Don’t Skip These 5 Fun-filled Facts… About Skips! 

When people see the word ‘fun’ in the same sentence as ‘skips’, it might not make much sense, considering skips aren’t exactly the most scintillating of topics. 

These familiar colourful waste disposal carriers are a fairly common site among construction sites, commercial properties and even homes that are having a clear-out. Though, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to skip hire! No seriously, as far as fun facts about skips go, these are actually quite interesting.  

So, have a look below at some of the interesting facts surrounding skips!

1. When Was the Skip Invented? 

skip james wasteYou might be surprised to know that the first commercial skip was introduced in the 1960s. However, people had already designed carts and wagons to serve an almost identical function. Previous skip clones were often expensive to hire/obtain and hard work to function, as there were not trucks or heavy machinery that could shift such weight.

2. The Initial Costs of Skip Hire 

skip james wasteWhen skips (or their equivalent) were first used commercially, their hire rate was slightly cheaper than what you may find online these days. Skips came in one size, and cost roughly £5 to hire-out and an extra 3 shillings for each day of rental. Considering the price, this was actually fairly expensive in the 60s, so it was only the wealthy who had the privilege of using skips to clear their waste. Not only was the hire-out expensive but you also had to pay 7 shillings for your waste to be transported to a dumping site!

3. What Colour are Skips? 

yellow skipWhen skips became more commercially recognised and people began using them more frequently, the government stood in to certify their existence and practice. The year 1971 saw the Highways Act impose regulations on skip use, the most baffling rule was that all skips had to be yellow in colour. Why? Because yellow is the colour that is most visible in the dark, according to several studies. Don’t be shocked or surprised if you see a skip today that isn’t yellow, though! There have been more regulations written since then and many skips now have led lights that help people avoid bumping into them at night.  

4. Why Did the Skip Ever Exist? 

skip hire jamesThe original idea of storing waste in large containers in order to be transported to dumping grounds first originated in Germany. It was many years later that Britain noticed the skip-hype and decided to jump on board. The skip never faced uncertainty in the market, as everyone loved the idea of having someone/a company drag away their unwanted waste for them. 

5. Why is it called a Skip?  

james waste skipYou may be surprised to find out that the origin of the word ‘skip’ came from The Late Old English language. It was derived from the word ‘skep’ which used to refer to a basket, and the word’s origins come from the Old Norse skeppa ‘basket.’  


I hope you found these fun-filled skip facts entertaining! We understand that skips may appear like fairly dull items but it’s always interesting to find out where they came from and how they became so popular! If you’re interested in hiring out one of our skips, feel free to get in touch here! Or, for any other skip-related information, we’d be more than happy to answer any queries you might have! 


Author: Ben Taylor

Eco Warrior! Recycling Buff! Owner of James Waste Management LLP, UK recycling over 90% of waste.

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