If you’re having a clean-up of your property, you may be thinking about hiring a company to collect the waste. If so, you can choose between hiring a skip bin or buying a flexible bag. So, which is best? We outline the pros and cons in this post. 

Skip bins

Historically, the only way to tidy up large volumes of rubbish around the home was by ordering a skip bin. To clarify, a skip bin is the open-top kind that comes off the back of a four-wheeler truck. 

Depending on the property, delivering skip bins onto a driveway or front lawn is generally not a problem. Built of steel, skip bins are easy to load, and the larger ones (6m and 9m) have doors at one end, which makes for easy loading. 

Other bin-hire companies offer slightly different large bins, which we call ‘sloping.’ They don’t have doors and can be harder to load because you need to lift waste higher to get it inside. 

Steel bins are very expensive to build. So, when we hire them out, there needs to be a time limit to enable us to recoup costs or, as they say in business, make a Return on Investment (ROI). It’s like buying a McDonald’s cheeseburger — a portion of what you pay is to cover the cost of the equipment to cook and serve the burger. 

The other thing to mention is that steel bins are reused over and over — it takes many years (and repairs) before they are consigned to the scrapheap. And, when they are, steel bins don’t end up in landfill because they get recycled into other steel products.  

Flexible bags

In recent years, flexible bags have appeared in the waste market. To get one, phone us, and we’ll courier one to your address, or you can purchase some bags from major brands at stores like Bunnings, PlaceMakers and Mitre 10. 

Flexible bags have a few advantages. For a start, because they’re your property, you can take as long as you like to load them. Secondly, you can usually put flexible bags in trickier spots than steel bins — retrieving one from behind a six-foot fence isn’t a problem for a HIAB truck.  Lastly, the price for picking up a flexible bag is less than hiring a steel bin because the costs are substantially lower for us. For example, we can pick up 5 – 10 bags on one route with a HIAB truck, compared to one bin with a skip truck. 

The downsides to flexible bags

Although there are benefits to flexible bags, we would be lying to say there are no negatives.  

  1. Some companies can be misleading with their pricing. You will pay a low price for the bag and may assume this includes the collection costs. However, read the T’s and C’s as you could be disappointed when you cop a second charge for collection. When you buy a Pink Bag, you’ll pay a one-off fee for the bag, collection and disposal.  
  2. The bags aren’t as easy to load as open-top steel bins. Some would argue that you can’t get as much rubbish in them.
  3. The bags are plastic and can tear. If a bag is too heavy and filled with sharp objects, like timber with nails or small amounts of concrete, it can rip open, and you’ll arrive home to a mess. We always call if this happens to make a plan!
  4. Bag collection is within 7 days, as opposed to 1-2 days with a steel bin. This timeframe may not suit people with time constraints. The reasoning behind the longer wait period is that our trucks work in one area of Auckland each day to maximise collection, like wheelie-bin collections. So, doing so reduces transport costs — makes sense, right?
  5. One major downside to flexible bags is they don’t have a positive effect on the environment. They are plastic, and 99% of them will end up at the landfill after one use! We understand this is not a good look. However, unfortunately, it isn’t safe to reuse them because the integrity of the bags declines after one use. We don’t want to harm the public or our staff when picking up damaged bags. On a positive note, though, we use the bags to store non-ferrous metals, like cables, whenever possible.

So, there you have it: a comparison between skip bins and flexible bags. 

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