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Bin Collections Amid Coronavirus Chaos

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Across the country as the nation goes into lockdown many people are raising concerns over bin collections and the issues a lack of waste collection services could cause. 

Councils across the UK seem so far divided on the level of service they can provide with some declaring there will be fewer or no collections and others stating the services will remain albeit with some disruptions expected. 

In these uncertain times it is important that householders play their part and minimise their waste as far as possible and this will reduce the pressure on waste services. 

To find out how waste services may be affected in your area, you would need to contact your local council. Their websites will carry the most up to date information about collections. 

It is likely that collections may be prioritised, and that garden waste and other recyclables will have a reduced priority over household waste collections.

Food waste and Coronavirus

Food waste has already proved an issue even prior to the Coronavirus outbreak and it is even more important that this is kept to a minimum – stockpiling food can only ultimately lead to wastage in the short and long term and so should be avoided. 

Additional safety measures

If you are self-isolating due to having Coronavirus symptomsthen also take advice from your local council on how to dispose of waste, in particular, personal waste eg tissues. They may request that you to store waste for longer to eliminate the risk to their collections teams or have extra measures in place as to how things should be disposed of. 

Licensed waste removal

Private waste services will continue to provide additional services for as long as possible and at the time of writing here at TH Removals we are here to help. Contact us for assistance with removals and the reduction of excess waste at your property. We are professional and licensed waste removal experts and can help with the vast majority of waste removal services. 

Contact us for more details and if you don’t fall into our areas covered please remember to always use a registered and licensed waste removal company to ensure any waste is removed responsibly.

In England Fly Tipping Happens Every 30 Seconds !

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A report released this month has shown that based on figures from last year 2018/19 local authorities in England are dealing with two fly tipping incidents per minute. This totals 1072,000 incidents reported by authorities that year. With fly tipping on the increase as we reported in our last blog this is a shocking amount of waste being dumped. 

The report by Expert Market has not only shown the quantity of fly tipping incidents but also the cost associated with them which was £12.9 million – an increase of £5000 on the year before. 

Boroughs in London were amongst four of the top five worst offending areas in the country. Data was used from 323 local authorities in England. Despite a 16% reduction in fly tipping offences compared to the previous year, the City of London still had 172 fly tipping incidents per 1000 people making it the worst in England. In third, fourth and fifth place were Camden, Hammersmith & Fulham and Hounslow. 

Sheffield in South Yorkshire showed a huge rise in fly tipping and was the second worst in England with a whopping 552% increase from 22 per 1000 people to 137 in 1000. 

The report also stated that household waste was the biggest portion of the waste dumped at almost two thirds. However, construction waste and trade waste were also found too. Whilst fines amounting to £1,090,267 have been issued by English councils for fly tipping this figure still only amounts to 0.2% of cases that end up in prosecution.

It is a bleak picture that is painted by the report with Lucy Crossfield, environmental content editor at Expert Market stating: The findings are alarming, especially when we consider the huge amount of money that is spent by overstretched councils on this avoidable problem.Residents need to be more aware of how to identify a legitimate waste carrier, the location of their nearest tip and who to get in touch with for waste disposal.”

Here at TH Removals we would always urge householders to ask to see our Waste Carrier Licence as proof that we are professional waste removal experts. Anyone that removes waste should be able to demonstrate that they are licensed and that they can dispose of waste responsibly.

Fly Tipping Still on the Increase –50% in Six Years

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Figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) show that across England there was over a million incidents of fly tipping last year. The rise shows an overall increase of 50% in just six years with no sign of any change in trend anytime soon. 

Over 60% of the reported cases involved household rubbish which had been dumped at roadsides, on pavements and in laybys. 

Whilst punishments for fly tipping are now stricter than ever before it seems that people are just running the risk of being caught. Fines and court action are also on the rise for offenders and councils also have powers to punish those that waste can be traced back to. So even if householders don’t directly dump the rubbish they can still be traced and charged. 

Rather than individual householders going out fly tipping a proportion of the incidents are thought to be down to so called professional waste removal firms. Many people are still being caught out by unlicensed waste carriers taking away one-off loads and household excess. 

It is now more important than ever when using private waste services to ensure that they are licensed to remove rubbish from a property and that they are going to dispose of it responsibly. Professional waste removal firms like TH Removals require an Upper Tier Waste Carrier Licence in order to: • Carry waste as part of a business• Buy, sell or dispose of waste• Arrange for someone to take other people’s waste

We would urge any household or business with excess waste to check the authenticity of any waste carrier carefully. They should be able to produce a copy of their licence credentials upon request. 

