What Can You Put in a Hippo Bag – the Ultimate Guide
What can you put in a Hippo bag? If you're using a Hippo bag or skip bag to dispose of your waste, this guide covers everything you need to know, including how this differs if you get the bag collected or emptied by an independent waste contractor and not Hippowaste (the company behind Hippobag).
This guide covers:
- Hippo bag accepted waste
- Hippo bag prohibited waste summary
- Clinical waste
- Food waste
- Carpet and flooring
- Washing machines and bulky appliances
1. What can you put in a Hippo bag?
A Hippo bag is really nothing more than a small skip. So basically you can put pretty much everything in it that you can put in a skip. The list below sets out the most popular sorts of rubbish that people use a hippo bag for.
Note: items marked with an asterisk may incur extra charges, and items marked in red are not allowed by Hippowaste but are allowed if you use an independent waste collector to remove or empty your Hippo bag.
- Bathroom & Kitchen renovation, repairs & refurbishment waste
- Furniture (broken down or as it is)
- Boilers & Cylinders
- Carpet, flooring material, carpet tiles, and underlay, wood flooring*
- Construction, builders, trade & DIY waste
- Electrical appliances*
- Garden waste, garden refuse and cuttings
- Glass and windows
- General household waste (but not food waste)
- Insulation material
- Metal, iron, scrap metal
- Packaging, Paper and Cardboard
- Plasterboard or Gypsum (however this needs to be kept separate from other waste)*
- Rags and Wipes (not oily)
- Roofing Material, guttering, felt, roof tiles
- Rubble, bricks
- Soil, turf, sand, grit*
- Textiles, clothing, shoes, duvets, curtains
- Wood and timber
2. What can’t you put in a Hippo bag?
The main thing that you cannot put in a Hippo bag is hazardous waste, which includes animal waste, asbestos, batteries, clinical waste, explosives, fluorescent tubes, gas bottles, liquid waste, oily rags/motor parts, sodium lamps, or toxic substances.
If you use Hippowaste (the company that sells Hippobags) to remove your bag, they also prohibit the items listed below. These additional restrictions are because Hippowaste uses trucks with a mechanical hoist to lift the bag up which have weight-bearing limits and also because, like any large company, they have to simplify their pricing, so exclude stuff that costs a bit more to dispose of to make their fixed prices work. On the other hand, most independent waste collection businesses will take these items but will require an extra charge.
- Electrical appliances (large or small)
- Food waste
- Big (ie. very heavy) tree roots
Asbestos cannot be disposed of in Hippo bags or skip bags. Because they are hazardous waste, they need to be disposed of differently. If you are unfortunate to discover asbestos in your home, check out our asbestos disposal guide.
Batteries are classified as hazardous waste and must not be put in a Hippo bag. There are lots of disposal points across the UK for batteries, for example, supermarkets, DIY stores or your local council tip.
5. Clinical waste
You can not dispose of clinical waste in a Hippobag because it's hazardous. Instead, you’ll need to pay a specialist waste contractor to remove it for you.
Soil can be put in a skip bag, but keep in mind that soil is very dense and, if you use Hippowaste to clear your bag, there are weight restrictions.
You can dispose of plasterboard in a Hippo bag but it must be kept separate from other waste. You can segregate the waste by bagging it or wrapping it up. It needs to be separated because it can degrade into powder, making it very difficult to separate from other waste in the recycling process.
Rubble and other construction waste can go in the bag but bear in mind if you use Hippowaste for your collection they have maximum weight restrictions. If you exceed these weight restrictions, they will refuse to take the bag away or require you to empty enough of it for them to be able to lift the bag safely using their mechanical hoist.
You cannot put paint in a Hippobag. If you have paint to dispose of, you’ll have to use an alternative disposal method as you can’t place any liquid waste in a skip bag. It’s classified as hazardous waste. Check out our paint disposal guide to find out how best to dispose of empty, half-full and full tins of paint.
A mattress can be disposed of in a Hippobag if you use an independent contractor but you’ll be charged extra for it. Hippowaste do not collect mattresses
Glass can be put in a Hippo bag, as long as it’s wrapped to avoid any injury when the waste is being sorted for recycling. Note: if you are using a waste contractor to empty it by hand, be sure to let them know in advance that the bag contains glass.
12. Food waste
No, food waste cannot be disposed of in a skip bag. This is because food waste is organic waste, so needs to be treated differently from general waste at the tip. Food waste is best disposed of in your general waste household bin or food waste bin if you have one.
Clothes and textiles are allowed in hippo bags but it's a shame to do so. Have you considered donating them to your local charity shop or putting them in your nearest clothes and textiles recycling bin - you'll normally find one at your local supermarket.
15. Washing machine
Washing machines, dishwashers and other bulky appliances like dishwashers and tumble dryers (but not fridges) can go in a Hippo bag, but only if you use an independent waste contractor to collect. Hippowaste does not allow any appliances in the bag if they collect.
You cannot dispose of a TV using a Hippobag if you use Hippowaste to collect. You can however dispose of it by hiring a man & van waste contractor, using your council WEEE collection service or taking it to your local HWRC (although you should double-check beforehand if they accept TVs as some not all do).
You can’t put a fridge in a Hippobag, but don’t worry - you could ask a man & van removal company to collect and recycle it for you. They’ll even leave you with the skip bag for reuse.
Other useful posts
- Examples and photos of Hippo bag collection cost
- Hippo Bag Collection Guide
- Hippo bag guide and Hippo bag alternatives
- Hippo bag discount codes
- Finding the cheapest waste contractor for a Hippo bag collection
- Furniture removal guide