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Recycling after Christmas

Recycling at ChristmasChristmas is the best time of year for many people, but the festivities and celebrations can cause a lot of household waste. You will be surprised however, how much of the waste can be recycled.

Here are some simple tips to ensure you recycle as much as you can, avoiding waste wherever possible to reduce the amount that ends up in a landfill site.

What can be recycled?

•    Christmas Trees- Look for a local collection point at a local park. There are some organisations that take old Christmas trees, shred them into wood chip and for use on flower beds. Ensure all your decorations have been removed.
•    Wrapping paper- Try and buy recyclable wrapping paper. We get through so much wrapping paper each year, ensuring we can reuse it makes it a lot more sustainable.
•    Tissue Paper- An alternative to wrapping paper is a few layers of tissue paper.
•    Christmas Lights (Check with your local council)
•    Mistletoe, Holly and Ivy- If they are real you can recycle them as garden waste (make sure they don’t have glue or glitter on them though.
•    Batteries- Go to your local large supermarket and they should have battery collection points.
•    Christmas Cards- If they are on clean paper or card and do not contain glitter then they can go into your household recycling. Some supermarkets collect your old Christmas cards as well. You could also create scrapbooks from your Christmas cards if you like to keep them as mementos.
•    Cardboard boxes- Remove any filling or bits of sticky tape first and ensure the cardboard is clean.

What shouldn’t be recycled?

As you can see from the list above, there is a wide range of materials that you can recycle, there are still some items that cannot be. Placing these in with genuine recyclables can contaminate the whole lot, rendering an entire batch useless.

•    Foil and some plastic films are not recyclable.
•    Don’t put wrappers that are greasy with food in the recycling bin.
•    Avoid wrapping paper with holographic designs as these cannot be recycled.
•    Christmas Decorations.

Food Waste

Many households throw away more waste during Christmas than any other time of year, especially food waste. Although you cannot send food off to be recycled, there are a few clever tips you can consider trying to reduce your household’s food waste.

•    Try and think about portion sizes during Christmas. Try and estimate accurately how much food your family will actually eat to avoid buying food you won’t realistically finish.
•    Freeze any leftovers that are freezer friendly.
•    If you have a lot of vegetables left over, create a soup which is easy to make and be easily frozen for later use.
•    Place any vegetable peelings into a compost bin rather than into your normal rubbish bin
•    Have leftovers as snacks whenever possible. There’s nothing quite like a leftover turkey sandwich.

If you have a lot of guests over during Christmas, you may want to consider hiring a skip for the festive season. A mini skip for domestic use doesn’t take up a lot of space and it allows you to discard of your waste in there that otherwise would be too much for your regular bins. The great benefit is that the rubbish will be sorted and recycled for you meaning you have one less thing to worry about this Christmas.

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.

5 Reasons to hire a skip before Christmas

Reasons to hire a skip before ChristmasChristmas time is nearly upon us and the thought of having guests over or finding room for more gifts can sometimes be overwhelming. You might even be considering having a big clear-out before the big day.

Here are 5 reasons why you should consider hiring a skip before Christmas for you to have a tidier start to the new year.

1.    Your chance to get rid of old junk

When you open your presents on Christmas Day, you can suddenly find your home filled with new stuff that you may not have room for. One way around this is to go through those boxes and bags you have been meaning to get rid of during the year but haven’t had the chance to in advance. You may be surprised how much you have been hoarding in your home that you no longer have need for. Items that do not work or things you just don’t like. It also allows your previously crammed wardrobes and attics to become a bit neater.

2.    Free up space

If you have guests during the Christmas period, you will probably notice a huge increase in your household waste. Although paper can easily be crushed, glass and metal items that are bulkier take up more room and so it is important you try and get this waste removed before your guests arrive or before Christmas day to avoid running out of space. A domestic mini skip is a great option for this.

3.    It saves a trip to the tip

Your time is precious during the build up to Christmas, and so hiring a skip can save you the trip to and from the recycling plant. Not only does this save you time, it also saves you on the money it takes in fuel to drive to the tip, but also gives you peace of mind that you can fit all the waste you want in a skip rather than deal with the prospect of going on multiple tip journeys.

4.    You can recycle a range of materials
From paper to glass, metal and electronics, these are just some of the materials you can dispose of in your skip. Although there are some items that you should not place in skips, the majority of items are fine. Hiring a mini skip is a great way to get rid of bulkier items which otherwise would take up a large proportion of your household bin (which needs to remain as empty as possible before your guests arrive and the amount of waste suddenly shoots up). Electronic items are great for placing in the skip giving you peace of mind that you are getting rid of your unwanted items in the correct way.