Councils are urging householders to access recycling and waste services that are readily available rather than blight the roadsides and beauty spots of the country with their excess waste. 

Council collections of household waste may now be less frequent however, it is now much easier to recycle certain items meaning less pressure on household waste bins. There is a shift in people’s environmental awareness which should mean that the dumping of waste isn’t at all necessary.

Last minute zero waste Christmas gift ideas

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It’s Christmas – a time of indulgence, gift giving and excess! However, the inevitable clean up afterwards could be much reduced if people took more time to consider the festive aftermath! 

At this time of year space for waste is at a premium especially with reduced council collections in the vast majority of the UK depending on when the bank holidays fall. Rather than stressing about the lack of space in your bin being a bit more resourceful about what you buy may be a better option. Here are a few last minute waste reducing ideas to help get you through the season.1) Don’t panic buy! – We’ve all been there and felt that last minute panic that you’ve not got enough or that you might run out of essentials. Resist the urge to run out to the shops one last time to purchase stocking fillers and take the time to really evaluate what you have got and think carefully if you really need to buy more. 2) Manage food waste – food waste is arguably the biggest culprit when it comes to holiday indulgence – in reality supermarkets are only shut for one day and so it really isn’t necessary to buy food in the quantities we do unless you know for sure things will be eaten. Another good tip is to look for recipes to allow you to use up leftovers rather than them ending up in the bin!3) Buy experiences over gifts – the gifts that are more memorable are those that are experience based rather than material items. Create lasting memories by purchasing gifts that will be more unique than just another pair of socks! 4) Donate to charity – although not just for Christmas it is a time of year when charities find themselves overstretched – particularly homeless charities and food banks. Give them the gift of time or extra food that can go to help those in need.

As a last reminder it’s also a good idea to check your bin collection day. There are likely disruptions to waste collections and checking with your relevant council to see if your regular day has moved might avoid unnecessary waste building up. Alternatively contact your local and licensed private waste collection firm for additional help.

Fly Tipping On The Increase In England

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Figures recently released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) show that fly tipping is on the increase again. Reports from local authorities showed 1072,000 incidents of fly tipping in 2018/19 which is an 8% increase from the previous year. 

It is also a stark reminder for householders that only approved waste removal companies like TH Removals are licenced to take rubbish away and dispose of it via legitimate channels. A waste carrier’s licence should be available to householders when researching who they should hire to take their excess waste. 

Almost two-thirds of the 2018/19 statistics show that household rubbish is category contributing to the majority of fly tipping cases. This ranges from black sacks to household debris, old carpets and furniture as well as DIY project waste. The dumping of rubbish has been reported on roadsides and pavements across the UK. 33% of the reported incidents were a small vanload in size with 30% being the size of a car boot or smaller. Items like mattresses or furniture contribute to 18% of the total figure. 

Whilst not all the rubbish tipped may have been from illegal waste removal companies but from householders themselves it is important to note how stiff the penalties can be if caught. Fines far outweigh the cost of paying for professional waste removal and councils have more and more ways of tracing back dumped rubbish to the owner. 

Illegal waste from commercial companies has also been reported which included tens of thousands of incidents of construction waste including demolition waste, electrical items including white goods and garden waste.

The newly released figures don’t include the estimate of how much it costs local authorities to clean up after fly tippers overall. However, the cost of larger clean ups (thought to be the size of a tipper lorry or bigger) in 2018-19 were £12.9m which was an increase of £0.7m on the previous year. 

On a positive note enforcement for fly tipping has increased with local authorities carrying out nearly 500,000 enforcement actions which includes full investigations, fixed penalties and prosecutions. The volume of penalty notices issued has increased by 11% to £76,000.

To find out more about our licensed waste removal services contact us.

Pumpkin waste at an all-time high in UK

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As such we’ve put together some tips on what to do with your leftover pumpkin flesh and carvings:

Just last week it was reported in the UK that food waste would be at record levels this month as an estimated 8 million pumpkins are carved for Halloween and subsequently binned. This equates to an approximate 18,000 tonnes of pumpkin flesh that could well have been eaten. 

Make soup or pumpkin puree

Separate the seeds from the guts of the pumpkin and then for soup bring to the boil with some stock, onion and any other favourite vegetables. Once the veg has softened then blend the ingredients together until smooth. Serve with chunky bread for an autumnal treat or freeze once cooled for a later date. 

For pumpkin puree again you’ll need to separate all the seeds out and then just blend or food process until smooth. You can then use this puree as a basis for lots of dishes including curry, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie and more. 

