Skip hire and waste collection in Cambridge, Ely, Newmarket, Haverhill and the surrounding areas
Open: 7am to 5pm • Mon - Fri

When you hire a skip, what can you put in it?

Understanding what you can and can’t put into a skip is essential. It will help you feel confident in your choice of waste removal solution. It will also ensure you don’t get in trouble with your skip provider or waste time by throwing in the wrong type of waste.

If you want to know what you can put in a skip, you’re in the right place. Read our guide to find out more.

What can you put in a skip?

There are some common items that you are more than welcome to place in a skip. These include the following:

  • Garden waste 
  • Scrap metal
  • Household waste
  • Hardcore
  • Rubble
  • Paper
  • Wood
  • General dry waste
  • Plastic
  • Bricks
  • Concrete
  • Soil

List of items that can go into a skip.

What can’t be placed in a skip?

For health and safety reasons, there are also items that you can’t place in a skip. These include the following:

  • Perishable waste
  • Large tree trunks
  • Fluorescent light tubes
  • Mattresses
  • Tyres
  • Medical waste
  • Batteries
  • TV screens or monitors
  • Fridges or freezers
  • Paint or liquids
  • Oil or fuel
  • Aerosols or gas canisters
  • Asbestos
  • Hazardous or toxic waste
  • Explosives

List of items that can't go into a skip.

While the above are hard and fast rules of skip hire, there are other considerations. For instance, if you’re hiring a larger skip, you won’t be able to fill it to the brim with soil, sand, bricks or hardcore. This would make it too heavy. 12 and 16 yard skips are suitable for larger volumes of light but bulky waste. 

In conclusion

Whether you’re a small business, a larger outfit, or a homeowner in need of domestic skip hire, contact Ely Skip Hire today for a no-obligation quote. We’re a registered waste carrier and recycle up to 95% of the waste we collect, meaning you can be confident that your waste is being handled responsibly. 


Ways to reduce a skip fire risk

Ways to reduce a skip fire risk 

Skip fires are a rare occurrence and common around bonfire night in November. However, they remain a risk, particularly when the temperatures rise. A skip fire does pose real dangers to your property and your neighbours. This could also end up causing a considerable amount of damage. 

How to prevent skip fires

The skip should never be used for any fires; there should be no reason you need to burn anything in our skips. We are in our rights to charge for any damage that has been caused to our skips from any fire damage. 

If the skip is on a public road and a fire occurs, there is a chance this could melt the tarmac or road. If this happens, your local authority could charge you for the damage to the public highway and may even consider prosecution. 

Large fires generate huge temperatures so try and bear this in mind when you’re deciding the final location of the skip. It is advisable not to place it under trees or bushes that can cause a skip fire to spread.

Placing a skip in an area that gives emergency services easy access to a blaze can help reduce the amount of damage caused and prevent it from spreading to neighbouring properties. This can be achieved by choosing a site for the skip that is at least 3m from any building.

Accidents happen, and accidental fires can be caused by a discarded cigarette, or flammable products such as gas cylinders, aerosols and half-filled tins of paint, these items are prohibited because of environmental regulations and increase the risk of an accidental fire spreading. 

Finally, it is advisable to arrange for skips to be collected as quickly as possible when full. This reduces the risk of accidental fires starting by giving the waste material less chance to dry out.

Things to consider

  • Don’t burn any waste material in a skip
  • Place the skip at least 5 metres from the nearest building.
  • Never place flammable materials in a skip
  • Seek professional advice when disposing of hazardous waste or bio-waste
  • Arrange for skips to be collected as quickly as possible when full
  • Don’t place skips under trees and keep them away from glass or other flammable structures


If you need our skip-hire services, visit our website today for more. 


Ordering a skip? Here are key things you need to consider

Ordering a skip is easy to do; you pick up the phone, give details, provide payment and then await the delivery of your skip. However, there are more things to take into consideration, such as safety precautions, making things easier for the lorry driver and how to use the skip in a compliant manner.

