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Top recycling tips at home

Recycling at homeRecycling is a major consideration for us and we are dedicated to recycling everything possible to reduce waste going to landfill sites. When we collect your skips, we will separate your rubbish in order to recycle as much of the waste as possible. However, there are many elements of recycling that you yourself can do at home as well to cut down on your normal household waste. Here are few of our top tips.

Tip #1 Donate to charity
A great way to reduce waste is to consider donating your clothes and other household items to charity. Just because you no longer want the item, doesn’t mean someone else will not benefit from it. As long as they are in good enough condition, you should take your clothes to your local charity shop. With donation bags distributed to homes, stores across the country and donation banks at a lot of supermarkets, there are many ways you can give your unwanted clothes to someone in need.

Tip #2 Repurpose items
This requires a bit of creativity but it’s great when you can discover another use for an item that you would otherwise have just thrown away. For example, you can use old woks, pots and painted cans and create plant pots for outside, or you can use the material from old clothes to create a blanket. The possibilities are endless.

Tip #3: Don’t waste leftovers
When it comes to food, try and reduce the amount you throw away. A lot of leftovers can make lovely meals. If you have slightly older vegetables that need using, make a soup rather than automatically throwing them away. Composting is another great option for food waste. It reduces your household waste and helps you keep your garden healthy.

Waste is a problem that is continuing to increase, so by doing small things to try and reduce this waste wherever possible we can collectively make a huge impact.

Tip #4: Make some money
Even if you no longer want some items, they could be seen as valuable to other people who will be willing to pay for it. All it takes is for you to give up some time to list the items online to sell and you will be surprised how much money you can make. If you have old electrical items that no longer work as well, you can take them to specialised shops that may buy them off you and restore them to resell.

Tip #5: Get the whole family involved
The best way to ensure you continue recycling wherever possible is getting the whole family involved so recycling and reducing waste becomes part of your daily life. If you have young children, then set them recycling challenges and reward them when they have done a good job. Label your bins so they know what can go in which one and talk about the benefits of recycling, so they know they have to continue as they grow older.

These tips are easy to do but can still create a great impact and reduce the levels of waste in your home. All it takes is a bit of creativity, time and effort. To find out more about how we can help you with your disposal needs, please contact us on 0800 083 7807 or visit our website for further information.

The Skip vs The Tip

AdobeStock_103434726- TipWhen you have a large amount of waste to get rid of that will not fit in your regular bins, you tend to have two main options available for you. Either go to the tip or hire a skip. Here we discuss the benefits of both, and which one is the better and most efficient and effective option.

A lot of people have a waste management centre or tip that is within driving distance of their home, but the distance can vary dramatically. When considering going to the tip, calculate how many trips you think it will take you to remove all of your rubbish, calculate the time it will take for you to drive there, empty your rubbish into the relevant sections of the tip, and then drive back to potentially repeat the process several times over. In addition to this, depending on when you go, there could be dozens of people with the same idea as you as you never know how busy the tip will be. During busy periods, it can be extremely stressful and time consuming to go to the tip.

The great thing about skip hire is that you know the location of the skip will be as near to your house as possible. If you have room, it can be on your land or on your drive which is fantastic. Even if you must have the skip on the road, you know that it will be closer to you than the tip is. This is extremely convenient, especially if you have a few last-minute bits of rubbish that you have forgotten about as it means you don’t have to do another trip to the tip. Once you hire a skip, you know that the skip is only for your use, so you have don’t have to worry about the potential crowds and queues.

Because you do not have to pay for the tip, it can seem like the obvious choice to go for. However, taking into account the several trips you may have to do, you need to calculate how much fuel you will use in the process as it can add up quickly, especially if your car is full of heavy rubbish. You must think about cost not just in monetary terms but also how much time it will cost you to go to and from the tip. If you need multiple trips this could take you a whole day or even an entire weekend. The time saved will be significant if you chose a skip instead.

Amount of waste
Your decision will be made for you automatically if you have too much rubbish to fit in the car – in that scenario a skip may be your only option. Having a skip means to can get rid of it all in one go and even if you could fit it in your car, it will save you having to make several trips. On the other hand, if you only have a small amount of rubbish, there may not be any point in hiring a skip at all. Measure the quantity of rubbish you are expecting to have and see if there is a skip size that will suit your needs. There is no point hiring a massive skip if you do not have a lot of rubbish, however there are many sizes available. You will also be surprised how much rubbish you have. You may think you will not have a lot, but once you start on a project, the rubbish adds up quickly so a skip may be the choice for you.

