Talk:Skip (container)

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Different container types[edit]

Closed waste container.jpg
Open wire container 86141.jpg

I wonder... What is the correct english term for containers like those? Is it the same word used for open and closed containers?

The correct term for these type of skips is RORO skips (roll on/roll off)so called because instead of being lifted onto a skip loader wagon by chains, they are literally rolled on to an eight wheel wagon by hydraulic hook. They are mainly used in industry and are not suitable for the domestic market. They range in capacity from 14 cubic yards to 50 cubic yards. They are mostly open topped but can also take the form of 'compactor' skips which are covered and almost conical in shape so the waste can be compacted in (to fit in more tonnage) and then can slide out easily on disposal. For further information, including dimensions of these and other types of skips, visit [][1] Katy Attwood 11:23, 22 December 2006 (UTC)Katy Attwood

I have to correct You, Katy, about the sizes. I assume You speak from an English or American p.o.w. - The containers at the photos are actually 7.5 m3 (open) and 18 m3 (closed) - I've measured them myself, and I took the pic's. In the company I work for, we have down to 4.5 m3, but the usual sizes are from 8 m3 and up.
Some of our containers (assumed 20%) are built for loading by hook, but all our trucks actually load with two wires that we fasten underneath the container/skip. This goes for both ordinary containers and compacting equipment. Eventually see da:Containerbil at #2 (and #1 should be the hydr. hook?). G®iffen 19:58, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

I am coming from a British perspective. In the skip industry, we still use imperial and not metric measurements so this may appear confusing to Europeans. We do offer a conversion chart on our website for all those who prefer to work in metric skip sizes


Who invented the skip? (person or company). Where are those mostly used? (countries). Dis-/advantages?

The origin of the word ‘Skip’

To get to the bottom of the mystery, we must first turn to the ancient art of bee-keeping. Before wooden framed hives came into use, European and British beekeepers either used inverted straw or wicker baskets or hollow logs to house their honeybee colonies. The straw "skep" proved the most portable and adaptable to beekeepings' improving techniques, slowly the log and then the wicker skep went out of use. In continental Europe, where traditional agricultural systems survived until after the second world war, the straw skep retained some popularity, but in Britain where land use lost its traditional forms in the 18th century, the skep came to be seen as part of the old order and by the 19th century was no longer regarded as a suitable permanent home for the honeybee colony.

The word ‘skep’ then, once a common name for any type of basket is nowadays only used in relation to this traditional artform. But before it disappeared from the common tongue, it was adopted by the cotton mill workers of Lancashire who referred to the huge wheeled baskets they placed their woven cotton into as ‘skeps’. In addition, a method of drying the material in the cloth-method process was called ‘wuzzing’. Damp cloth was placed into a ‘wuzzing skep’ – a basket attached to a pole - and whirled around making a wuzzing noise. Centrifugal force forced the water out of the cloth.

From the cotton mills then to the coal mines. At the beginning of the industrial revolution, when technology was still in its rudimentary stages, coal was dug and measured in terms of ‘skeps’. In the mining industry a skep was a basket with an arched handle used as a measure of coal. We know that in Denmark a skep held 17.4 litres, so presumably an English skep would have been around the same. As industrial innovation progressed, railway lines were built into the mines, the skeps were once again wheeled, and coal hauled out of the mines more efficiently. It soon became evident that straw was not the most robust material for shifting hunks of coal and manufacturers developed steel versions of skeps. Over the years skep became skip and the containers are still referred to as such in modern coal mines. When the bins we use came over from Germany in the early sixties, the shape of them resembled the coal skips so it was a logical step to name them thus.

