Can you take things out of a skip?

Recycling and upcycling are both incredibly popular today as people look to be more eco-friendly. Some see skips as potential treasure troves of things they can use. However, it does present the question of whether you can just take items out of a skip. We want to look at that here to give you some advice. Afterwards, if you need skip hire in Hartlepool, you can rely on us.

The law

Skip hire HartlepoolIn England and Wales the Theft Act (1968) states it is against the law to dishonestly appropriate property that belongs to someone else. In Scotland, the same thing is covered under common-law theft rules. So, if you follow the law to the letter, you can’t take items from a skip because they are not yours.

However, there is a grey area here. If items are abandoned it isn’t as clear cut. They still technically belong to the owner and you have to make a realistic effort to contact them. In fact, you have an obligation of care. However, you may be able to take them.

Key things to think about

There are a few things you can do to protect yourself if you are thinking about taking something from a skip. We’ve learned about them in our long years of providing skip hire in Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, and more.

Firstly, it is important to ensure the items in a skip are actually there for disposal. Some people use skips to store items while they are updating or clearing out properties. If you take them, it is definitely theft.

Some people arrange skip services because the waste they are putting in is going for recycling. Again if you take the items it could be seen as theft.

Secondly, you should look at where the skip is. The key thing here is to note whether it is on private land such as a driveway. If so, you are trespassing and then taking items. That could cause some big legal issues if the owner chooses to take action.

You may think you have more freedom if the skip is on public land. However, the items still legally belong to the person who hired it.


The most important thing to remember is there is no harm in asking for permission. It is far better than risking any legal problems. A simple knock at the door to ask if you can take something can go a long way.

Do you want skip hire in Hartlepool?

L&C is the perfect company if you want a local skip expert. We specialise in providing reliable services, delivering skips and placing them carefully on any site. You can keep them for as long as you need to do your project. Then simply speak to us and we will collect everything.

So, if you want skip hire in Hartlepool, speak to us or book online. We support domestic clients and all kinds of businesses.