Skip Hire Permits and Regulations

Clearing out junk and rubbish from the home and garden should be a simple process but there are certain things that need to be taken into consideration. Hiring a skip is the obvious starting point but even that needs to be planned and thought through. Even filling the skip is not as simple a procedure as it sounds as there are rules, regulations and guidelines that MUST be followed.

Do I Need a Permit for a Skip?

In all likelihood the answer is YES! A permit or licence is required by law if the skip is going to be placed on a public road. In most cases the skip hire company will take care of the paperwork and include the licence fee in the total price charged. However, this is not the case with all local councils and you may have to apply in person. If you have enough space to put the skip in a driveway or on your own land a permit is not necessary. In congested urban areas it may not be possible to place a skip on the road and your skip hire company can offer alternatives such as skip-bags or wait while you load up. Be aware that unlicensed skips can be removed and will likely incur a fine.

How Much Does a Skip Permit Cost?

Prices vary greatly depending on where in the United Kingdom you live. London, as expected, tops the list with permits averaging around £50 while it can be as low as £10 in Liverpool. On top of this the skip hire company can add an administration fee of £10 and there may also be a VAT charge. Another possible expense to be aware of is “parking suspension fees”. These occur when skips are placed in controlled parking zones and can cost £80 a day in London.

Are There Other Costs?

The cost of hiring a skip depends on the size you require, the length of time it is required for and the price of the local council permit. This will be stated in the quote from the skip hire company but further costs may arise in fines if you fail to follow required safety regulations or dispose of prohibited items. For example, you cannot overload the skip or leave items protruding from the sides. Safety lights and reflective markings may also be required for skips placed on the road. There is also a long list of items that cannot be placed in a skip including some everyday objects such as light bulbs and paint tins.

Don’t risk hiring a skip from unlicensed companies who may offer their services at extremely low rates. If something goes wrong you are responsible and could end up paying massive fines. Skip hire companies should be registered with the Environment Agency if they are to deliver a legitimate and approved waste disposal service. Be sure you understand exactly what can and cannot be placed in a skip. Mistakes are easy to make but can be costly so always ask if you are not sure!

The Benefits of Hiring a Skip

While everyone agrees that hiring a skip is an easy way to dispose of waste, many also feel that they should really do it themselves if they are able to. Of course, for small amounts requiring just a few sacks, that’s correct. For significant amounts of waste, however, such as from renovation work, garden makeovers, or property clearance, hiring a skip offers many more advantages than simply making it easier.

Convenience

While you can dispose of any amount of waste materials and items yourself, hiring a skip, saves you a lot of time and effort. The skip-hire company will deliver the skip and leave it with you. You only have to carry the waste to the skip and dump it inside; you don’t even need to sort it. When you’re ready, the skip-hire company will come and collect the full skip, sort your waste by type and dispose of it appropriately. By contrast, disposing of a large amount of waste yourself involves gathering it into many separate bags or sacks, taking care to sort different materials into different containers, loading them into your car or van, transporting them to your nearest recycling or waste disposal centre and dumping the sack contents into the appropriate waste areas for your types of waste. That’s a lot of effort, and if it involves making many to-and-fro trips, then it’s also costing you a lot of time.

Economy

Most people agree that skip hire is convenient, but many feel it’s a luxury they can’t afford, or, rather, an expense they can’t justify. In fact, depending on various factors including the amount of waste involved, the distance it needs to be carried to be disposed of and the number of trips involved, it can work out cheaper to hire a skip. That’s even more true if you have to hire a van to make those trips.

Safety

Sorting waste into many bags or bins for disposal involves more contact with it, which increases the risk of injury from sharp edges or hazardous substances. Another safety advantage shows itself in work sites or even gardens where the waste accumulates on-site waiting for a convenient time to get rid of it. Having it lying around the site can present a safety hazard and looks untidy, whereas keeping it all in the skip makes for a safer and cleaner working area.

Environment

Skip hire is good for the environment because skip-hire companies are legally obliged to dispose of your waste responsibly. As professionals, they know how to sort waste so that it can be correctly disposed of in the appropriate areas of recycling centres. The general public are also encouraged to use recycling centres, of course, but many are unsure how to sort their waste, so some of it may end up in the wrong receptacles where it can present a hazard. Skip-hire companies have the expertise needed to sort and dispose of your waste efficiently and in the eco-friendliest manner.

