Skip dipping has become popular in some circles, and the people involved are no longer just hungry and destitute or looking for free stuff. Many contemporary skip dippers are pursuing skip dipping as a way of life, and they often don't even need the practice to survive.
Just take the case of one well-paid consultant who admits to scavenging on a regular basis—people like this are the face of the new movement.
As a business owner, the redefined culture of skip dipping can make it more challenging than ever to keep strangers out of your skip, but there are tactics you can use.
1. Lock It Up
The classic solution to preventing rubbish theft or skip dipping is to lock up the skip. A wooden enclosure with a door and a padlock are ideal. You may want to consider an electronic padlock so you don't have to worry about your employees losing the skip.
Also, remember to make this area accessible to the rubbish company so its employees can take the rubbish once a week or based on your regular schedule.
2. Post Signs
A strongly worded message can help in a lot of situations. Many people don't even realise that taking rubbish is theft. They may also not realise any liability issues that you face if someone gets hurt whilst in or near your rubbish.
However, if you educate them with a well-placed sign, that can make a difference. Ideally, the sign should say "taking rubbish is stealing", "skip dipping forbidden" or a similar type of message. If you have local laws that render skip dipping illegal, you may also want to post a sign saying that you will prosecute offenders.
Skip dipping or scavenging is not illegal throughout all of Australia, but it is illegal in some areas. Check your local laws for details.
3. Keep Intriguing Items Out of the Rubbish
As explained above, the new generation of scavengers and skip dippers has different objectives than many of the early pioneers of this hobby. These people often want to save items from the landfill. As a result, if nothing useful or tasty is in your rubbish, that can help to keep them away.
If you throw anything away that looks compelling, make sure to bag it and close the skip's lid. You don't want it enticing anyone into the area. Better yet, if you have compelling items that your business doesn't need anymore, find an alternative way to get rid of them. For instance, if you own a restaurant, donate unused food to food banks. If you have a hotel, donate half-empty shampoo bottles to homeless shelters or rehab centres. If you have a clothing or furniture store, donate those items to charity shops for resale.
On top of that, make it known that you've taken steps to reduce your rubbish. A reputation of great rubbish can draw scavengers to your skip, but, on the other hand, if you build a reputation of cutting down waste as part of your corporate social responsibility plan, that can draw customers through your door.
4. Don't Forget Shredding
Some rubbish thieves, however, aren't in skip dipping for the environmental activism associated with it. Instead, they just want to steal valuables, and, in particular, they tend to target documents with personal information so they can carry out identity theft. Keep these types of items out of the rubbish by shredding them.
Again, to reinforce that idea to thieves, hang a sign. It just needs to say something simple such as "stay away: no receipts, financial information or personal details are in this skip"
To get more ideas on keeping thieves and skip dippers out of your skip, contact your bin hire company directly.