There is a magazine totally dedicated to skips called originally The Skip[2]. For all skip related news and stories, visit the website. Katy Attwood 11:23, 22 December 2006 (UTC)Katy Attwood

G®iffen 13:44, 11 April 2006 (UTC) expanded G®iffen 21:49, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Rubbish skip?[edit]

Just wondering, do people actually say "rubbish skip"? Cause in Ireland, all I've ever heard is just "skip". I've never heard it called "rubbish skip". Do we have a source for "rubbish skip"? - EstoyAquí(tce) 08:27, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

I have heard "rubbish skip" used, but I wouldn't say it was exactly common usage. (talk) 23:15, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Agreed (British here). I'm going to slightly amend the lead to take account of this. (talk) 03:53, 27 January 2008 (UTC)


It is traditional for an old mattress to be discarded in a skip, regardless of who rents it. This applies especially in a housing estate.PseudoNym (Contact me) 11:41, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Might be helpful to illustrate this important point with an image in the article. MikeJamesShaw (talk) 09:48, 30 March 2016 (UTC)

Comparison with dumpster[edit]

Is a skip a type of dumpster in America? To me a dumpster looks like a frontlift bin and a skip bin is just called a rubbish skip.

Live too much (talk) 01:17, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

I am from New York City and we almost universally refer to all large metal commercial waste containers as dumpsters or simply containers. The Style shown in the article which is loaded by a crane like boom and chains is rare but in the USA is commonly referred to as a lugger. I have only heard of them used for hauling scrap metal but most of the scrap companies in my area run roll-off trucks and special round tub dumpsters. If you search for "lugger body" you will find manufactures of such waste handling equipment. Dumpsters that are loaded by hook-lift or cable hoist are referred to as Roll-off dumpsters and are used for large demolition work, cleanouts, construction and on site compactors. They range in sizes from 10 Cubic yards to 40 cubic yards for truck delivery (most common) or up to 80 cubic yards for large semi truck trailer roll-off hoists (much less common, usually used for scrap metal hauling). Smaller dumpsters commonly used for commercial waste disposal are smaller and have anywhere from 0.5 Cubic yards to 5 cubic yards. They are loaded into rear loading packer trucks using a hoist. Rear loader waste trucks that service dumpsters have two hooks that capture two arms which stick out on each side of the dumpster to form a pivot point. A cable hoist hooks to a ring on the rear bottom of the dumpster which tips it into the truck. This method is preferred because a truck can service customers with dumpsters or who simply leave trash at the curb in bags. Some trucks have a hydraulic arm which lifts the dumpster from the bottom and tips it into the back of a packer truck. some are loaded by front loader type waste trucks. The larger of the dumpsters look like skips but are unloaded on-site into rear loading packer trucks. (talk) 19:00, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
Midwest US here, we use dumpster or (rarely) wheelie-bin, though some older people still say "Dempster Dumpster", the trademark name that the word comes from. "Container" is also used for larger ones that resemble open-topped shipping containers. I "boldly" assume that a dumpster is a type of skip, and is a regional word for skip, but most commonly refers to a specific kind of wheeled, front-loading container in the US, thus it's separate article. I've never heard them called skips in the US. I know, NOR. But I'm adding a See Also section because the article needs it, and added skip (container) to the dumpster article See Also.

I love regional English, except for the headaches it creates for Wikipedia! - Syd (talk) 05:48, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

It's a dumpster, skip is a British term. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:19, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Against Merge Proposal[edit]

I disagree to the merge proposal, Yes there is a conflict of terms (mostly due to Americans referring to objects by their brand rather than object name) but they are NOT the same object. It could be merged into its own category within dumpster but as it stands skips and dumpsters have the same purpose but entirely different designs. Skips are loaded onto flatbed trucks and taken away, sometimes replaced with an empty skip. A dumpster is emptied into a large capacity boxed/closed container truck / disposal unit. Skips generally don't have lids and some also have an opening door on the side to walk rubbish/waste into the bin for easy access. Dumpsters generally have lids and no side doors. Designs are different, but does that mean we should also merge wheelie bins, garbage bins, kitchen household bins, waste paper baskets Etc all into the same page? Clearly not... They all hold trash, sure... but they are different in design and require their own pages in my opinion. Dumpster is a brand name. GarrattCampton (talk) 12:56, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

