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Recycling scrap metal


Recycling metal is a £5.6 billion industry within the UK, processing ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metal into important secondary  raw materials to smelt into new metals. Worldwide, over 400 million tonnes of metal is recycled each year which helps to protect the environment and save energy. Using secondary raw materials means that we are using fewer natural resources which could be used to make new metal compounds.

Metal can be infinitely recycled, which makes it one of the most desirable scrap commodities today. Like any other industry, recycling tends to be based on market need. So whilst all metals can be recycled, only a few actually are; these include aluminium, tin, zinc, copper, iron, steel and lead. Those metals that can’t be recycled are contaminated with radiation and subsequently handled as hazardous waste instead.

Once metal is collected, it goes through a sorter to remove any contaminates such as non metal items. The metal is then washed and further separated by type. The sorted metals are then sent to various foundries for smelting and reuse.

Recycled metal contributes more than any other product to the UK’s targets for waste prevention through recovering ‘end of life’ products:

  • Packaging: approximately two billion aluminium and steel cans are recycled each year
  • Vehicles: over 75% of a car is metal, around half the material processed by metal recycling shredders come from vehicles
  • Batteries: the metal recycling industry is recycling most lead acid vehicle and industrial batteries

LSPS recycle all grades of ferrous and non ferrous metals, in fact we recycle as much of the contents of our skips as possible, reducing the waste that gets put into landfill. Read our advice on skips to do your bit for the environment.

Thinking of hiring a skip? Read our additional tips and sizes to suite your job.

What is landfill?

imageLandfill still remains the main method of dealing with our waste in the UK. Although many of us have now got the message about the importance of recycling and doing our bit, around half of all refuse is still being dumped into a hole and covered over.

Every year we produce about 3% more waste than the year before. 

Landfill remains an important disposal method for waste that can’t be recycled or disposed of by other means. Landfill sites are designed and operated to strict standards in order to reduce environmental effects, and with strict landfill directives - the amount of waste, particularly hazardous waste, is being reduced.

We produce and use 20 times more plastic today than we did 50 years ago

How does landfill work?

Waste is checked to make sure it is compliant with the landfill’s operating permit, the waste is then tipped into the site, compacted and covered. This is to minimise smells and pests.

Every day 80 million food and drink cans end up in landfill

Waste is then decomposed, resulting in gasses, particularly methane which has to be vented to safety. This methane venting process is the evolving of gasses that used to make landfill sites unsuitable for further development for some time.

Methane is around 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide

When the landfill site reaches eventually reaches capacity it is covered with clay and other soils to produce a ‘cap’ which will eventually allow the land to be reused for agriculture and other purposes.

An average of 40% of Britain’s methane emissions result come from landfill sites, however with the strict operations in place it means that increasing amounts of the UK’s electricity supply now comes from gasses recovered from landfill.

LSPS recycle as much of the contents of their skips as possible, reducing the waste that gets put into landfill. Read our advice on skips to do your bit for the environment.

Thinking of hiring a skip? Read our additional tips and sizes to suite your job.

Skips for DIY waste

clip_image002DIY waste is classified as neither household nor garden waste according to the Environmental Protection Act 1990. In fact, DIY waste is classed as industrial waste, even if it generated from a home, which means that councils do not have a duty to provide free disposal for it. For this level of work it’s advisable to hire a skip and let us deal with the waste once the skip becomes full.

DIY waste, or construction and demolition waste, is generated through building or renovation work. Most of this waste is made up of hardcore or rubble – small stones and rocks used for building – or material left over following demolition of a driveway, wall or roof repairs, etc.

Examples of DIY waste are:

  • hardcore/rubble/bricks
  • paving slabs
  • plasterboard
  • roofing materials
  • soil/turf
  • bath, toilet or basin unit
  • central heating system components
  • tiles
  • door, window or frame
  • kitchen unit or wardrobe
  • shed/fence panels
  • laminate flooring
  • timber, MDF, hardboard

If you don’t have the space for a skip on your property and it has to go on a public access area such as a road or pavement, then a skip permit from your local authority will be needed. However we can handle this application process for you, freeing up your time to concentrate on your DIY project.

