Where does the Waste in a Skip Go?

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Skips get filled with a variety of waste materials such as: garden waste, building materials, old desks and general waste. But what happens to all this waste after the skip has been collected. In this article we look into where waste goes after it has been put in a skip.

Waste Transfer Station

Once the filled skip is on the lorry it is transported to a transfer station. The transfer station is where, as the name suggest, waste will be transferred out of the skip and the sorting process will begin. The sorting process is where materials are separated into recyclable materials and non-recyclable materials. The purpose of this is to recycle as much as of the waste as possible preventing waste from going to landfill sites.

The sorting process itself will either be done by hand picking or can be highly mechanised with the use of sorting equipment. The larger skip companies will make use of the mechanised sorting machinery, the equipment includes: trammels blowers and magnets.

Sorting the waste allows for materials to be responsibly recycled and allows for ethical waste disposal. When choosing a skip company do some research into their disposal methods, to make sure it is the right skip company.

What Happens to Recyclable Sorted Skip Waste

Recyclable waste materials from sorting include:

  • Scrap metal - metals can be smelted down and reused to manufacture new items. Some scrap metal will even be shipped across sea to countries that will re-us it.

  • Plastic - plastics can be readily recycled and reused for all sorts of new products, even shoes.

  • Building Rubble: Bricks, Concrete etc. - hardcore can be ground down and recycled to make new building materials

  • PVC - PVC in most cased can be treated and reused

  • Glass - Glass can be melted down to make new bottles or new products

  • Garden Waste - Can be sent to specialist facilities to make compost used in gardening.

  • Cardboard and Paper - processed and put back into the manufacturing process

  • Certain materials can even be used to make energy.

What Happens to Non-Recyclable Sorted Skip Waste

Unfortunately not all waste put in a skip is recyclable. Things like upholstered seating, polystyrene and any bio plastics. These materials will either be sent to landfill sites or will be incinerated. Certain waste types like the upholstered seating must be incinerated due to EU legislation. 

What Happens to Hazardous Waste?

Hazardous materials are not allowed to be placed in a hired skip. These materials include:

  • Electrical appliances

  • Tyres

  • Upholstered Seating (including Sofas)

  • Asbestos

  • Harmful Chemicals 

  • Fluorescent Tubes

  • Medical Waste

  • Batteries

  • Filled Paint Tins

  • Oil/Petrol/Diesel

  • Gas Cylinders 

Many of these materials must be dealt with by specialist waste management companies who will have specific equipment to treat the waste and allow for responsible disposal. 

There is a lot of work done by skip hire companies when it comes to ethical disposal. Most skip companies dispose of their collected waste in environmentally friendly ways, due to the high demand of the general public and government. Most companies are showing a greater responsibility for the environment and disposing of skip waste in the correct way.


Author: James Duncan

Date: 12/23/2022

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