Type of waste
A deciding factor is also the type of waste you are wanting to get rid of. If the rubbish smells or is dirty, it will not be a good idea to have it in your car as it could cause permanent damage. Although there are some items that are not suitable for skips, the majority of rubbish can be placed in skips and the great thing is you do not have to separate your waste as this will be done for you once the skip has been collected.

A major concern for people when hiring a skip is where to store it. However, this shouldn’t put you off hiring a skip. Even if you do not have space on your private property or to stay on the street overnight, then we offer a same day skip hire service / wait and load service which allows you to get rid of your rubbish quickly within 30 minutes and then the skip will immediately be taken away. By choosing a skip you can be more flexible as you are not dependent on the opening and closing times of the tip, avoiding peak traffic hours or the need to queue when you get there.

Although tips are great places to get rid of your rubbish, a skip may be the best option for you as it provides you with flexibility, they come in a range of sizes and is for your use only which can save you time, money in the long run and energy.

To find out more about how we can help you with your waste disposal needs, please contact us on 0800 083 7807 or visit our website for further information.

LSPS guide to using a skip for house clearances

Whether you are moving to a new house, renovating a property or just want a big spring clean and a fresh start, using a skip can be really useful. In this guide we will try and answer all the questions you might have.

Do I need a skip license?
If you are placing the skip on your private property, then you will not require a skip permit. However, if you are intending to keep the skip on a public road, you will have to have a license to do this. LSPS will take the hassle out of this and we will handle all of the paperwork for you, so you don’t have to. Usually local councils take about 3 days to issue a license so please take these timings into consideration.

What are the benefits of using a skip hire for house clearances?
  • There are so many reasons why hiring a skip might be the best solution for you:You can choose the size you need. Whether it is for a small or large clear out, you are in control of what size skip you need. There are five different skip hire options that we offer, so we can be flexible around your needs
  • Convenience- having a skip delivered to your door can be extremely convenient and a precious time saver. It means you can get rid of your rubbish in one go and will save you time and money on travelling to and from the tip. If you only need a skip for a short while, we also offer a wait and load service which means you have a short window of time to get rid of your rubbish and we will immediately take the skip away for you, meaning you don’t have the skip outside your house overnight.
  • Environmentally friendly - we will ensure that the rubbish in the skip will be recycled where possible.
Which size skip is best for me?
This question completely depends on the individual circumstances. The ideal skip for you will depend on the amount of rubbish you need to get rid of. It is usually a case of the bigger the house, the bigger the skip needed. Refer to our skip size guide here which provides a visual representation of how much you can fit in each skip size. Just remember before choosing that it’s not always best to go for a smaller size if you think there is a chance you may fill it completely. You will be surprised once you start clearing stuff out how much more rubbish you have then you initially suspected. If you get a skip that is too small, you risk overfilling, and this could mean your skip cannot be taken away due to safety reasons. Alternatively, don’t go for too large a size as you need to consider how much space it will take up.

What can you put in the skip?
The list is almost endless of things you can put in the skip. It is more important to know what you can NOT place in the skip. Forbidden items include:

Liquids, oil, paint, asbestos, batteries, fridges, freezers, medical waste, AC units, hazardous and toxic materials, tyres and gas bottles.

Where do I put the skip?
Ideally you would have space on your private land or driveway to store the skip. This is convenient for you in many ways as it stops you needing a skip license, it is close to your house, and you can keep it there until you need to get rid of it. If this is not an option for you then you can usually have it on the road outside your house (as long as they are no restrictions). The only difference with this is that you will have to try and get a place as close to your home as possible and you will have to receive a skip license beforehand, so please bear this in mind when you are considering timings.

If you need any more advice about your house clearance and your skip requirements, then please speak to LSPS today. Contact us on 0800 083 7807. We are open Monday- Friday 07.30 and 16.30 and Saturdays from 7.30 until midday.

Why is plastic so harmful?

We know it has been in the news a lot recently about the damage plastics are doing to the Earth and how it is almost becoming a plastic planet. Plastic has become a huge part of our day to day lives and we may not even be fully aware of how much we use plastics and waste a lot of it. Here we discuss the reasons why plastics are so bad for our environment and what steps we can take on an individual level to try and help.