Things to consider

If you need to order a skip, there are several things that you need to consider. These include:

  • A clearance of 10 feet for our 18 tonne lorries and 8 feet for our smaller lorries. 
  • Avoid placing it on soft, wet areas as this can cause lorries to sink especially when picking up heavy skips.
  • Ensure no neighbours have left their cars, which may restrict access. 
  • On the day of delivery, keep pets and children inside the property, we always advise to give clear instructions to the driver on where you want the skip to be placed.  
  • Before it arrives, ensure the area is clean of rubbish and obstacles, it’s always a sensible approach to check the width of the entrance to your property.

If the skip is to be placed on the road, you will require a permit which we can arrange at an additional cost as these have to be approved by a team at your local government authority. 

Safety precautions

When loading the skip, it’s a better approach to place the heaviest things in first to ensure there is no subsidence when picking up the skip, this is because when lifting the skip it could swing if there is a transfer of weight. This is considered a health hazard and again could cause potential damage to the property and surroundings. 

Hazardous wastes will be found if placed in a skip they could be returned to the address or extra charges will be applied and sometimes labour costs. There is a list that we provide that you can read to ensure you do not place any prohibited items in the skips provided.  

It’s important to remember that not all materials can be placed in a skip. Hazardous waste will need to be disposed of by other means.

There are also some items which need to be disposed of separately, such as plasterboard. If you’re unsure what can and can’t be put in the skip, we’re more than happy to offer guidance.

Overfilling the skip, going past the full line

We ask everyone to ensure the skips are not going past the full mark. It’s a safety hazard, as well as being illegal as there is a risk of waste coming off the back of the skip, potentially causing an accident.

If you’re filling quicker than anticipated and you’re going to have extra waste to dispose of, you can always order another skip.

Do you require our skip hire services? Visit our website now to find out more.


Never choose the wrong skip size again with this ultimate guide

Never choose the wrong skip size again with this ultimate guide

The skip size you need will greatly depend on what you need it for. However, with so many shapes and sizes out there, it can be easy to get it wrong! This handy skip size guide will help you choose the best-sized skip to suit your requirements. If you’re looking for skip hire in Cambridge, look no further than Ely Skip Hire for affordable skip rental near you.

How do you know what size skip you need?

To help you pick the right-sized skip for your project, we’ve created a table with different skip sizes – and what you can use them for.

 Skip Size

What Does It Fit?

 2-yard skip

 Sometimes called a mini skip, 2-yard skips are perfect for home and garden clearances when you don’t fancy the hassle of driving to the recycling centre.

 Waste capacity: 2 tonnes or 20 full bin bags

 3-yard skip

 Still smaller than a traditional builder’s skip, a 3-yard skip will help you get rid of a fair bit of unwanted household and garden waste.

 Waste capacity: 3 tonnes or 25-30 full bin bags

 4-yard skip

 If you’re planning to refit your kitchen or bathroom – or have a large-scale clear-out – a 4-yard skip will be the perfect size.

Waste capacity: 4 tonnes of waste or 30-40 full bin bags

 6-yard skip

‘Small builder skips’ or 6-yard skips are ideal for small home renovation and landscaping projects. They’re also the largest skip size that can be filled completely with heavy  waste e.g. soil waste and brick.

Waste capacity: 6 tonnes of heavy waste or approximately 50-60 full bin bags

 8-yard skip or ‘builder skips’

There’s a reason 8-yard skips are the most popular skip size in the UK. They’re perfect for both residential and trade use, including refits, larger landscaping projects, commercial waste management and industrial waste.

Waste capacity: 8 tonnes of bulky waste or 80 full bin bags

 10-yard skip

Able to handle moderate amounts of light waste, a 10-yard skip can accommodate waste from small-scale construction work as well as items like appliances and furniture. It’s why so many people choose this skip size for office clear-outs and retail store refurbishments.

Waste capacity: 100 full bin bags (light waste only)

 12-yard skip

If you’re dealing with a sizeable amount of waste from a domestic project or commercial application, you need a 12-yard skip to dispose of any excess metal, plastic, and timber. This also goes for big home clear-outs, like if you’re throwing out a double bed and mattress.

