Skip Bag Guide for Beginners


  1. Definition – what is a skip bag and how does it work?

Skip bags and Hippo bags are strong, large and waterproof bags used like a small skip.  You buy the bag and then pay a waste contractor to take it away once you have filled it.  Collection of the bag is either by a lorry with a crane that lifts the bag up and onto the truck, or by a crew that empties the contents of the bag into the truck by hand.


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two yello hippobag skip bags filled with plasterboard waste

  1. Skip Bag Suppliers – who supplies skip bags and where can I buy them cheaply?

The best known brand of skip bag is Hippobag.  Hippobags can be purchased from Hippowaste direct or from major DIY chains like B&Q, Travis Perkins and Wickes.  There are three sizes of Hippobag (1 yard, 1.5 yard and 4.5 yard) and these cost around £11.99, £13.99 and £31.99 (including VAT) respectively depending on the retailer.   The cheapest place to buy a Hippobag at the time of this post is in store at B&Q.

Although Hippo bags may seem relatively expensive compared to other skip bags, they are generally much thicker and heavier than other brands.  This is because Hippowaste collects its bags using specialist lorries that have a crane to load the bag. The bags have to be strong enough to hold up to 1.5 tonnes of waste and be lifted by crane up onto the lorry without splitting.  So, if you’re planning on filling a skip bag with very heavy waste like soil or rubble AND you want to use Hippowaste to remove it, then it’s important you buy a Hippobag.

On the other hand, if you do not have lots of very heavy waste and/ or are happy for a collection crew to empty the bag by hand (rather than it be lifted by a crane), there is less need for such a high spec skip bag as Hippobag.  Instead you could just buy a standard bulk bag from any builders merchant or DIY store like Wickes or a bulk bag specialist like 123bigbags.  A 1 yard (900x900x900mm) bulk bag (which is the same dimensions as the Hippo MIDIBAG) costs about £6 including VAT.  Even less if you buy in bulk from Amazon.  Much cheaper than a MIDIBAG which costs around £12.

one tonne builders white bulk bag

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  1. Sizes – what sizes do skip bags and Hippobags come in?

Hippobags come in three sizes: Midibag (1 Cubic Yard), a Megabag (1.5 cubic yards) and the Hipposkip bag (4.5 cubic yards).  A standard builder’s bag is 1.0 cubic yard (often called a 1 tonne bag).

Table of Skip Bag & Hippo Bag sizes – Aug 2019

Bag Type  

Standard Builders Bag


Midibag Megabag Hipposkip
Cubic Yards 1.0 cubic yard 1.0 cubic yard 1.5 cubic yard 4.5 cubic yards
Metric Dimensions 900 x 900x 900mm 900 x 900 x 900mm 1800 x 900x 700mm 2100 x 1650 x 1000mm
Well known junk that takes up the same volume  



Dishwasher Tall Fridge or Bath Bathroom or small kitchen ripout

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  1. Weight restrictions – do skip bags or Hippobags have weight restrictions?

Weight limits depend on the contractor.

Hippowaste apply the following weight limits on collections of their Hippo bags.

  • Midibag – 1 tonne
  • Megabag – 1.5 tonnes
  • Hipposkip – 1.5 tonnes

Whereas, AnyJunk has a maximum weight per bag of 0.5 tonne (500kg).

As a general guide, a 500kg weight allowance is more than enough for bulky waste (like a kitchen or bathroom rip out), but is not enough if you want to fill the bag with ONLY very heavy, dense waste like soil, rubble or broken tiles.

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  1. What sort of jobs are skip bags good for?

Skip bags are good for the same kind of projects that skips are good for, but on a smaller-scale.  In other words, they are ideal for small garden, DIY or household projects like uplifting carpets or renovations which have quite a bit of messy, loose waste and/or very heavy waste like bricks, soil or broken tiles.

They are also a great alternative to a skip if there is very limited access and not enough space to put down a skip.  Instead you can use a few skip bags and locate them in different places around the property. Although remember that if you plan on using a crane lorry to remove them (which will be the case if you have v heavy waste), you must place them close to the road so the crane can reach.  Equally, if you put a skip bag on the road, you may require a skip permit.  You can find out more about permits and fees here.

Unlike skips, because the bags are material rather than metal, there is little chance of damage to your driveway.  Skips on the other hand can have a habit of marking driveways made from soft tarmac or block paved.

Other than to get rid of your waste, a skip bag is a very useful thing to have around the home. You can use it for all manner of tasks, like collecting up fallen leaves, storing logs, or protecting your car if you take stuff to the tip yourself.

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  1. What sort of jobs are skip bags bad for?

Although great for small jobs, skip bags are usually not a good choice if you have enough waste to fill a skip.  In which case, hiring a skip is normally much more economical.

Equally, skip bags are not the rubbish disposal service to go for if you need labour.  With a skip bag you have to do all the loading yourself.  Whereas with a man & van clearance, all the labour is included in the price.

