How to Stay Safe When you Hire a Skip
If you are new to hiring skips, you must do your research before you book a skip. It is important to be safe when placing and loading a skip so that you are not breaking the law. There are regulations about where you can put a skip and what can go in it. Below are some dos and don’ts for skip hire.
Do Order the Right Type of Skip
Estimate how much waste you need to dispose of and hire a skip that is slightly bigger. Ordering the right skip size is important, as you do not want to have a skip that is too small to fit all your rubbish in it. You would have to hire another skip in that case, which would increase your costs. You should also make sure that the skip you order is appropriate for holding the type of waste you will be using it for. If you are disposing of heavy waste like bricks, rubble, and soil, then you cannot order a skip that is bigger than 8 cubic yards. This is due to weight restrictions, as any larger skip full of heavy waste would not be safe to remove. You might also want to consider hiring an enclosed skip with a lockable cover. This is ideal for preventing fly-tipping, theft, or arson if the skip is accessible to the public. It can also protect waste from the weather and prevent dust or airborne pollution in the area.
Do Put a Skip in a Safe Place
Before you even book a skip, you should figure out where you would be able to put it. The skip will need to stay in the same place for the duration of the hire period. Therefore, it must not cause an impassable obstruction and must be accessible for the delivery and collection truck. You will need to check for any risks such as overhead wires, trees, or gates. The skip must not block footpaths, utility access points, or entrances. If you need to put the skip on a public highway, then you must acquire a permit from the local council beforehand. It must be left on flat, stable, hard ground that it will not damage or sink into. If you are leaving a skip in a public area, you must set cones around it. The skip must have reflective strips and the name and phone number of the hire company on it. You should also make sure that the skip is well-lit at night by setting up safety lamps around it if necessary. Ensure that there are no people or animals in the area during delivery or removal of the skip for their safety.
Do Load a Skip Responsibly
Once the hire company drops off your skip, you can start loading your waste into it. You need to think about your own safety and the safety of others when loading a skip. Put heavier items at the bottom and pack lighter items in around it. Lay things flat wherever possible to stack them evenly, but make sure that piles of waste will not collapse. Get extra help to carry heavy items to the skip and lift with bent knees and a straight back to avoid injury. Another way to load a skip is to put the lighter items in at the bottom and around the edges, then drop heavier items on top to compress them. Break up larger items if possible, to fit the pieces around the waste that is already in the skip. Place the skip as close by as you can so that you do not have to carry the waste too far to deposit it.
Don’t Overfill a Skip
When you are loading a skip, you must fill it to an even level without the waste rising above the edges. You should not pile the waste higher than the sides of the skip. This is a safety hazard for everyone around the skip, as spillage could occur at any time. Items sticking out of the skip can also cause injury to people or damage to vehicles passing by in public areas. Overloading your skip could also mean that it is too heavy to move. The skip hire company will not collect an overflowing skip. Even if they do manage to remove it, they will charge you more for the extra weight of waste.
Don’t Burn Rubbish in a Skip
Do not light a fire in your skip to try to reduce the rubbish and make space for more waste. Skips are not designed to burn fires in them. Fire would damage the skip and the company would charge you for the cost of repairing, re-painting, or replacing the skip. The heat of the fire in the skip would also cause the surfacing underneath the skip to scorch or melt. You would then be liable for the cost of fixing a public road or your own driveway. Flammable items should not go into the skip with all the other waste, or anything that becomes toxic when you burn it. Place the skip far away enough from buildings that a fire would not be able to spread if one broke out in the skip due to accident or arson.
Don’t Put Hazardous Materials in a Skip
You are only permitted to dispose of general waste items in a skip, including garden waste. You are legally forbidden to put dangerous items in a skip. Do not try to hide such items amongst the other waste, as they will find them when they sort through the contents of your skip after collecting it. It will also pose a health and safety risk if they are sorting the waste by hand. Hazardous waste must be disposed of separately and appropriately. The skip hire company can tell you which items count as hazardous waste if you are not sure. Get advice before you put anything into the skip to be safe.