What can you put in a skip?

What can you put in a skip?

Skips are a convenient and affordable waste disposal solution, but it is important to understand that there are many items that you can not put in a skip. Most of the restricted items include dangerous or hazardous materials, which are banned for safety reasons. Fortunately, there are other ways to disposing of items that cannot be thrown into a skip.

What waste is allowed?

Before hiring a skip, it is important to understand exactly what you can and can’t put into your skip. Whilst there are some small differences between skip providers, this overview will give you an understanding of what most skip providers accept in their skips.

Both legal and practical reasons prevent certain materials from being permitted in skips, and these materials and items must be disposed of separately. It is very important that you understand what items you can and cannot put in a skip, as failure to comply could lead to the skip provider refusing to remove your skip, or charging you significantly more. In some circumstances, failure to comply can even lead to criminal prosecution.

Below is an overview of what is, and isn’t, allowed when you hire a skip in the UK. Please remember that this is just a guide, and rules differ between providers, so if in doubt, please double check with your skip provider.

What you CAN'T put in a skip:

What you CAN put in a skip:

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Understanding the Rules

Even for seasoned builders and regular skip users, the rules regarding what can and can’t be thrown into a skip can be a little confusing. Below we have some more information covering what can be put in a skip and alternative waste disposal for restricted items.

Can you put Asbestos in a skip?

Asbestos is extremely dangerous, and should never be mixed with other waste in a skip. Asbestos is dangerous to your health, and in most cases should be removed and disposed by professionals. It is against the law to improperly dispose of asbestos, so it is vital that you ensure any suspected asbestos containing materials are safely disposed.

Gas Cylinders

Skip firms will not accept gas cylinders, even if they are empty. Even an empty gas cylinder can still potentially be dangerous, and they require specialist removal and disposal. You can normally contact the company that provider the gas cylinder, and they will normally have recycling and collection options available. For more information, check out http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/.

Can you throw Plasterboard into a skip?

Plasterboard is one of the more unusual materials that is not permitted in a skip with mixed waste. Whilst it may appear harmless, plasterboard requires specialist disposal as it can release harmful chemicals when mixed with other waste. There are government initiatives aimed at recycling plasterboard and gypsum waste, as it requires specialist treatment. Many skip providers will accept plasterboard waste, as long as it is the only waste in the skip. Alternatively, you may also request a plasterboard bag, which will help keep your plasterboard and mixed waste separated.


Like most items on the restricted list, batteries require specialist disposal, and there are special regulations that regulate how they are recycled. A battery (no matter its size) contains metals and chemicals that require specific treatment to ensure that skip workers and the environment are not harmed. You can use the BatteryPack organisations website to find out more about recycling batteries.

Medical Waste

Medical waste can not be put in a skip. It requires a licensed professional to correctly dispose of medical waste due to the potentially hazardous nature of this type of waste. You can contact the Department of Health for advice on correctly disposing of medical waste.


You may be surprised to learn that tyres cannot be thrown into a skip. Tyres are difficult to recycle, and require specialist treatment. Fly tipping of tyres is serious problem, and you should be mindful that it isn’t too uncommon for others to try and add items such as tyres to your skip.

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WEEE Recycling

Unfortunately, most skip providers do not allow electrical waste to be put in a skip. There are specific rules concerning how WEEE materials must be disposed. Fortunately, retailers who sell electrical items must provide consumers with a free method of disposing of their old electronics.

WEEE stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, and includes everything from toasters and microwaves to fridges and electric stoves.

Council Recycling Centres

If you have waste that is not permitted in a skip, you may be able to use a local council run recycling centre. These centres are available throughout the UK, and take a large number of different items. They can also help you save money when hiring a skip by reducing the total amount of waste you have – less waste means a smaller and cheaper skip can be hired.

Protect your skip!

You are responsible and accountable for any waste that is in your skip when it is taken away by a skip firm, even if you did not put the waste in it yourself. There are often cases of others filling peoples skips when they are left unattended. If it is likely that others will have access to your skip when it is unattended (such as overnight), you may want to consider a cover or even a lockable skip, to prevent unwanted additions.

Check before you hire

It is important to remember that rules differ between skip providers. The information above is a general guide, and is likely to be similar to most skip providers throughout the UK. However, we recommend that you always ask what you can put in a skip before booking.


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