hippo bag full of waste for collection

Hippo Bag Guide

4 June 2021

Hippo bag alternatives & Hippo bags

Are you thinking of using a Hippobag or alternative? If so, read this ultimate guide to everything you need to know about the subject, including how to avoid making expensive mistakes and what Hippo bag alternatives are available in London and the rest of the UK.

  1. Hippo Bag alternatives
  2. Where can I buy a skip bag?
  3. What sizes do Hippobags come in?
  4. Do Hippo bags have weight restrictions?
  5. What jobs are Hippo bags best suited to?
  6. What can and cannot be put in a skip bag?
  7. Can you put plasterboard in a Hippobag?
  8. How much does a Hippobag collection cost?
  9. How do I book a Hippo bag collection?
  10. Are Hippobags collected on weekends?
  11. How long does it take to collect a skip bag?
  12. Can you take a Hippobag to the skip?
  13. Where do I leave my skip bag?
  14. How do man and van Hippobag collections work?
  15. What is a Hippo bag or skip bag?


1. Hippo bag alternatives

The main alternatives to using a Hippo bag are 1) a council bulky waste collection 2) using a man and van rubbish clearance company, 3) hiring a skip, or 4) taking your waste to your local household waste recycling centre.

If you already have a Hippo bag, there is also a 5th option – where you fill your Hippo bag with rubbish but then pay an independent waste company to empty it (ie. rather than using Hippowaste who remove the rubbish and the bag at the same time).  This options tends to be quite a bit cheaper than using Hippowaste. 



2. Where can I buy a skip bag?

The most well-known brand of skip bag is Hippobag, which you can buy direct from Hippowaste or from one of the major DIY retailers like B&Q, Wickes, and Travis Perkins stores. You can also buy them from Amazon.

However, a Hippo bag is effectively just a bulky canvas bag used to store bulky waste.  So, a cheaper alternative to a Hippobag is to buy bulk builders bag (sold by every builders merchant or DIY chain) and pay a local man & van rubbish clearance company to empty it once you’ve filled it with waste.

3. What sizes do Hippobags come in?

Below is a table showing the size of each different bag and how much waste can fit in it.


Builders Bag

Hippo Midibag

Hippo Megabag

Hippo Hipposkip

Cubic Yards 1.0 cubic yard 1.0 cubic yard 1.5 cubic yard 4.5 cubic yards
Size 900 x 900x 900mm 900 x 900 x 900mm 1800 x 900x 700mm 2100 x 1650 x 1000mm
Bulky rubbish that takes up similar volume  

Washing machine


Washing machine Tall Fridge or Bath Bathroom or small kitchen ripout


4. Do Hippo bags have weight restrictions?

Hippowaste use crane style lorries to remove the filled bag, and for health & safety reasons have the following weight restrictions:

  • Midibag – 1 tonne
  • Megabag – 1.5 tonnes
  • Hipposkip – 1.5 tonnes

However, if you arrange your collection with a waste contractor that does not use a mechanised arm to collect the bag (or for that matter use an alternative Hippo bag), but instead empties it by hand – then no weight restrictions apply. 


5. What jobs are skip bags suited to?

Skips bags are good for garden, builder or DIY waste (kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, carpet, rubble etc).  They’re a great alternative if you don’t have the space for a skip, or if there is limited access.  However, it’s worth noting that if a crane lorry is collecting your skip bag, it’ll need easy access which means it will have to sit on a driveway/front garden/public highway.  If you don’t have the space for this, you can opt for a man and van as they will remove the waste from anywhere on your property.

If you have enough waste to fill a skip, a skip bag isn’t the ideal choice because it is more economical to hire a skip. 

Additionally, if labour and loading the skip bag is an issue, you may be much better off using a man & van clearance company because labour is included in the price. For a full discussion of all the bulky waste collectiion methods check out this article.


