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Recycling Mistakes You Might Be Making


Recycling mistakes you might be makingWith horrific amounts of plastic in our oceans and the dangers this entails, we are all becoming increasingly aware of our need to reduce plastic waste and recycle as much as we can. Many of us now have recycling initiatives at our place of work and increase our recycling at home. However, despite our best intentions, we may not be recycled correctly. Here are some common recycling mistakes you might be making.  

Thinking all plastic can be recycled 

Although a lot of plastic can be recycled, not all types can. Whilst some people place all their plastic in recycling and hope for the best, certain types cannot be recycled for various reasons. We should all be aware of these types so that we try and avoid buying items in this packaging, to begin with. For example, black and dark plastic is extremely difficult to recycle. The type of pigments used to form the dark colour makes it difficult for automated recycling materials to sort and identify. As there is no easy way to fix this, black plastic tends not to be recyclable.  

Certain plastic containers cannot be recycled either such as yoghurt pots or takeaway containers. This is often due to the mixture of materials used to make the packaging. Try and reuse your takeaway containers or avoid this type of plastic where possible.  

Not recycling aerosols or cleaning products 

In opposition to the previous point, sometimes people assume items are not recyclable and place them in their normal waste bin. For example, deodorant cans and aerosols are commonly thought not to be recyclable when in fact they are. Just ensure they are empty before you place in the recycling. The same goes for bleach and cleaning products. Many of us think because bleach and other cleaners are potentially toxic to the environment, the bottles will contaminate the recycling process. As long as the bottles are cleaned and emptied thoroughly, this shouldn’t be an issue.  

Recycling dirty items  

Although a lot of packaging can be recycled, it does depend on the quality of the material. It is important that the containers and packaging do not have any food stains or food left in them when you place them in the recycling bin. A common example is a takeaway pizza box. Although the box can be easily recycled because its made from cardboard if there are pizza grease stains on it, recycling cannot happen. The same goes for dirty tin cans or plastic containers. Just ensure your rubbish is in a clean enough state before you place it in the recycling bin. 

Placing recycling items in a plastic bag  

A lot of people place their recycling in a plastic bag before they take it outside to the main bin. Although this is convenient, it causes more harm than good. Empty the bags into the bin but don’t place the plastic bags in it as well. Although you can, of course, store them in a plastic bag to keep them organised in your home, the items should be loose in the main recycling bin. 

Recycling plastic bags  

This leads on from the previous point. Although plastic bags can be recycled, they are often not accepted by many councils. You should instead cut down on the amount of plastic bags you use. The ones you do have, make sure you keep reusing them to make them last the longest time possible.  

Recycling wet newspaper 

Although the newspaper can be recycled, the same is not true for wet newspaper. You cannot always predict the weather and the newspaper may accidentally become wet. However, if it does happen remove it from the recycling bin and place it in your compost bin instead. 

Not separating glass 

This mistake depends on your local recycling rules. In some areas of the country, people have a separate bin for their glass items. You must have a thorough understanding of which items go in which bin to maximise your recycling efforts 

Recycling Christmas lights and hoses 

Although made from plastic, Christmas lights and garden hoses can cause a problem. They can easily become tangled around other items and even equipment and machinery at recycling centres. This can cause serious, costly damage. 

Recycling scrap metal  

When tidying out their house, shed or garage, many people come across a lot of materials they no longer need, including bulkier items such as scrap metal. Although scrap metal can be recycled, these items should be placed in a skip or taken to a recycling centre, not just placed in your recycling bin at home. 

Recycling old clothing  

It is great to make use of old clothing rather than simply throwing it away and it ends up in landfill. However, clothing cannot be recycled. Instead, donate it by taking it to a local charity shop or charity collection bin that many supermarkets now have. 

Recycling bubble wrap  

Bubble wrap is often placed in the recycling bin because it is plastic. However, it shouldn’t be. Instead, reuse the bubble wrap for your next house move or see if anyone else needs it. 

Recycling crisp packets  

Crisp packets are often made from a mixture of materials and it is because of this that they often cannot be recycled. Although you may automatically assume they should be recycled, ensure they end up in your general waste bin. 

