1300 605 624

Hard Waste Collection vs Hiring a Skip Bin | Need A Skip Now

Hard Waste Collection vs Hiring a Skip Bin

We are often having conversations with our customers as to which items they can dispose of through council's hard waste collection and which materials they can only dispose of through hiring a skip bin.  At the same time, as there are many councils in Melbourne and each one has a different schedule and rules in regards to hard waste collection, we have witnessed a wide spread confusion about what Hard Waste Collection is and how best to utilise it in your process of rubbish disposal from your home.  We think it's important to initially start with the definition.

How Does Council's Hard Waste Collection Work

According to the definition from the Department of Sustainability:

"Hard Rubbish Collection is a Waste Disposal and Recycling Service for items, which are too large to dispose of through regular household waste disposal"

Most councils provide at least an annual hard rubbish collection service, free of charge, like in a case of City of Melbourne.  Some councils provide waste collection at a specific time each year, while other councils prefer to operate via bookings, to make it more convenient to the residents.

Council Hard Rubbish Collection is useful to dispose of bulk items, such as:Hard Waste Collection

  • white goods (washing machines, fridges, microwaves
  • E-Waste, such as TV's, Computers, printers
  • Mattresses
  • Small Rugs  (check your individual council for guidelines on size)
  • bikes
  • Barbeques
  • Scrap Metal
  • Timber
  • Paint  - dry with lids off

Again, it is critical to double check with your council, which materials they will or will not accept, in which size and in what type of packaging.  Some coucnils require white goods with their doors removed for example.

If you have any of the above materials and your council accepts individual bookings, provided you haven't exceeded your number of free bookings per annum, you can try calling your council or booking online.  If you are lucky enough to have council's collection date just around the corner then all you need to do is to prepare the items in the shape and size that your council accepts and place them on your nature strip at a specified time by your council.

But what to do if you have other materials or larger quantities of materials than your council accepts?  For example, City of Melbourne will only accept  one cubic meter of waste and no more.  If you have more waste or different type of waste, City of Melbourne recommends hiring a Skip Bin, which is far more versatile with significantly broader variety of waste that you can dispose of.

Which Items Will Not Be Accepted in Hard Waste Collection

According to the City of Melbourne website, the following items will not be accepted as part of a general hard waste collection.

  • Recyclables, inclusive of Paper, Cardboard, Plastic Containers, Aluminium CansHard Waste Collection
  • Domestic Waste, including garbage bags
  • Renovation waste materials
  • Carperts
  • Sinks, toilets and plaster boards
  • Building waste including: bricks, concrete, soil, stones, timber and roofing
  • Hazardous waste, such as asbestos
  • Liquid Waste, including but not limited to paints, oil, chemicals
  • Garden Waste (a separate garden and organics collection must be booked)
  • Polystyrene and Styrofoam

Some councils also mention other materials, which won't be accepted, such as:

  • tyres, parts of a motor vehicle
  • waste from industrial or commercial premises
  • Batterries of any type
  • unwrapped or broken glass
  • any item longer than 2 meters or too heavy for two people to lift
  • untied branches
  • timber, tree stumps or roots

Hard Waste Collection vs Skip Bin Hire

Let's look at these two options of waste disposal and how can you benefit from one or another.

Con's of Hard Waste Collection

  1. Limited amount of collections per annum (unless you are in a City of Glen Eira, which allows 9 free collections per year as follows: 3 for hard rubbish, 3 for bundled branches and 3 for bulk cardboard)
  2. Limited amount of waste can be disposed, between 1 cubic meters in some councils up to 4 cubic meters in other councils
  3. Limitation in the size of the rubbish that you dispose of, like the length of certain materials, packaging and bundling requirements
  4. Limitation of the type of waste that you can dispose of. Generally its white goods that are no longer working or old furniture.  No renovation or building waste or other items are allowed, apart from green waste, which yet again has limitations of size and how often you can dispose of it.

Pro's of Hard Waste Collection

  1. It's Free
  2. Some council's allow you to do it more than once a year
  3. Some councils allow you to book it online

Pro's of Hiring a Skip Bin

As advised on various council's websites, such as on a City of Melbourne Website, if you have more waste than City Council is allowed to accept or your waste comes in larger variety and volume of items, than prescribed then you are better off ordering a skip bin.  Here's the alternative Pro's if your rubbish doesn't quite fit into the definition of council's Hard Rubbish Collection:

Mini Skip Hire

  • Skip Bin can be ordered at any time that is suitable to you, there is no annual limit :-)
  • Skip Bin can be conveniently placed in your driveway, should the space allow and you can progressively fill it up, without the need of dumping all the mess to your nature strip.  We allow up to 10 days bin hire with no additional charges.  For our repeat customers, we never charge for extra days hire and allow them to keep the bin for as long as necessary to fill it. 


  • Skip Bins come in different sizes, between 2 cubic meters and 31 cubic meters, therefore you can order any size bin, to suit your clean up or renovation project and not be limited by council's guidelines


  • Depending on a type of waste that you are disposing of, skip bins can be ordered for various waste types and some recyclable waste types, such as 100% cardboard bin will be at deeply discounted prices.  If your council doesn't accept cardboard or you have exceeded your number of free collections and have just moved house and need to dispose of tonne of packaging, then mini skip is definitely for you
  • If you are renovating then Skip Bin is the only workable option as no council will accept renovation or building materials



  • If you are disposing of heavy items or items longer than 2 meters then again - Skip Bin is your best friend, as even a 3 cubic meters mini skip has a length of 2.4 meters, 6 cubic meters bin has a lengh of 3.6m and 12 cubic meters hook bin has a length of 5.5m as an example.  To see dimensions of all our bins, check out our Bins page.


  • If you are a business, Factory, Building site or a Commercial Office - council doesn't offer free collection service.  Hence Skip Bin Hire is the most convenient and versitile solution that our Business, industry and trade customers utilise.


Getting a Skip Bin Quote is easy, bin can be quoted and booked within minitues, any time of the day and you can receive it the following day

In summary, depending on which city council you live in, we recommend to check the calendar or their free collections and what items and volumes they accept.  Should your personal timing of waste disposal not align with council's calendar and you urgently need to move home or business or dispose of a different waste type and quantities than your council accepts then Skip Bin Hire could be your alternative.  In some cases of residential clean up you could perhaps utilise both.  First you can dispose of what you can through a free collection by council and then order a skip bin for the rest of the items that Council doesn't accept.

We hope that this article has demystified the process of Hard Waste Collection vs Hiring a Skip Bin and we are here Monday to Saturday to answer any questions, specific to your clean up, renovation or building project, on 1300 605 624.