What Can or Cannot be Put in a Skip?

April 12, 2024|News

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If you’re in the middle of a house move, garden renovation, or maybe you just have too much clutter lying around, hiring a skip can be a lifesaver.

However, most skip-hire companies have restrictions on what materials can or can’t be placed into their skips.

There are several reasons why certain materials can’t be placed in skips, which we’ll touch on later, but it’s largely due to safety, environmental protection, and specific laws and regulations.

A yellow Towens skip in there yard.

What materials can be put in a skip?

At Towens, a vast range of materials can be placed in our skips. Here’s a full list of what we can and can’t take.


Wood: We offer a dedicated 12-yard wood skip, which is a great option if you’re looking to get rid of a large amount, or maybe an old bed or door.

Stone and soil: We offer soil and stone-only skips in two, four, and six-yard skip sizes.

Recycled Screened Topsoil

Paper: Paper is also a permitted material for skips, and Towens will ensure it won’t go to waste. Once collected, it is sorted by a machine, and once cleaned it is stockpiled and transported to a suitable recycling facility in line with our sustainability values.

Plastic: The same thorough recycling process happens with plastics. Whether they’re taken to a recycling facility to be turned into another product, or as fuel stock for waste to energy plants, they won’t be discarded or harm the environment in any way.

General Waste: Any general waste that can’t be recycled is loaded onto a large ejector trailer and transported to a local landfill site. General types of waste can include plastic packaging that isn’t recyclable, broken crockery, textiles, etc.

Sand: Sand is also allowed in a standard skip, as it won’t react with other materials, decompose, or release harmful substances.

Grit sand

Cardboard: Cardboard is a highly recyclable material, making it a great option to place in a Towens skip.

Metals: The same goes for metals, with common options including aluminium, steel, and copper. Like sand, paper, cardboard, and plastic, metals are appropriate for a Towens general waste skip.

Not Permitted

Electrical equipment: All electrical items or appliances, including microwaves, televisions, and electric cookers, are banned from skips due to the safety risks they pose as well as their negative impact on the environment. This is the case with most, if not all skip companies.

Asbestos: Asbestos poses great danger, and as a result, we don’t accept it in our skips. Usually, you should call upon a specialist disposal or specialist collection company for an asbestos clear out.

Batteries: Batteries pose both environmental and safety risks, so as a result are forbidden.

Gas cylinders: Gas cylinders, regardless of the material they’re made from, also pose environmental and safety risks, and are therefore not permitted on skips.

Paint tins: Paint tins can contaminate other general waste as well as harm wildlife and ecosystems, so we don’t allow them in skips.

Fluorescent tubes: Fluorescent tubes can’t be put in a skip as they contain mercury. Mercury is a toxic metal that can be harmful to the environment and human health if not disposed of properly.

Plasterboard: Plasterboard can’t go in skips either, mainly due to its chemical makeup. When plasterboard mixes with general waste and gets wet, a chemical reaction called putrefaction occurs. However it can still be recycled, and we advise it gets taken and stored by plasterboard manufacturers.

Fridges/freezers: Both fridges and freezers contain refrigerant gases that can be harmful to the environment, contributing to climate change if they leak.

Tyres: Landfills aren’t ideal for tyres, as they take up a lot of space and don’t decompose easily, so we kindly request that they aren’t put in our skips.

Pressurised containers: Pressurised containers, such as aerosol cans, fire extinguishers, and spray paints are also not permitted.

Food waste: The same goes for food waste, which can attract unwanted pests such as rodents and insects.

Liquids of any description: Liquid waste can also be harmful, so we ask for those not to be placed in our skips.

Towens skips on the road.


Towens Skip Hire Services

We provide a skip-hire service in Somerset that is efficient and responsive to the needs of domestic and commercial customers. Boasting competitive prices, our fleet of skip and hook and life lorries supply the skips and containers within 24 hours, whether you want to book via our online form or over the phone.

We’ve got thousands of skips ranging in size, from two to twelve yards, with your household waste guaranteed to be recycled if possible.

As well as a range of skips, we also provide waste management services, tipper, grab, and sweeper hire, and much more. If you have any queries, our friendly customer service team will be happy to answer them on 01934 424242, tippers@towens.co.uk, or by filling out our contact form.

We’re a family-run business based in Weston Super Mare, and love helping our local community. With over 30 years of experience, our values include sustainability, being responsive and reliable, as well as personable.

Towens team