6. What can and cannot be put in a Hippo bag or skip bag?

You can put almost any type of non-hazardous waste in a Hippobag, including bathroom and kitchen rip-outs, carpet/flooring, DIY waste, broken tiles, soil, glass, furniture, and general junk. However, the following items are typically prohibited:

  • Asbestos
  • Batteries
  • Mattresses
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fluorescent tubes
  • Fridges/freezers
  • Tyres
  • Pianos
  • TVs and computer/laptop screens
  • Paint cans
  • Gas bottles
  • Liquids (ie. oil, cooking oil, petrol, diesel, paint)
  • Food waste including raw meats and fish
  • Human/animal waste and clinical waste
  • Bulky appliances (dishwashers, washing machines etc) – however it is allowed if the bag is collected by a private waste contractor

Use the following link to read our very detailed post of exactly what you can and cannot put in a hippo bag.



7. Can you put plasterboard in a Hippobag?

Plasterboard can be put in a Hippo bag but should not be mixed in with other waste. So, place it in its own bag and label it clearly or tell the collector when you arrange the collection. This is because plasterboard has to be recycled separately at the disposal facility. 


8. How much does it cost for a Hippo bag collection?

The price of a Hippo bag collection undertaken by independent waste companies ranges from £80 – £250 including VAT.  Check out example Hippo bag collection prices .  Exact cost depends on the size of the bag, the amount and type of waste in it (note: heavy waste costs more to dispose of unless it is highly recyclable like earth or sawdust and not contaminated with lots of other waste), location of bag, access / proximity to the road, and how urgently you require collection (same day jobs tend to cost more).  Hippo also offers discount codes to save money on collection.

Hippowaste charge the following for collection:

  • Hippo Midibag (1 yard) – £144.99 (max 1000kg)
  • Hippo Megabag (1.5 yard) – £174.99 (max 1500kg)
  • Hipposkip bag (4.5 yard) – £244.99


hippo bag filled with rubbish

9. How do I arrange a Hippobag collection?

If you are happy using an indepedent waste contractor to collect your Hippobag, you can Google around to get quotes or (and this is much easier btw!) simply create a free listing on LoveJunk to find your cheapest available licensed collector.

However, if you would prefer to use Hippowaste to collect (which is likely to cost quite a bit more), you can order your collection online via their website.


10. Are Hippo bags collected on weekends?

If you use an independent waste contractor to collect, your Hippo bag can be picked up any day of the week. Although, bear in mind that many waste companies don’t work weekends and most disposal facilities are shut on Sunday, so if you require a Saturday or Sunday collection, it is likely to cost a bit more.

11. How long does it take to collect a Hippo bag?

The amount of time it takes to collect depends on who you use.  Just like calling up a plumber to fix a leaking pipe. Hippowaste state on their website they aim to collect Hippobags within 5 working days. But if you list your job on LoveJunk, you can choose the most convenient day for you and you’ll be matched to a collector who can remove your waste on that date.  Note that same collections or very narrow pickup windows tend to cost more.


12. Can you take a Hippobag to the skip?

You can take your Hippobag or skip bag to the tip – it’s a great way to keep your car clean from any messy, loose waste.  Bear in mind that once full, skip bags can be pretty heavy so moving the bag into the back of your car may be tricky.


13. Where do I leave my skip bag?

If your skip bag is being collected using a crane lorry, you’ll need to leave it somewhere with easy access.  This could be on a public highway, front garden or driveway.  If you do choose to place your bag on the road, be aware that you’ll need to pay permit fees.

If you choose to use a man and van collection service, you can keep your bag leave your bag anywhere on your property.


3 hippo skip bags of earth £200 for collection and disposal in london

14. How do man & van Hippo bag collections work?

A man and van collection of a Hippo bag is easy. It is the alternative to your Hippo bag being collected by Hippowaste.  They turn up and empty your bag by hand (assuming it isn’t light enough to be carried filled to the van). They load the waste into their truck. They sweep up where the bag was and any rubbish/ dust that fell around it. And that’s it.


15. What is a Hippo bag or skip bag?

A Hippo bag (sometimes called a skip bag) is a heavy-duty plastic bag used to dispose of bulky waste.  It’s basically a canvas bag version of a small skip.


Other resources:

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