Disposing of household waste has been a notable problem facing homeowners since Covid-19 lockdown measures were introduced in March. Tips and recycling centres were among the businesses to close their doors, leaving households without a valuable resource.

Waste and rubbish collection facilities are still operating across the UK, but several councils have reported sharp rises in illegal fly-tipping. MPs and councillors have since pleaded for tips to reopen, providing measures are introduced to allow for social distancing.

And the plea has worked, to an extent. Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council announced last week that all its recycling centres will reopen, albeit with temporary restrictions in place to allow for social distancing. And some centres will reopen in Manchester during the next two weeks, Greater Manchester’s Mayor Andy Burnham revealed on Wednesday.

However, depending on where you live, your local recycling centres may remain closed for the foreseeable future. And if you’ve been using lockdown to make home improvements, or were in the middle of a building project, you will likely be left with building waste on top of your everyday household waste, so here are some tips to make the most of a rubbish situation.

Can You Hire a Skip During Lockdown?

Yes. Many skip hire companies and comparison sites remain operational, including SkipHire, Biffa and Skip Hire Comparison. However, the template message to expect is that delays are likely, due to demand problems and delays in fulfilling orders. 

Alternatively, those with smaller amounts of waste could consider hiring a skip bag. Skip bag services are ideal if you’ve been performing DIY tasks and you’re looking to remove anything from old bathrooms and kitchens, garden waste, as well as soil and rubble.

Contact-free delivery and collection companies such as Hippo Waste, Clearabee Skip Bag or Skipbag will deliver a strong bag to your house and collect it from your driveway once it’s full. On average, you can expect to purchase a 90cm x 90cm x 90cm bag for £110-£135, which is delivered and collected from your home. 

Harry Lloyd, head of marketing at Hippobag, said: “We are open for business as normal and aiming for all collections to be made in five working days.

“With a range of Hippobag sizes to suit every need we can support all requirements, removing waste from all manner of home or garden projects. Our unique craned fleet allows for a contactless pick up to ensure we adhere by the social distancing guidelines.”

Hippobag also recommends making the most of your space. “Fill up items that can’t be broken down to ensure there is no wasted space in your bins. And aim to use every square centimeter of space you have.”

Be Creative With Building Waste

In addition to using a skip or skip bag, you may want to consider ways to minimise waste by being creative with surplus building materials.

For example, you could:

  • Use whole bricks and blocks elsewhere – they could potentially be used in landscaping projects
  • Compact clean rubble and reuse it as hardcore for landscaping purposes (hardcore essentially refers to a gravelly mix that can be used to create a level base for heavy load-bearing surfaces)
  • Keep clean hardcore for use beneath patios
  • Use any clean wood in a woodburner, and use offcuts or shavings to make a bird table or another garden ornament.

Not only does recycling, reusing and repurposing old items have environmental benefits, but it can help you save money by maximising the life of materials. 

(MORE: How to Get Rid of Rubble)

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