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Archive for June, 2014

Science Museum’s Mountains of Waste Show What Happens When We Don’t Clear Up

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Science HistoryIt’s surprising how easily clutter can build up around the house, and how much junk we actually throw out every week. Even the smallest pieces of rubbish can quickly build up into mountains of waste when we are don’t have regular rubbish removals or when we don’t bother to keep on top of our mess. It’s something you often don’t realise until you decide that the attic or the garage really needs a good clear out, and suddenly you have a vast problem on your hands that will take you days to sort out, but a new exhibition at the Science Museum in London could help to put the problem of ignored waste into perspective.

The Rubbish Collection exhibit will gather together all of the waste that is left behind by visitors to the Science Museum, piling it all up so that we can see just how much mess we create as we go about our daily lives. The project, which will be run by artist Joshua Sofaer and is open until September, will collect together all of the waste that is produced in the museum over the course of one month. The rubbish will be sorted, photographed and archived in order to show just how much we throw away, usually without a second thought. Among the finds that have been made so far are just over £5 in cash and a spoon accidentally thrown away in a child’s packed lunch, but Sofaer expects to collect much more. Over the course of a month, the museum will usually produce more than eight tonnes of paper and cardboard waste, many litres of used cooking oil, and plenty of old exhibition displays and other junk.

Sofaer toured various recycling plants and rubbish removals sites around the UK to learn about the huge amounts of material that we throw out everyday. He hopes that visiting the exhibit will help people to think more about the rubbish that they throw out, helping us all to become more aware of our impact on the earth and what happens after the rubbish removals team takes our junk away. Waste doesn’t just disappear when we throw it out, he told the Guardian, it is transformed.


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Rental Profits Reach Four Year High

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Rental Property RiseThe news that landlords are making their highest profits in four years will not come as much of a surprise to any tenants who are planning removals between rental properties in one of the higher priced parts of the country, but it will be welcome news to anyone who is investing in rental properties.

The cost of renting a typical home in England and Wales rose to £745 a month during May, a rise of 0.6% over the last month. Although this is a remarkable rise over such a short period, the good news for renters is that the rise has not been consistently sharp. The total rise over the last year was not quite twice this amount, at 1.1%, which means that rents have been growing at less than the 1.5% cost of inflation. On average, tenants are now paying just £8 more than they were a year ago, according to the estimates of LSL Property Services, so if you are looking for a new property to rent, you shouldn’t see much of a difference in the prices that are available in your area. In fact, the prices that you are being charged may have become cheaper in real terms, even if the actual figure seems to have increased, because the rise has been below the rate of inflation. You might actually be saving a few pounds even before your removals van delivers your belongings to your new home.

However, although rents have not matched the rise of inflation over the last twelve months, this does not mean that landlords are suffering. The profits being made on rental profits have just reached their highest levels in four years, if rising property prices are taken into account. Landlords made an average of 5.3% per property during the last year, based on rental charges alone. However, when the total return on a rental property was calculated, taking vacant periods between removals, property prices and other factors into account, the average annual return was 12.2%, the highest level in four years. The average landlord has made just over £20,000 over the last year, with £8107 of this profit coming from rent.

Keeping Your Garden Clear of Clippings

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Gardem ClippingsThe grass often grows so fast at this time of year that it seems like the lawn always needs cutting. A rubbish removals service can take care of the waste for you, but it is also very easy to set up a composting bin to take care of some of your green waste at home.

Rubbish removals services will be essential if you have large amounts of waste in your garden, particularly when it is not biodegradable. One gardener in Uckbridge, who had allowed his property to fill up with junk including rubble, rusting metal and garden waste, found this out the hard way. He was recently fined £200 in court and called the worst gardener in Britain by one of his neighbours, according to the Argus newspaper. However, there are some types of garden waste that you may be able to manage by yourself. If you have a lot of mown grass and other green waste, you might want to consider starting a compost heap or getting a composting bin to turn it into nutritious food for your plants.

A bin will be a neater option, particularly in a small garden, although arranging rubbish removals may be more practical if your space is very limited, since composting is such a long-term project. You can make your own bin with a few planks or some wire netting held up by posts, or buy a ready-made bin at a garden centre. Try to fill the bin with a mix of brown and green plant material, as these contain different levels of nutrients, adding them in layers to get a good mix. Soft prunings, grass clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps and even old tea bags can be added to the pile, but avoid adding any diseased plants, weeds that have gone to seed, or perennial weeds like bindweed. It is better to have these removed from your garden to avoid problems later on. After a few weeks, start turning the material regularly with a garden fork, and keep it moist in summer. You should have some good quality compost within about four months, although it can take up to a year if you skip the turning or conditions are cold. When it is ready, the compost will have a deep, earthy smell and the pile will have shrunk to about half its original size.

Is Your House Earning More Than You Do ?

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House on ScalesProperty price rises are nothing new to anyone involved in making a purchase or arranging removals, but the speed at which house prices are increasing has been highlighted by a recent report in the Mail Online that compared the rises taking place over the last 12 months in different parts of the UK with the average annual salaries of the people who live there. In 33 of the regions that were investigated, the rise in property prices was more than the average salary, meaning that some of the homeowners in these regions might actually be earning more from their properties than they do from their jobs.

