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Skip Hire vs Alternatives - The Pros and Cons

Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Jan 23, 2023
7 minutes read
  • How skip hire compares
  • Why hire a skip
  • Advantages and disadvantages

If you’re looking for different ways to dispose of your waste, you’ve probably wondered whether skip hire is worth it compared to other means. After all, what’s stopping you from simply taking it all to the household waste recycling centre or using a man with a van? It all depends on just how much waste you have and how big the clearance job is. If you don’t want to go through all the effort of loading up your vehicle and sorting it at the recycling centre, hiring a skip or a man with a van to do the work for you will be ideal.

This article will look at the pros and cons when you hire a skip and compare it to the other two methods. We’ll look at skip vs tip and also compare skip hire to using a man with a van, how they differ and why using a skip can be more beneficial in some scenarios. So, whether you are willing to put in the effort or want your waste gone and sorted for you, we’ll explain and compare all the options here.

A lorry loading a red skip on the high street

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Skip vs Tip

First off, skip hire is incredibly convenient when compared with using a recycling centre. After the skip has been delivered, you only have to fill it up and then ask them to collect it again. The waste is all sorted for you at their depot before being recycled or disposed of, saving you the trouble.

With a recycling centre, on the other hand, you will not be able to fit as much in your vehicle as a skip, and most centres have restrictions on the use of trailers. Once there, you will have to sift through your waste yourself and make sure it goes into the designated area for the items in question. With skip hire, this level of effort and vehicle fuel will be avoided, as well as the extra manual labour involved.

On the flip side of this, if you only have a few items to get rid of, it’s probably worth your time and effort to take a trip to the recycling centre yourself. You will save yourself the money of hiring a skip. Even though it will cost you in fuel, it won’t be anywhere near as much as the cost of skip hire.

Household Waste Recycling Centre Sorting

Man With a Van vs Skip

If you have a bit more waste than you’d like to fit in your vehicle and take to the recycling centre yourself, you could consider using a man with a van over skip hire. The main benefit here is that it will work out cheaper for you. It may also be that you don’t have room for a skip or that you can’t get a permit from the council, in which case, a man with a van will be a much better option. The other benefit of using this service over skip hire is that it is usually quite quick and caters to jobs that are more urgent.

There is a limit to how much this service can do for you, which is normally around 2 cubic yards at a time, which is the same size as the smallest skip available. If you have more waste than this, skip hire is probably a better option, and it won’t require repeat trips. Although a man with a van is a low cost alternative to hiring a skip, if you have more waste, a skip will be more beneficial for you.

Stack of Furniture

The downside to using a man with a van is that you will need to sort your waste before it’s collected. This isn’t so bad if you only have a handful of large items that need clearing or if your waste is not going to be added to. If your waste is going to be generated over the course of a few days, as you might be redoing a room in your house, for example, or you have soil and rubble to get rid of, skip hire will be the go-to choice. You will also not have to sort your waste beforehand, as the skip hire company will do this themselves when they take your waste away.

The Pros of Hiring a Skip

With skip hire, you can expect to benefit from the following positives:

  • Convenient

  • One-off cost

  • More waste

  • Flexibility

Not only is it convenient to have all your waste in one place, you can keep adding to it as and when you need to. Hiring a skip is also a one-off cost, as delivery and collection is all included in the price, saving you the cost of fuel and multiple trips. Since skip hire also comes with the flexibility of multiple size options, you can get the right dimension of skip for the job you have. This also means that you can add more waste to a skip than you would with other waste removal methods.

Read about the skip hiring process here.

The Cons of Skip Hire

The drawbacks of hiring a skip include the below:

  • Space required

  • Capacity

  • Permit may be required

Yellow Skip

Occasionally, you might need to apply for a skip hire permit, which can be a setback and may not be granted, though this is quite rare. You also need to think about the capacity, which you’re not allowed to go over. If you overfill a skip, it can be rejected and you will have to pay for an additional one. It’s also illegal to overfill a skip. Likewise, if you don’t fill it to the maximum line, you’ll be wasting money. You will also need space for a skip in the first place. A skip up to 6 cubic yards will fit on most driveways, while an 8 yard skip is the biggest you can have on a public highway. If you don’t have the space or permit for a skip, this can put a spanner in the works.

Why Hire a Skip?

The main reason for skip hire is if you have a big job and don’t want to sort through your waste yourself. Smaller jobs can be done yourself by going directly to the household waste recycling centre, while slightly bigger jobs can be done relatively easily by a man with a van, but you will also have to sort this.

The variety of sizes you can choose with skip hire makes it the perfect choice for any number of jobs. You can tailor the skip to the size of your job to make sure you’re getting the most value out of hiring a skip. If you’re struggling to fill your skip, you can always be a helpful neighbour and see if anyone else has any waste that they want to get rid of; there will always be something to add.

The flexible options on skip hire also make it beneficial in that you can always extend the length of time you have it on hire. If filling your skip is taking longer than you expected, it isn’t an issue to increase the amount of time you have it for. Skip hire companies are friendly and open as they are offering a useful service.

Still not convinced? See our top five reasons to hire a skip.

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