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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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As if the closures of many of our civic amenity tips, plus shorter opening hours and closed gates two-days a week at others wasn't enough, the cost of hiring a skip to facilitate safe and easy disposal of waste following home improvements, has increased. This doesn't bode well for consumers, suppliers, the home improvement industry or our environment, does it?

The Federation of Master Builders says the average cost of an eight-yard skip has gone up from £246 to £270 over the past year, increasing the cost of the average extension by £360. With two-thirds of builders admitting they've passed skip price increases on to clients, I daresay clients on a tight budget will have been forced to cut their cloth accordingly - perhaps going without that new appliance or opting for a cheaper worktop or taps.

On the other hand, builders who can't afford to reduce their margins or pass skip costs on, may resort to fly tipping or filling householders' bins with rubbish that could be recycled if the whole process weren't being made so darned difficult!

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, says it's not just disposal costs but diesel price increases too that are causing problems. He says these have come at a bad time for builders who are already struggling to cover higher wages because of worsening skills shortages. Further, he warns that almost 90% believe that material prices will rise in the next six months. "We're advising builders to price jobs with this plethora of price rises in mind to avoid a further squeeze on already razor thin margins," he admits.

I'm always disappointed to see skips piled with items that could have been given to others who need them, via schemes such as Gumtree or Freecycle, and I love seeing appliances or furniture left at the property's edge with signs saying: "Good working order/very comfy - please take". I've disposed of some of my own unwanted items in this way; it saves hassle, keeps costs down, reduces landfill requirements and makes me happy that I'm helping others. And having had a second-hand tumble dryer stolen from my driveway in the time it had taken me to get help carrying it indoors, I know just how quickly things can go!

The need to dispose of waste is a problem that affects us all. What can we as an industry do to encourage people to pass on, rather than throw out, I wonder? Are you involved in a recycling scheme that's enjoying success? If you are, I'd love to hear about it.




Jan Hobbs



16th November 2018

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