Reason 1: They take a LONG time to decompose
This is one of the main reasons why plastics are so damaging to our environment. Plastic products vary in how long they take to decompose and the length of time in a lot of cases is shocking. Here are a few examples of typical household items and how long they take to completely biodegrade:
  • Toilet Roll - A month
  • Cardboard - 2 months
  • Plastic Bag - 10-20 years
  • Styrofoam cup - Approximately 50 years
  • Aluminium can - 200 years
  • Plastic Bottle - 450 years
  • A nappy - 450 years
  • Plastic Straws - Up to 200 years
  • Plastic Cutlery – 100-1000 years
  • Some plastics - Never
Because plastic is extremely strong it is a desirable product but it is also one that’s difficult to destroy. Because they take so long to decompose, people have tried to suggest alternatives such as burning the plastic, however doing this would produce a lot of harmful pollutants which will have an even worse effect on the environment.

Reason 2: They are cheap
As consumers, we are very strongly driven by price, so when we see something that is both practical and cheap, we are tempted to buy it. A lot of plastic items however are very cheap to buy and cheap for the manufacturers to produce. Changing packaging to something that is fully biodegradable can be a lot more expensive, which is why some manufacturers are put off.

Reason 3: They are not made sustainably
Plastic is manufactured by using coal and crude oil which are both unsustainable sources. We have a limited supply of these materials which is another reason why we shouldn’t be using them all up by making plastics.

Reason 4: They are only being used once
Single use plastics are a main area of concern as the amount of waste they produce is off the scale. People are using the plastics sometimes for a day, hours, if not minutes before they are getting thrown away.

Reason 5: They kill animals
It is horrific to see the impact plastics can have on animals. There is loads of plastic waste entering our oceans each day which is severely affecting marine wildlife like turtles, seals and whales. Some animals are being caught up in the plastics, whereas others are eating the plastic and choking. It is affecting all types of wildlife as well. Even smaller organisms such as plankton are being affected as they are consuming microplastics which are barely visible. 

Reason 6: Humans are eating plastic
Without us even realising, there is a good chance we are consuming traces of plastic fibres and microplastics. In fact, one study suggests that humans can actually be eating the equivalent amount of plastic as a credit card each week! This is a scary thought to consider, however people are unsure of all the details yet.

What can we do?
Although a lot of damage has been caused, we can still carry out some changes to our daily lives to try and reduce the amount of plastic that we use:
  • ALWAYS re use your plastic bags if you go shopping rather than buying new ones
  • Use paper straws instead of plastic ones
  • Be conscious of the products you buy and what packaging they are in. Try and choose items that are packaged in a biodegradable alternative whenever possible
  • Use reusable coffee cups and water bottles instead of buying disposable
  • Try and get involved in beach clean-ups or other events specifically set up to help clean up the plastics
  • Use correct waste disposal. Separate your waste as efficiently as possible to increase the amount of stuff that will get recycled.
To find out more about how we can help with your waste disposal needs, please contact us on 0800 083 7807 or visit our website for further information.

5 common mistakes people make when hiring a skip

Hiring a skip is an easy and great way to get rid of your unwanted clutter, either from your home or office. However, although hiring a skip is a simple process, there are some common mistakes people make that you should be aware of so you can easily avoid making them yourself.

Mistake 1: Ordering the wrong size skip
This seems like a simple thing; however, it is extremely easy to under or over estimate how much rubbish you have. Once you start on a clear up project, you can sometimes get carried away and not realise how much rubbish you had to start with. People often order a skip that is too large and that takes up a lot of room when storing and is a waste of both space and potentially money if they are not intending to fill it. Alternatively, they order a skip that is too small, which leads to more work and multiple trips to remove the waste. You also need to make sure you are not driven too much on price. Do not order a skip just because it is the cheapest. You need to ensure it’s the best option for you.

Tip: If possible, in advance try and gather as much of the rubbish as you can to get an idea of how much space your rubbish takes up. Take this into account before choosing your skip size. Also take into consideration the space you have available to store the skip itself. If you are unsure what size to go for, ring and discuss it with someone who will be able to advise and try and match the skip to your requirements.

