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Junk Clearance Service vs Skip Hire

25th July 2013 by Alessandro Maccioni

Whether you have business premises or simply an overcrowded home, there are often times when you need to clear out some junk.

You may be having some building work done, or clearing out the garden. Perhaps you’ve just moved into a new place or are about to do so.

If you run a business, you could be refurbishing, refitting or simply clearing a warehouse or other storage space. Whatever the reason, junk has a habit of accumulating – either suddenly or slowly over time.

When it does, there are a number of ways to get rid of it. If you have your own transport you might take a trip to the tip yourself, although this can be hard work, time consuming and is often only suitable for small amounts of junk. There may be dumping fees to pay and you have to know where to go. Not all dump sites are the same and you may have to sort your junk to go to different collection points.

A yellow skip in a parking space.

This skip has had to get council approval to be in this location.

For bigger clearances, or where getting rid of junk yourself is either too inconvenient or simply not possible, there are two main options. You can employ a junk clearance service or you can hire a skip. But which one is best for you?

Hiring a skip

When you hire a skip, the skip hire company will deliver it and leave it for a set length of time. There are three basic sizes to choose from – mini, midi and builders’ skips – although there may be some variations within these three basic categories.

Once the skip is delivered, that’s it. It is your job to fill it properly and without breaching any regulations. Then, at the end of the agreed time, the skip hire company collects it.

Skip permits

Before delivering a skip, either you or a registered skip hire company must obtain a permit from the relevant local authority if the skip is to be situated on a public highway, footpath or verge.

This can sometimes be a problem, depending on your requirements and location. You might be lucky enough to live or work in a location that isn’t problematic in terms of obtaining a permit but in a relatively cramped city like London, there are many locations where a skip simply isn’t suitable.

Sometimes a permit may be refused altogether. In other circumstances there may be a delay in obtaining one as the council weighs the situation and arranges a site visit.

Some typical conditions that could affect whether permit is granted include the location of the skip, its dimensions and how visible it is to traffic. The contents of the skip can also affect whether a permit is granted or not, as can the arrangements for its removal.

In terms of location, anything from the width of the road it is on to its proximity to a school can have a bearing on the Council’s permit decision. If you plan to keep it on an A road, a high street or even a B road, this can also have an impact.

Junk clearance services

Employing a junk clearance service is simple. You give an indication of the type and volume of junk you need removing and arrange a time for the clearance service to visit.

Using a junk clearance service in London, or anywhere for that matter, could not be simpler. They load your junk up and take it away – it’s as easy as that.


There are several clear advantages in choosing a junk clearance service over skip hire. Firstly, there are a number of things you can’t get rid of in a skip, including fridges and freezers, tyres, TVs and liquids.

Once a skip has arrived you are limited by the size you have ordered. Many people underestimate and overloading a skip – even if you ‘buttress’ the sides – is illegal.

Men tossing rubbish into their truck.

This is a less stressful way of removing lots of rubbish.

Junk clearance services are usually cheaper than hiring a skip and the amount you pay is based on the amount of junk you need cleared, rather than three basic set fees.

For many people however, the best part of using a junk clearance service is that they don’t have to do the work themselves! Filling a skip can be arduous work and if there are large heavy items, stairs and tight spaces involved, it can be even harder.

Junk removal specialists are adept at getting those bulky items through tight spaces and will usually get the job done quicker than you could manage yourself. They’ll even clean and sweep up behind themselves.

Skips can be useful for an ongoing waste situation, such as during extended building work. In most cases however, junk clearance services offer a quicker, cheaper and far more convenient option.