Waste capacity: 120 full bin bags (light waste only)

 16-yard skip

The substantial capacity of 16-yard skips makes them ideal for large-scale construction work, home renovation projects and commercial clear-outs.

Waste capacity: 160 full bin bags (light waste only)


Projects come in all shapes and sizes – so why shouldn’t skips? Simplify the waste disposal process with Ely Skip Hire today.

How to Reduce your Construction Waste

How to Reduce your Construction Waste: 7 Simple Ideas

The construction and building industry produces a third of the UK’s waste. Around 85% of the waste is reused, recycled or sent to be recycled for renewal energy.

However more than 12 million tonnes of construction waste is still sent to landfill sites. This also includes over 10 million tonnes of soil and hardcore.

Climate change is greatly affected by solid waste that ends up in landfill. In fact, it contributes to 20% of human-driven methane emissions, due to the decaying process.

The discussion of trying to achieve a net zero carbon emission planet is still something that has been spoken about for years. There’s still debate if the target could be reached, due to landfills. It’s certainly an expansive question.

How can businesses reduce their waste and carbon footprint?

Don’t over order on skips

There are countless skips that arrive into our waste transfer site with unused material. Usually, these come from big sites with a budget going into 6-7 number budgets. Yes, bulk ordering does provide its benefits as you’ll be rewarded a discounted price, however it won’t save you money in the long-run.

Return faulty materials

If building materials cannot be used as they are faulty, they should be returned to the merchant or seller, rather than placed in a skip.

Choose cardboard packaging over plastic

Packaging will end up in the landfill, especially plastic. Opt for a manufacturer that doesn’t wrap all their materials in plastic. Choose one that uses cardboard instead. It can be recycled and reused, helping to reduce the carbon footprint. It’s also cheaper for the waste disposal company.

Timing is everything

Ensure the materials are being delivered in accordance with the time-frame of the building project. Paint, bags of gypsum, cement and various other materials can suffer when exposed to the elements or certain weather conditions. This spoils the product. So, ultimately you end up disposing of the spoiled materials and re-order. This increases the amount of avoidable waste leaving your site.

Waste segregation

If you have the room and the budget allowance, order skips for specific waste, i.e wood, metal and hardcore. If you have metal, this can be recycled by taking it to a scrap merchant, which will also help you to earn money off the waste.

Keep quality off-cuts

Make allowance to keep quality off-cuts of materials that could be used in the future, purchase high quality materials that go further or have a better function for the job you’re carrying out.

Skip loading knowhow

Having an understanding to load a skip will reduce the number of skips needed, saving you money on construction projects. Loading a skip properly and using the skip’s complete capacity will save trips, reducing your carbon footprint.

Looking to hire a skip from a company that recycles most of your waste?

Get your no-obligation skip hire quote from Ely Skip Hire. We regularly serve construction companies in Cambridge, St Ives, Littleport, Downham Market and the surrounding areas. We recycle up to 95% of waste from these companies to help reduce carbon emissions.

How to Avoid Using a Bad Skip Hire Company

How to Avoid Using a Bad Skip Hire Company

There are lots of different waste disposal companies out there. This includes man and van services who provide clearances of your rubbish, and skip companies. But how do you know you’re choosing someone you can trust? We’re outlining some simple checks you can do to play it safe.

Check the company has a valid waste carrier license

Always check if the company or individual you’re using has an up-to-date waste carrier license from the Environment Agency. A waste carrier license can be checked on the Environment Agency’s website. It should be valid.

Check online reviews

Online reviews and testimonials are always easy to access and gain information, a reputable company should be happy to provide a reference if asked.

Be wary of cheap skips

Be wary of cheap skips and waste disposal, the truth is the cost of delivering/collecting and disposing of waste is not at a cheap expense. Any company dealing with disposing of waste should have a good idea of the overheads they face, whether this be insurance, landfill tax or vehicle maintenance.

