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What Are The Top 5 Recycleable Materials ?

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Knowing what can be recycled may seem like a difficult subject at times. Many households now have special bins for different kinds of rubbish but knowing if your waste is the ‘right kind of recycling’ can be confusing. We’ve compiled a simple list of the top 5 materials that can be recycled and why. We also know how problematic it can be getting rid of your unwanted items so if you have any waste issues you need help with then it could be worth giving us a call.
1) Aluminium & Steel – empty drinks cans and other items made from aluminium are 100% recyclable. What’s more is that the energy used to make new aluminium from recycled waste can mean a up to a 95% reduction. Steel is also completely recyclable and making new steel from old is a real energy saver overall.
2) Cardboard & Paper – Breaking down boxes instead of chucking them in the household waste can make a significant energy saving. Along with paper it is one of the most readily available commercial and domestic waste products. In the UK we get through around 12.5 million tonnes of cardboard and paper each year and it takes 24 trees to make 1 tonne so recycling what we can is obviously important.
3) Glass – Savings of up to 50% energy could be made by recycling glass products. It uses much less air and water pollution and take note as any glass that does get to landfill will never decompose. Glass is also 100% recyclable.
4) Plastic – Currently considered the enemy by pretty much everyone and whilst it is the cause of much debate lately it is shown to be on the rise by around 4% each year in Western Europe. Annually it is estimated that a family will throw out 40kg of plastic that could be recycled which is staggering considering it takes 500 years to break down and decompose.
5) Computers/Technology – With the fast pace of technology development it may not be a surprise to find that this makes our top 5 list. Reusing or sending old computers, laptops and other technology to recycle centres could mean there is less waste and parts can be reused.


Individuals Could Now Face Fly Tipping Fines In New Legislation

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DEFRA is said to be considering responses from a consultation that they opened back in January. Part of the consultation was the possibility of fines being introduced for individuals that don’t take ‘all reasonable measures’ when employing someone to dispose of their household waste. This proposal very much places the onus for reducing fly tipping with the householder as anyone found to be hiring unlicensed waste companies could be fined up to £400 if the waste is then found to be tipped illegally.
The proposals go further than ever before to tackle the issue of fly tipping which is thought to be on the increase and is problematic in rural and country locations throughout the UK. According to figures household waste is effectively two thirds of illegally tipped waste and so this proposal is thought to be a solution to the problem. Until now the introduction of on the spot fines as well as the fact that waste carriers must have a license have had less of an impact on fly tipping figures. It was reported last year that on the whole fly tipping is still on the increase for the third year running and so it is hoped that these new measures under consultation could have the desired effect.
The maximum fine is suggested to be £400 with £200 being the default minimum. For many people the proposals are a welcome prospect as certain areas in towns and cities are repeatedly suffering at the hands of illegal waste tipping.
Finding a licensed waste carrier like TH Removals is very straightforward and we will gladly help people to dispose of excess waste in a responsible and efficient way. We understand how difficult it can be to get rid of unwanted items and bagfuls of waste but we are committed to providing a thorough and proper waste removal service to all households in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. It is important for anyone getting rid of rubbish to request to see the relevant waste carriers license to ensure the firm is reputable.


Overcoming Plastic Waste Problems

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Plastic has taken a real hammering lately in the press – plastic bags, plastic bottles and plastic in general have been blamed for a huge global waste problem. The problem can’t be ignored but it really needs people to change their attitudes towards waste in general and to see it as a collective problem. Waste removal has to be done responsibly and with the Government pledging to put £61.4 million to help tackle ocean plastic waste it is also something that needs to change at source too to prevent further build up. Here are some ways householders can reduce their plastic usage:
Use plastic alternatives – by no means an easy task at this point but looking for glass bottles, zero waste options in shops when replenishing drink and food supplies is an option that is growing. Even small changes like getting milk delivered in bottles helps to reduce plastic waste.
Take your own bags – since October 2015 large shops have had to charge for carrier bags. Taking your own not only saves money but also reduces the volume of new bags being used.
Use reusable drinks cups/bottles – the UK is responsible for discarding 35 million plastic bottles a year. Taking a resuable cup for hot drinks or a reusable bottle for water etc could start to impact his figure.
Take cutlery to work – when eating on the go the only cutlery on offer is often plastic – planning ahead by taking some with you or keeping some at work may mean being able to say no to plastic options in future.
Say no to straws – consider whether you need to use a straw at all for drinks and either use an alternative that isn’t as damaging to the environment or is reusable (paper or stainless steel).
Consider how you shop – convenience food including ready meals and prepared vegetables are usually accompanied by lots of plastic wrapping. Even committing to just 1 main meal a week where you use fresh ingredients could help reduce your plastic footprint.
Thinking about how you use or re-use plastic could make a big difference to the overall impact. Even if the changes you make seem small the collective change could be huge.


