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  • Why are Skips Yellow – and Other Fun Facts!


    As unbelievable as it may seem, the humble skip actually has an interesting history behind it – and it’s origins go back further than you might think.

    The History of Skip Hire

    Did you know that skips trace their roots all the way back to the 1920s? During Victorian times, wheeled waste containers were used in the mining industry to remove rubble from mine shafts and to ferry quarry material around.

    It wasn’t long before these oversized waste receptacles found use away from the mines, and were repurposed for construction waste disposal. But the old wooden mining carts soon became outdated as projects grew and horses struggled to pull the bulky waste over long distances. With the invention of the internal combustion engine, horses were phased out and replaced with trucks for haulage.

    Modern skips as we know them today were born of necessity. Post-WWII war Germany was in ruin and rubble clearance was intensive. To save time and labour, the skips we know today were invented: detachable waste hoppers that could be unloaded from trucks, allowing drivers to move more efficiently while waste was loaded in. 

    These large, polygonal steel containers were tough and capable successors to the horse-drawn carts that once lined the streets and their design has barely changed since they were introduced.

    Back in the UK, home remodelling was becoming increasingly popular during the 60s, as ageing buildings were given a new lease of life. The modern, German-design of skips started to appear on residential streets as a result – but skip hire was not affordable for most people in those days.

    Now, skips are the UK’s favourite way to move bulky waste around; as a nation, we move over 200 million tonnes of waste in skips every year!

    So – Why are Skips Yellow?

    In 1971, the government introduced regulations on skip hire as part and mandated that all skips had to be painted yellow. Yellow was chosen because it’s the most visible colour in the dark, and as skips were often placed in roads, it was meant as a way to avoid collisions.

    Now that skips can have lights attached to them, the law requiring all skips to be yellow has been lifted – but the colour has stuck! It’s become symbolic of the humble skip, and remains a traditional choice for skip colour.

    Hire a Skip with McCarthy

    Hire a skip now from McCarthy, for quick and convenient disposal of all kinds of waste – including house clearances, office clearances, DIY waste and bulky waste.

    Call us on 01235 760555 or fill out our contact form.

    Why are Skips Yellow – and Other Fun Facts!
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