A BRIEF HISTORY OF SKIPPING

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Here, at Alan’s Skip Hire Ltd, we live and breathe skipping. With over 25 years’ experience in the industry, when it comes to skips and skipping, there is not much that we do not know about those big metal containers that have been providing us all with a waste disposal solution since… since… since when?

And there’s the rub – when did the humble skip first appear on our streets and roads?

Whilst we pride ourselves on our knowledge of all things waste and recycling related, we must admit that this particular little nugget of waste management history has eluded us, and judging by the varied histories of skipping available on the internet, it seems that the origins of the skip has eluded many also.

So here follows, our very own (brief) account of how the use of the skip for the collection and disposal of waste from homes across the country may have developed over the years.

In the first instance, there is evidence to suggest that the origins of skipping can be placed as far back as 1600BC, when the ancient Egyptians used vines for jumping. Whilst we have been unable to uncover any evidence to suggest that the Egyptians used skips to manage their household and business waste, we apologise for this tangent and will get right back on track to talk about the skipping we’re all familiar with.

Instead, we’ll take you back to the 60’s which is when the first metal skips were seen on the streets of the UK. Imported by the London based company George Cross and Co, these first skips were imported from Germany, the birthplace of the skip hire industry, as an innovative solution to the removal of household waste which was becoming a growing problem. At the time, it was increasingly evident that the use of men with shovels was an extremely inefficient way to collect the waste that could be seen piling up outside homes across the country. Bricks, mortar, and the like, could be left for days on the streets before collection, which not only created safety hazards, but became a costly and slow exercise.

The solution was simple and yet so outside the box it was also inside the box – or skip rather.

By realising that on-site containers could be used to collect the waste, and then when full, a truck could simply load the skip and carry the waste away, George Cross created the foundation on which the modern skip hire industry is based upon.

Though the skips at the time were all 5-6 yard cubic containers, the skip has evolved over the years to come in a variety of sizes and applications to cope with the demands of modern businesses.

The rest is history.