A brief history of skips

Posted on 25th May 2017

Yellow skipYou're probably used to seeing skips on your daily commute or countryside walk; they're certainly a common sight across the UK. Unsurprisingly, we know a lot about skips and waste management in our line of work. We thought we'd share a little of our knowledge of the wonderful world of skips and give you some pub quiz ammo at the same time.

Who invented the skip?

Alan Partridge asked this very question on one of his infamous radio phone-ins, but we were never gifted with the answer. After some official research (ahem) it seems the answer isn't clear cut. There are several theories as to who invented the skip, ranging from beekeepers, cotton mill workers, and coal miners. The most likely answer is that it was probably waste management pioneer George Dempster of Knoxville Tennessee in the 1930s. Along with his brother he set up a waste handling company that invented a truck that could load and transport a container of rubbish. It was known catchily as the 'Dempster Dumpster'.

Size matters

Back in the days of George Dempster there would have been a standard size of skip or 'dumpster'. Nowadays there's plenty of choice when it comes to skip hire. We are able to provide skips ranging from four yards all the way up to giant roll-ons for the construction industry. If a skip isn't suitable for the job in hand there are many other options, including our very popular 'Man in a Van' service. This can work out to be even cheaper than a skip!

Mellow Yellow

Most of us associate skips and the construction industry with yellow. But why exactly is this? Quite simply, yellow is the colour of caution and warning, to urge others to take care as there's dangerous machinery around. It's important that skips are vibrant and visible - even in the dark or inclement weather.

Unusual waste

It's not all house clearance waste and garden rubbish - sometimes seriously weird things are found in skips! From priceless paintings to naval artillery shells, you can read more in our ' 5 Strange Items Found In Skips' article.

If you have any interesting skip facts of your own, we'd love to hear them. Tweet us @AMAWaste and do your best to impress us with your skip wisdom.