The average price rise in England and Wales over the last year was £10,809, which is less than half the average annual earnings, which were £22,045 in 2013. However, in many areas, the average rise in property prices has grown larger than the average earnings. House prices in London rose 17%, with property in the most valuable boroughs rising by astonishingly high amounts. In Westminster, where the average house price is now £976,822, properties gained an average of £160,810 over the last year alone. This is not just well above the national average earnings, but also much higher than the average earnings for people living in this area, which is £34,092. Properties outside of London, in areas such as Windsor, Maidenhead, Brighton, parts of Birmingham and the Vale of Glamorgan were also gaining more than the average annual earnings over the last year, although the effect was more subtle. The situation in the areas where TH Removals operates is similar. Although Hertfordshire came right at the bottom of the list, with the smallest difference, property prices in the area, growing at an average of £26,538 over the last year, still managed to rise above the average income, £25,993.

The fact that price rises are now higher than average incomes in many areas is great news for anyone who is already a homeowner, but it may pose some problems for buyers who are looking for a mortgage and planning their removals, particularly as lenders are now becoming more cautious about the ratio between incomes and loan sizes.

Keeping Our Green Spaces Clean

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Park "Green Space"

Rubbish removal isn’t just an issue that we have to tackle in our own homes and gardens. It is also a problem that we need to solve in our public spaces, particularly in our parks, and campaigners have been calling for people to take better care of our open spaces, from the parks of Dunstable to the slopes of Everest.

The Dunstable Gazette Herald and Post reports that local business owner Ismail Anilmis has joined together with councillor Andy Burton to help tackle the problem of rubbish removal in Dunstable. Together with a team of 20 volunteers from his McDonalds franchise, Mr Anilmis managed to clear more than 20 bags of rubbish. The efforts were part of the fourth annual McDonalds clean-up event, which involved groups of volunteers across the country. Here in Dunstable, the efforts were focused on Hockliffe Park, an area that has suffered from large amounts of litter. The volunteer rubbish removal team found that the discarded refuse included such unlikely objects as wheel trims and coat hangers, showing just how extreme the problem has become. Thanks to their efforts, the park is now looking a lot cleaner and more welcoming, but the event also had another goal. The Love Where You Live campaign also hopes to raise awareness of the problem of litter and to encourage more people to take action to tackle this serious problem.

The need for these types of awareness building problems is made all the more clear by the fact that similar strategies are having to be put in place to protect some of the most attractive and unique environments in the world. According to the BBC, the world’s highest mountain, Everest, has been made a “sister peak” of the Japanese icon, Mount Fuji, as part of an effort to preserve these two fragile ecosystems. One of the issues that needs to be tackled on both peaks is rubbish removal. Clear up efforts are already helping to reduce the refuse left behind by climbers and tourists. Mountaineers attempting Mount Everest are required to collect at least 8kg of rubbish on their way down, while volunteers from the Fujisan Club have managed to collect 60 tonnes of rubbish from Mount Fuji. The work will continue with a joint clean-up starting next spring, which will helpfully reduce some of the damage done to these beautiful sites by less responsible visitors in the past.

Are Homebuyers Taking On More Than They Can Afford ?

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Financial worry's

Everyone knows that buying and moving into a new home can be an expensive business, with costs ranging from removals to redecorating, but it seems that some homeowners are still unprepared for exactly how much it will cost. The higher costs created by rising house prices are part of the problem, but difficulties are also created when interest rates on variable or tracker mortgages change.

An increase in the number of complaints made about interest-only mortgages has raised particular concerns. Complaints have risen by 6% during the last year, according to the Financial Ombudsman Service, and the Council of Mortgage Lenders is now calling for borrowers to discuss any problems with their lenders as soon as possible. Some homeowners are leaving it far too late before asking for help, but a solution can often be found much more easily when discussions start early.

However, problems are not just being caused by mortgage repayments. Some homebuyers are also struggling to budget for all of their removals and living expenses, according to the Money Advice Service. Borrowers can often get so caught up in the excitement of applying for a mortgage and choosing a property that they forget to account for all of their other expenditures when working out how much they can afford to spend on their mortgage repayments.

It is all too easy to overlook some of the smaller one-off costs associated with moving, such as hiring a removals van, because you are too focused on larger ones like the deposit, but it is essential to sit down and work out a complete budget before you make your move. Your budget should also include all of the regular costs that you will need to pay alongside your monthly mortgage repayments. The Money Advice Service suggests that most homeowners will need at least £1200 a month to cover bills and repayments. Lenders are also beginning to show concern about budgets beyond mortgage repayments in order to ensure borrowers can cover their living expenses. This could lead to more questions begin asked of applicants, but for those homeowners, particularly first time buyers, who have struggled to balance their budgets, taking more time to think about all their finances, not just their mortgages, could be very helpful.

Are You Suffering from Recycling Fatigue ?

