What You Can and Can’t Put into a Skip Bin

Victorians produced nearly 13 million tonnes of rubbish in 2015-16. And with Melbourne (which accounts for almost 80% of that waste)now firmly in front as Australia’s fastest growing city, proper waste management has never been more important.

So, regardless of whether you’re in Melton or Dandenong, when it comes to skip bin hire, it’s important to bear in mind good waste management practices. Like any waste management system, there are rules governing what you can and can’t put into these bins. So, whether you’re doing a home renovation or just some spring cleaning, you need to understand what you can and can’t put into mini skip bins.

While there may be a temptation to just dump everything into these bins, this can end up costing you in terms of additional charges from your mini skip hire company, as well as potential fines from local councils.

To help you out, we have a comprehensive list of what you can and can’t put into your skip bins.

What You CAN Put into a Skip Bin

Before you hire a bin, it’s important to let your skip bin hire company know what kind of waste you are disposing of. A single skip bins is intended for only one of the following waste types, and mixing is not appropriate. If you have garden waste and renovation waste, you should hire two skip bins.

General household waste

Other than food products and chemicals, most general household waste can be put into skip bins. This includes clothes, toys, electrical equipment (e.g. computers, TVs, DVD players, speakers etc.), kitchenware and white goods(e.g. fridges, ovens and washing machines, although these must be de-gassed and all doors and lids removed).

Others acceptable materials include paper wastes(e.g. newspapers, magazines, books, cardboard, etc.), as well as empty cans, carpeting, furniture, glass bottles and jars, cartons and other food packaging (provided there’s no food left inside) and other general waste.

There are of course exceptions for general household waste like food products, chemicals, batteries and so on. See below for what doesn’t count as acceptable household waste. Have a look at 5 tips to get the most out of (and into) your skip bin

Garden/green waste

This includes general garden waste such as grass clippings, leaves, soil, tree stumps, wood or tree barks, untreated timber, wood chips and twigs, weeds, plants, hedge trimmings, straw, hay and other natural garden waste.

Renovation and building waste

Home renovation and building waste includes non-reactive metals (like steel, stainless steel, and aluminium), bricks, tiles, concrete and cement, dirt and sand and other building materials.

Exceptions here include chemicals and paints, volatile or explosive materials, asbestos, etc.

What You CAN NOT Put into a Skip Bin

Materials that can’t be put into skip bins include unsanitary waste (like food and biological material), explosive or volatile materials, chemicals or oils, poisons and dangerous materials like asbestos.

Food waste

Food waste attracts insects and vermin and can pose a significant health risk. All food waste should be properly bagged and disposed of in your regular rubbish pickup.

Asbestos and insulation materials

Asbestos is a dangerous material and as such cannot be dumped in a skip bin. Asbestos must be handled by qualified, licensed and properly equipped asbestos removal companies

Gas bottles

Whether empty or full, gas bottles or cylinders are not allowed in skip bin as they are an explosive risk. While some waste management companies are licensed to handle gas cylinders, your best bet is contacting the company who provided the cylinder.


Tyres are difficult to properly dispose of and most skip bin hire companies won’t take them. Most tyre retailers will take old tyres off your hands. There are also various tyre recycling centres around Melbourne that can help you out.

Paints, solvents, oils, chemicals and fuels

All these substances are either poisonous, corrosive, volatile or explosive and pose a danger to those handling the skip, as well as to the environment. Your skip bin hire company will be able to provide information about how to best dispose of these materials.

Medical or biological waste

Medical and biological waste can pose a major health risk and must be properly handled by a licensed medical waste disposal provider.

Fluorescent bulbs

Fluorescent bulbs usually contain mercury, which is extremely poisonous. Therefore, you dispose of them in a skip bin. Your local council can help you with proper disposal of this kind of waste.

Other Tips

Skip bins also have fill limits and weight limits. If you overfill your skip bin, your skip provider may refuse to remove the bin until you remove some of the waste. Similarly, if you exceed weight capacity, you may have to remove some weight.

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Yashar Pirani

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