What Happens to Rubbish From Skip Bin Hire: Recycling or Landfill?

Do you think about what happens to the rubbish from your skip bin once you’ve thrown it away and the skip is removed? It’s easy to assume skip hire companies simply transport your waste to the tip, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Sustainability and responsible waste management is a big focus for rubbish removal companies. So what really happens to your skip bin waste, and how much rubbish actually ends up in landfill?

Skip bin hire rubbish is taken to waste transfer & recycling facilities where up to 90% of rubbish is recycled. Any recyclable materials are separated, processed, and treated for repurposing. Only waste that cannot be repurposed is taken to a waste disposal site for incineration or landfill.

This article has everything you need to know about what happens to skin bin rubbish. You’ll also learn how to ensure as much waste as possible is recycled for next time you hire a skip bin. Read on to learn all about skip waste recycling!

Does Skip Bin Waste Go to Landfill?

Skip bin hire waste does not go directly to landfills. Only about 15% to 30% is non-recyclable and ends up in waste disposal facilities or tips. Meanwhile, 70% to 90% of rubbish in skip bins is recycled. This waste is sorted and sent to appropriate recycling facilities.

Whenever a skip bin is collected, it is taken to a dedicated waste transfer facility. At this facility, anything that can be recycled is separated from the general waste. Only materials that cannot be incinerated, recycled or reused ultimately end up in a waste disposal site or landfill.

When you need to hire a skip in Australia, choose an environmentally conscious provider like Jim’s Skip Bins. This ensures a minimal amount of waste goes to landfill, and that as much rubbish as possible is recycled.

What Happens to Skip Bin Waste After Collection? 

Filled skip bins are collected and taken to a waste transfer station facility, where the rubbish gets sorted into recyclables and non-recyclable waste. Materials are then treated (screened, shredded, compacted, etc.) and transferred to the correct recycling facilities.

The majority of rubbish that is thrown into a skip bin is recyclable, but it has to be sorted first. The waste in a skip bin is taken to a special facility where the contents are sorted and processed.

There are many ways in which skip waste can be recycled or repurposed, depending on the type of material. Reliable skip bin hire companies practice responsible waste management, making sure that as little waste goes into landfill as possible, and as much as possible is reused and recycled.

After the contents of the skip bin have been processed by the sorting facility, anything that remains is waste that cannot be recycled. The small amount that remains is then sent to a waste disposal site.

How is Skip Bin Waste Sorted?

At a waste transfer station, a skip bin’s contents are sorted into categories: recyclable waste, organic material to be composted, any toxic material needing treatment, and scrap metal.

Anything that can be recycled has some processing performed on-site, such as sorting, screening, shredding, and compacting for transport. The materials are then transported to various recycling facilities.

Service providers such as Jim’s Skip Bins have the facilities and partnerships to maximise reclamation percentage and minimise waste. Sorting and processing materials for recycling required special facilities and a lot of hard work, which is one of the major factors in the cost of hiring a skip bin.

Where Do Skip Companies Dispose of Their Waste?

As much as possible, skip bin companies will recycle and reclaim materials. Skip bin rubbish that can’t be recycled is taken to a waste disposal site or landfill. Up to 90% of skip waste is ultimately recycled or repurposed, keeping it out of landfill wherever possible.

Most things that are placed in a skip bin can be recycled, and everything that can be recycled, from soil to timber and concrete, will be given a new life. The small amount of rubbish that remains that cannot be recycled or incinerated will end up in landfill sites.

What Items in Your Skip Bin Can Be Recycled?

Most items in your skip bin can be recycled, from garden waste like tree clippings to construction waste like bricks and scrap metal. However, to be recycled properly, they need to be in the correct type of skip bin.

Many types of skip bin waste can be recycled or reused after treatment and processing.

Building & Construction Materials

Construction waste is waste that is generated or remains from the construction or renovation of a building. Construction waste which can be recycled includes:

  • Bricks
  • Tiles
  • Cement
  • Stones
  • Rubble
  • Glass
  • Timber

This also includes timber, flooring, plasterboard, new insulation, sandpaper, rubble, terracotta, and concrete, but not insulation with asbestos. Many building materials can be salvaged and used in future construction, or broken down into high quality supplies.

Bricks can be repurposed or reused in gardening or landscaping. Cement, stone, and rubble can also be recycled as concrete aggregate or hardcore for road bases, heavy construction, or infill material in building foundations.

Tiles and glass may also be recycled and reused after being ground up and re-made into infill.

Scrap Metal

Scrap metal may also be recycled into construction or building supplies. Examples of scrap metal and waste metal are:

  • Metal cutoffs 
  • Cans 
  • Metal pipes
  • Copper cabling
  • Steel

Raw scrap metal is a resource in high demand, but it does need processing to make it useful. Scrap metal from skip bins is removed and sent to the appropriate facilities, whether that’s in Australia or overseas. 


Glass waste which may be reclaimed or recycled from a skip bin include:

  • Recyclable bottles and jars 
  • Construction site & demolition site glass 

Some types of glass can even be crushed into sand for construction use, even if it isn’t traditionally recyclable. 

Green Waste

Garden waste (such as grass clippings, tree branches, clippings, stumps, and soil) can often be recycled. 

Types of green waste include:

  • Tree branches
  • Flowers and plants
  • Plant trimmings
  • Tree stumps
  • Lawn clippings
  • Tree trunks
  • Weeds

These materials are sorted and taken to special facilities to be turned into compost, landscaping resources, or even biomass fuel (particularly old timber). Some cardboard manufacturers, horticultural businesses, and energy companies use this compost to produce their products or services.

