Need to Know

The 8 big things you need to know before you book a skip!
Frequently asked questions

Before you hire a skip

“How do I find a good skip hire company?”

It’s not easy to find a good skip company – unless you know someone in the trade personally or have a recent recommendation.  The phone book, for instance, is full of identical-looking skip companies with identical looking ads.

Here’s a tip, though: the good ones (like Tom White Waste) operate their own licensed waste transfer stations (regulated by the Environment Agency) and are members of accredited Waste Management institutions (a professional body that promotes education and raising standards in waste management).

The bad ones are just cowboys that often fly-tip your waste and therefore add to your council tax bill – ‘cos the councils are the ones who have to clean it up!

Did you know? “Every 35 seconds, somebody, somewhere is fly-tipping in the UK.”

This figure is so high because so many people opt for the cheapest skip hire or “man with van” they can find. Because these cowboys cannot afford to dispose of the waste properly, it ends up costing all of us more money.

“What actually happens to my rubbish when they take it away?”

Three things can happen to your rubbish and it’s important to know what they might be:

  1. If you use a cowboy they’ll probably just fly-tip it in a wood or country lane and leave the council to clean up (and you, the council tax payer to foot the bill)
  2. A reputable skip company will take the rubbish to a land-fill and pay tax to put it in an over-crowded landfill
  3. A company with a real commitment to recycling like Tom White Waste will separate the waste into recyclable and non-recyclable materials THEN, once we’ve recycled everything we possibly can we process your waste into green fuel with only the very smallest residue going to landfill.

Landfill space in the UK is running out fast. We all need to keep rubbish out of landfills for the sake of our children and country.

The bottom line is – the cheaper the skip, the less likely it is that the waste is being responsibly managed.

“Why do I need to care?”

Because in the eyes of the law you are responsible for your rubbish.  You need to know who collects it and what they’re going to do with it.  It’s called a Duty of Care.  Legally speaking, if a cowboy skip hire company fly-tips your waste YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE and if you want to know what Coventry City Council think of fly-tipping go here.

At Tom White Waste when we collect your skip we’ll give you something called a Transfer Note that shows you exactly what we’ll do with your waste.  100% peace of mind.

“How do I get them to turn up on time?”

Skips are notorious for being delivered either very early or very late.

That’s for two reasons: firstly, skip collection and delivery can be tricky as many skips are over-filled so can’t be collected, or have the wrong things in them (like hazardous waste).  Problems like this can really ruin a skip-lorry driver’s day.

The second problem, though, is caused by naughty people at skip companies telling you what you want to hear so they can get your business.  They just take your money and run!
At Tom White Waste we have Vehicle Tracking Systems in our skip delivery lorries.  This means that we can give you accurate delivery times to within two hours – even with the very best of technology you can’t expect skips to work like taxis.

“How much can I get in my skip?”

We put fill levels on skips for a reason – and it’s because we are legally bound to not carry unsafe loads.  Unfortunately many people order smaller skips than they need in order to save a few quid.

So play safe and order a larger skip than you think you need because you will always fill it – just don’t go over the line!  We unload over 15,000 skips a year so we really know what we’re talking about.

“Should I pay cash?”

Skip hire is one of the very few businesses left in the country where the majority of business is done in cash.

I’m afraid you don’t have to be a genius to work out why.  Lots of skip companies don’t want to pay tax.  Lots of skip companies don’t want to have to pay to dispose of waste properly.  Lots of skip companies don’t want to leave you with a leg to stand on should you be unhappy with their dodgy service.  That’s not how skip hire works at Tom White.  We do everything properly including taking credit card payments.

“Can I put my skip on the street?”

Yes you can BUT you need to get a permit from the council first and that costs a few pounds.

We’re more than happy to sort the permit for you – we arrange for dozens of these every month so it’s not a problem. There are two things to bear in mind though: how long it takes to sort out and how much it will cost.  Different councils charge different amounts and some are faster than others at processing permits.

“What size skip do I need?”

Booking the wrong size of skip can be a real pain – you incur double the cost because you have to get another skip delivered and you have to wait around again for the collection and delivery.

Here’s our sizing guide:


2 Yard Mini Skip
This is for a small clear-out. It will hold about 25 full bin bags.

3 Yard Midi Skip
This is popular for the typical room clearance.  It will hold more like 35 full bin bags.

4 Cubic Yard Skip
This is more suitable for bulky waste or a bigger household job. This will hold up to 45 full bin bags plus.

7.3 Cubic Yard Builder’s Skip

This is the classic builder’s skip and is popular for big house or garden clearances.  You could get 70 full bin bags in here.

If you have an even bigger clear-out to do you could use one of our large skips – many people hire 10 or 12 cubic yard skips and we have skips of up to 40 cubic yards if you have a really big job on your hands.  Just call us if you’re not sure what you need.