Whether they’re empty or full, it’s fair to say that skips aren’t the prettiest things in the world to look at; even less so when they’re overloaded. Aside from that, it’s illegal for a skip company to transport a skip if it’s dangerously overfilled. If you’ve weighed up the options of a skip vs our rubbish removal service and have opted for a skip, read more about what you’ll need to know here. 

Common issues

You’ve probably seen skips that have been overloaded on the odd occasion as you travel around. It’s a common problem that most London skip hire companies are all too familiar with. There are numerous reasons why clients overload their skip so we’ll mention a few here:

  • Underestimating the size of skip you’ll need
  • Lack of awareness that they shouldn’t be overloaded
  • Lack of knowledge of the weight a skip can hold
  • Trying to save money by booking a smaller skip than you actually need

Let’s take a brief look at each of these points. Underestimating the skip size required is common so try and get an idea of the amount of rubbish and waste you intend to get rid of prior to booking. Make a visual survey beforehand of what you intend to put in it and try to imagine the space your rubbish will take up once it’s in the skip.

It may sound counterintuitive, but some people simply aren’t aware that a skip mustn’t be overloaded. They’ll try to cram as much in as possible and use techniques to make the skip higher such as using doors, fence panels or even mattresses to increase the height of the skip walls.

Lack of awareness as to the skip’s weight capacity is another problem. Since the skip on your drive or outside your property has to be lifted on to the truck when full, a skip that’s too heavy can damage the truck and its hydraulic lifting mechanism. It can also make the truck illegal on the road due to the gross weight limit being exceeded. Certain skip sizes are only suited to certain types of rubbish. For example, if you’ve had the garden landscaped or have just finished a renovation, your intended load may consist primarily of soil, clay, rubble or concrete. Even if you only fill a 12-yard skip to the “fill line” with this type of waste, it’ll technically be overloaded by weight alone. For this type of heavy waste, you shouldn’t book a skip that’s larger than 8 yards.

Trying to save money by booking a smaller skip than you need is a false economy and will ultimately end up costing you more in the long run. The skip company won’t take it if it’s overloaded so you’ll still have to book another one anyway. They may even want to charge you for wasting their time by booking a collection that breaks the rules. Even if you have to take items out to get it under the weight or height limit, they may also charge you waiting time while you unload some of the excess rubbish.

Dangers of an overloaded skip

An overloaded skip can be dangerous to passers-by, traffic or even your own neighbours. Although it doesn’t happen often, your unwanted rubbish can quite easily fall out of your skip if it’s not secure. If there is rubbish that protrudes from the side, it can get clipped by passing vehicles and damage property and people, which could ultimately end up in a court case. Similarly, if it’s a windy day, rubbish can get blown out into the road. Rubbish doesn’t have to be heavy to injure someone. Sheets of glass and small, sharp objects can easily end up hurting someone if they’re not disposed of properly. In other words, there’s a reason that most skips have a “fill line” on the side that shouldn’t be exceeded!

How to load your skip efficiently (and save money!)

There are a few techniques that can save you money when you load your skip. You’ll no doubt want to fit in as much as possible so try to be mindful and what items should go in first and how they should be put in. It may sound like common sense, but many people aren’t aware of this simple trick. You’ll often see skips with things like chairs and doors thrown on top when it could be more efficient to put them in earlier rather than last. If you have a combination of light and heavy items, put the light rubbish in first. By putting in the heavy waste last, you’ll compress and compact the lighter items beneath. It’s also worth considering if some of the bulkier items can be flattened. If it’s a chair, saw it up into smaller pieces, if it’s a chest of drawers, smash it up first.

Skip alternatives

Skips are ideal for many scenarios, especially if you’re doing building or renovation work at home and want to fill the skip slowly. If you have a lot of very large, bulky items of rubbish such as sofas or wardrobes, it could work out cheaper to hire a London rubbish clearance company instead. Many waste management companies charge by the amount of rubbish they collect so you’ll only pay for what they take. They’ll also do the lifting and carry too so you won’t even need to break a sweat.

You’ve hopefully found this post helpful but if you still have unanswered questions, either give us a call or drop us an email and we’ll be happy to answer any general rubbish or safety questions you have.


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