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waste collection binsRecycling can be a bit of a chore when you are sorting out your own rubbish. Not having to organize your own recycling is one of the benefits of hiring a rubbish removals team to take care of bigger jobs, but on a day-to-day basis, it is something that we all have to do for ourselves.

Unfortunately, it seems that some of us are beginning to grow tired of all this work. A recent report produced by recycling firm Sita UK, which is responsible for recyclable rubbish removals from about 12 million UK households, has suggested that recycling rates have been slowing across the country. The amount of waste recycled in England rose from just 11% in 2000 to 43% in 2012, but the rate at which it was increasing had slowed by 2013. It went up by just 0.2% last year, and it might even decrease in 2014, making it difficult for the UK to meet the target of recycling 50% of its waste by 2020. With many councils struggling to meet their recycling commitments and residents often confused about what to recycle, and how, it is clear that we need to find a way to keep people interested in recycling.

Finding ways of making recycling simpler, such as collecting mixed waste rather than asking people to spend too much time sorting their own recyclables, could be part of the solution, but it is also important to ensure that people remember why recycling matters. Whether you are throwing out your household waste or using a rubbish removals service to clear out your house or garden, ensuring that it is all disposed of responsibly is very important. None of us wants to live in a world where rubbish is allowed to pile up on the streets, or dumped on our farmland and green spaces. Recycling has become an important part of how we handle our waste. It allows us to reduce the amount of rubbish that we send to landfill and gives us a way to turn many types of waste into useful products. Remembering why we recycle could be the key to tackling recycling fatigue.

Moving House Means Moving Gardens

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spring garden at Chelsea flower showIn the wake of the Chelsea Flower Show, many of us are turning to our own gardens with renewed inspiration and dreams of turning our own little patches of earth into the sort of artistic creations that we have seen at the show, in person or on the TV coverage. Gardens can be a wonderful space in which to work and relax, and they can make a real difference to property prices, but all of the time and effort that we put into these green spaces can make it difficult to leave them behind when it is time to move, even though getting our hands on a new garden can be part of the joy of choosing a new home. You might also be able to keep some of your favourite plants with you if you follow these removals tips.

Potted plants can be moved easily at any time, but some prized specimens can be moved from the garden. Bulbs, perennials and deciduous shrubs are likely to cope best with removals, while evergreens and trees will often suffer. Consider taking a cutting instead or collecting some seeds to plant in your new garden.

Larger plants may also have to be left behind, and even those under a metre tall can be heavy and awkward to handle. Digging a trench around the plant a few months before you move can give the plant a chance to recover from any root damage before you move it. Fill the trench in with sand or compost, and then dig around and under the plant when you are ready to move. Slip a sack or tarpaulin underneath to hold the roots together, and keep the plants well watered and in the shade on removals day.

Move your plants in an enclosed removals van, not a car or open trailer. It will give you space to pack them safely, and protect them from being dried out or damaged while you are driving. The air rushing past a moving vehicle can quickly suck moisture out of a plant. Pack pots safely in place, keeping the smaller plants upright if possible to avoid spillages. Taller plants will probably be safer lying flat, if you have enough space.

English Heritage Reveals “Rubbish” Cleared from Renovated Properties

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Picturesque gardenA new exhibition on show at an English Heritage property outside Luton will reveal for the first time a collection of items saved from properties that were being rebuilt or demolished. Visitors to Wrest Park will be able to see more than 150,000 rescued items collected by English Heritage, as well as enjoying the beautiful mansion gardens. Tours of the collection can be booked for the first Monday of every month, starting in June.

Among the items that could easily have been thrown out as “rubbish” are the remains of a Roman bridge, a plaster ceiling taken from a Tudor property, samples of wallpaper carefully peeled from walls about to be torn down, and the remains of an old dresser dating back to the 17th century that was rescued from a house in London. Every item in this collection is proof of just how careful rubbish removals services need to be to avoid throwing out an irreplaceable treasure – keeping original feaures can also impact the property price.

If you are working on your own renovation project, it is worth thinking about what elements you might be able to preserve in a period property or whether there are any interesting pieces that you should recover from the waste before you engage a rubbish removals service. Even if you can’t keep them yourself, you might be able to sell them on to someone with more traditional tastes.

Once the work is done, and any interesting pieces have been saved, you will still need to organise your rubbish removals to get rid of the waste that always accumulates during renovations. Here are a few tips to make clearing up after building work a little bit easier:

1. Choose builders with good reviews. Customers often comment on how well builders cleaned up after finishing a job, so make sure you hire someone who will leave their work looking its best. Ask for recommendations from friends or look online for ratings of local traders.
2. Clear out all the rubbish before you try to clean anything. You don’t want to ruin all of your hard work by dragging dirty builder’s waste over a newly cleaned floor. Consider hiring a clearance service for a big job, or hiring a rubbish removals van to come and pick up a pile of waste.
3. Dust and sweep all the floors, walls and surfaces first, then wipe them down with a wet cloth or mop. This will get rid of any sawdust or plaster that has been left behind. If there are any splotches or paint spills, use a cleaning solution to scrub them off, or slice them away carefully with a razor blade or scraper.

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