what can and cant be put in a hippo bag skip bag ultimate guide

What can you put in a Hippo bag?

16 July 2021

What can you put in a hippo bag? How much waste fits in each skip bag size, and are there any Hippo bag alternatives if necessary? If you’re asking these questions - you’re in the right place! This article covers:

  1. Accepted waste in Hippo bags
  2. Prohibited waste
    1. Size and weight limits
  3. What to do with waste that isn’t allowed in Hippo bags

If your bag is already full and you’re looking to get rid, we have an article all about Hippo bag collection cost.


1. Accepted waste in Hippo bags

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 table below provides examples of common waste that goes in Hippo bags, plus any notes.

Waste type Notes
Bathroom & Kitchen renovation, repairs & refurbishment waste Hippo bags are ideal for this type of messy job
Boilers & Cylinders
Carpet, flooring material, carpet tiles, and underlay, wood flooring*
Construction, builders, trade & DIY waste
Furniture (broken down or as it is) Consider breaking up anything particularly large (like a sofa). Or, see our guide to furniture disposal if you have a lot.
Garden waste, garden refuse and cuttings Bear in mind the weight of garden waste, particularly soil
General household waste Food waste NOT allowed
Glass and windows Wrap up any broken glass to avoid any injury to the waste collectors.
Insulation material
Metal, iron, scrap metal
Packaging, Paper and Cardboard Fold flat or cut up to make the most of space
Rags and Wipes (not oily)
Roofing Material, guttering, felt, roof tiles
Rubble, bricks Bear in mind weight restrictions as this is generally heavy material
Soil, turf, sand, grit* Bear in mind weight restrictions
Textiles, clothing, shoes, duvets, curtains Consider donating clothes and shoes to charity rather than throwing them away. 
Wood and timber

*May incur extra charges.


Waste allowed in Hippo bags ONLY when collected privately

Hippowaste will not collect the following items. However, man & van private waste collectors WILL accept this waste in a Hippo or skip bag:

  • Cement
  • Electrical appliances
  • Food waste
  • Fridge
  • Mattress
  • Plasterboard or Gypsum (separate from other waste)
  • Sawdust
  • Tree roots that are very big/ heavy 
  • Tyres

Bear in mind that these items (being bulky, electrical or certain materials) can increase the cost of a Hippo bag removal. As opposed to if it was just full of rubble and bricks.



3. Prohibited waste

You cannot put any type of hazardous waste in a Hippo bag. Neither Hippowaste nor man & van collectors can take:

  • Animal waste
  • Asbestos - see our asbestos disposal guide
  • Batteries 
  • Clinical waste
  • Explosives 
  • Fluorescent tubes
  • Gas bottles
  • Liquid waste
  • Oily rags/motor parts
  • Paint - see our paint disposal guide
  • Sodium lamps
  • Toxic substances

To dispose of these types of waste, you need to find a specialist for hazardous or clinical waste.


Hippo bag size & weight guide

As well as prohibited items, it's useful to know weight limits for each Hippo bag size.




Cubic Yards 1.0 cubic yard 1.5 cubic yard 4.5 cubic yards
Size 900 x 900 x 900mm 1800 x 900x 700mm 2100 x 1650 x 1000mm
Weight restriction 1 tonne 1.5 tonnes 1.5 tonnes
Bulky rubbish that takes up similar volume Washing machine Tall Fridge or Bath Bathroom or small kitchen ripout

Overfilling a Hippo bag results in extra charges from Hippowaste, so bear this in mind before filling. That being said, if you hire a man & van waste carrier instead, it doesn’t matter if you overfill.


Hippo bag collection

When you're ready to get rid of your waste, there are 3 main ways to do so:

  1. Take it to a recycling centre yourself
  2. Pay Hippowaste (or your skip bag provider)
  3. Pay a Man & Van private waste carrier

We break down each solution plus costs and how to save money in our Hippo bag Collection Cost article.



Finally, thanks for reading!

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