Mistake 2: Overfilling the skip
Linking to mistake number 1, a common occurrence is when people hire a skip which is too small and end up overfilling it as a result. A skip is considered overfull if it exceeds the fill line or if items are bulky and protruding from the top. A skip can be refused to be taken away as it is not safe to transport an overfilled skip, making it both an inconvenience and illegal. It can possibly end in a fine being issued.

Tip: Always monitor the amount of waste that goes in the skip to avoid overfilling. If in doubt of the amount of rubbish you have, go for the next size up to be on the safe side.

Mistake 3: Putting restricted items inside skips
Although the list of items you can place in a skip is extensive, there are some materials and items that are forbidden. Liquids, oil, paint, fluorescent tubes, asbestos, batteries, tyres and fridge / freezers are just some of the items you cannot place in your skip. If you are concerned about whether the waste you have is suitable for a skip, then please get in contact and we can advise you. 

Mistake 4: Exceeding weight limits
Along with underestimating how much rubbish you must dispose of, another common mistake is underestimating how much your rubbish weighs. Each skip size is suitable for a certain amount of rubbish. Even if your waste fits nicely in the skip, it still may not be taken away if the skip becomes too heavy. Always be realistic when ordering a skip. If you think it will end up weighing a substantial amount, then please take this into consideration.

Mistake 5: Not considering parking space
Another mistake is not thinking realistically about where the skip is going to go. It needs to be close enough to your property that you can access it easily, however it also needs to be accessible when it gets collected. Ensure you are fully aware of the size of skip you want to hire and ensure you have enough space. This is even more important if you are planning on keeping the skip on a public road. You need to ensure the space is large enough and available for when the skip gets delivered. If you suddenly want to place it on public land rather than your own land you will need a permit which comes at a cost. Although we can sort out the paperwork for this, it could cause delays which are avoidable with forward planning.

Before hiring a skip, make sure you consider your budget, your space to store the skip, the amount of rubbish you have to get rid of, the weight of the rubbish as well as the type of waste. This will make it easier for you to choose the best skip for your needs. If you have any concerns about choosing the correct skip, LSPS are always happy to advise you. To find out how we can help you, please contact us on 0800 083 7807 or visit our website for further information.

Recycling at UK Festivals

There are almost 1,000 music festivals that take place across the UK each year, and with thousands of people in attendance, the amount of waste that these events can cause is off the scale.

Due to this huge amount of waste being highlighted by concerned individuals and organisations, there has been a rise over the years of new initiatives being rolled out across many festivals in order to try and combat the waste issue and the overall environmental impact these events have. Here we discuss a few of the initiatives that some of the biggest UK festivals are carrying out.

Glastonbury – Worthy Farm, Somerset
One of the most iconic festivals in the world, what started as a festival for 1,500 people in 1970 has grown rapidly, with a record number of guests recorded in 2005 - 153,000 people in attendance. With audience numbers this high, the festival site becomes a temporary town and with this comes a lot of waste. One of the main problems is the amount of plastic being used. Glastonbury are combatting this in several ways. Recently they have banned the sale of single use plastic bottles, informing people that they would not be allowed to purchase them from food sellers at the festival site and instead they should bring reusable bottles that can be filled at the numerous taps provided. In addition to this, it has been announced that a dance arena will be created using 10 tonnes of plastic found on beaches, parks and on the street.

Latitude – Henham Park, Suffolk
Latitude Festival has run several initiatives over the years to reduce its environmental impact. They have, like many other festivals now, a cup deposit scheme where people pay an additional £2 for their cup, which is reusable. They can either keep the branded cup at the end of the festival as a keepsake or they can return it to be used next year and receive their deposit back, thereby reducing the number of disposable cups significantly.

Green Man Festival - Brecon Beacons, Wales
The festival wants to live up to its name and try and be as green as possible. They work alongside charities to reuse unwanted camping equipment and food that they send to refugees around the world as well as to local charities by using designated recycling and donation points.

Cambridge Folk Festival - Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridgeshire
This festival is known for a large array of vegan food options as well teaming up with charities that offer a waterless eco-friendly hygiene pack for guests to buy. These innovative packs include antiperspirant in an aluminium can, a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush & face wipes and eco leaf toilet paper, among other things. This is to ensure people can stay clean without producing waste that is harmful to the environment.