Fly Tipping Predicted To Increase in 2018

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Waste news in 2017 seemed to be dominated by two major things – the reduction in kerbside bin collection by many councils in the UK and the rise in fly tipping in areas across the country. The latter is seen to be a direct result of the reduction in bin collections with householders looking to offload quite literally anywhere, rather than dispose of waste lawfully.
It is predicted that in 2018 the trend for a rise in fly tipping incidents could increase and with the last financial year reporting an equivalent of 114 incidents an hour this is a depressing thought.
There are however plans to try to change how those caught fly tipping are dealt with including the possible introduction of fixed penalties rather than put people through the courts. This is just one consideration that is the possible result of an ongoing Government consultation.
It is of course already illegal to allow someone without a licence to remove waste but the punishment can be a long process. Treating those that fly tip by way of a fixed penalty notice could add a further deterrent.
Part of the Government consultation could even see householders taken to task for failing to take ‘reasonable measures’ when hiring someone to clear their excess household waste. The proposals could see fines up to £400 if found liable in these circumstances, the idea being that putting the onus on employing a legitimate waste removal carrier in the first place. Councils can already issue fixed penalty notices for small scale fly tipping offences but this could see the responsibility to pass to the householder to find a reputable and licensed waste carrier.
Local councils via the Local Government Association are keen to quash any connection between charging for bin collections such as garden waste and the increase in fly tipping. They argue that easier reporting methods have contributed to the rise in fly tipping figures. However on the ground there are visibly more problems with people dumping waste elsewhere and general discontent with collection methods and frequency of collections.


Ways To Reduce Plastic Usage

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Plastic is everywhere – quite literally and not for any good reason. Every day it seems we’re being bombarded with images of plastic strewn all over our beaches and oceans. All this despite the fact that efforts to recycle are higher than ever before with many UK households having plastic recycling bins and collections as standard.
Quite why this is happening we’re told is down to the type of plastic itself. In the UK we don’t have the technology or enough of it in order to recycle particular types of plastic on a large scale. So regardless of our efforts to recycle we are still falling short and our plastics aren’t quite being recycled and repurposed as we had imagined.
Whilst pressure is being put on manufacturers to provide packaging that could be recycled, so too is pressure being laid at the door of consumers to find alternatives to using plastics. In some cases this may be unavoidable in the current landscape but there are ways to cut down on plastic consumption which we will discuss here:
Refuse plastic straws and plastic cutlery: Using a straw for drinks might be second nature. However switching to paper straws or just not using one altogether could be much better for the environment. Taking your own cutlery might be harder to remember but could be well worth doing.
Take a reusable cup: Hot drinks cups have come under fire most recently with a so called 25p coffee tax being considered in parliament in order to try and cut down on this waste. Taking a reusable cup with you could be an easy way around this big waste problem, especially when considering 2.5 billion cups are thrown away in the UK each year.
Remember your reusable carrier bag: The 5p tax on carrier bags has been introduced already with an estimated 85% drop in usage. Carrying a bag with you at all times could prevent being caught out.
Get milk delivered: It might seem like a thing of the past but using a glass bottle delivery and re-use service could cut down on plastic bottle consumption.
Reduce plastic packaging purchases: It might be harder to avoid but using less packaging could reduce plastic consumption. Buying loose fruit and vegetables and avoiding or substituting products that are heavily packaged in plastic could be a good alternative.


