Is it illegal to take waste from a skip?
You might be familiar with the phrase, ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ which suggests that anything thrown into a skip is ‘fair game’, however, there are some need to know facts about skip diving before you go hunting for your treasure.
It’s important that you invest in reliable skip hire if you have a large amount of waste that you need to remove from your property, a reliable skip hire company should also always advise you or what you can or cannot put into a skip. But where does the land lie when someone wants to take some of your waste out of the skip?
1 - Check it’s really being disposed of
Just because an item ends up in a skip, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s being disposed of. If someone is having a big old clear out, they may be using their skip for temporary storage of items before reorganising everything for the skip. Old construction materials may also be about to be recycled for a future project by tradesmen too.
2 - Where is the skip located?
Generally speaking, a skip is found on someone’s driveway – this way they don’t need to obtain a permit from the council to place the skip on the side of public roads. Strictly speaking, if you’re rummaging in someone’s skip on their driveway, you’re trespassing on private property and the property owner may wish to take legal action. If the skip is on public land, the contents will still belong to the person who hired the skip until it’s removed.
3 - Mind your manners
There is absolutely nothing wrong with approaching a homeowner and asking if you might be able to have something out of their skip if they’re disposing of it anyway. Just a friendly knock at the door and polite question can remove any question around legality so you can bag yourself some treasure after all.
To summarise, it is illegal to remove any item from a skip whether it’s on private or public land. However, approaching the skip hirer to ask if you can take something isn’t out of the question, especially if you’re likely to be saving items from going to waste or ending up in the recycling centre.
Reliable skip hire companies will often advise you on the best location for a skip if you want to ensure people aren’t helping themselves to the contents. It’s also possible to use reliable skip hire with lockable lids and doors if you’re using a skip as temporary storage for some of your items.
Prince Recycling Ltd is your local and reliable skip hire service for domestic and commercial customers, providing our services within a 15 mile radius of Great Dunmow in Essex.