It can be easy to be green and recycling, on the whole, is a simple task. However, the list above shows just some of the common mistakes being made when it comes to recycling. As long as these are avoided, the levels of recycling that can be achieved could increase significantly which is always great news. 

How long does our waste take to break down?

How long does out waste take to break downWe are now more aware than ever that we need to get rid of our waste in the most responsible way as possible. This is important as there are many materials that take years, decades, or even centuries to decompose. Here, we answer the question “how long does our waste take to break down?" 

Under a year  

Train tickets 

Cotton gloves  

Cardboard 

Thread  

Rope 

Newspaper 

Up to 5 Years 

Plywood  

Wool clothing  

Up to 15 years 

Lumber  

Painted board  

Cigarettes 

Between 20 and 100 years 

Leather (25-40 years) 

Nylon clothes (25-40 years) 

Tin cans (up to 50 years) 

Foamed plastic cups (up to 50 years) 

Rubber-soled boots (50-80 years) 

Up to 500 years 

Batteries (up to 100 years) 

Batteries are one of the most dangerous items to be left in a landfill. As the thin metal casing will decompose in approximately 100 years, the heavy metals inside will be left exposed. Unfortunately, these metals will never decompose and are toxic.  

Aluminium cans (200 years) 

Sanitary pads (at least 500 years) 

plastic bags (at least 500 years) 

plastic bottles (up to 450 years) 

Over 500 years 

Glass bottles (up to 2 million years) 

Styrofoam (DOES NOT DEGRADE) 

Tin Foil (DOES NOT DEGRADE) 

It is important to note that although glass bottles can take a staggering 2 million years to naturally decompose, they are easy to recycle due to the fact that they are mostly made out of sand.  

Food Waste  

It is reasonable to believe that because food waste comes from the ground, it should decompose quickly. However, this is not actually the case. Different food items decay at different rates. Whilst something like a banana peel may take up to a month to decay, orange peels can take six months. Surprisingly lettuce leaves that are in landfills can stay up to a quarter of a century before they decompose completely. This is another reason why food waste should also be kept to an absolute minimum. 

Although this list is not comprehensive, it is a scary concept to consider the fact that a lot of the rubbish we personally create in our lifetime could still be around centuries after. However, it is not all doom and gloom. There are many little changes we can all make to our everyday routines that can help reduce the amount of waste we produce. From cutting back on plastic in our beauty routines, to using reusable coffee cups, avoiding plastic bags for shopping, and keeping our clothes for longer. 

Some of the figures shared above are truly shocking. They highlight the vital need to reduce using these materials where possible and if we do use them, check to see if they can be recycled first. Hiring a skip is an efficient way to ensure as much as your waste is being recycled as possible.  

Garden Maintenance Tips for Autumn


LSPS Garden Maintenance TipsThe Autumn months are the perfect time to get your garden in order. No matter what size garden you have, the amount of rubbish that can build up can be surprising. You can quickly end up having more waste than your wheelie bin can handle and this is when you should consider hiring a skip. Doing so now and tidying up your garden means that your garden will be sorted for the Winter months and ready for Spring. Here are some gardening maintenance tips for Autumn.

Keep on top of Autumn leaves 

Although not all trees shed their leaves, the majority do and you can quickly find your garden overwhelmed by them. Although keeping some of them to one side can help create important habitats for wildlife to shelter in during the cold winter months, the rest can be bagged when they are dry and thrown away into a garden waste skip. The same applies to branches. Although you can keep some around your garden for wildlife, you may have too many and need them to be removed.

Next, you should look at your flower beds. If you have flowers that have died and will not return next year, have these removed to keep your flower beds neat and provide you room to plant some more bulbs for next Spring. As there are usually restrictions on the amount of soil you can place in domestic wheelie bins, hiring a skip can be a great option. 

Trim hedges

As you get into Autumn, it is time to think about trimming hedges to keep growth under control. Depending on the size of your garden, this can be a mammoth task. Before you start, you must know where you are going to place your waste. Also, you must check for birds' nests before you start. It is illegal to disturb nests until the chicks have grown up and flown away from the nest. 