A problem for all music festivals that include camping is the tents that are left behind at the end of the event, either because they are broken or because people simply do not want to take them back with them. It has been highlighted recently that people should not think of festival tents as single use items and should only bring stuff to the campsite that they are happy to take away with them. Not only are tents predominantly made from plastic, the tent pegs often left in the ground can end up being broken up into pieces when the ground is being farmed, and animals can end up eating them with damaging consequences.

Most festivals now offer an extensive waste system which provides people with colour coordinated bins split for compost, recycling and general waste. Many festivals hand out recycling and general waste bin bags to camping guests to promote recycling.

Festival goers love glitter, however people’s awareness of microplastics and the damage they cause has risen over recent years. Bearing this in mind, some festivals are banning plastic glitters from festival sites entirely and only providing glitter that is biodegradable.

Although there is an argument that festivals will never be able to be completely green, there have been some significant steps in the right direction over recent years which should continue to be developed in the future.

To find out more about what we do and how we can help with your waste disposal needs please contact us on 0800 083 7807 or visit our website for further information.

Loft Conversion Guide

Taking on a loft conversion is a massive project. However, they are a wonderful way to increase your storage space without having to move to a new house, as well as add value to your home.

They are not only ideal to create an extra bedroom, but can also be used for studies, an extra living room or a games room. The possibilities are endless. Regardless of your ideas for the attic, it is still a big challenge. Here are a few things to be aware of and do before you get the loft conversion you’ve been dreaming about.

1)    Do an initial survey
This is the most important stage. It is vital you get permission to have a loft conversion in the first place. If your attic doesn’t meet the regulations and criteria, but you continue with the project, you will make your house practically unsellable. Also, although a lot of properties in the UK will be suitable for a conversion, this will not always be case. It depends on what is there to begin with and how the roof was constructed. Hiring a specialist structural engineer will ensure you know whether the project will be possible.

2)    Make a detailed plan
Having a vague idea of what you want your loft conversion to look like will not be enough. There are many things to consider which could easily be forgotten if you don’t have a detailed plan. Knowing what windows you want, where the staircase will go, where the heating and electric points will be placed are just some of the things to consider. Although it will be an additional expense, its highly recommended to use a professional architect. Not only will they be able to produce detailed plans for you, they will have experience with project management and could have good connections and could help you find a reputable building company which will save you the hassle.

3)    Choose the right builders
A loft conversion can add value to your home but only if you hire builders that are professional and know exactly what they are doing. They are probably going to be more expensive, however it will be worth it knowing they will do a good job and will probably finish it in a decent amount of time. There have been many cases of people hiring the wrong builders who stop half way through a job, and leave your house in a mess. Let experts help you at every stage of the process to ensure the best results.

4)    Get more than one quote
It is best to ask several building companies what they would charge for the loft conversion. This will ensure you can get the best price possible. However, do not just make your decision on cost. The cheapest quote will not necessarily be the best for you. Take into account how professional they seemed when you met them, whether you think they will do a good job and what time scale they are predicting the job will take. Always ask for examples of their previous work so you can ensure it’s a good enough standard. Also, ensure you have a payment scheduled sorted in advance. Never pay them in full before the job starts. Organise an initial deposit and a payment plan for the rest upon completion.

5)    Think about light
Try and place the biggest windows possible in order to get as much natural sunlight into the room as possible.

6)    Think about storage
This is your chance to plan a room from scratch and it is always good to think about where the storage will go from the beginning. Deciding at design stage means you can plan clever storage solutions and built in wardrobes which will save space and make the room look bigger.

7)    Go green
Where possible, think about the environmental impact of your project. Not only should you think about the building materials used, you should consider the effects this will have once the project is finished. If you create an insulated house which will conserve energy, it will not only be good for the environment, it will also be good for your bank account.

8)    Hire a skip
Converting your loft will create a lot of mess. Not only with the building work itself but also from having to empty the attic to begin with. Preparing for a loft conversion is an ideal time to go through your stuff and get rid of anything you don’t need. Ensure you hire a skip that will be big enough for your project and be suitable for the type of waste you want to dispose of.

If you are looking for advice for suitable skips for loft conversion projects, then speak to LSPS today. Contact us on 0800 083 7807. We are open Monday – Friday between 07:30 and 16:30 and Saturdays from 7:30 until midday.

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