Once your skip is filled, LSPS pick up and transport your DIY waste back to our onsite waste transfer station in order to recycle as much as possible, avoiding landfill where we can.

Thinking of hiring a skip? Read our additional tips and sizes to suite your job here.

Tips for garden clearance

clip_image002Any amount of garden clearance produces waste, so an ideal way of clearing this green waste as easily and as environmentally as possible is to start off with hiring a skip. This way you can put all the unwanted rubbish in one central place, removing the extra chore of taking it all down to the local tip yet doing your bit for recycling.

We want to give our customers a helping hand with their garden clearance, so here are some tips for you...

Tip #1 - tackle the trees

Target the larger jobs first; this includes trimming the trees back. Lay the larger branches in the skip first. Laying them flat on the bottom means that bulky items can sit on top, that way smaller waste can fill in the gaps around the bulkier items further on. Trimming the trees also encourages new growth as well as opening up the garden space in the meantime.

Tip #2 – shift the shed rubbish

This is the perfect time to tackle the garden shed or garage. Choose a nice day to clear out all the contents and identify what you need and don’t need. Put all the broken and unwanted furniture and garden equipment in the skip and reorganise the shed space with what needs to be kept.

Tip #3 – tidy the trimmings

Now the larger jobs have been done, rake up all the leaves and garden debris. Raking promotes growth in the grass and allows the sun to get to the ground. Decaying vegetation is a haven for slugs and snails so give your plants a fighting chance by removing debris to prevent them moving in! Birds can also help with the removal of slugs so encourage our feathered friends into your garden by hanging bird feeders.

Add all this debris rubbish to the skip after the larger items have been put in place as this will make the most of the space available in your skip, filling in the gaps.

Tip #4 – pristine pavements

Clear away the moss on your pavements, steps and patios. Special path cleaners are available, but moss can be easily removed using a sweeping brush or pressure washer also.

Mini or midi skips are generally suitable for garden clearance jobs; see our skip sizes here. Thinking of hiring a skip? See our ground rules here.

Thinking of hiring a skip? Read our additional tips here.

What happens to skip rubbish?

clip_image002Recycling has moved from being an option to a necessity, backed by governments, local authorities and EU targets. We can no longer keep dumping our rubbish in the ground, instead we have to make the most of our waste materials and use them to our advantage.

All waste that is collected in LSPS skips is taken back to our waste transfer station where the skips are emptied into our waste recycling facility; this is then carefully separated into the various different types, such as wood and plastic. The waste is then recycled through shredding, screening or compaction. Finally the recycled materials are sent out to be reused for further treatment.

Wood: all wood that is collected in the skip is shredded and transformed into wood pellets which can be used for animal bedding. Find out how we recycle wood into wood pellets here.

Green waste: trees and hedges are mixed with biodegradable materials to form reusable compost.

clip_image003Soils and inert wastes: wastes such as excavated materials are screened in order to remove larger contaminants. These secondary soils can then be used for filling in old quarries to create new green land.

Hardcore and aggregate: brick, stone, concrete, glass, tile or any other quarried products are crushed to produce materials that can be used as sub base in building projects.

Metal recycling: recycled metal is in high demand; such is the demand that recycled metal is often exported overseas to places like China or India.

Mixed waste recycling: once all the above materials have been identified for recycling, a small amount of non-recyclable waste is left. Whilst this has historically been sent to landfill, which has serious consequences on the environment, such waste is now used in one of the most important resources we know – electricity – through modern waste to energy plants.

Skip hire is no longer about taking your waste to be buried in landfill; you’re doing your bit by simply filling a skip!

Packing a skip effectively, click here to find tips.

Thinking of hiring a skip? Read our additional tips here.

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