How much does the company deal with the waste they collect? Are taking an ethical approach and ensuring they recycle a high percentage of the waste they collect?

Unfortunately, over the last 10 years the UK has seen a massive increase in fly tipping. While it is the minority that spoils it for the majority, it’s important to check that you’re dealing with a legitimate and trusted skip hire company to ensure that your waste doesn’t contribute to the fly tipping issue.

In conclusion

These are just some of the things to look out for when hiring a skip, allowing you to sidestep the possibility of hiring a bad skip hire company.

Whether you’re a small business, a larger outfit, or a homeowner in need of skip hire, contact Ely Skip Hire today for a no-obligation quote. We’re a registered waste carrier and recycle up to 95% of the waste we collect.

Complete History of Skips: The Evolution of Waste Disposal

Complete History of Skips: The Evolution of Waste Disposal

Skip hire and waste disposal is now deemed an integral part and process of the construction history all over the world.

It’s believed the first skip-like container was removed from a lorry in the United Kingdom in 1992 possibly in Southport.

The idea was produced by a businessman by the name of Edwin Walker, coming from a lorry manufacturing background he saw the inconveniences of the distances between households and waste transfer sites.

He designed a system using horse-drawn containers that could be pulled by a Pagefield lorry to ensure distances could be covered at a consistent speed.

Inevitably, people saw Edwin’s idea. This inspired other companies to do the same. Some carried out a different approach, scores of applications followed including a system in the late 1920’s featuring a sideways mounted skip in some London areas.

However, as the waste industry started to grow and provide these convenient ways to dispose of waste, it took nearly another 50 years for a skip to be a commonplace commodity on a building site.

Introduction of the modern skip bin

It wasn’t until the 1970’s that the first claimed modern skip bin was introduced to the UK, this claimed to be done by a company by the name of Biffa.

But the first metal skips, that we use today, were seen on the streets of the UK in the 1960s.

Imported by the London based company George Cross & Co, these first skips were imported from Germany, the birthplace of the skip hire industry. It was an innovative solution to the removal of household waste. George Cross effectively created the foundation on which the modern skip industry is based upon.

The culture of how we deal with waste has evolved massively since then.

It was the norm to get a 5-6 cubic yard skip. Now there are many kinds of skips and bins that come in a variety of sizes and applications to deal with the demands and expectations of modern businesses.

Light Waste Vs Heavy Waste – Which Skip Do You Need?

Is Hiring a Skip Better Than Trips to the Tip?

Whether you’re planning a house clearance, some landscaping or a kitchen refresh, you’re likely to have a lot of waste to get rid of. Skips are just the tool for the job, but if you’ve gone to hire a skip and seen mentions of light and heavy waste, you may be left wondering which skip is suitable for your needs.

We’re going to take a closer look at this below. So, if you’re unclear on the difference between light and heavy waste skips, read closely!

What is light waste?

A variety of objects fall under the umbrella of light waste but, as the name suggests, all of them have one thing in common: low weight relative to their size. Examples of light waste include:

  • Green waste like trimmings, branches and plants (NOT soil, we’ll get to that later)
  • Small items of furniture and household appliances, like fridges, microwaves, tables and chairs
  • Lighter building materials, like plywood sheets or bits of wood and timber
  • All other smaller, lighter items, including plastic and cardboard boxes and other paper or plastic items

What is heavy waste?

All things hefty fall into this category – items that weigh a lot given their size. Typical examples of heavy waste include:

  • Soil and sand. Yes, it’s light in small doses, but fill an entire skip with the stuff and it will weigh an awful lot
  • Heavy building materials, like bricks, stone, gravel, tiles, concrete and so on
  • Larger green waste, like rocks, tree trunks and stumps

Which skip do I need?

Because heavy waste tends to take up more space than light waste, you might think a larger 10, 12 or even 16 yard skip would be the best option. Not so. These larger skips have to be weight-restricted, because if they were filled entirely with heavy waste they’d be dangerous to load and transport – no skip lorry could cope!