The True Cost of Christmas Waste

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When it comes to Christmas there is probably no other time when as much waste is generated. Lavish indulgence with additional food, Christmas trees, tree lights, cardboard, present packaging, toys, games consoles, wrapping paper and Christmas crackers all contribute to the waste the UK creates around the festive season. This list is not exhaustive either!
Figures in 2012 from Wrap (waste reduction advisory body for the UK government) it was estimated that Brits throw away the equivalent of 2 million turkeys, 300,000 tonnes of card packaging and 74 million mince pies each year. The sheer volume of waste is mind blowing with each UK householder spending £169 on food and wasting 30% more than normal, all at a time when bin collections are reduced and services even more stretched. The financial and environmental implications of all this excess is simply overwhelming with councils urging people to think more carefully about their purchases and what they recycle over the Christmas period to stop such a burden on waste services.
Here are some simple measures that might help:
Research waste provisions – it might not be normal to plan what you’re going to throw away before you’ve even consumed anything but knowing when bin collections are happening over Christmas and either cutting back or planning to recycle more may help. Find out where local recycling centres are to do a drop yourself or engage with private waste removal services who may offer additional services over Christmas and New Year.
Go easy – sure it’s Christmas but the waste generated is both phenomenal and unnecessary. Simple things like planning a food shop in advance, using frozen food where practical to avoid fresh food going unused or perishing. Online meal planners and party planners might help to hone in on the things you really need rather than overstocking.
Buy gift experiences rather than tangible items – finding the balance between having gifts to open on Christmas day and having nothing might seem tricky for some but actually buying a gift experience could create a more memorable and special gift for someone. There is always one person that is difficult to buy anything for so instead give them the gift of your time and take them out for dinner or a day trip to somewhere festive.


Fly tipping figures on the rise

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As councils find their budgets squeezed ever tighter many areas have found that services that were previously free now have a hefty charge attached. One such ‘luxury’ is in the area of waste where so called bulky collections now have a fee in order for the council to come out and collect and dispose of such items.
A bulky collection may consist of a single over size item such as furniture or white goods or it could simply be waste that doesn’t fit in the regular waste collection. The impact of charging is facing blame for the most part for the increase in fly tipping nationally. Recent Government figures published show that across England fly tipping rates have increased for the third year running. Only Nottingham City Council reported a 42% drop in fly tipping as one of the few remaining councils still offering free bulky collections.
Despite hefty fines for fly tipping reports suggest that only 0.2% (2135) of cases resulted in prosecution in 2016. All this despite a £50million bill for taxpayers to clean up the mess left by flytippers with items such as household waste, furniture, grass cuttings, tyres, car parts and fridges a regular feature on UK roadsides and laybys.
An alternative to council costs or illegal activity could be engaging with private services that may often give a more competitive service to householders or businesses when disposing of waste. Private companies may also be much more responsive when it comes to understanding the needs of people trying to remove waste from their property and could also offer related services such as skip hire or house clearances that could prove useful.
This alternative could be a welcome option as people begrudge “paying twice” for council services and are further incensed by imminent plans by many councils to introduce charges for garden bin collections. Despite the majority of householders totally opposed to garden waste charges some councils have already introduced the charge with more set to follow, setting a fee of circa £40 on top of their existing council tax charge each year.


