It’s all about decluttering these days. Since Marie Kondo wrote about the magic of tidying, people everywhere have been paring down their belongings to a minimum. 

Whether you’re having a clear out, moving to a new house or redesigning your home, hiring a skip can really help clear the clutter. But before you go ahead, it’s worth knowing about the kind of waste you can put in a skip – and the kind you can’t.

What you can put in a skip

If you’re wondering what you can safely put in a skip, the answer is most building and domestic waste. That means wood, metal, rubble, plastic, polystyrene, bricks, cardboard and non-electrical fittings. You can also put soil and garden waste in your skip, as well as furniture and plastic.

What you can’t you put in a skip

There are, however, certain things you really shouldn’t be chucking in there. Here are the top five types of item to avoid

1 Hazardous waste

Avoid putting hazardous and toxic substances in your skip as they could pose a danger to the environment. These prohibited items include fluorescent tubes and lightbulbs, batteries (household and car batteries), gas canisters, aerosol cans, cleaning fluids, pesticides, liquid solvents and paints. You can take these items to your local council tip for disposal. For batteries, most supermarkets have special collection bins. Alternatively contact your skip hire company for advice.

2 Asbestos

Under no circumstances should you place asbestos in a skip. Asbestos needs careful handling and must be disposed of by a specialist waste company.

3 Waste electricals and electronics

Keep waste electrical items such as televisions, fridges and freezers, mobile phones, PCs and computer monitors out of your skip as these products can release hazardous chemicals. You can take waste electricals to your local tip for disposal - or contact your council about collection. Many charity shops accept electrical items that are still in good working order or, if you’ve bought a new device, the retailer may recycle your old one.

4 Medical waste

For health and safety reasons medical or biological waste should be kept out of your skip, including needles and dressings. You can find out more about clinical waste disposal on the gov.uk website https://www.gov.uk/request-clinical-waste-collection

5 Mattresses, tyres and plasterboard

Each of these items needs to be disposed of in a different way from general waste, so it is important to contact your skip hire company first. There are other reasons to think carefully before putting certain things in your skip:

Don’t fall victim to identity fraud

Identity theft if a big issue these days with the rise of online crime, so you should never use your skip to dispose of documents containing personal information or sensitive data. The problem is skip-divers – the people who dig through your skip for things they can use or sell. Often, they’re just on the lookout for a half-decent piece of furniture to recycle, but criminals are increasingly involved too. Take care when disposing of documents containing contact numbers, addresses, bank details, email addresses and National Insurance numbers. This means shredding CVs, utility bills, bank statements and any unopened post, whether you are putting it in your skip or in your household bin. Old computers and mobile phones hold personal information too, which skilled criminals can find even if you think you’ve wiped them. This is another reason to dispose of old devices carefully.

Recycle first

Decluttering can be quite liberating – and while it’s tempting to bung all your discarded items in the skip, think first about whether anything can be recycled. Could you place any bottles, plastics, paper or cans in your household recycling for collection by your council? Placing items in your skip that could be disposed of elsewhere, can increase the weight and therefore the cost. Think too before adding clothes, books and household items – you don’t need them but someone else might. Could you donate them to a charity shop or sell them on eBay or at a car boot sale instead? You can dispose of worn clothes in textile recycling banks, raising money for local charities.

Find out more

If you’re still not sure about an item, ask your skip hire company for advice. They’ll be able to supply up-to-date information that’s specific to their business and your local area. Proskips provides skips of all sizes to homes across the country. If you would like to find out more about our skip hire services, or make a booking, contact us.

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