Landscaping 

Autumn is also the perfect time to get landscaping jobs done ready for you to enjoy next year. Before the weather takes a turn for the worst, you can try and sort out the patio, raised beds, or any other projects you have been putting off doing. Having a skip at hand is perfect to help you get these jobs completed quickly and efficiently, leaving you with no mess to clear up.

Tidy out the shed

Now the Summer is over, a lot of the garden furniture will have to be covered and stored away. This is often in the shed or the garage. Before you store everything away, take the time to tidy out your shed and garages. They gather unwanted items and rubbish quickly, sometimes taking up valuable space that you now need. With gardening jobs minimal for the next few months, you will be grateful in Spring that you have taken the time to sort everything out now. Anything you no longer need, find an alternative home. If that fails, your skip will be at hand to help you dispose of the waste.

Fix your fencing 

If you notice there are weak areas of your fence, it is always a good idea to get them fixed before the colder, windier weather arrives. Fences can often end up damaged or even blown away, making the job even bigger and also leaving your property insecure. By dealing with it now, you can ensure you have sturdy fencing before Winter arrives.

The jobs discussed above show how hiring a skip for your garden needs can be a worthy seasonal investment. Whilst the weather is still mild enough to spend outside, it’s the perfect time to organise your garden and finish any jobs you were intending to do during the Summer. Before hiring your skip, ensure you check for any restrictions. If you know what you are intending to throw away, check with the skip hire company that they accept all of those materials. 

The negative effects of fly-tipping

Polluted Coastline Environment

Because we pay council tax, we receive the benefit of a regular, free rubbish collection service. Although this is perfect for our everyday waste, there will inevitably be times where our waste exceeds the capacity of our regular household bins and we need to find an alternative way to remove this waste. Despite there being many methods to do this, some, unfortunately, turn to the unethical option of fly-tipping instead. Here, we discuss the negative effects of fly-tipping.

What is fly-tipping?

The term fly tipping refers to the practice of illegally dumping your waste. Rather than taking the rubbish to the tip or hiring a skip or professional waste disposal company, some people dump their rubbish where they hope it cannot be traced back to them, or wherever they seem fit. This can sometimes be on the street, in neighbour’s gardens, or in the countryside.

Not only is this behaviour rude and unsightly, but the effects can also be long term and disastrous.

The negative effects of fly-tipping

•    Some people believe fly-tipping is the only answer as it's free. However, this isn't technically true. Although the fly-tipper doesn’t directly pay anything to get rid of the rubbish, someone has to pay for it. The local authorities and councils are those that end up footing the bill. To raise the required funds, this could end up in an increase in council tax. Not only is this frustrating for the majority of people who dispose of their rubbish legally, but it also puts unnecessary financial pressure on local authorities and means that the designated funds do not go towards other projects that can benefit the community.

•    Fly-tipping makes areas look unsightly and this can have a huge impact on the surrounding area. In some cases, it has been shown to devalue the price of houses surrounding the fly-tipping hotspots. 

•    It is illegal and therefore if anyone is actively caught doing it they can end up with a fine or even a prison sentence.

•    It impacts wildlife, especially as a lot of fly-tipping occurs in the countryside. It is common for wildlife to be severely impacted by fly-tipping. Household waste can contain many toxic ingredients and harmful plastics that can be fatal to wildlife if ingested.

•    These toxic ingredients can also harm people, especially children if they accidentally ingest something.

•    The health impact can become widespread as well, which some people do not take into consideration. Toxic substances can sink into the earth which can stop plants growing in the nearby area and also impact nearby creatures and ecosystems.

•    If the waste disposed of through fly-tipping is general household rubbish such as rotting food, this over time can attract rats, flies and other undesirable creatures that the local neighbourhood will not like having close to their homes

Fly-tipping is a criminal act that affects many people. With so many easy waste disposal options nowadays, there is no reason fly-tipping should still be happening at the rate it is. Although it is only the minority of people that turn to fly-tipping as a viable option, people must understand the true damage fly-tipping can cause - both environmentally and financially. If you ever have waste to get rid of that is bulky then invest in hiring a skip. There are many sizes available to meet your needs and you do not even need to have space to store the skip. If you have nowhere for the skip to go, there are wait and load services as well to get around this. Alternatively, there are waste management companies that can come and pick up specific items you are struggling to dispose of. 