UK House Prices Show First June Dip Since 2009

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June has traditionally been the month where the UK housing market really gains momentum. It is the time when those in the housing know expect a surge in properties going up for sale and likewise buyers seeking property. However, recent reports from Rightmove suggest a distinctly lacklustre month of inactivity and falling house prices to boot. Add to the mix that this June is the first since 2009 that house prices have fallen and it paints a very gloomy picture indeed.
According to industry experts uncertainty around the June general election is what may have stalled many into a wait and see approach to housing matters. The end result of course has done nothing much to improve things and put this together with continued uncertainty around Brexit and it leaves a rather large politically shaped hole in the UK housing market.
The June figures from Rightmove’s price index show that prices fell in June by 0.4% (between 14th May and 10th June). Their director Mike Shipside lays blame clearly at the door of the political landscape leading to low buyer confidence. Inflation is also having an impact as people struggle with rising household costs and static or diminishing wage packets. Tough times are both here and ahead for UK people.
Figures published earlier in June from the Land Registry showed the biggest increase in house prices since last October for April this year. This left the average UK house price at £220,000 – a £12,000 increase on the previous April. However, figures from last year were skewed due to the introduction of stamp duty on buy to let properties in March 2017 leading to a bumper March and dwindling April figures in 2016. On balance the year on year comparison could be seen as flawed by many.
What the future holds is anyone’s guess as political events continue to pan out. It could be that the housing market continues this stop start pattern for some time to come as buyers and sellers tread cautiously over what path to take in line with external factors.


Recycling Easter Waste

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When it comes to holidays and waste it is Christmas that typically wins hands down on the excessive front. However with Easter typically falling in spring time it seems to naturally tie in to people’s spring cleaning schedule and has the potential to bring out one big waste headache for householders, businesses and local councils. Already squeezed refuse collection services have to make up time with two bank holidays to contend with and not only that but Easter egg waste alone produces 160 tonnes of aluminium foil waste and 4370 tonnes of card! In the UK each child will receive 8.8 eggs on average with sales overall of around 80 million. There’s no wonder that some families are looking for ways to cut down on Easter waste and make the holidays about spending quality time with each other instead.
Ways of reducing Easter waste could be to opt for experiences over gift giving and set money to spend on eggs aside to spend on getting out of the house or taking up a new hobby. Research has proven time and again that spending time together is much more valuable to families and children in particular than a multitude of gifts.
Spring cleaning over Easter brings about its own set of problems when bin collections are reduced and could mean extra trips to the recycling centres or refuse sites which are more likely to be busier. Hiring an outside waste removal company could be the ideal solution – particularly if planning a complete overhaul. Making green choices and donating or reusing our waste could make the biggest difference to waste at this time of year. Adopting a different approach to the way we get rid of our household rubbish could help us make our items last longer and reduce the impact on our surroundings.
If you simply can’t resist the lure of a chocolate egg then opting for more waste friendly options could be a solution. Eggs that use less packaging or recyclable packaging could cut down on waste considerably. Making the effort to purchase these kinds of chocolate treat could make a difference to the resulting waste at the end of the Easter period.


The Realities of 4 Weekly Bin Collections

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Weekly bin collections have all but disappeared for UK residents and now the realities of recycling are very much part of waste routines in UK households. However, the recent introduction of 4 weekly bin collections is causing a kafuffle for some residents in Conwy.
The bin collections have been reduced in a bid to meet pressure from Government who wish to comply with EU targets which want to see a minimum of half of household waste recycled by 2020. Conwy is one of the first councils to introduce these measures with more due to follow in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Failure to comply with these targets by 2020 could see councils fined up to £500,000 a day.
Unfortunately, Conwy residents are finding the drop in collections a stretch and are forced to find alternative ways of getting rid of their rubbish such as burning or seeking help from neighbours. For families, the time between bin collections is too long and leaves them trying to find space in anywhere possible and increased time sorting all the rubbish into different bins. Taking the extra rubbish to waste recycling centres could be difficult for some residents who may not have transport or cannot access the centres conveniently.
The strict plans from councils show no signs of abating so the reality is that households may need to find ways of managing their household waste sooner rather than later.
The costs of disposing of waste in Conwy alone is said to be £2.9million each year with the 4 week collections expected to save around £558,000 a year. Conwy council states that recycling has increased by 15% in the early months of the trial so despite some misery from residents it could be a permanent roll out with the savings involved.
Managing household waste is really key in being able to maximise the bin collections in any area. Measures such as being mindful of what you are buying and trying to reuse and recycle as much waste as possible are big factors in not having excess waste. It could also be useful for householders to engage with local waste collection services to help with excess waste removal or bulk collections as they adapt to less frequent council collections.