Now synonymous with modern architectural construction and renovation in the domestic and commercial sector, skip hire services really found their feet during the urban expansion and regeneration projects that took place in the 1970. Exporting a vast amount of waste (which at that time was mostly all sent to landfill) skip hire companies offered construction and demolition companies a convenient and easily implementable form of disposing of their waste, and quickly gained popularity.
But skips owe their origins to the political battles lost and won during the industrial revolution, particularly in Manchester (the world’s first industrial city), where workers spoke up in defence of their right and, by extension, the quality of the environments they lived in.
A new direction: skip hire firms adopt more environmentally sound methods
Over the past ten years or so, skip hire companies have seen their services undergo a radical change. With much fewer materials now being sent to landfill sites skip hire companies have begun to sort waste for recycling and reuse. But is this new form of waste disposal any answer to our search for sustainable waste management?
Competing with recycling and landfill waste management programmes, Gloucestershire have recently announced plans to build an incinerator which, they say, will cut down on improper waste disposal while simultaneously generating energy in the form of heat and electricity.
Under the guise of progression, the incinerator fails to take any new stand on the issue, instead relying on disposal technologies (i.e. destruction from combustion) that are out of touch with the modern world and potentially harmful to the spirit of recycling which countless initiatives have worked hard to instill.
What’s next for skip hire?
Much of the future for our waste management infrastructure remains clouded in darkness. With a number of new waste disposal methods quickly gaining support amongst those looking for change, the role ‘traditional’ skip hire will play in the next generation of waste disposal is unknown.
Whether skip services will fall out of favour, or instead implement these new methods of waste disposal into their current operational framework (as they’ve managed in the past) is something as yet to be discovered.
As new methods of waste management are beginning to raise their voices at the start of the twenty-first century, it’s important for us to look back; to look at how current waste management infrastructure has come into being and to find ways in which we might learn from previous mistakes.