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Skip Company of the Month: Axe Skip Hire

The Boys

The Boys

Name of business: Axe Skip Hire Ltd, Kilmington, Devon

Number of employees: 9

What is the history of the company?
Axe Skip Hire was started in 1985 by John Bostock and his wife Jane. They started with just one lorry and 20 skips and over the years John and Jane built up the family business and were joined by their son James in 1997. Today the successful family run business located in Kilmington, employs nine staff with four lorries and over 500 skips operating as a waste transfer station. Sadly in 2009, John lost his two year battle against cancer. The business was then passed on to John’s son James, who runs the business with the help of his wife Karen.

Is there anyone in the business who deserves a special mention?
John took great pride in both his work and staff and would be proud to see how the current team of Pepe, Martin, Neil, Colin, Wallace, Chris, Ben and Mark have helped and supported James, Jane and Karen Bostock run this family business.

What services do you offer?
We are primarily a waste transfer station offering a range of 2, 3, 4, 6 and 10 yard skips. The end of 2013 and start of 2014 has seen the introduction to a new venture to the fleet, The Transit Tipper, known as Axe Skips Bulk Collection Service, primarily to alleviate the problems and ever growing demand for the collection of TVs, fridges and freezers. So far the demand has been good without the full marketing campaign fully underway at the point of writing this article.

What areas do you cover?
The number of lorries in the fleet covering a 15-20 mile radius of Axminster has increased from one to four vehicles. The amount of skips we have has grown from twenty to over five hundred.

What are the best things about working there?
We asked all the boys your question – this is their response: “It’s fun sometimes to have a laugh and a joke. Also it keeps me fit and active, better than being stuck inside all day. There is always someone different to talk to and places to see.” …“For all the opportunities I’ve been given, H&S training, HGV, First Aid etc. Also the friendly banter!” … “I like taking the mickey out of the people I work with”… “Working with the best bunch of work mates and having a good laugh” … “When the world ends and the zombies rise they won’t think of looking here! And it’s a really friendly atmosphere” … “When you’ve been given your list of jobs for the day you are trusted to work it out and have the freedom to get them done how you choose”.

photo 1 smallWhat do you like best about the skip hire industry?
We relate the skip and recycling industry to opening a can of worms – which is what makes it so interesting and frustrating, along with a challenge to find a solution or outlet for distributing recycled products. It is always amazing what you find in a skip, we still feel everyone thinks they get picked up and just tipped in a hole in the ground, as most of you are well aware this is not the case. Hiding things of adult nature in a bag in a suitcase within the skip, we still find it!

What do you like the least about the skip hire industry?
It would be nice for the parties concerned who make a lot of our rules to be a bit more hands on with the industry. What might be a good idea may not always be practical. There needs to be better communication with respect to changes.

What skip company – other than your own – do you admire?
ASAP Skip Hire, Okehampton, they have been so helpful and you always get a straight answer when you ring for some advice. Thank you Les.

Has your company developed any new parts of the business in the past few years?
In April 2013, after consulting with our customers we took a risk and made dramatic changes to the way we operate our skips due to trommel fines. The aim is to have the skips segregated at the site they are delivered, dumpy bags are provided to help the process, our mixed waste skips no longer allows inert waste – it has to be kept separate. This helps the tipping process within the yard and limited the use of the sorting barrel, thus producing very little fines. The contents of skips that are returned to our waste transfer station are tipped, spread out and then sorted by hand. Inert is tipped directly into the relevant holding bays.

What do you like most about Skip Hire Magazine?
We have learnt so much from the articles within your magazine over the years which has helped us to make the changes we have done. Great for contacts, ideas and information, keep up the good work please.

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