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yellow hippobag overfilled with bathroom waste and carboard lying next to bag

  1. Contents – what can I put in them?

You can put most things in a skip bag apart from hazardous waste.  The exact list of what is and is not allowed depends on the waste company you use to remove or empty it.  But in general anything you can put in a skip, you can normally put in a skip bag – so it includes things like carpet and flooring, repairs rubbishfurniture, garden waste, and general bulky waste.

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  1. Prohibited items – what waste can’t be put in a Skip bag or Hippo bag?

Items typically prohibited by collectors of skip bags are:

  • Asbestos
  • Liquids
  • Fluorescent tubes
  • Medical waste
  • Batteries
  • Mattresses
  • Gas bottles
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Paint and cans of paint
  • Any toxic substances
  • Oil, cooking oil, petrol, diesel
  • Tyres
  • Televisions and computer monitors
  • Raw meat or fish
  • Fridges, freezers, aircon units
  • Pianos

If you are unsure of whether you can put an item in your skip bag, contact company who you are booking to collect it.

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  1. Collection Cost – how much does it cost to have a skip bag or Hippo bag collected?

Bag Size (Lx W x Hx Hippowaste Clearabee AnyJunk
Builders bag
(1 yard)
90cm x 90cm x 90cm n/a – only collects Hippobags £99.99
(max 1000kg)
(max 500kg)
Hippo Midibag
(1 yard)
90cm x 90cm x 90cm £112.99
(max 1000kg)
(max 1000kg)
(max 500kg)
Hippo Megabag
(1.5 yard)
180cm x 90cm x70cm £144.99
(max 1500kg)
(max 1500kg)
(max 500kg)
Hipposkip bag
(4.5 yard)
210cm x 165cm x 100cm £209.99
(max 1500kg)
(max 1500kg)
(max 500kg)

table of collection cost for Hippo bags: Source AnyJunk 2019

The great thing about skip bags is that the collection comes at a fixed price – unlike loose waste where the collection size can be debated.  You just fill a skip bag and it gets collected for the price advertised.

AnyJunk collects a Hippo Midibag for £90 per bag and a Megabag for £110 per bag (including VAT).  This includes the loading of the waste, sweep-up after and disposal.

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  1. Extras – are there any hidden extras/restrictions?

The big extra cost with a skip bag, is the cost of collection.  Some people mistakenly purchase a Hippo bag in a store and think collection is included in the original price – but obviously this is not the case!

Other extras are the same as with skips – namely if you overfill the bag (take care to ensure your waste is not higher than the top of the bag) or put certain special items in it that cost more to dispose of than general waste (eg. mattress, fridge, TV). And if you put the bag on the street or pavement, you will require a permit.

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  1. Collection location – where do I leave my skip bag?

If you book a collection company that uses a crane lorry to remove the bag, you’ll need to leave it somewhere that it is easily accessible for the lorry – normally within 4 metres of a public highway.  The best place for this is normally outside your house on your driveway, front garden or on the road (but be aware that you may also need to pay permit fees).   It’s not a good idea to place the bag in a location where there is a possibility of something obstructing the crane.

If you use a man & van collection service like AnyJunk for your bag, you can leave the bag anywhere on the premises, including your back garden!

Generally there’s no need for anyone to be on the premises when the bag is collected – just leave it in an accessible place and it can be collected without you being there.

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hippobag skip bag being lifted by crane for collection


  1. Collection speed – how long does a collection take?

Different collection companies offer different response speeds.  Hippowaste states on its website that it will normally collect within 5 days.  AnyJunk can collect anywhere in the UK within 24 hours, and in most cities on the same day.  In London we also offer collection within 2 hours.

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  1. Man and van skip bag collection (instead of a crane lorry) – keeping the bag

Other than being cheaper (unless you have very heavy waste), a big advantage of having your skip bag or Hippo bag collected by a man and van rubbish clearance company like us is that you can keep the bag and reuse it afterwards.  Companies such as Hippowaste take the bag away when the waste is collected, but with AnyJunk you can ask for the bag to be emptied so you can use it again.  This is a great way to save money on your next waste collection and also much better for the environment.

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two anyjunkwaste contractor crew members collecting pink skip bag for disposal

  1. Council dump – can I take my bag to the skip?

Instead of using a waste contractor to collect it, you can always put the bag in the back of your car and drive it to your local dump.  It’s great for protecting the inside of your car from messy waste, but bear in mind that skip bags once filled are often very hard to move because of their weight.

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  1. Alternatives to a skip bag or Hippo bag

If a skip bag doesn’t seem like the right option for you, try skip hire or man and van rubbish removal instead.  Skips are best when you have a lot of heavy waste and/or the waste is generated over a period of time.  Man and van rubbish clearance is typically cheaper and easier, particularly if you have a mix of waste, rather than bricks and soil, and they include all the labour.

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