In fact, wheelie bin, garbage bin, trash bin, and wastepaper basket actually all do redirect to waste container. The differences are either only in vocabulary, are uninteresting, or are explained in the single unified article. -- Beland (talk) 16:53, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

April 2014 Merge Proposal[edit]

Strongly disagree with merging this article with Dumpster. Skips in the UK have a unique history and culture quite different from the North American Dumpster. A similar merge proposal was made a year ago and gained no consensus.Orenburg1 (talk) 07:56, 11 August 2014 (UTC)


In my experience, dumpsters in the U.S. are hardly ever trapezoids like the British skips pictured. -- Beland (talk) 17:07, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

This article is about skips, not dumpsters. The trapezoidal shape as described (and pictured) is a recognizable characteristic of a skip. (talk) 14:27, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Dumpsters and skips[edit]

Dumpsters and skips are entirely different things. 'Skip' is not the "British English" term for a dumpster. Dumpsters also exist in the UK and are exceedingly commonplace. They are found in alleyways, or waste disposal areas of apartment blocks and residential complexes. They are placed there permanently so people can dispose their waste on a regular basis. The garbage truck comes and empties them, taking the waste away, but leaves the bins there. When you throw rubbish in one of these, you put it in a black bin liner, or similar, and the type of waste they hold is general everyday waste. Dumpsters for recycling also exist. They are not called 'dumpsters' in the UK, just wheelie bins, or sometimes 'council bins,' but they are in fact exactly the same thing.

Skips, on the other hand, are not seen in such abundance. You don't find them permanently stationed in alleyways or elsewhere. If you have a particular need for a skip, you have to hire one, and the skip company will come and put one outside your house/wherever else you may need it. Skips never hold general waste. They are mostly used to dispose of material during construction or renovation work on houses or other buildings. If you walk past a skip, you will see in it bits of concrete, discarded bricks, tiles, pieces of wood and fibreboard, and similar. Sometimes there is old and unwanted furniture like old chairs and tables, mattresses, etc. You never see generic black rubbish bags in them or general household waste. Sometimes people will walk past a skip on the street and throw their rubbish in them, like plastic bottles, or food wrappings, but this is not their intended purpose. When you are done with the skip, you phone up the skip company, and they will come and carry the skip away, and dispose of the rubbish, and the skip will not return, unless you especially request this.

So no merge please!!!

Fmc47 (talk) 22:52, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

It might be possible to merge the articles, but the title couldn't be Skip or Dumpster. Despite the tendency of visiting Americans to refer to skips as dumpsters, they are different things. I don't know if a generic term for large waste disposal containers even exists. If it doesn't, we are stuck with separate articles, with suitable See Also links. --Ef80 (talk) 18:27, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
The photo in the top right of the article is a typical skip: a large, yellow trapezoid metal container, hired by a person or company for days to take away wood, metal, glass, plaster, bricks etc., typically from building work that's being carried out - or for furniture that's in bad condition to be disposed of. The problem with the article is that the first sentence says that it's the same as a dumpster. However, dumpsters are usually smaller, (near-)cuboid in shape. They're in their place long-term and are for regular, everyday waste from a shop, block of flats etc. They're not for building waste or furniture, nor are they hired for days. I've never heard anyone describe a skip as a dumpster, nor a dumpster as a skip. Jim Michael (talk) 17:21, 13 June 2017 (UTC)

The Note is wrong...[edit]

The note, which states that the word "skip" is "incomprehensible in North America outside of the mining industry" is patently wrong. In Canada, skip would have the UK meaning (a container of a certain shape that you rent to dispose of garbage...) though most people would understand it if you used it in place of "dumpster" (obvious differences pointed out above notwithstanding...)

I would recommend changing this.

Litany42 (talk) 16:06, 27 September 2016 (UTC)