Everyone’s Googling ‘skip hire’, so here’s the info you need

A bank holiday gives you an extra days to fill the giant receptable

With the bank holiday rolling in it’s time to roll up the sleeves, take advantage of the extra time off to declutter.

And for many people that means hiring a skip. According to Google, "skip hire" was trending in Dublin this week, which won't surprise anyone in the property game. The long winter has delayed would-be sellers from getting their homes ready, a skip often being an early indicator that a house is being brought to market.

Bargain hunters love the fact that, with a bank holiday, you get three days to fill it before collection rather than the usual two.

Hiring a skip couldn’t be easier. In most instances you can book one online and have it delivered to your door.


If you’re lucky enough to have a driveway, it can be parked out front, which minimises the risk of drive-by dumpers. If you don’t have a driveway, the skip will sit on the road outside, where you must be careful that it doesn’t create a nuisance to other residents or passers-by. Broken glass or protruding timbers could cause injury so the skip needs to be packed carefully. A full skip will inevitably attract “skip divers” – people who rummage for salvage material. On the plus side, this leaves you with more space in your skip, but the disadvantage is that they can disturb a carefully piled arrangement and leave a mess behind.

Finding a skip and what it costs

There are lots of skip options on the market. You just need to work out how much stuff you have to dump. A mid size skip – often called a midi – will take quite a bit of household waste and often presents the best value for a spring clean-type job. You will need this size or upwards if disposing of large bulky items like three and four-seat sofas.

A standard is the size to order if you’re clearing out a house for renovation or sale or a landlord clearing out an apartment after students which accounts for a lot of the clear-outs happening at this time of the year.

Prices vary quite a bit depending on the type and size of the skip or skip bag. Here’s a sample of what you can expect to pay:

The main bin suppliers often offer skip services and will give their own members a preferential rate. Most skip hire companies of the sizes are measured in cubic feet, while some suppliers have simplified it by listing how many black plastic bags each size will take. For instance, a mini, which costs €145 at Thornton Skip Hire can accommodate up to 20 black bags ; a midi skip,slightly larger, from €175 at M50 Skip Hire, can fit up to 30 bags, and could take the excess contents of a small but not too cluttered house while the standard skip, priced from €269 at Greyhound, can accommodate a house kitchen and bathroom refits as well as garden clearance.

Skip bags are a really easy way to clear out small quantities of rubbish. A baby skip bag, €68, from A1 Skip Bags, is a better option and can fit up to 12 black sacks.

A giant skip, the kind you’d hire for major renovations, costs approximate €420 from Greyhoud and can be hired for up to five working days.

Don’t “greedy board”

Before you part with your money there are a few considerations, says Brendan Keane, a consultant with waste management company Curland.

Most people underestimate the volume they need, says Keane, thinking that it will save them money but it ends up costing them more in the long run, so as a rule of thumb, bulky items like furniture and in particular big couches will need a mid-size skip to accommodate them.

Most of us want to pack the skip as high as possible, but Keane counsels against what he calls “greedy boarding”. This is a practice that you see everywhere, where a skip is lined with either doors or widths of timber to create a greater supported height and therefore volume that can be filled. “A skip should only be filled so that the volume is flush with its edges. Transporting anything with a volume greater than this is illegal and your supplier may refuse to pick it up,” Keane says.

Garden or building waste such as soil and stones generally weighs twice its volume, another factor to consider when filling a skip. A one tonne skip bag, for instance, can only be filled to its halfway mark otherwise it will weigh in excess of one tonne and its handles may tear when it is being out of your garden or front yard, Keane says. This may lead to false economies, its contents spilling all over your garden and you having to buy another bag and refilling it.


On average 60 to 70 per cent of the skip’s contents will be recycled, Keane says. “All waste management companies have to have a waste permit number so before you book a provider ask for its waste permit number. This should also be printed on the skip bags that you can but in hardware and DIY stores.”

The longer you leave a skip in your driveway the more it will attract scavengers or be filled by someone else, says Keane. “Every night the contents of your skip will change as scavengers and dumpers take advantage. Those excavating its contents are usually looking for scrap metal and may leave its contents strewn all over your driveway.”

When you spy a skip in a neighbour’s garden or front it is simply good etiquette to knock on his or her door to ask permission before you dump anything in it, Keane says.

He also suggests that neighbours planning to spring clean or delutter club together to order a larger skip at a keener rate but notes that if all you need to dispose of will fit in your car or on the back of a (borrowed) trailer it will always be more cost-effective to dump this waste at a civic amenity site that pay for skip hire.

Can anything go in a skip?

Not so fast. Electrical goods, ie anything with a plug should not be dumped in a skip. Bring to your local civic amenity site instead were you can recycle it for free. And if dumping old computers be sure to remove the hard drive first,

A full list of sites in your area will be listed on your city or county council website. Hazardous waste such as lead batteries and half-full paint cans should not be skipped. Empty paint cans, however, can be skipped.

Some skip companies will not accept old mattresses because thay have to be taken apart and their various components recycled separately.