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Plastic Free July – What’s it all about ?

Plastic Free July – What’s it all about ?

We’re well into July now and the tech savvy amongst you may have seen Plastic Free July being bandied about social media land. But what is it and why does it matter? Let us explain a little more….

Plastic Free July is a little like zero waste living but is essentially a month ‘trial’ for people who want to give living without disposable products. The idea is that you choose one of the main four groups of plastics to avoid – these are plastic straws, takeaway coffee cups, plastic bags and plastic bottles. If you’re feeling like a bigger challenge, then opting to avoid all of these is of course an option too.

The whole concept is designed to help people try out living without plastics for a month – after that time they can decide if they want to give up completely and how feasible that is. Here are some alternatives to the main four groups: 

Plastic Straws

Giving up straws completely might seem like the best option. However, for some people this just isn’t possible. There are a variety of options available such as stainless steel or silicone. For those looking for something more unusual there’s also glass straws or bamboo!

Plastic Bags

There are many alternatives to plastic bags since the introduction of charges in the UK. The trick is to find a solution that isn’t too bulky and can be easily stored. Reusing any bags as often as possible and remembering them for each shopping trip is also a great commitment.

Plastic Bottles

Plastic bottles are everywhere and a large part of our plastic problem. Drinking on the go is all about being prepared. For cold drinks a drinks bottle that is sturdy and reusable and holds enough liquid to make all the fuss worthwhile!

Takeaway coffee

Who would have thought that the takeaway coffee cup contained plastic? However, in order to keep their shape many disposable options contain plastic and not a kind that makes it easily recyclable. Many shops now sell their own ‘keep cup’ versions which shops will refill for you. Often there’s a financial incentive for those taking their own cups to a café or coffee station. 


3 Reasons To Use A Rubbish Removal Company

Many people getting rid of waste from their property may naturally think of hiring a skip as a means to getting rid of a lot of waste in one go. However, this may mean lifting and getting waste into a skip themselves which may not be feasible for some. As such hiring a local waste removal firm such as TH Removals may be a better option and here are three of the main reasons why this could be more appropriate for some. 

Professional Waste Removal

Using a waste removal firm can be much more straightforward for anyone getting rid of waste. They can remove bulky items, garden waste, furniture, electrical appliances and even full house clearances. It can be removed at a time to suit the property owner and may be much more convenient. 

Loading Done For You

When it comes to getting rid of waste half the battle can be moving it around and having somewhere to store it in the meantime. This is just one reason why skips can prove popular but loading a skip isn’t necessarily an easy task if you have large and heavy items. However, a waste removal firm will typically lift and carry all the waste away for you. 

Licensed To Remove Rubbish

When using a waste removal firm it is important to check that they are have a waste carriers license. This will make sure that the firm has the relevant permissions to dispose of waste in that specific area. Not only this but they will also provide paperwork detailing what they have taken away and householders can be confident that they will deal with the waste responsibly. 

The laws around waste removal introduced licenses back in 2014 in an attempt to reduce instances of fly tipping and waste collectors that then went on to fly tip. 

We can help with a full range of waste collection services in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Contact us for a full no obligation quote and we can discuss your requirements for bulk collections or house clearances and more.


Arrest Made in Fly Tipping Investigation


There has been another reminder from authorities this month about the importance of using licensed waste carriers when getting waste removed, as an arrest is made in a widespread investigation in the South of England.

The arrest of a 44 year old man came about after investigation into several incidents of fly tipping and illegal dumping across Surrey, West London, Buckinghamshire, Kent and Hampshire.  The incidents are said to have occurred from March this year and a tipper lorry and van have also been seized as part of the investigation. The Environment Agency has stated that the arrest was in connection with ‘large scale illegal waste tipping’. 

Emma Viner of the agency stated: “Waste criminals put both the environment and local communities at risk with their reckless actions. The Environment Agency is determined to bring culprits to justice.We encourage anyone with information to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.”

Laws that changed in 2014 mean that now anyone that removes or carries waste of any kind should be registered and they are required to have a waste carrier’s license. This is a requirement whether this is their own business waste or if they have removed for someone else. The laws were introduced in an attempt to reduce fly tipping incidents from illegal waste removal firms but problems are still occurring. 

The offence of fly tipping is criminal and can be punished by way of a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months in prison if the offence is dealt with by a Magistrates’ Court. The severity can increase if the crime is dealt with by Crown Court with an unlimited fine and 5 years in prison a possibility. 

TH Removals is a fully licensed waste removal company and we are happy to help anyone in all areas of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. We can help you to remove excess waste from your home or assist with a house clearance or garden waste. We are experienced removals experts and will work with you to clear waste and leave you with a clear space along with peace of mind that waste will be dealt with appropriately.


Garden Waste Removal Challenges

Following a bank holiday with great weather for most of the UK many people may have chosen to take to their gardens and tackle rubbish removal, cut back overgrown areas and cut lawns. This effort is likely to have generated some waste that requires removal. 