Skip Hire Guide for Beginners

thumbnail (1)Hiring a skip can be relatively daunting if it is something you have never done before. Here is our skip hire guide for beginners. 

Be careful what you put in a skip 

Many people believe that anything can be placed in a skip and although that would be extremely convenient, it is not the case. Although you can place the majority of materials in a skip, here are some that you must definitely avoid:

•    Asbestos 
•    Batteries
•    Medical Waste
•    Toxic materials 
•    Fridge / Freezers
•    Tyres 
•    Plasterboard
•    Gas canisters
•    Electrical Equipment 
•    Paint Cans 

If you are in any doubt, ensure you ask if you are concerned about any of the items you are wanting to use the skip for. All of the items listed above have their own specific ways of disposal. If you are found with any of these prohibited items in your skip, you could end up being charged and have the items returned to you.

Skip Sizes 

Skip sizes vary and it can be confusing to understand exactly what size you need. The larger the skip you hire, the cheaper it is per cubic metre of waste. However, there is no point hiring a large skip if you know you don’t have a lot of waste. Visualise how much waste you have and make a decision from there. It is worth getting the size up to make sure you have sufficient space. Not only is this more value per cubic metre, in reality, but you may also find more waste that you hadn't taken into consideration.

Skip Hire Prices

There are no standard prices for skip hire and they will inevitably vary due to several factors, including the type of skip you need, how long you need it for and where you are geographically located. In addition to this, if you do not have the space to have a skip on your property, you will need to factor in the additional cost of obtaining a permit to have it on the roadside. 

Skip permits

A skip permit or a skip licence need to be obtained if you are placing the skip on a public road instead of your own property. Not only will you need to pay a small fee to get one, but you must also allow a few additional days for the skip permit to be sorted. Luckily, most skip hire companies will organise this on your behalf and make all the arrangements. You must also consider whether the skip will be located on single yellow lines or in a pay and display bay as you may need a parking suspension in addition to the permit.

Wait and load skips 

Wait and load services are often available to customers and are perfect for those that need their waste removed quickly or simply do not have any space to place the skip overnight. Your skip will be delivered, you will need to load it, then the skip is immediately taken away.

Can I have help loading the skip?

Many skip hires do not include labour costs. It is imperative that you have organised the ability for someone to help you load the skip if necessary. You must ensure that you are loading the skip safely at all times and never attempt to lift items that are too heavy. If you do not have anyone to help you and you have a lot of bulky items to move then a man and van clearance service may be a better fit for you.

How long can I keep the skip? 

You can often determine how long you require the skip for. However, it normally covers 1 or 2 weeks. You can organise to have it collected before then if you need to. If you need the skip longer than this, you may have an additional charge. If you need to change the time frame for whatever reason, ensure you provide your skip hire provider plenty of notice to make the arrangements. 

Access

Skips are usually delivered in large lorries, so you need to ensure they will be able to access your location in order to drop the skip off. If you are concerned with access, inform your skip hire company in advance to try and sort out an alternative.

Weight 

Skips can hold a lot of weight as even the mini skips, which are 2 yards, can usually hold up to 2 tonnes. Although it is rare that households will exceed this amount, always check if you are concerned about going over the weight limit.

Height 

An issue can often occur by people overloading skips, not in terms of weight but in height. Your skip will have a fill line on the inside which you should not exceed. If you do there is a chance your skip will not be taken away as it is now a safety hazard. If you overload it, there is a significant risk of items falling out when the skip is in transit.

Driveway Damage 

Some people are concerned that a skip will cause damage to their driveway. Skips are heavy when they are empty, let along when they are full. You can have the skip placed on scaffolding planks if you have them. If you are concerned about damage, discuss with your skip hire provider first who can guide you according to what material your driveway or skip location is made from.

Recycling 

At LSPS, we ensure that the waste we collect is sorted sufficiently and have as much waste recycled as possible. 

