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Overloading a Skip: Rules and Risks

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    Posted on 7th June 2018 by Hintons

    overloaded skip next to a house

    It’s easy to underestimate just how much waste a refit, demolition or clearout can generate. If you’re hiring a skip, there are a number of reasons to ensure you select the right skip size for your project, but one reason people often ignore is the chance you’ll overload your skip.

    In this article, we’re looking at the rules and risks behind overloading a skip, and what steps you can take to avoid this during your skip hire period.

    How much is too much?

    You’ve probably passed an overloaded skip or two in your time, and they’re largely pretty obvious to spot. Waste shouldn’t exceed height of the skip walls – you’ll see a thick red ‘fill line’ on most skips, highlighting the upper limit your waste should reach. Stacking mattresses, doors or rubble to raise well above this limit does present issues for the skip provider and the general public.

    Keep a close eye on the raising level of waste in your skip. If you do overfill it, remove waste from the top so that your waste stays below the top of the skip walls.

    Why you shouldn’t overload a skip

    It’s easy to be tempted to overfill a skip if you’re close to the end of the project and realise that your skip is too small. What’s the worst that could happen? Well, put plainly, overloading a skip is unsafe. It is also irresponsible. There are two main issues that arise when you exceed a skip’s fill level:

    • Making the skip too heavy: an overloaded skip is usually too heavy to transport safely. Remember, your skip provider will have to collect your skip by having it lifted back onto their truck. A skip that’s too heavy could make this dangerous – or even impossible. Heavy skips can damage the truck, the lifting mechanisms or the operatives themselves during transportation.
    • Presenting a threat to the general public: waste which extends over the skip walls – overhanging, dangling or protruding away from the skip – could present a health and safety hazard to the public. Again, during lifting and transportation, unsecured waste extending outwards from the skip could fall or shift, harming other drivers or pedestrians. Your skip operator will likely refuse to take away and overloaded skip – and you could be charged for the inconvenience.

    How to avoid overloading a skip

    empty skip before loading

    With just a bit of planning and attention, it’s actually quite easy to avoid overfilling your skip. First of all, make sure you’re hiring the right size of skip for your project.

    Take an inventory or estimate of the waste you’ll need to dispose of in a skip – not including items which cannot be put into a skip – and discuss this with your chosen skip provider. This will give you the most accurate idea as to the most appropriate skip size for your job, meaning you’re not underestimating the scale of the project and choosing a skip that’s far too small.

    You can also avoid overloading your skip by filling it strategically. Here are a few pointers to maximise space in your skip, for the most efficient fill possible:

    • Break up items: If you can dismantle it, do so. Furniture and fittings can usually be broken down into much smaller chunks, and these can fill the void spaces between bulkier objects
    • Start light: Put lightweight objects along the bottom of the skip – cardboard, thin pieces of wood, small cabinet doors and the like
    • Doors and large objects: Put larger waste – such as doors – either laid down flat on top of the lightweight waste, or along the sides of the skip. Ensure they don’t rise above the skip walls, though
    • Heavy on top: Use heavy and bulky items to crush the lightweight items and save more space inside the skip. You can repeat this throughout, building layers of waste to compress and save space as you go

    For prompt, reliable and competitivelypriced skip hire in South and West London, look no further than Hinton’s Waste. With an extensive range of skip sizes to choose from, and a safe, professional service every time, we make waste disposal simple for all kinds of commercial and domestic clearance projects. Contact us today to find out more.


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