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The refuse skip: This is a large metal container which is available on hire per day, week, or weekend from waste disposal contractors. It is generally brought to you on a lorry and removed, plus rubbish, at the end of the specified time, for a fee. Some councils put down skips at appointed places and dates, in which local residents can dispose of domestic and garden waste for free. Contact your local environment health department to see if such a system operates in your area. Otherwise the firms providing this service can usually be found in the Yellow Pages and it is as well to shop around as prices vary considerably.

If possible, try to get the skip placed on your own land. It is permissible to site a skip on the highway in certain cases if it is impossible to put it elsewhere, but to get it there is quite a palaver. First you have to request permission from the Highways Department of the council for the area in which you live and fill in the appropriate forms. They will then tell you where to put the skip so it is not a traffic or pedestrian hazard or obstruction. You have to specify accurately the dates on which the skip will be placed on the highway, after which it must be removed, and undertake to have it adequately lit and marked with road lamps, hazard warnings, bollards, etc. What happens in practice is that you go out at night, light your lamps, check that everything is snug, and when you get up next morning, someone has stolen your lamps, put your bollards on next door’s gateposts, and the supreme opportunists have been at work in the small hours quietly filling your skip with their old prams and defunct refrigerators.

A skip is a near-essential if you have a lot of non-combustible or non-rottable refuse to deal with, but there are also contractors who will come with lorries or dustcarts and remove piles of rubbish for you, if you have somewhere to stack the stuff till it is worthwhile calling them in.

The local recycling centre. This varies from skips in which to dump your rubbish, regardless of origin, to local authorities with the planet’s future at heart, who isolate garden rubbish from other forms of refuse, compost it, then sell it back to you, properly treated. If you are concerned about environmental issues, ask around, if your local authority does not offer this facility, you might find your neighbouring one does. For the cost of a short journey, it may be worth it, both to you and the environment.

 

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