Thinking about hiring a skip in London? There are a few things you should consider before picking up the phone to your local skip hire company…
Skip Hire in London
1. Where will you put the skip?
Skips can be placed on the road or off the road depending on space available and local parking restrictions.
If you have space for a skip off the road, make sure access is at least 10 feet (3.3 metres) wide to allow the skip lorry to drive in and unload.
If it’s going on the road, check that there are no parking restrictions such as yellow lines or red routes that prevent you from having one, and that there is sufficient space for the skip lorry to park and unload.
2. What can you put in the skip?
Skips are designed for general bulky waste not hazardous materials
Hazardous items (such as fridges, asbestos, paint, fluorescent tubes, gas canisters, oil, computer monitors and old TV sets) need to be disposed of separately and should not be put into the skip. Visit www.environment-agency.co.uk for a full list of hazardous waste products.
Remember that if you’re hiring a skip in London on behalf of a friend, DIY helper or your builder, it’s your responsibility to inform the London skip hire company about the types of waste that will be placed in the skip.
3. How long do you need to hire the skip for?
Can you complete your project in one day or will you need a skip over a period of days?
Make sure you are clear with your skip hire company about how long you will need it, because you don’t want your skip being removed too soon. On the other hand, remember that more days typically cost more money, so it may be more cost effective to get some help loading the waste to reduce the time you hire it for.
Equally, if it’s important the skip is removed from your property before a certain date, make sure that you get a clear commitment from the skip hire company about when they will remove it because some skip companies have a habit of forgetting!
4. Do you need lamps and a cover if it’s kept overnight?
Any skip left overnight on a public highway must be lit and also may need to be covered to ensure no contents can spill out into the road. Covering your skip up overnight is also a very good way of discouraging your neighbours from using it for their junk too!
If you’re planning on putting the skip on a road you’ll need a London skip permit.
A skip permit needs to be in place before your skip is delivered and you will liable to fine if you don’t.
Skip permits are issued by your local council. Depending on the council, applications for skip permits are made by you or the company providing the skip
It normally takes at least a few days to arrange a skip permit, so allow for this in your planning or, if your waste needs to be removed more urgently, you may need to consider an alternative solution such as man & van rubbish clearance.
Rates vary by London borough (see Table below) and typically are charged by the day.
6. Do you need a parking suspension in London?
In addition to a London skip permit, if you have permit parking in your street, you will require a parking bay suspension from your local council. These also can take a few days to arrange, so if your waste removal is urgent you may have to delay it, pay a premium for a fast process, or seek an alternative.
The cost of a parking suspension varies hugely between London boroughs, ranging from zero to a whopping £90 per day in Islington.
Permit & parking costs show minimum charges and may be the sum of two or more separate fees. Parking charges only apply to skips placed in a controlled parking zone and vary from street to street – lowest charge shown for first day (costs may reduce for subsequent days). Some councils only issue permits to skip hire companies and usually charge these companies additional fees. No open skips are permitted in the Municipal boundary of the City of London. Information correct at time of writing. Source: AnyJunk (August 2010)
7. What size skip should you order?
Skips come in a variety of sizes. The table below sets out the most common sized skips available in London together with an indication of how many full bin bags they could fit in them.
To determine what size skip to order, you’ll need to take into account how much waste you think you have, any space constraints you have on site, and also the period of time you think you it will take to generate the waste (because this will affect things like skip permits and parking suspensions).
Larger skips – assuming you fill them – work out cheaper per cubic yard and it pays to be generous in your estimate of the volume you require so you don’t end up having to order a second skip.
However, if you are considering hiring a large skip, be aware that the Highways Act states a maximum of 16ft 5in x 6ft7in is allowed on the road and many London authorities have smaller on road limits, so check first.
When loading, remember that your skip can only be filled level to the top – suppliers face prosecution for unsafe or overweight loads.
London skip sizes
(to fill skip)
Figures are approximated. Source: AnyJunk (August 2010)
8. How much should you expect to pay to hire a skip in London?
The Table above shows an indicative range for the various skips sizes in London for a hire period of one to two weeks. Please note that these rates include VAT but exclude the cost of any skip permit or parking suspension.
Most London skip hire companies allow you to keep the skip for one or two weeks and will charge extra for extended periods.
Actual rates vary widely depending on the operator, time of year, day of the week, type of waste and location.
9. Which London skip hire company should you use?
There are numerous skip hire operators in London – searching for ‘Skip Hire London’ on Google will bring up a long list.
Other than checking they are legitimate (see Question 10 below), the key questions to focus on are price, speed of response, and to what extent that can guarantee collection date.
10. How can you check that the London skip hire company is legitimate?
As a householder, you are liable for fines of up to £5000 if you hand your waste over to a non-authorised waste carrier.
Unfortunately there are still a few rogue operators renting out skips in London so to make sure you’re not dealing with one of them we recommend you ask for the following:
i. Waste carrier’s license number – proving that they are properly registered with the Environment Agency to remove waste
ii. A written ‘duty of care’ waste transfer note – detailing the transfer of waste from you to them
iii. A copy of their public liability insurance – to ensure that if they damage your property they have appropriate cover in place.
Fascinated by London skip hire and desperate to know even more? Click here.