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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 and recycle up to 95% of waste 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 or Chatteris, 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.

Avoid Endless Trips to the Tip by Hiring a Skip

Avoid endless trips to the tip by hiring a skip

If you’ve got a big building or home renovating project underway, you might not like the thought of those endless trips to the tip. However, if you’ve got your eye on hiring a skip, you may wonder whether it’s a suitable idea for your project. In other words, is it a worthy rival for the tip?

Is hiring a skip better than trips to the tip?

There are plenty of reasons why hiring a skip can be a more efficient way to dispose of waste than going to the tip. However, it can depend on what you’re looking to throw away. Anything that can’t be put into a skip will need to go elsewhere. And that could be your local tip.

If you’re managing a complete home renovation or building project, you may end up having multiple trips to the tip over many months. Whereas, with a skip, you can load all the appropriate waste into one container on-site. It’s certainly a lot less hassle. However, if you’re only looking to throw away small amounts of waste for a one-off project, say a few bin bags full, then a trip to the tip is more than feasible.

It’s all about choosing the solution that will be the most efficient and cost-effective for your requirements.

That being said, below are some of the benefits of choosing a skip over the tip.

  • Save time on separating waste
    If you’re looking to remove a range of different items, a mixed waste skip could be your best bet. It saves you the hassle of separating all the types of rubbish for the tip. With same-day hiring services available, you also won’t have to wait around.
  • Avoid the risk of damaging your vehicle
    When loading bulky, heavy items, you run the risk of damaging or dirtying your vehicle. Whereas, with a skip, the rubbish can be contained away from your vehicle.
  • Less manual labour
    Skips can be placed near to your building site or property. You also won’t have to worry about loading and unloading onto a car, lorry or van. The waste will be removed by the skip hiring company. So, all you have to do is fill the skip and we’ll take care of the rest.
  • Avoid the long queues and fuel costs
    At busy times, you can easily end up in a long queue for the tip. And, with hefty fuel costs or for building projects where time equals money, you might just be better off hiring a skip.

Looking for Skip Hire in Cambridge? Contact the friendly team online at Ely Skip Hire. By choosing a responsible waste management company that also has an eco-friendly approach, you won’t have to worry about where the waste is going.

Avoid These Common Skip Hire Mistakes

If you’ve not hired a skip before, there’s a lot to get your head around. From applying for a permit to loading the skip safely and making sure you choose the right size in the first place, it can seem a little overwhelming if you’re new to it all.

That’s where we come in! We’re here to help you avoid making the common mistakes we sometimes see new customers making; take a look at the advice outlined below and your first skip hire experience should be a hassle-free one!


First off, you have to make sure you’re choosing the right size skip for your requirements. There’s no need to hire a skip that’s bigger than you need – you’ll just be wasting money.

Equally, hire one too small and you might find yourself frustrated as the end of your project or clearout nears and you begin to run out of space.

If you’re not sure what size you need, you can always contact us. Our friendly team will be more than happy to offer advice and help you choose a skip that’s right for you – don’t be afraid to ask!


Depending on the size of skip you order, you won’t be allowed to add some types of waste to it. Larger skips are only suitable for lighter waste, for instance; you can’t fill a large skip with hardcore and soil, or it’ll be overweight and our trucks won’t be able to load or transport it safely.

There are also a number of different items that simply shouldn’t be put in a skip, full stop.

These include:

  • Oil and paint
  • Batteries and electronics
  • Solvents
  • Petrol and diesel
  • Gas cylinders and bottles
  • Asbestos
  • Clinical or medical waste


Now you’re a little more clued-up on common mistakes, why not explore our different skip sizes? As one of the leading providers of skip hire in Cambridge, we have a whole host of different skips to suit your needs. Order yours from Ely Skip Hire today!


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