and can’t be included in general household waste.

Garden Waste

When disposing of garden waste, ensure it complies with local regulations. Organic materials such as grass clippings, leaves, and small branches are typically accepted in skips. However, larger branches and tree stumps may require special disposal methods due to their size and potential impact on the skip’s capacity.

Furniture and Appliances

When disposing of waste, it’s crucial to know what can and can’t go in a skip, especially when dealing with furniture and appliances.

Construction and Renovation Waste

Separate Materials:

Sort construction and renovation waste into categories such as wood, metal, concrete, or drywall.

Recycling Options:

Identify local recycling facilities for items such as metal and wood, promoting eco-friendly disposal.

Hazardous Materials:

Properly dispose of hazardous waste such as asbestos, paint, and chemicals through designated channels.

Renovation Debris:

Dispose of tiles, insulation, and fixtures following waste management guidelines to ensure safe and responsible disposal.

Hazardous Waste

Identify hazardous waste:

Recognise items like batteries, chemicals, solvents, pesticides, and medical waste.

Separate and store:

Store hazardous waste in designated containers, separating incompatible materials to prevent reactions.

Label containers:

Clearly label containers with the type of hazardous waste to ensure proper handling and disposal.

Dispose responsibly:

Contact authorised hazardous waste disposal facilities or collection programmes for safe disposal.


When it comes to asbestos disposal, it’s crucial to follow local regulations. Asbestos, a hazardous material, must be handled and disposed of properly to prevent health and environmental risks. For instance, in some areas, it’s illegal to dispose of asbestos in a skip without proper authorization or encapsulation. Improper disposal can lead to serious health issues such as lung cancer and mesothelioma.


When disposing of batteries, it’s crucial to follow proper waste disposal guidelines. Batteries contain hazardous materials like lead, cadmium, and mercury, which can harm the environment if not handled correctly. In some areas, it’s illegal to discard batteries with regular rubbish due to the potential for environmental contamination.

For example, car batteries should be taken to designated recycling centres to prevent soil and water pollution.

Fact: Approximately 3 billion batteries are thrown away annually in the United States.

Chemicals and Paint

Chemicals: Avoid disposing of hazardous chemicals like bleach, ammonia, or pesticides in skips. Contact local waste facilities for safe disposal methods.

Paint: Empty paint cans or dry paint before disposal. Consider donating usable paint. Hazardous or liquid paint should be taken to a waste facility for proper disposal.

Electrical Equipment

When disposing of electrical equipment, it’s crucial to follow proper waste disposal guidelines. Electrical items like old computers, printers, and kitchen appliances should not be thrown into regular skips due to the hazardous materials they contain. Instead, take them to designated e-waste recycling centres to ensure safe and environmentally friendly disposal.

A friend once disposed of an old microwave in a skip, unaware of the environmental impact. After learning about proper e-waste disposal, they now advocate for responsible electronic waste management.

Gas Cylinders

When disposing of gas cylinders, it’s crucial to handle them with care due to their pressurised contents. Ensure that the cylinders are fully empty and then take them to a designated facility for proper disposal. Never place gas cylinders in a skip, as they pose a serious safety risk and can potentially cause explosions or fires if mishandled in a waste disposal setting.

Contact Your Local Council

Research: Look up the contact information for your local council on their website or in the local directory.

Reach Out: Contact your local council via phone or email to inquire about skip hire regulations and permissible waste disposal.

Clarify Guidelines: Ask for a comprehensive list of items allowed and prohibited in skips, ensuring compliance with waste disposal regulations.

Take Them to a Recycling Centre

Separate recyclables like paper, plastic, glass, and metal. Check your local recycling centre’s guidelines for acceptable items. Transport the recyclables to the centre in a vehicle suitable for the load. Follow any specific sorting instructions at the centre.

In 1690, the first paper mill in America was established near Philadelphia. This marked a significant step toward organised recycling efforts in the country.

Hire a Specialist Waste Disposal Company

When dealing with specific or hazardous waste, it’s essential to hire a specialist waste disposal company to ensure compliance with regulations and environmental safety. These companies possess the expertise and equipment to handle and dispose of various types of waste, including chemicals, construction debris, and medical waste, while adhering to legal requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I put kitchen fittings in a skip? Yes, kitchen fittings such as cabinets, countertops, and sinks can go in a skip. However, it’s important to properly dispose of any hazardous materials, such as gas appliances, through a dedicated skip or through a Waste Electricals Company. 2. Is future collection of the skip included in the skip hire service? No, future collection of the skip is not typically included in the initial skip hire service. You will need to arrange for a pick-up date and time with the skip hire company when you are finished using the skip. 3. What is the alternative solution for disposing of potential hazardous items? Items such as gas cylinders, chemicals, and medical waste should be disposed of through specialized services instead of being put in a skip. Contact a professional company or consult with the skip hire company for guidance on proper disposal. 4. Can broken furniture be put in a skip? Yes, broken furniture can be put in a skip, but it’s important to know exactly what is allowed. Upholstered furniture and mattresses may require a dedicated skip for disposal. Consult with the skip hire company for a full list of accepted furniture items. 5. Can I put garden waste in a skip? Yes, most skip hire companies allow for green garden waste, such as grass clippings, fallen leaves, and branches, to be disposed of in a skip. However, large amounts of vegetation trimming may require a dedicated skip for disposal. 6. Are there any items that cannot go in a skip? Yes, there are certain items that cannot be put in a skip. These include hazardous waste, such as chemicals and medical waste, as well as gas cylinders and electrical equipment. It’s important to properly dispose of these items to avoid harm to the environment and potential criminal charges. Contact the skip hire company for an approved list of accepted items.