Category: Environmental

The Actual Cost Of Hiring A Skip

Skip Hire Costs

What’s The REAL Cost Of Hiring A Skip?

If you’re planning on hiring a skip and you’re working to a budget, you need to bear in mind that the rental fees charged by the skip hire companies themselves are not the only cost involved.

According to statistics from the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and the National Federation of Builders, the construction industry in the United Kingdom utilises 400 million tonnes of material, produces 100 million tonnes of waste and sends 25 million tonnes to landfill per annum. That’s a lot of waste! And this has major financial implications for construction sites…

When hiring a skip, the rental itself is often considered the main cost but there are in fact many other hidden costs which are often overlooked. The following infographic, courtesy of Reconomy, helps break down these costs and offers ideas about ways to reduce them by managing waste more efficiently:


Improve waste management to reduce skip costs


By optimising the use of materials and making more efficient use of skip space, not only can project costs can be lowered, but the amount of waste going to landfill can also be reduced. In other words, greater efficiency and a smaller carbon footprint…crucial in today’s economy and environmental landscape. Shockingly, KPMG’s Global Construction Survey of 2015 discovered that only 31% of construction projects managed to be completed within 10% of budget. Meanwhile, according to a survey carried out by the Federation of Master Builders, 65% of construction companies expect the costs of materials to go up over the next six months.

By developing a track record for keeping waste management costs low and productivity high, these risks can be minimised, construction firms can gain a considerable edge in an increasingly competitive market.

James Foster, CEO of North East Lincolnshire waste management company Skip Hire Grimsby, had this to say:

“Aside from all the industrial jobs we cater for, a lot of the orders we receive are from folks at home just looking to hire a skip for a few days to clear out their house or garden, or do a small renovation. Since these are often one-off jobs, a lot of people don’t realise or think about the other costs involved, or ways they could make everything more efficient. As waste management experts, one of our jobs is to help our customers make the right decisions.”

Waste Management Tips:

  • When factoring in everything from labour costs and value of waste materials, to tax and hire costs, the total cost for waste disposal can come to as much as £1,300 per skip.
  • Since skip companies charge per pick-up, skip costs are higher if skips are not fully filled, hence the importance of choosing the right size skip for the job.
  • By optimising volume and waste streams for more efficient skip use, costs can be reduced by up to 30%.
  • In order to improve efficiency, it helps to formulate a strategy for waste segregation, increase skip volume and align purchasing and delivery functions to work together effectively.
  • By focusing on the reduction of waste, reuse of materials and increased recycling wherever possible, construction companies can not only save money and reduce landfill rates, but also generate additional income and reduce carbon emissions…and ultimately enhance their reputation.

Breakthrough In Manufacturing Pushes Flexible Solar Cells Into The Mainstream

Flexible Solar Panels – The Future Of Solar Energy?

A manufacturing breakthrough has meant that flexible solar cells with superior characteristics to traditional crystalline silica solar cells are now becoming available. Because it has thinner layers of semiconductors and doesn’t use a glass substrate, the product, produced by Sunflare, is light and flexible. According to the manufacturer, it’s perfect for all rooftops, especially large commercial buildings, since it’s more than 65% lighter than silicon modules. This means the entire roof can be covered without concerns over load-bearing.

Sunflare is the first firm to successfully produce light, flexible CIGS solar panels on a mass scale and at an affordable price and has completely re-engineered the production of CIGS panels with its Capture4 technology. Although silicon panels continue to be installed on homes and other buildings, the number of locations they can be installed remains limited.

In order to support bulky racks correctly, roofs need to meet certain load bearing requirements and rooflines must follow certain angles in order for the panels to function at optimum capacity. These stringent requirements can make it difficult for solar to be installed at multi-family complexes, on high rise buildings and even on some homes.

Flexible Solar Cells On Vehicles

Producing copper, indium, gallium and selenide, or CIGS, thin film efficiently on a mass scale has posed a challenge. Most notably with Solyndra in 2011, the solar industry has a history of failures in CIGS. This variety of cell produces a greater amount of power in hot conditions than crystalline silica cells and is active for more hours of the day.

Car with solar panel

This particular variety of flexible solar cell requires 50% less energy to produce. Aluminium framing is not required for the installation, so they are also easier and cheaper to install – approximately half the installation cost of cells that require frames. These new cells have a lifespan of around twenty five years, with an output efficiency at 10 years of 90%; and 80% at 25 years.

While the cost of these new flexible solar cells is around double that of silica cells, the lower installation cost and the fact that no rack is required mean that the net installed cost per watt is approximately equal to that of silica cells. An additional advantage is that rectangular or square spaces are not required to install them, allowing the volume of space devoted to solar power to be maximised. Virtually any surface – vertical, horizontal, even curved – can be used to set up an energy-gathering and power-generating plant.

Sunflare Cost/Watt
Solar Panels: $1.07/W
Inverter: $0.22/W
Rack: N/A
Installation: $0.21/W
TOTAL: $1.50/W

Glass Panel Cost/Watt
SolarPanels $0.54/W
Inverter $0.22/W
Rack $0.26/W
Installation $0.49/W
TOTAL: $1.51/W

Philip Gao, Sunflare’s CEO, states:

“Sunflare has worked for 6 years to perfect Capture4, a cell-by-cell manufacturing process with the highest degree of precision and the cleanest environmental footprint. This allows us to do what no manufacturer of CIGS thin film has done before – mass produce efficient, flexible solar panels.”

For founder Len Gao, in his early 20s, Sunflare started as a dream. Len came to the USA, after graduating from college in China, to earn his MBA at Pacific State University with just 200 dollars to his name and limited English language skills. Len’s goal was to one day create a technology with the power to change the world. After founding a successful furniture business in 2003, in 2010 he went on to discover a revolutionary concept in solar energy and began creating and perfecting Capture4. Sunflare completed its first successful production run in 2015 and a full-scale manufacturing facility opened in June 2016.