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The Evolution of Skip Bin Waste Types

News > The Evolution of Skip Bin Waste Types

Mixed Heavy Waste for skip bins includes bricks tiles and other general light wastesIt wasn't so long ago that you could hire a skip bin and it didn't matter what sort of waste you had to put in it. It was all treated the same and cost the same, regardless of what sorts of waste were put in it.  But things have been changing and continue to change in the world of skip bin waste types and ignoring the changes could cost you money.

The drivers of the change in waste types has been primarily by the state government waste levies or land-fil taxes

These changes in waste types are not uniform across the country because often they are driven by:

  • The Cost of Disposal
  • The Availability of Recycling and Disposal Options and 
  • Local Competition

For example, in Queensland there are still many skip bin providers who have a single price for any type of waste because the material regardless of what it is all goes to the same place and costs pretty much the same for disposal.  This reflects the governments hands off approach (waste levies have been legislated for but are currently set at zero). The are some recycling facilities in Queensland and these have local impacts. For example in south Eastern Queensland (north east of Brisbane the are brick and concrete recycling facilities that manufacture aggregates. Skip bin businesses local to the facility will offer lower priced brick and concrete recycling bins or sort their waste to be able to get rid of this heavier material.  But as the differential disposal cost is only modest the recycling facility only has a local effect as it is not cost effective to truck brick and concrete across from the western edges of the Brisbane metropolitan area.
By comparison in New South Wales the government is smashing the waste industry with it's heavy handed intervention. The New South Wales State Government has had the waste industry in harness for well over a decade to generate an unhealthy amount of Waste Levies.  In July 2017 the NSW EPA set the Metroplican waste levy at $138.20 per tonne. In western Sydney disposal rates are now around the $400 per tonne mark. As a result there are new skip bin waste definitions coming into vogue to accommodate the definitions of new and different classifications of waste. 

Until 2 or 3 years ago General waste was being split into 2 categories:


  • General Light Waste
  • Heavy General Waste   

The difference of the 2 waste types was the inclusion of heavier materials in a skip bin like bricks concrete, soil, sand, aggregates, bulky wet timber or similar.  This materials generally weigh well over 1 tonne per cubic meter and hence add cost to the disposal of the waste. General light waste by comparison weighs way less. Maybe between 150 kg to 250 kg per cubic meter. Initially skip bin business would accept general renovation waste in General Light waste skip bins as timber and plasterboard are not too heavy when tossed in a bin, The problem is that is a customer flat packs such material into a skip bin the contents can be quite heavy. So if a builder strips the plaster board off the walls of house and carefully stacks it into a bin there will be very little if any air between the sheets and the material can be pretty heavy. In fact plasterboard or gyprock can be in excess of 700kg per cubic meter. If it pains heavily on such a bin you can easily end up with a load that weighs over 1 tonne per cubic meter.
In response to this dilemma we are seeing an evolution to three types of waste (or general waste), these being:


  • Light/General Household Waste which can ONLY be used for household waste, appliances, whitegoods, furniture, green waste, office furniture, papers, cardboard, plastic, TV's. Such bins can not be used for any building materials (concrete, bricks, soil, sand, timber or plaster).
  • Light Builders Bin To be used ONLY USE FOR timber, plaster, metal and can include light general waste. And again the skip bin can NOT INCLUDE any concrete, bricks, tiles or soil. 
  • Mixed Heavy commercial waste for Builders and Renovators that can include concrete, bricks, tiles or soil plus either of the 2 previous waste types. 

What Waste Types

  • Authored By:Stephen Shergold
  • Updated:24/09/2023