Hopefully, these tips will help make the process of hiring a skip that much easier. It can take some planning to ensure you have the space to have a skip and order the correct one, however, once you have one delivered, you can load it in your own time and avoid the hassle of several trips to the tip.

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

Guide to Recycling Plastics

PlasticsWe are all aware of the damage plastics can have on the environment and that we should be recycling wherever possible. However, with so many different rules regarding the best way to recycle and reuse and also so many different types of plastic, the whole thing can be extremely confusing and overwhelming. Here is our definitive guide to recycling plastics  .

What are plastics?

To start off with, we want to understand exactly what is meant by the term plastic, as it covers a myriad of things. The properties of plastic mean that they can be moulded into practically anything, from forks to straws to cars. Although all of these are classed under the umbrella term of plastic, there are in fact many different types. Here we describe some of the different types.

•    Epoxy resin filler is a type of plastic that becomes hard after only a few minutes and can be placed into wood that has rotted away
•    D30 is a soft plastic that hardens once it has been suddenly hit. This type of plastic is often used for sports equipment as it can provide added protection 
•    Fibreglass is a combination of plastic and glass and is often used for constructing methods of transport such as boats or cars

Plastics are formed from polymers which are compounds made from combining monomers. Depending on the different monomers chosen, different plastics are created which all have their own specific properties. Plastics also act differently when they are heated. Thermoplastics (such as water bottles and plastic toys) soften and bend when heated, whereas others, known as thermosets, will never soften (for example, epoxy resin and polyurethane).

In order to properly recycle plastic, a person must have an understanding of what type of plastic it is. Plastics need to be placed with others of their kind before they are recycled. 

You may not even realise that some items contain plastic. For example, the material tights are made from, Nylon, is in fact a plastic, but isn't what usually springs to mind when you imagine plastic.

Why is plastic problematic

Although some plastics can be recycled, overall plastic is a huge problem because they are as a whole synthetic. Since they do not naturally form in nature, animals and other forms of life have not yet adapted to them being in their environment. The disposable nature of many plastics means that they often end up in our landscapes and oceans, causing significant damage to our wildlife. 

Some plastic can also be extremely toxic when they are heated. Certain chemicals can be exuded from the plastic which can end up in the air or going into the ground, which can bring significant health issues.

Why is recycling plastic important?

As it can take up to 1,000 years for plastic to degrade, landfills cannot cope with plastics. Therefore, it is imperative that plastic is recycled whenever possible. By recycling plastics we are conserving energy as new plastic is not being created from scratch, we are avoiding plastic ending up in our natural environments, we are limiting pollution and also reducing greenhouse gases.

These are merely a few of the benefits to recycling plastics so it is a no brainer that everyone should be doing their part. However, unfortunately, it is not always simple. We regularly check items to see if they are recyclable but the symbols can often be confusing. This can lead people to assume the product is not recyclable when in fact it is. Alternatively, it can lead people to automatically assume it is recyclable when it isn't, which can then contaminate the rest of the recycling. 

How we can recycle at home 

Reuse plastic containers
Before throwing anything away, see if you can use it again. Plastic containers make great storage and saves you buying some new containers.

Save plastic bottles to use in the garden 
They can make great watering cans

Squash plastic bottles down 
Before placing plastic bottles in the bin, squash them down. Not only does this mean you can fit more in your recycling bin, but it also makes it easier to sort at the recycling plant if the plastics are lying flat.

Remove any food
Rinse out items before placing them in the recycling bin. 

Have recycling bins around the house 
Do not limit yourself to only having a recycling bin in the kitchen. A lot of waste from bathrooms and home offices can also be recycled. However, many people simply place all the items in the nearest bin and may not think about recycling.

Whilst a plastic-free world is not attainable at the moment as plastics have many positive uses, it is important for us to understand that not all plastics are the same. They need to be treated differently and if we can all do our part at home and at work, we can slowly make recycling second nature.