 

Garden waste disposal via a local council comes at a price in some areas with some local authorities opting to charge annually for garden waste collections that take place every fortnight. What this means is that those with small gardens or less garden waste overall could be paying all year round for a service that they may only take advantage of occasionally as and when the waste builds up. It could also mean finding the space to store an extra wheelie bin!

Other options for garden waste removal could be:

Take it to the tip – rather than pay for council garden waste removal it may be preferable if you have the means to take garden waste to the tip directly. This may be a good solution if it all fits in one trip and assuming all the waste is approved for disposal at your waste / recycling depot.

Burning – a full blown garden fire is probably not going to impress the neighbours and is not without risks but some garden waste such as wood and twigs could be burnt in a garden chimnea or log burner indoors depending on the wood. Check with your local authority first to ensure you know the rules or bylaws about what could be considered anti-social burning.

Composting – if you’re already a keen gardener then you may already have a compost bin and be familiar with how it works but if not then it could be an option to explore. Garden and some waste can be composted down and reused on the garden meaning garden waste is reduced to a minimum. 

Private Waste Removal Services – a licensed waste removal expert could help to clear garden waste on an ad hoc basis. As the waste is gathered you can arrange a collection with them directly and negate the need for council garden waste services.


How to recycle electrical equipment !

In the UK each year in excess of 170 million electrical items are purchased. This equates to around 3 appliances or gadgets per head nationwide. Some people may think this is a conservative calculation when they think about the electrical items in their own household. 

Electrical items may break over time or increasingly may be superseded by a newer model with many people having objects in their home languishing in attics, the bottom of cupboards or desk drawers to be dealt with another day.

Ultimately electrical waste needs to be addressed and whilst some may choose to simply dispose of their unwanted goods that may not be possible in some instances that require specialist removal or have specific rules. The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations came about in 2007 as an attempt to encourage more recycling in this area and prevent electrical items ending up in landfill. 

Recycling electrical products such as mobile phones, kitchen appliances, televisions, computers and tools could be much more beneficial in the long term than simply disposing of unwanted items. 

Electricals in landfill could be damaging to the environment as they can cause soil and water contamination which may harm wildlife and humans. Recycling electrical items can prevent them from ending up in landfill altogether thus reducing the pressure on these areas.

TH Removals seek to recycle as much waste as possible in our waste removal services and this includes electrical items. We will always encourage our customers to opt for recycling services wherever possible and practical.

In order that working electricals get their maximum shelf life then donating unwanted items to charity or other good causes could prolong the time that they are in use. 

For items that can no longer be reused as they are they could be broken down and the parts and components used in creating new items. These items could include car internal parts as well as external vehicle bodywork, mobile phones, jewellery and even currency!

If you have a tricky electrical items that is no longer fit for purpose contact us for help with electrical waste removal and disposal. 


How to recycle electrical equipment !

HIn the UK each year in excess of 170 million electrical items are purchased. This equates to around 3 appliances or gadgets per head nationwide. Some people may think this is a conservative calculation when they think about the electrical items in their own household. 

Electrical items may break over time or increasingly may be superseded by a newer model with many people having objects in their home languishing in attics, the bottom of cupboards or desk drawers to be dealt with another day.

Ultimately electrical waste needs to be addressed and whilst some may choose to simply dispose of their unwanted goods that may not be possible in some instances that require specialist removal or have specific rules. The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations came about in 2007 as an attempt to encourage more recycling in this area and prevent electrical items ending up in landfill. 

Recycling electrical products such as mobile phones, kitchen appliances, televisions, computers and tools could be much more beneficial in the long term than simply disposing of unwanted items. 

Electricals in landfill could be damaging to the environment as they can cause soil and water contamination which may harm wildlife and humans. Recycling electrical items can prevent them from ending up in landfill altogether thus reducing the pressure on these areas.

TH Removals seek to recycle as much waste as possible in our waste removal services and this includes electrical items. We will always encourage our customers to opt for recycling services wherever possible and practical.

In order that working electricals get their maximum shelf life then donating unwanted items to charity or other good causes could prolong the time that they are in use. 

For items that can no longer be reused as they are they could be broken down and the parts and components used in creating new items. These items could include car internal parts as well as external vehicle bodywork, mobile phones, jewellery and even currency!

If you have a tricky electrical items that is no longer fit for purpose contact us for help with electrical waste removal and disposal. 


New Council Rules Regarding Fly Tippers

Welsh Assembly approve new rules for councils regarding fly-tippers 

 

In mid February the Welsh Assembly members approved new rules which make it more straightforward for councils to tackle householders who pass their unwanted waste onto unauthorised people. The new rules mean that householders could face a £300 fixed penalty notice if they do not get their waste removed in a responsible manner.

 

Current legislation means that householders can only be issued with a fixed penalty notice if they fly tip themselves. Whilst they can be prosecuted this can be costly to councils and leaves the householder with a criminal record when they could easily have handed over their waste in good faith. The new rules go that one step further and many see the move as essential in getting people to take complete ownership of their waste even after it has left their property.