5.    You are promoting recycling
We all know the importance of recycling but over Christmas when you are rushing, household waste can end up being low down on your priorities. Using a skip to help clear space before Christmas itself can be a big help as not only is it an easy way to get rid of a large amount of rubbish in one go, you can be assured that your rubbish will be separated correctly and as much of the waste recycled as possible

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.

10 ways to teach kids how to recycle

Aluminum Cans Crushed For RecyclingRecycling is such an important topic and it has never been more prominent in our daily lives. Our children will be growing up with recycling being a more normal practice. We need to encourage this behaviour in order to ensure they and future generations continue to recycle as much as possible and understand the importance of it. Here are some ideas you can use with your children to help teach them about recycling and encourage recycling behaviour.

1.    Increase the number of recycle bins around the house - Try and have recycle bins on each floor of your house to encourage kids to recycle first rather than placing all rubbish in the general waste bin. Having a small bin in the child’s bedroom and teaching them what items to put in there will also help.
2.   Label your bin using graphics - Place a graphic of cardboard, plastic etc on the bin so kids can easily identify which bin is which. When you are throwing something away, hand it to the child and ask them which bin they think it should go in. You could also get them to decorate the bin themselves as a fun art project.
3.    Use both sides of paper - Colouring and art are great activities for your child to do but try and encourage them to use both sides of the paper to reduce the amount of waste. If you are using paints, get specific paper designed for paint so that both sides can be used. Try and get them to use crayons instead of pens or colouring pencils as they are softer and don’t dent the other side of the paper.
4.    Get creative with recycling materials - Before you throw anything in the bin, think about whether you can create anything with it. Building a rocket, musical instruments and more are possible with a bit of creativity. You can use old containers to place paint in for future art projects as well.
5.    Compost - Get you kids to place food waste into a compost container in the garden. This will show them how compost works, and they can help you use it in the garden to plant fruit, veg or flowers of their own.
6.    Go to the recycling centre - An easy way to teach kids about recycling is to take them to your local recycling centre so they can see recycling on a large scale for themselves.
7.    Games - There are online games available specifically made to help kids learn more about recycling.
8.    Donate clothes and toys - On a regular basis, get your children to go through their stuff and see if there is anything they don’t play with anymore or clothes that no longer fit and get your child to donate them. This teaches them how people less fortunate than them can benefit from their unwanted clothes and toys. It also helps keep your house a bit more clutter free.
9.    Rewards - Incorporate a reward system into your recycling efforts. Give them a gold star every time they recycle and keep a record of their progress so they can see how far away they are from a reward. The rewards only have to be small but it’s a great way to make recycling more fun and engaging.
10.   Demonstrate - You need to ensure all members of your family are taking part, not just your children. Kids learn a lot of their behaviour from their parents and older members of the family, so you need to lead by example.

A lot of these ideas are simple to implement but could have a massive impact. By normalizing recycling when children are young, they are more likely to continue this behaviour as they grow older. So, taking time to incorporate some of these activities into your daily routine can reap huge benefits in the long term. The important thing to remember is to try and make the tasks fun and easy to do, otherwise you will lose their attention and they will think recycling is boring and not something they want to do.

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.

Recycling at theme parks

Recycling at theme parksTheme parks attracts thousands of tourists in the UK. They provide thrills and entertainment, making them a great choice for a day out. However, despite them being a great destination, the number of guests can lead to a massive amount of waste. Here we discuss what theme parks can do to ensure as much waste is recycled as possible.

Bins
It is a simple thing to implement, but planning is still involved when it comes to placing recycle bins around the park. When people are busy having a great time, recycling is sometimes quite low on their priorities, so theme parks have a responsibility to ensure it is as easy as possible for guests to recycle. Have a sufficient number of bins so that guests can always easily access one. Target high volume areas (around toilets and food areas) as this will be where the most waste will be. Also ensure you have bins throughout the queuing areas of the park. Customers do not want to have to leave the queue in order to get rid of their rubbish and this will lead to more littering. Also, ensure your bins are consistent. Use the same symbols and style of bin throughout the theme park so customers can easily identify them.

Lighting
Theme parks require a lot of lighting, especially on the rides themselves. Being able to use LED lights and eco-friendly light bulbs wherever possible is essential. It can be complicated to set up but having a renewable energy program in place will benefit you in the long run. You can also convert food waste to generate energy for electricity.

Food and drink
Water is a necessity for everyone, so this is a large area you should combat to ensure unnecessary waste is not created. Try and encourage customers to bring their own reusable bottles by providing free water fountains around the park. This is both convenient to the customer, avoids single use plastic bottles being sold in large quantities and will significantly reduce your plastic waste.
At your food stations, try and use reusable cutlery if possible. If not, try and use cutlery and napkins that have been produced from recycled materials. If possible, try and team up with a local charity and get left over food donated to those in need.