Roasted pumpkin seeds

For a delicious snack this is a simple solution. Spread the separated pumpkin seeds out on a baking tray and lightly drizzle olive oil on top. Pop in the oven to roast until they’ve a golden toasted appearance and then enjoy!

Pumpkin juice

As inspired by Harry Potter as a firm Diagon Alley favourite you could use your pumpkin flesh to make this wizard mixture. Pour boiling water over the flesh including stringy areas and seeds. Let it soak for around half an hour and then strain, removing any solid parts. To sweeten you can add insome brown sugar with the boiling water. Put together with some apple juice for an extra seasonal twist. Adults only can add some apple cider for an alcohol inspired pumpkin treat.

Feed wildlife or use as a planter

For the pumpkin lantern itself once you have finished with it you can feed the leftover shell to wildlife. Leave in your garden or take to a nature spot and leave for wildlife to eat. Alternatively, you can turn it into a planter. Fill with compost and some of your seasonal favourite plants and plant in your garden. The pumpkin will naturally fertilise and compost in the soil over time.

The impact of clothing waste

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Clothing has hit the headlines recently as one of the main areas of waste in a typical UK household. It has been estimated that clothing to the value of around £140 million is sent to landfill each year. Moreover, it is also estimated that the value of unused items hanging in wardrobes is around £30 million. 

As such there is a push for householders and local authorities to put more emphasis into reducing clothing waste by changing shopping habits, extending the life of clothes people own already and managing better disposal for clothing that has reached the end of its life. 

The charity WRAP has put together some estimates regarding the bigger picture concerning clothing waste which make for alarming reading. For example:

It is believed that the yearly footprint of a typical household’s new clothing purchases, including laundering is equivalent to – the carbon emissions of driving 6000 miles in an average car, the water required for 1000+ baths and in excess of the weight of 100 pairs of jeans. 

The charity believes that there are opportunities to reduce the impact of clothing on waste overall and their report ‘Valuing our clothes’ highlights some of these and includes:- Reducing the impact of new clothing sold – Extending the usefulness of existing clothing- Raising the demand and availability of pre-owned and re-usable clothing- Prevent clothing reaching landfill- Reducing the impact that washing and cleaning clothing has

Extending the lifetime of clothing is seen as a big way to reduce the impact on the environment. The average life of a typical garment is thought to be around 2.2 years but even just increasing that by 9 months could have a positive influence. Ways to extend clothing life include: – Ability to mend or alter clothing- Design of clothing and suitability to adapt to fashion changes- Consumer willingness to wear things again and again

All of this but in addition people should take great responsibility for how they dispose of clothing and get waste removed by the local authority or registered waste carriers only.

Bin lorry trial begin in Sheffield and Westminster

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In Sheffield and Westminster it has been reported that trials of electric bin lorries will commence. The bin trucks will be powered by the very thing they are designed to collect – household waste!

Diesel lorries that had been earmarked for scrap have been instead fitted with electric engines enabling the 26 tonne bin lorries to operate using energy from collected waste. Any additional energy left over is expected to be returned to the system and be used to power homes.

These transformed vehicles have zero carbon emissions and form part of challenges to reduce the pollution levels in both areas. Illegal levels of dirty air are present in Sheffield and Westminster – following an emergency meeting in Sheffield earlier this year the city council have pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030.  

Spearheading the project is Councillor Mark Jones who says: 

“Using local expertise, we are piloting a new repowered 26-tonne bin lorry which is powered by the electricity produced by the waste it collects. We believe we are the first local authority ever to do this, putting Sheffield at the forefront of the green energy revolution.

“Our city is working hard to deliver clean air and green jobs. We are rightly proud of projects such as this alongside our own proposals for a clean air zone to cut nitrogen dioxide.

“I’m looking forward to seeing this bin lorry and another set to be delivered soon powering up Sheffield’s hills and leading the way for a new approach to tackle climate change and poor air quality.”

Local firm Magtec actually fit the electric engines to the lorries and their director Marcus Jenkins has revealed that a single conversion is the equivalent to removing 30 diesel cars off the road. 

“The quickest and most economical way to reduce harmful emissions in our cities is to repower diesel trucks with electric drives,” he said.

Air pollution is linked to certain health conditions including asthma, dementia, mental health concerns and some cancers. Government advisory board The National Infrastructure Commission has previously called for a ban on new petrol and diesel HGVs sales by 2040.

Plastic Free July – What’s it all about ?

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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

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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.

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