Skip Guide: What You Can and Can't Put in a Skip?

You might be surprised at just how much you can put in a skip. From general household waste to building waste, there are many things that can be disposed of in a skip. However, there are also some hazardous items that can't be placed in a skip. If you fill your hired skip with any of these items you could be charged heavily or the skip hire company may refuse to collect the skip.

Follow our guide to dispose all of your waste without a hitch.

What Can You Put in a Skip?

Things that can be put in a skip include anything that is not hazardous waste such as:

  • Construction Waste: timber, rubble and bricks

  • Inert Waste: aggregates and soil

  • General Waste: items that would normally go in your weekly black bin collection 

  • Garden Waste: grass clippings, weeds and shrubbery

  • Paper & Cardboard: packaging or promotional cards 

  • Plastic: plastic bottles, fairy liquid bottles etc. 

  • Household items: furniture and carpet

  • Commercial or Trade Waste: large amount of mixed waste 

  • Metals: from drink cans, foil, bedframes

  • Wood: old wood flooring, scrap wood from DIY 

If you have any of the waste items above that need of disposing a skip could be a great option. 

Are there any Exceptions or Can I be charged for any Items?

Plasterboard is a type of construction waste that can be charged extra and you may even need to hire a separate skip for it. One type of garden waste that may not be allowed in a skip is tree roots. Household waste such as mattresses can be charged extra. Carpet must be less than 10% of the waste in the skip and it can be charged extra.  

What Can You Put in a Skip Summary 

  • Construction Waste 

  • Inert Waste

  • General Waste

  • Garden Waste

  • Cardboard

  • Plastic 

  • Household items 

  • Commercial or Trade Waste

  • Metals

  • Wood 

Follow the list above and your waste disposal should run smoothly. But always check with the waste management company as they may have their own regulations when it comes to their services.

What Cannot be put into a Skip?

Unfortunately, certain items cannot be placed in a skip. Things that cannot be put into a skip are any hazardous waste, so items that could cause harm.

Skips are open-topped, therefore can be accessed by anyone and anything. If a skip is placed on a public road, it cannot contain hazardous materials items that could be accessed by the public. It is also important you don’t put items in the skip that the skip company cannot dispose of. These special items must be disposed of in a particular way by specialist recycling plants. 

If you end up putting these items in a skip, the skip companies will either refuse to collect the skip or will charge you a large fine.

Hazardous Items include:

Electrical Appliances

Electrical items include: televisions, computer monitors, washing machines, fridges, microwaves etc. Due to the WEEE directive all electrical equipment will need to be taken to a registered recycling centre (much better for the environment) and is prohibited from being put in a skip. 


Old car or bike tyres are not allowed in a hired skip. Tyres need to be diposed in a different way to general waste. They can contain toxic materials and need to be recycled.  

Upholstered Seating and Furniture

As of the 1st of January 2023, the Environmental Agency has stated that any upholstered seating must be disposed of as hazardous waste. This is due to upholstered furniture containing POPs (persistent organic pollutants).

Examples of upholstered seating containing POPs include:

  • Sofas

  • Sofa beds

  • Armchairs

  • Kitchen and dining room chairs

  • Stools and foot stools

  • Home office chairs

  • Futons

  • Bean bags, floor and sofa cushions

Therefore certain types of furniture, like the ones listed above, cannot be put in a skip. Any upholstered seating must be taken to a hazardous waste centre and incinerated. 


Asbestos has been used in construction work for many years before it was known to cause health issues. Asbestos is one of the most hazardous materials that can come from a renovation project. Asbestos must never be placed in a skip and will require specialist disposal. There are asbestos removal services out there that will get rid of it for you, hiring them may save you some peace of mind, knowing it has been disposed of properly. 

Harmful Chemicals

This includes anything that could be harmful to other people and the environment. Common examples would be solvents and glue. Contact your local council who can give you advice on the best way of disposing these items. Do not get rid of them in a skip. 

Fluorescent tubes 

The tubes are not allowed to go in a skip as they contain mercury which if released can cause toxic fumes. Ask your local council on how best to dispose of them.

Medical waste

This includes any biological waste or bodily fluids. The disposal of this type of waste must be done by a licensed medical waste disposal company and should not be put in a skip.


Batteries contain battery acid which is harmful, therefore can not be put in a skip. Batteries need to be taken to your local recycling centre. Getting the batteries recycled is the best route of disposal and much better for the environment.

Paint Cans & Paint Tins

Do not put paint filled tins into a skip. The chemicals in the paint can be harmful. The filled tins will need to be disposed at a disposal centre or local tip. 


These substances are extremely flammable and should never be put in a skip. To get rid of any of these items you will need to contact your local licensed disposal centre. 

Gas Cylinders & Used Cylinders

Gas Bottles can not be put in a skip. Used cylinders can be taken to recycling centres to be recycled. Another way to have them disposed is to take them back to the business you bought them from.

Animal Waste 

No animal waste can be put into a skip. This includes deceased animals, fur, feathers and excrement. Animal waste needs to be disposed of in a specialised manner. The handling of this waste can be highly dangerous due to the spread of disease. 

What Can't be put into a Skip Summary 

  • Electrical appliances

  • Tyres

  • Upholstered Seating (including Sofas)

  • Asbestos

  • Harmful Chemicals 

  • Fluorescent Tubes

  • Medical Waste

  • Batteries

  • Filled Paint Tins

  • Oil/Petrol/Diesel

  • Gas Cylinders

  • Animal Waste 

Hiring a skip can be expensive so make sure you do not put any of the materials listed above into a skip. If you do, the skip company will make contact and either refuse collection or charge you more. 

We hope this guide was helpful when understanding what can and what can't be disposed in a skip. If you are unsure if something can go in the skip, general rule of thumb is contact the skip hire company first to see their prohibited items. Each skip hire service may have different rules. 

And if someone now asks you, "What can you put in a skip?" you can now answer

Author: Spencer Murphy

Date: 7/5/2022

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