How online retailers can minimise waste


photo-1592500305715-aa0a73023178Over the past few years, there has been a dramatic increase in people shopping online. This shift from traditional retail shopping in a physical location to e-commerce is continuing to grow and become the main type of retail for many people. Although online shopping can be more convenient for people, unfortunately, it can create more waste, mainly due to excess packaging. Consumers are aware of this and becoming increasingly eco-conscious when choosing which brands they buy from. 
Here we discuss how online retailers can minimise waste
 
What are the benefits for retailers minimising their waste

Minimising the waste their company produces does not only benefit the environment. There are many other benefits as well. For example, ensuring the customer knows you have made a conscious effort to reduce waste will help promote your brand and reputation. In addition to this, using less packaging will also cost your business less money in the long run. If a brand takes it time to produce the perfect packaging for their products, they can also use this as a brand-building exercise. For example, branded packaging is more likely to get shared on social media, meaning that your packaging can also act as a form of advertising and can lead to valuable user-generated content. 

Always use recyclable material 

This may seem obvious and is something the majority of online retailers are already doing however brands should consider every element of their packaging and make as many of these elements recyclable or biodegradable. Although cardboard is easy to recycle, ensure any plastic can be recycled and try and avoid polystyrene. Despite polystyrene technically being able to be recycled, in many cases, they have to be disposed of separately which causes an inconvenience to customers. If they place in the normal bin it will inevitably end up at the landfill, whereas if its placed in the household recycling bin it can, in fact, slow down the recycling process. 

Think about the size of the packaging 

Where possible, have the packaging fit to the size of the product. Not only does this help produce left household waste to your customers, but it will also save the business money and lower emissions at the same time. If made to measure packaging is not possible, aim for as close a fit as you can. If customers are ordering something small, try and ensure the packaging can fit through a letterbox. This can help improve the customer experience as it means their products can easily be delivered safely without them needing to be home to receive the parcel. 
When shipping costs are calculated, they are based on dimensional weight. This makes it in the businesses’ interest to ensure their packaging is kept to a minimum.

Consider the contents of the packaging 

It is not only the outer layer of packaging a business must consider. What other types of packaging will the customer receive? Some companies are now using more sustainable materials such as bamboo-based materials instead of plastic and polystyrene. 
In addition to this, can you brand the packaging in any way? As discussed earlier, branded packaging can help improve the customer experience. People are likely to share their purchase on social media if the packaging is as exciting and high quality and the product they have purchased. They are also more likely to recommend your brand to friends and family if they have had a great online shopping experience with them. The online shopping experience doesn’t end once a customer checks out. The product and packaging are just as vital. 

Have a retail waste audit

On a regular basis, carry out a retail waste audit. You can even hire someone to undertake this for you if you are a big company. The audit will involve making a list of all the types of waste, and measure the amount of waste. From there, a plan can be put in place to reduce the amount of waste created. 

Make recycling easy for the customer 

Every business should be recycling. However, they also have a responsibility to ensure their packaging can easily be recycled as well. Make it clear on the packaging that it can be recycled to encourage your customers to do so.

Donate damaged products 

Waste from online retailers does not just come in the form of packaging. It is inevitable that some of their products may end up being slightly damaged and not a high enough standard to send to customers. When this happens, businesses should consider ways to ensure these damaged items do not just get thrown away. Could they be donated to a charity shop? Sold at a discount on your store? Or give them away to members of staff? Any of these options is better than them immediately ending up at a landfill.

Implement an effective inventory management system 

If your products are perishable, it is vital you have a robust inventory management system in place. Having one will ensure more of your products are sold before they reach the end of their sellable life. If the stock is managed correctly, less waste will be created.

Train your staff 

All members of your staff need the training to ensure they understand the importance of reducing waste and giving them the tools to be able to carry out their jobs with a waste-free mindset. Have training sessions so all staff knows your policy. Incorporating ways to significantly reduce waste should become an integral part of your business's culture and therefore your employees much be advocates of this.

Waste is inevitable, however eco-friendly eCommerce is certainly achievable. By taking these steps for how online retailers can minimise waste, businesses will reap the benefits of not only environmental gains but also financial ones.  Customers are also left happy as they have less waste to get rid of and have a great perception of that brand in the future. The steps described above may take a bit of time to implement but they are not difficult things to incorporate into the day to day operations of the business. Therefore, it will not take long for a business to see the difference they are making.

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

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