Soil & Dirt 

Types of soil and dirt which can be disposed of in skip bins include:

  • Sand
  • Soil 
  • Dirt
  • Clay
  • Other soil & fill types

Soil in skips is often sent to land reclamation schemes to be reused as fill, as long as it’s uncontaminated. Soil which is contaminated with chemicals or petroleum should not be disposed of in skip bins (learn more about what can’t go in a skip here). 

E-Waste & Appliances

E-waste or electronic waste is rubbish and waste generated from electronic devices. Examples of e-waste include: 

  • TVs, DVD players, audio gear
  • Computers
  • Smartphones
  • Lighting 
  • Cables and accessories

As technology evolves quickly and devices are frequently replaced, it’s important that e-waste components are recycled wherever possible. Some electronic waste contains rare earth minerals that can be recycled, and many others are made with recyclable metals. These should be reused or recycled to create a circular and sustainable economy. 

When not handled properly however, electrical waste (such as computers and mobile phones) may leak liquid that is detrimental to the environment. That’s why proper processing and handling of e-waste is so critical. 

General Household Waste

This category covers any other household items, and many have recyclable materials, including:

  • Large appliances and whitegoods 
  • Small appliances
  • Clothes and textiles
  • Paper including books and stationery
  • Wooden furniture 
  • Car batteries (if placed on top of other general waste)

What Items in Your Skip Bins Can’t Be Recycled? 

Even within recyclable categories, not all materials can be recycled – for instance, some types of construction waste, non-recyclable plastics, and non-recyclable glass. Other items which go to landfill include mattresses and car tyres. 

It’s important to know what can’t be put in a skip bin before hiring one to ensure that your skip isn’t contaminated, which can reduce reclamation of resources.

Items to avoid putting in skips altogether include:

Hazardous Waste – As much as possible, you shouldn’t put hazardous or non-recyclable waste in your skip bins as they endanger the workers collecting your skips. If hazardous materials are included, you may be liable for steep charges for safe management and disposal of these goods. 

Some examples of hazardous waste that cannot be recycled include:

  • Asbestos 
  • Paint 
  • Batteries
  • Chemicals 
  • Poison 
  • Pesticides

For safe disposal of hazardous materials, contact a specialist such as Jim’s Asbestos Removal.    

Food waste – Food scraps ultimately shouldn’t be placed in skip bins, as it attracts vermin and most transfer station facility permits don’t allow that without special permission and overheads. Instead, food scraps should be disposed of via regular waste collection. Home or commercial composting are also great environmentally-friendly options for food waste. 

Are There Specific Recycling Skip Bins?

Rather than specific recycling skip bins, different waste types should go in separate skips so it can easily be processed and sorted. For example, you should use separate skip bins for green waste, general waste and construction waste.

It’s important to understand the waste types for skip bin hire and what you can dispose of in each bin. When you contact a skip bin hire company, be sure to ask what type of skip bin you’ll need so that you can contribute to responsible waste management.

Ideally, you shouldn’t mix and match the rubbish you put in your skip bins. For instance, keep green waste together (such as grass/lawn clippings, branches, weeds, flowers, and plants), but keep it separate from soil and dirt. 

General waste (such as clothes, toys, paper, dinnerware, furniture, and small appliances) can go together, E-waste or electronic products (such as computers, smartphones, lighting, cables, and CD/DVD players) go together in a separate skip. 

Some skips can also take building materials together (such as timber, flooring, plasterboard, new insulation, sandpaper, rubble, terracotta, tiles, bricks, and concrete), while glass (including light bulbs, vases, jars, and perfume bottles) should be in a separate skip bin.

Some skips are meant to handle commercial waste, including those for laboratories, manufacturing businesses, and schools, among others. Your skip bin hire company can help advise you which skip is suitable and how you should divide up your rubbish. 

Are There Specific Green Waste Skip Bins? 

Yes, there are green waste skip bins designed for green waste, such as grass clippings, branches, weeds, flowers, and plants. Green waste doesn’t break down the same way as other rubbish in landfills, and can often be turned into compost, so it needs to be disposed of properly. 

How You Can Help the Skip Waste Recycling Process 

To support the skip waste recycling process, make sure you are sorting your rubbish correctly and hiring the right type of skip bin. Here are our top strategies to ensure your skip waste can be recycled: 

1. Don’t Mix Waste Types in Your Skip Bin 

It is easy to help the skip waste recycling process. You simply have to sort your waste correctly. Construction waste, green waste, soil, e-waste and general household waste need to be disposed of in separate skips. Sometimes this isn’t feasible so most skip bin hire companies offer mixed waste bins, charging an overhead to sort and separate the bin.  A Jim’s Skip Bins Franchisee will talk through what waste is going in the bin and how to best pack the skip for more efficient and effective sorting.

2. Don’t Add Prohibited or Hazardous Materials to Your Skip Bin

Additionally, do not add prohibited or dangerous items (such as human waste, asbestos, paint, batteries, oils, flammable material, chemicals, poison, pesticides, and contaminated soil). If you’re not sure about the rubbish you want to throw away, check with your skip hire company first.

Having said that, it’s important to choose a trusted environmentally-friendly skip bin hire company, like Jim’s Skip Bins. Choosing the right service provider ensures your skip rubbish is disposed of sustainably and responsibly. Request a free no obligation quote here or call us on 131 546!

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