Regulations and laws surrounding skip hire and waste management in different countries

As you might expect, there are many laws and regulations relating to the safe collection, removal, storage, reclamation and recycling of metals and other waste.  Fully accredited within the UK, it is also useful to understand the regulations and laws for skip hire and waste management in other countries.  Here we look at Europe, Australia and the United States of America to give a flavour of the different considerations. 

Disclaimer – please note this is not an exhaustive list and independent research should be considered if proceeding to hire skips anywhere other than the UK.

What regulations and laws should I be aware of for skip hire in Europe?

In 2020, over a million tonnes of waste were illegally dumped in the French countryside and there are rules and laws in most European countries prohibiting fly-tipping. Skip hire is therefore recommended to avoid fines and prosecution.

The European Union has created a Waste Framework Directive which outlines how waste is categorised and includes a waste hierarchy which ranks waste management options in terms of their environmental impact.  

Most of the regulations refer to the environmental impact and are not specific to skip hire. However, there are regular improvements made to the Waste Framework Directive, with member countries achieving targets at differing rates of progress. Therefore, we advise you to ensure that you understand the up-to-date rules in the specific country where a skip is required to ensure that you stay within current rules and regulations.

What regulations and laws should I be aware of for skip hire in Australia?

When hiring skips in Australia, they tend to be referred to as ‘skip bins’.  As in the UK, they can only be placed by those with a skip bin provider licence which incurs further conditions specific to the operator.  There is also a maximum size limit (5m long x 1.8m wide) and food waste, dangerous or hazardous waste cannot be placed in any bin.  A skip bin permit must also be obtained from the Council before any bin is placed on a road.

Without written authority from adjacent property owners, skip bins must only be placed immediately in front of the bin user’s property.  It must also be positioned so it takes up less than one street parking space and centrally within any bays, and is subject to motor vehicle Australian Road Rules.  There must also be a three metre space left for vehicles to pass.  If this isn’t possible, a skip bin would be prohibited.

Skip bins have to be placed individually, but can be replaced as many times as necessary until the end date of the permit.  The Council will order the removal of bins where nuisance or danger has been created.  Occasionally, special conditions will be imposed and the permit holder must abide by these.

In Australia it is an offence to have a skip bin on a footpath or roadway without approval and the provider must accept liability for any damage caused to the road, gutter, verge, footpath as well as any injuries sustained during the delivery, use or removal of the skip bin.

The skip bin permit holder must also agree to be responsible for the removal of any waste in or around the bin as well as pay for any cleaning costs deemed necessary by the council.

What regulations and laws should I be aware of for dumpster hire in the United States of America?

In the USA, skips are known as dumpsters.  There are rules and regulations for hiring dumpsters in America which are primarily designed to protect the environment and health of the public, ensuring all waste is disposed of safely.  They include waste segregation, weight limits and prohibited materials such as medical waste, chemicals, asbestos and other hazardous materials.

Dumpster rental companies need to dispose of waste correctly which is why waste segregation is important.  Hazardous waste must be disposed of separately with other waste considered for recycling following detailed guidelines.

Different states and cities have similar rules and regulations, but some impose specific rules, so it is important to check locally before hiring a dumpster.  There are key rules to take into consideration:

  1. Zoning Laws and Regulations outline the permitted uses of land but also include restrictions on how many and where to place your dumpster(s).  Permits are usually required.
  2. Environmental impact is considered when applying to rent several dumpsters for residential use.  Excessive waste generation can contribute to environmental degradation and landfill congestion.

3.  Dumpster Rental Company Policies can be made in addition to the state, city or municipal rules and regulations.  These can include how many dumpsters you can use at one time, the length of time you can use the dumpster for as well as imposing additional costs for certain usages.

How EJ Shanley can help 

Whilst operating in the UK, please contact EJ Shanley with any queries regarding skip hire elsewhere in the world.  We will be happy to share our knowledge and expertise from our years of experience in the waste management industry which may be useful to your situation. 

If you are within the UK and require a skip, you’re in luck! We have a range of different sized skips that can suit your requirements.

If you aren’t sure whether or not you need a skip, we also offer other waste management services that can be used for your rubbish. Get in touch with us today to find a solution that works for you.

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