When were skips first used?

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Posted by Keith Hirst on 14 January 2022

Skips can be incredibly helpful for disposing of household and commercial waste. Due to their sheer usefulness, you might assume that they have been around forever. However, this isn’t the case, with the first skip only being invented in 1922. Surprisingly, people have only been using skips for around a century to get rid of rubbish. Read on to find out more about when were skips first used and how they have advanced over the years. 

The invention of skips

Choosing the right skip size

Skips came about in 1922 in the seaside town of Southport. The invention happened when Edwin Walker, an employee of a lorry manufacturer called Pagefield, met the town’s borough engineer. He faced the problem of lengthy distances between houses to where waste was disposed of. Horse-drawn refuse carts were effective in collecting waste from house to house, but not in covering the distances to waste tips. Transporting waste to the dumping ground was a long and arduous process.

To provide a solution to this problem, Walker and the borough engineer of Southport agreed that a horse-drawn container would transport the waste. The container would measure 300 cubic feet and the wheels needed to transport it measured 20 inches in diameter. When it was full, it would go on the back of a Pagefield lorry to make a speedy trip to the dump. This is widely considered to be the first skip. Many people are surprised to hear when were skips first used since they are so widely used and relied upon for waste disposal today. 

The development of skip hire 

In 1926, big improvements began to be made to skips. S&D, a company in Letchworth, set in force advancements in transportation, developing a small truck known as the Freighter. Later that year, sideways-mounted skips started to appear. Several skips could now be carried on a single chassis simultaneously. The Freighter was a huge success for S&D, with many cities going on to use this model for skip hire services.

Skip hire became even more in demand as a result of the increase in construction and demolition works throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Contractors opted for skips as the best solution for removing copious amounts of rubbish from their sites.  

How did skips get their name?

The truth is that no one is really sure how the skip got its name. In the US and Canada, it’s called a dumpster, which is logical. However, in the UK, it’s known as a skip, which is a little less obvious. Many people believe that the name originated from the ancient art of beekeeping. Today’s image of a beehive is a wooden box structure with overlapping slats. However, in the past, beekeepers used to use inverted wicker or straw baskets to keep their honeybees. This traditional hive was referred to as a ‘skep’. Whilst it was portable and quite adaptable, it advanced as the techniques of beehive building changed. 

What to expect from skip hire in 2022

Domestic Skip Hire Doncaster

Skip hire in 2022 has somewhat different to a century ago. These days, firms supply skips in many different sizes to cater to a wide range of needs. At Thomson Skips & Fuels, we offer mini skips, midi skips, and maxi skips, as well as sizable RORO skips. So, whether you’re clearing out your attic or garden shed, renovating your kitchen, or demolishing a block of flats, we have the solution for your waste removal needs. We can also assist with skip permits if necessary, making sure your skip can legally be allowed to go on a public highway.

Hire Commercial and domestic skips in Doncaster

Whatever your wa

ste disposal needs, Thomson Skips & Fuels can assist. We can deal with all quantities of waste, from small domestic projects to large commercial jobs. Our team can deliver your chosen skip to your site quickly and efficiently, with a same or next day service often possible. You can put many different materials into our skills, ranging from household rubbish like paper, plastic, glass, and food waste to commercial waste like concrete and rubble. There are only a few things that you can’t put in our skips, including asbestos, medical waste, and tyres. However, we can offer expert advice on how to dispose of these items, helping you to throw them away conveniently and safely. We’ll take your skip away once it’s full or you’ve finished your project. 

Ethical waste management 

These days, skip hire companies strive to provide highly ethical waste management. At Thomson Skips & Fuels, we aim to recycle as much waste as possible, making sure that only a minimal amount ends up in a landfill. So, if you’re wondering where your rubbish will end up once our team take it away, there’s no need to worry. We’re very proud of our waste management services and we aim to maintain our green credentials. We always comply with the latest legislation too, making sure that both we and our customers are adhering to the law. 

Contact us 

The question of when were skips first used is a common one. We can answer this, as well as many other skip-related queries, here at Thomson Skips & Fuels. Call us on 01302 969 709 to talk to one of our friendly team. Alternatively, submit an enquiry via the website and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can. We supply a range of skips in Doncaster and the surrounding areas, catering to both domestic and commercial needs. If you’re not sure which skip is right for your project, don’t hesitate to ask. We can advise you on your options, helping you to select the right domestic or commercial skip to fit your requirements.

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Get in touch today to speak to a member of our friendly team about skip hire, solid fuels or waste management in the Doncaster and Epworth areas.

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