12 and 16 yard skips can only be filled with light waste – a 10 yard skip is the only one you can load entirely with heavy waste. If you mainly have light waste to get rid of, there’s a handy rule of thumb you can follow. Each ‘yard’ of a skip can accommodate around 10 full bin bags of waste – an 8 yard skip can house around 80 bags, for instance.

We hope that’s been helpful! If you’re still not sure which size you need though – or you’d like to get a quote for skip hire in Cambridge – please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.

Choosing the Right Skip Size For Your House Clearance

Is Hiring a Skip Better Than Trips to the Tip?

Clearing a house is one thing, but once everything is out of the property, you’ll need to dispose of it. That’s where skips come in. Fast, efficient and hassle-free, they could save you countless hours of lugging bin bags to the local tip, making an unenviable task that much easier.

But how do you know which size of skip to hire? With so many options available, this can seem like a tough choice… but in reality, once you know how much each size of skip can hold in real terms, choosing the right size is pretty simple.

That’s precisely what we’re looking at in this article – read on for a quick guide to the most common skip sizes and how much can be stored inside them.

Popular skip sizes

Clearing a smaller property? You might be just fine with a compact 2 or 4 yard skip, the two most affordable options available here in the UK. To give you an idea of how much they can accommodate, a 2 yard skip can house approximately 20-30 full bin bags, while its 4 yard counterpart can house roughly double that – as you’d expect.

Commonly referred to as small builders’ skips, 6 yard skips are one of the UK’s most popular sizes. They can store in the region of 60 full bin bags of waste, while 8 yard skips – the single most common size in Britain – can house in the region of 80 bags.

Noticing a running theme here? Each ‘yard’ of a skip can accommodate roughly 10 bin bags of waste. So, a 10 yard skip, by extension, could be used to dispose of 100 bags in one go.

Choosing the right size

Although it can be hard to estimate which size of skip you’ll need before you start the house clearance, this should become clearer as you progress through the job. How many bin bags of waste are there per room? If you can work out an average, you should then be able to hire a skip that’s a suitable size. If you’re still not sure, it may be worth opting for a slightly larger skip to be on the safe side – at least then you’ll be confident you’ll have enough room to see the job through.

Ready to get a quote for skip hire in Cambridge? It’s easy with Ely Skip Hire. Simply get in touch today with your requirements and we’ll respond with a competitive quote.

Don’t have a driveway? You can still hire a skip

If you don’t have a driveway but have plenty of building waste to remove, you may wonder whether you can still hire a skip. Or, whether you’ll need to take several trips to the tip. In this guide, we’ll review your options and provide straightforward answers to your questions.

Can I put a skip on a shared driveway?

Yes. You can put a skip on a shared driveway. That being said, if your neighbours are home when you have the skip, you’ll want to make sure that you’re not blocking access to their home or parking space.

It’s up to you whether you want to let them know ahead of time about your waste removal project. But, if you want to stay on good terms with the neighbours, it’s best not to leave them in the dark, or to stray onto their side of the driveway. If you’re on good terms with them or know they’ll be away from home, then by all means, place the skip wherever you fancy – the driveway is free for the taking.

Can you put a skip outside someone else’s house?

No. You are not allowed to place a skip onto someone else’s personal property unless you have their permission. You’d probably be confused and angry if a stranger’s skip wound up on your drive, after all.

What about if you’re placing it on a public road, rather than personal property?

You could find that you need to place a skip on a public road, which could be in front of someone else’s property. As long as you are not blocking their drive or placing it anywhere on their territory, you are allowed to do this. You will however, need a permit to place a skip on the side of a road. It’s also polite to notify the homeowner ahead of time.

How can I get a permit?

To get a permit for roadside skip hire, you should contact your local council. Don’t want the fuss of contacting your council? Ely Skip Hire can get your permit sorted for you!

Get your waste removal project underway today. If you’re after great skip hire in St Ives, Littleport or Downham Market, look no further than Ely Skip Hire. We are registered waste carriers and recycle 95% of waste. Contact our team for more information or book your skip online now.


Send us a message and a member of our team will be in touch
website uptime string