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

What Can You Put in a Hippo Bag – the Ultimate Guide

16 July 2021

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:

  1. Hippo bag accepted waste
  2. Hippo bag prohibited waste summary
  3. Asbestos
  4. Batteries
  5. Clinical waste
  6. Soil
  7. Plasterboard
  8. Rubble
  9. Paint
  10. Mattress
  11. Glass 
  12. Food waste
  13. Clothes
  14. Carpet and flooring
  15. Washing machines and bulky appliances
  16. TV
  17. Fridge

hippo bag full of waste for disposal


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*
  • Fridge*
  • Garden waste, garden refuse and cuttings
  • Glass and windows
  • General household waste (but not food waste)
  • Insulation material
  • Mattress
  • 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*
  • Tyres*
  • 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
  • Mattresses
  • Tyres
  • Paint
  • Cement
  • Sawdust
  • Gypsum
  • Pianos

3. Asbestos

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.


4. Batteries

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.


hippo bag plasterboard


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.


6. Soil

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.

7. Plasterboard

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.


8. Rubble

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.


9. Paint

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.


10. Mattress

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


11. Glass

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.


13. Clothes

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. 


can you put carpet in a skip bag hippo bag


14. Carpet

Carpet is allowed in Hippo and skip bags.  There are lots of other ways to recycle carpets though, including reuse.  Check our out guides to carpet disposal and carpet uplift.


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.


16. TV

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).


17. Fridge

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.


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