Greenery
Not only is greenery great for the environment, it helps improve the look of the theme park and improves the mood of guests. Use trees effectively around seating areas to create natural and tranquil areas for guests to have a sit down and relax. Using greenery to do this avoids you having to have as many indoor areas that require lighting and air conditioning.

Staff
It is not just about the customers at the theme park and worrying about the waste they create. You also need to consider the staff at the park. You need to provide enough training on your recycling program and ensure that all members of staff are on board and contribute to the cause. Get them to try and bring their own packed lunch, car share if possible and only use disposable products that you actually need. If your staff are fully behind the recycling program, they can help ensure the guests follow the rules as well.

Rewards
Consider rewarding customers who help with the recycling program. You can get vending machines that reward people for recycling and returning their bottles. If customers bring their own cups for hot drinks, offer a small discount. There are many ways you can use small rewards to encourage the behaviour you desire.

Paper
There are a few small changes you can make to reduce the amount of paper your theme park produces. Ensure customers can access their tickets online and just show a barcode or QR code at the entrance as opposed to having to physically print their tickets. Also, have an app for your theme park. Not only will this stop you having to print and hand out thousands of maps each day, it also helps improve the customer experience as the app will not only show them a map, but it can show them the best routes to get to the rides they want and also real time waiting times so they can plan their day more efficiently.

Some success stories
There are many theme parks that are already doing a lot in order to try and reduce the amount of waste they create. Disney has been known for trying to tackle this problem for years. Due to the sheer volume of guests that visit Disney theme parks each day, it is a massive challenge to tackle waste. They recycle over a dozen materials which equates to thousands of tons each year. They used recycled energy to cool their parks and even recycle human waste from their theme parks and hotels so that it can be used as fertilisers on farms. They have also teamed up with a charity and donated used soaps and bottles of shampoos from their hotels which are recycled and used to create hygiene products for people in need around the world. SeaWorld removed all single use plastic from their theme parks including single use plastic bags and plastic straws.

A Copenhagen park called Tivoli started a recycling deposit-based program back in 1998 where customers paid a deposit for a cup which they then got refunded once they returned the cup at the end of the day. This simple scheme has effectively been used across theme parks, festivals and sports events.

Merlin Theme Parks (which includes Alton Towers, Legoland, Thorpe Park and more) have also teamed up with Coca Cola. The initiative offers half price entry to the group’s theme parks in exchange for empty plastic bottles being handed in to get recycled.

From the examples above, theme parks are trying hard to combat the issue of waste. Some of the larger parks are putting in large initiatives to combat this problem but there is also room for improvement. Also, some theme parks are potentially lagging and should follow the example of others to ensure they are doing as much as possible to reduce waste. The first thing any theme park should do is carry out a waste audit. From here, they can identify which areas they are struggling with and have these as a priority.
 
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.

25 ways to reduce rubbish in offices

Computer keyboard with recycling symbolIt is important that in this day and age, all companies try and cut down on the amount of waste they produce and recycle as much as possible. The number of green businesses and green offices are growing, but some companies are still lagging. This blog discusses some easy things offices can implement quickly and simply in order to start reducing office waste.

Packaging
1.    When purchasing any supplies for the office, try and choose options that do not include a lot of excess packaging. If packaging is unavoidable, try and recycle
2.    Speak to suppliers about delivering goods in returnable containers rather than loads of packaging. This is becoming more popular, so it is worth asking your supplier in advance
3.    Bulk buy coffee, tea and sugar supplies. This will stop staff bringing in their own or buying drinks from coffee shops. Buying in bulk also cuts down on the packaging used
4.    Provide a filtered water system to cut down on plastic bottles in the office

Food and drink
5.    Ask your employees to use reusable cutlery/ silverware rather than bringing in disposable plastic cutlery. If your company can provide staff with cutlery in the staffroom, they will be less likely to bring in disposable items
6.    Use reusable cups and mugs. Ask employees to bring their own or provide them as a gesture of good will. They are reasonably cheap and will mean you will significantly cut down on the number of disposable coffee cups you need to get rid of. They are notoriously difficult to recycle
7.    Consider buying a composting bin to place in the staff kitchen area. It’s a great way to avoid as much waste going to landfill as possible. By putting food waste in a separate compost bin, you can have it collected by a company or use the compost yourself if you have any green space or garden
8.    Also get your employees to try and bring their own lunches in their own containers or provide them with plates and bowls. This will cut back significantly on the amount of food packaging you have to throw away
9.    Invest in tea towels rather than providing staff with paper towels.

