Your Guide to Skip Bin Sizes

A skip bin – also known as a dumpster in US and Canadian English – is basically defined as a waste container with an open top that is specifically designed to be loaded on to a lorry or truck. Some skip bins have a large door on either side to allow for manual loading and unloading, but these are commonly used for soil or garden debris and rarely for general commercial or industrial waste. Skips are typically made of hard, durable materials like steel, metal alloys, chrome-plated aluminium, and hardened plastics to withstand the rough handling they typically go through.


People typically hire or rent skip bins for a set time period; anywhere between a few hours to a few months. They come in all weights and sizes, and the size people choose usually depend on what they need it for. Some skips – called mini skips – can be as small as 2 yards and weigh as much as 250 kilograms (550lbs.), while others – called maxi skips – can reach up to 40 yards.


Before hiring a skip bin, a good rule of thumb is to estimate how much waste you’re going to throw away and what kind. In doing so, you waste precious time, effort, and resources. It’s also better to overestimate rather than underestimate. But if you’ve never hired a skip before, the calculation and selection process might be a bit deterring. No worries; as long as you know what you want the skip for, below is a handy guide you can follow to determine how big a skip bin you need.



Before you go into the guide, below is a summary of the more common skip bin sizes available.



2 Yard – 2 cubic metres

Roughly: 1.80m length x 1.50m width x 0.95m height


3 Yard – 3 cubic metres

Roughly: 2.40m length x 1.50m width x 1.00m height


4 Yard – 4 cubic metres

Roughly: 3.20m length x 1.50m width x 1.00m height



6 Yard – 4 cubic metres

Roughly: 3.60m length x 1.50m width x 1.30m height


8 Yard – 8 cubic metres

Roughly: 3.60m length x 1.50m width x 1.60m height


10 Yard – 10 cubic metres

Roughly: 5.00m length x 2.00m width x 1.00m height



12 Yard – 12 cubic metres

Roughly: 5.50m length x 2.20m width x 1.00m height


Anything bigger than 12 Yard



Again, the skip bin size you want will depend heavily on the kind of project you’re undertaking. Bear in mind that the type of waste you’ll be throwing away will also affect your decision. For instance, you could still make do with a single 2- or 3-Yard skip for one whole week if all you were throwing away was office waste i.e., dry papers, broken paperclips, old folders, used paper fasteners, and so on. But if you’re hiring a skip just for one afternoon of yard/garden clean-up, a lot of contractors would recommend a 4- or 6-Yard skip just to be on the safe side.


Here are some of the more common projects – both commercial and residential – that would need a skip bin.



If it’s a room renovation, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of leftover debris and rubble to dispose of. Getting a sturdy skip is crucial if you want those broken planks of wood, cement blocks, and rusted nails to stay in one place where they can’t pose a health hazard to anyone.


Kitchen Renovation – 3- or 4-Yard/3 or 4 cubic metre skip

Kitchens are generally one of the trickier rooms to renovate. They hold a lot of accessories – utensil holders, cabinets and cupboards, silverware, countertop accessories, wall decorations, fruits and spices – and a lot of construction materials – tile, granite countertops, glass panes and windows, plaster, wooden chairs. While these aren’t very heavy-duty, they’re still dangerous to have lying around. Best to get a 3- or 4-Yard skip bin for this type of project.


Bathroom Renovation – 3-Yard/3 cubic metre skip

What typically gets disposed of in a bathroom renovation are: broken or cracked tiles, broken mirrors (and pieces of glass), old shower curtains or screens, old curtain rails, rusted clothes hooks, old or stained shower accessories (think shower heads, popped-off bidets, unwanted toothbrush holders, stained soap dishes, and etc.,) and maybe the packaging material for your new furniture and belongings. These aren’t particularly light items, but they’re not too heavy either. A 3-Yard or 3 cubic metre skip is your best bet.



Moving out of a house or apartment is the perfect opportunity to get rid of things that are broken or beyond repair, items you no longer need or want, and clothes or furniture you’ve been meaning to give away. A mini skip is best if you’re just transferring apartments. If it’s a proper house-and-lot setup that you’re leaving behind, a regular-sized one should be just fine.


Apartment Clean-up/Move-out

An average-sized studio or one-bedroom apartment can hold a lot of stuff, but chances are you’re going to be bringing most of that stuff with you – especially if you’re just renting and the furniture there isn’t your own. A 2-Yard or 3-Yard skip bin should be more than enough.


Whole House Clean-up/Move-out

If you’re planning to get rid of small pieces of furniture like cabinets, chairs, wastebaskets, organizers, and the like, a 4-Yard or 4 cubic metre skip bin should cover you. For larger items like exercise equipment, tables, closets, or even full bed frames, you’re better of hiring a 6-Yard or 6 cubic metre skip bin.

Your Guide to Skip Bin Sizes