How to get the best use from your skip

You can make better use of your skip if you give some thought to what you need to put in it, so start by writing a list. This gives you an idea of the skip size you need, and whether some things need separate handling.

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Plan the order things go in – this makes a difference to the amount that will safely fit. Items that aren’t allowed include asbestos, cathode TVs, paint, oil, tyres, refrigerators and batteries (ask your council for advice about these).

Breaking items up gets more in, so disassemble furniture, flatten boxes, and break up hardcore if possible. Pack in a sensible order – put flat items in first, on the floor or sides, then put the heaviest rubble on the bottom and keep lighter materials until last.

You’ll be surprised how many items mysteriously materialise in your skip overnight. Skips can even be filled before you get started, so cover it. Lockable ones are available. If you allow neighbours to overfill it, a responsible driver will refuse to collect it until you make it safe.

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Alternatives

Public waste collection sites are being encouraged to bring in charges. A CMIOSH spokesperson advises that it isn’t “clear that there is a strong correlation between charging and illegal dumping or that there would.. be a significant increase if charging was introduced”. However, in some areas a person taking a piece of broken slate to a tip can be charged £3 each for the two halves and discover that plasterboard costs more to dispose of than it does to buy. As knowledge of these charges trickles through, fly tipping is inevitable without alternatives.

Skips are most attractive when householders are able to dispose of waste in bulk. Skips are now available in sizes to suit all situations, from quality companies like Swansea skip hire firm, Pendragon Skips (http://www.pendragoncarmarthenshire.co.uk).

Where does it go?

EU regulations define “Best Available Practical Environmental Option” guidelines (BAPEO) that list the preferred options for waste disposal, including reducing packaging, reusing, recycling, energy recovery (electricity from incineration), thermal treatments that generate less CO2, and landfill with methane capture.

Little progress seems possible with the first two. All the others depend upon private or private/public initiatives for waste collection and disposal. Skip hire companies now divert 95% of waste away from landfills.