 

In just one year Welsh councils saw in excess of 35,000 fly-tipping incidents with clean up costs of around £2m for taxpayers in 2017/18. Regardless of who removes rubbish from a property the householder should take their duty of care seriously and ensure they hire an authorised person or firm. These measures are intended to reinforce this duty of care requirement and deter unauthorised waste firms which blight this issue.

 

Whilst the rules may only come into force in Wales for the short term it sends a message to councils and Government about this growing problem in the rest of the UK. The fixed penalty of £300 may be reduced to £150 if paid early and it is reported that councils will be able to keep the money raised from fixed penalty notices to use towards enforcement and clean up.

 

Things householders can do to avoid prosecution

 

There are measures that any UK householder can take to protect themselves and demonstrate their duty of care has been executed. These include: using only an authorised waste removal firm like TH Removals – any such firm should be able to provide you a copy of their carriers license; asking for a written receipt for the waste that is being removed including detailed description and in addition a written declaration of where the waste will be taken to for disposal.


Planning for a zero waste Christmas


The season to be wasteful is almost upon us and as light switch ons and festive planning are well underway for many there is still time to plan a zero waste or a more environmentally conscious Christmas at least.
Year on year the amount of waste generated at Christmas is phenomenal which costs not only the environment but also local councils in terms of waste and landfill charges. Trees, wrapping paper, decorations, food and even unwanted gifts all play a part in a general overindulgence at this time of year. We’ve compiled a list full of ways to avoid Xmas clutter without losing out on any festive magic.

1) Gift experiences rather than physical gifts – by the time New Year comes around many people are left wondering where they can store their new gifts. By giving vouchers or taking part in experiences it can mean much less waste plus people get to spend more time with each other.

2) Stop sending Christmas cards – rather than sending Christmas cards to everyone perhaps only send to a select few people. Make a donation to charity with the money saved instead or put it towards something more worthwhile.

3) Pre-Christmas de-clutter – taking the time to get rid of old clothes, toys or other items before Christmas could help it be less overwhelming afterwards. Selling un-used items could even help cover the extra cost of Christmas. If you need help decluttering it could be wise to use a local waste services company rather than taking up space in regular household bins.

4) Be creative with your Christmas tree choices – Opting for a reusable tree could mean having it for 10 years before it benefits the environment. Regarding a real tree having one in a pot could be the least wasteful option but then there are lots of ways to be creative using wood, paper and even glassware. Using vintage or handmade decorations could also reduce waste.


Government Indicates Investment in Waste Sector

At the Conservative Party conference this month the Environment secretary Michael Gove has indicated that long overdue investment in the waste management sector may be on the way.
In particular he mentioned food waste and the challenges this brings with the suggestion that funding could be made available for better redistribution and more investment in cleaner technologies.
Mr Gove talked about current difficulties faced by the sector and described them as “a new front in the war against waste”. The talk comes ahead of Defra’s waste and resource strategy which is expected towards the end of the year. Tougher measures for fly tipping offences as well as companies that flout regulations for waste removal are also anticipated.
The background to the changes comes as no surprise to most in the wake of alarming quantities of plastic being dumped in the sea as well as rises in fly tipping rates.
According to Gove the charges from plastic bags have brought about a 90% reduction in usage. There is much more work to do however, as he reported in his speech that “the equivalent of a whole dumper truck of plastic is dropped in the sea every minute of every day.”
Food waste is another big culprit contributing to environmental and social concerns. Investment and funding that is made available could ensure greater distribution of food waste by retailers and the food industry.


The Lowdown on Clothing Waste

When it comes to waste we may not often think about the impact unwanted clothing has on the growing landfill problem. The fact is however that around 300,000 tonnes of clothing waste is binned on average each year in the UK. By shopping differently and getting more out of the clothes we buy then this could be reduced. In addition, by thinking about how we get rid of clothes we’ve outgrown or fallen out of love with is another way we can prevent clothing ending up as waste.

Mend or re-use clothing

Today if clothing has a hole in it or a zip goes, it is tempting to just throw an item away. However, it could be mended, especially if it is something fairly minor. If an item is beyond repair it may be something that could be repurposed – cotton fabric to make patchwork or sections of adult clothing used to make something smaller for children perhaps. Even some baby clothing could be used as dolls clothing and socks could be turned into puppets! Washing at lower temperatures and no tumble drying could also help clothes last longer.

Donate to charity

Many people might already fill a charity bag and leave it outside to be collected. It is possible to donate in bulk also and some charities may pick up clothing from your home. If you are clearing a property after a loved one has died or if you are having a major clearout then it might be possible to ask the waste company you use to make a donation on your behalf.

Clothes swapping or selling

Depending on the size and type of clothing then you could go to a swapping event. Here people meet up with clean and good quality used clothing and swap.

Alternatively, if you prefer to get cash for your clothing you could take it somewhere to be weighed and get cash in return or sell it yourself privately or at a car boot or indoor sale.

Buy carefully

In order to avoid having a build up of unwanted clothes then buying more carefully may be a better solution. Buying clothes that may last way beyond the latest fashion trend could be a far better investment for yourself and the environment.

 
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