Paper
10.    Wherever possible, store files digitally. Although this is standard practice for many companies, there are a lot of businesses still heavily reliant on printed copies
11.    Change the settings on all computers to automatically print double sided
12.    Encourage your staff to make amends to documents digitally rather than printing off several drafts of documents
13.    If you can, re use scrap pieces of paper, envelopes, folders and other stationary whenever possible
14.    Buy lighter weight paper
15.    Leave messages for colleagues by sending them emails rather than writing messages down
16.    Before printing documents, look at the margins and line spacing on your documents to ensure you are using the space as efficiently as possible
17.    Recycle unwanted paper and shred any confidential information. Shredded paper can also be recycled, so ensure this always happens.
18.    Try and take a tablet or laptop into meetings to take notes on rather than pen and paper
19.    If you do have to print, try and avoid printing in colour
20.    Store important staff information such as policies and notifications in a central location on the computer system that people can access rather than printing several copies of each update.

Office Equipment
21.    Make the most out of all of your ink cartridges. Rather than buying new ones when they are finished, look into buying refills instead to cut down on the amount of plastic you are using
22.    When buying electrical equipment for your office always think quality over price. Although you may have to pay slightly more, going for higher quality equipment should last you longer and will therefore be more cost efficient but also reduce the waste created when you replace it
23.    If you only use certain equipment occasionally, see if you can hire it instead of buying it outright
24.    Ensure you dispose of your electrical equipment in the right way, such as batteries
25.    Make sure you have clearly labelled bins throughout the office and make it as easy for staff to recycle as possible. Get rid of individual bins at people’s desk as it will make them head over to the main bins and are therefore more likely to split their rubbish into the correct bins.

Some offices have managed to become completely paperless. Although this may not be achievable for some companies, the list above shows that there are a variety of things you can implement to ensure you are going in the right direction. The main thing is to implement waste cutting techniques and ensure your staff stick to them. It will take some time for staff to get used to all the new initiatives, but once they have got into a routine, you should see a significant drop in your office waste. Trying an incentive and rewarding the member of staff who reduces their waste the most is also an effective tactic.

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

11 ways to stay safe around skips

loaded dumpster near construction siteHiring a skip is a quick and easy way to get rid of the rubbish you have been storing in your home or business. Although you might not think that hiring a skip is particularly dangerous, if you are not sensible and careful during the process it could lead to potential injuries. Here are a few tips to make sure you and other people remain safe whilst you hire and use your skip.  A lot of the tips are common sense, however if you are in a rush, even the simplest things can be forgotten and that’s when things can become risky.

1.    When preparing for your skip, ensure you are ready for the skip’s arrival. Remember that your skip needs to be placed on a stable, flat surface that is free from any obstructions. Ensure all vehicles have been removed from your drive if this is where you are planning your skip to go. Also make sure if you are placing the skip on the side of a road that the height and position of the skip will not obscure the view of any cars driving past or reversing.

2.    Ensure your skip can be delivered with ease. Remove any cars or obstacles that could stop the delivery truck accessing your property.

3.    Once your skip has been delivered, do NOT try and move it. It is important you know where you want the skip in advance, as once it is placed on the ground you will not be able to move it yourself. They are extremely heavy and attempting to move a skip can not only cause you injury, it can damage the surface it is placed on.

4.    When the skip is being delivered, keep your young children and any pets inside the house. They can be extremely inquisitive to new things and want to get involved but it can be dangerous if they get in the way. Small children and pets will not be easily visible to the driver delivering your skip.

5.    Be careful when filling your skip. Always check there are no small animals, pets or children that have climbed in the skip before you place heavy items into it.

6.    Never put hazardous waste in skips or any other item that is not suitable for skips. Check online or contact us for the full list of items you should not place in skips if you are unsure. Gas cylinders, paint, white goods and batteries are all good examples of what you cannot place in skips.

7.    Be careful when placing heavy items in the skip. Always lift with your knees and always ask for help if you need it. Skips have really high sides so although you may be able to lift the item, being able to lift it high enough to place into the skip can be another matter. It can cause back injuries and lasting damage, so you must know your limits.

8.    Don’t overfill your skip. If your skip is overfilled it may not be collected as it would be unsafe to drive on roads with a skip that full. Each skip has a weight limit that you need to stick to. Even if you are not exceeding the weight limit, if you have overfilled your skip there is a chance items could fall out and cause damage.

9.    Have a system when loading your skip. Don’t just throw it all in at once. If you take a minute to think about how to load it properly, you will be able to fit more in it and ensure nothing can fall out.

10.    Always think about the public. This is slightly less of a risk if the skip is on your private property but if you have it placed on a street you need to ensure that it is not getting in anyone’s way. You may want to consider hazard lights to indicate to people that the skip is there.

11.    Monitor your skip, especially if it is on a public street. You need to make sure that other people are not taking advantage and using your skip as well. Not only is this rude, they could be putting hazardous material in the skip which does not belong there.

All these tips are easy to stick to and by following these rules, you will not only stay safe around skips, you will be able to make the most out of your skip hire.

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.

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.

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