 

Environment Secretary Urged to Reconsider Resource Strategy

In July 2017, Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced plans for a renewed strategy on waste and resources. However, in the latest version of its Residual Waste Infrastructure Review, published in August 2017, resource efficiency consultancy Eunomia urges Mr. Gove to concentrate on the higher, more favourable stages of the so-called waste hierarchy, rather than the recovery of energy from waste materials.

According to the waste hierarchy, which is defined in The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011, the recovery of energy from waste materials is considered favourable only to disposal – an absolute last resort – and less favourable than recycling, reuse or waste prevention. Furthermore, a recent study by Eunomia, which has been monitoring the growth of residual waste treatment facilities since 2009, suggests that the United Kingdom will reach excess capacity, in terms of energy from waste, within the next three or four years. The residual waste treatment capacity has already more than doubled, from 6.3 million tonnes to 13.5 million tonnes, since 2009/10, according to the study.

Even in the best-case scenario, where only the waste treatment facilities already under construction are completed and operate at full capacity, Eunomia claims that the recycling rate would be limited to 63%. If 40% of the waste plants at the planning stage are built and operate at full capacity, the recycling rate would be limited to 57%. Both scenarios assume that the amount of waste exported as Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) remains constant at its current level.

Even if the United Kingdom hits existing and future targets for recycling, which will reduce the amount of residual waste, excess capacity could reach 9.5 million tonnes by 2030/31, according to the study. If the country hits existing household recycling targets for 2020 and the recycling rate remains constant for the next decade, the current waste treatment capacity appears sufficient, Eunomia claims, allowing for a modest increase in commercial and industrial recycling, even if no waste is exported as RDF.

In June 2017, the resource and waste management Trade Association Group (TAG) wrote to the recently appointed Secretary of State, calling on him to reverse the decline in recycling rates. TAG brings together organisations from across the sector, including the Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA), the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), the Renewable Energy Association and other influential bodies. Mr. Gove has already committed to publishing the 25 Year Environmental Plan for the Environment, which was delayed by the vote to leave the European Union and the subsequent General Election.

How to Control Waste at Work?

Waste is a product of every business or workplace. Dealing with this waste inefficiently can cost money, damage the environment, and affect an organisation’s reputation. An effective waste management strategy is an important tool for avoiding unnecessary spending and demonstrating corporate social responsibility.

The law applicable to waste

In the UK, the management of commercial or industrial waste is covered by the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Enforcement of this act has been the responsibility of the Environment Agency (EA) in England and Wales since 1996. In Scotland the role is carried out by the Scottish Environmental Protection agency (SEPA). The act defines controlled waste as waste from households, commerce or industry. Waste is legally defined as ‘any substance or object…which the producer or the person in possession of it discards or intends or is required to discard.’

Since the definition of controlled waste is so broad, virtually every workplace will produce waste that is covered by the act. Organisations have a duty of care to ensure that the waste is identified, described in writing, and disposed of safely and legally.

Dealing with waste

The European Waste Framework defines a waste hierarchy which sets out the preferred order of measures to deal with waste. These are listed below:

  • Prevention, i.e. reducing the amount of waste produced or limiting its environmental impact
  • Preparing for re-use, e.g. repairing equipment or furniture
  • Recycling, i.e. turning into a new product
  • Other recovery, e.g. energy recovery
  • Disposal

The first two measures are preferred because they avoid producing waste in the first place. Prevention can be achieved by extending the life of products, using less of them, or by using less harmful materials. Preparing for re-use means cleaning or repairing an item so that it can be re-used for its original purpose. Recycling and other recovery are means of disposal that produce a useful end result such as new products or energy. Disposal is the least preferred option as the waste is put into landfill or incinerated with no useful by-products.

Developing a waste management strategy

To develop an effective waste management strategy, it is necessary to identify the types of waste, or waste streams, produced in a workplace. There are many possible waste streams such as general refuse, paper and cardboard, glass, metal, plastic, construction waste, and so on. It is a legal requirement to separate certain recyclable products from other wastes. These include paper, glass, plastic, and metal.

Having identified the waste streams in the workplace, it is now possible to conduct an audit of the amount of waste produced and the costs of dealing with it. The result can be compared with industry standards and best practice. Any opportunities to minimise waste should be utilised.

Once effective policies and procedures are in place to manage and reduce waste, the strategy should be reviewed at regular intervals to determine if any improvements are possible.