Three in ten admit to stealing plastic bags
Why spend 10p when you can nab it for free? Are we a nation of petty criminals?
In a petty crime spree that should shock the nation, a third of Britons say they steal plastic bags from the tills at supermarkets rather than pay for them.
What started in 2015 as a bid to cut down on plastic pollution, the 5p plastic bag charge has since doubled to 10p, and that’s proved too much for some customers, according to a UK waste recycling company. Some retailers charge even more, usually for more luxurious bags.
A new poll (of 1200) conducted by UK waste experts BusinessWaste.co.uk has revealed that 3 in 10 people admit to pinching carrier bags instead of paying up in a national wave of petty theft.
Company spokesman Mark Hall warns: “People may not like having to pay for them, but you definitely should not be stealing them!
“We’ve heard all sorts of reasons (or should we say ‘excuses’?) from people, and we’re shocked to the very core.”
So why are people stealing plastic bags?
Is it laziness? Forgetfulness? Staunch defiance of the rules? If you answered “all of the above”, you win a carrier bag.
Mark Hall says: “We asked the more light-fingered respondents to our poll to elaborate as to why they don’t bother paying for plastic bags, and it’s fair to say we received an *ahem* mixed bag of responses.”
“I already have millions under my kitchen sink, and there is absolutely no way any shop is seeing another penny out of me to add to the collection.”
“I usually bring my trusty tote bag, but on the odd occasion I forget, I don’t see the point in paying for a carrier bag. I’m not the kind of person who uses them much, so I don’t see why it’s fair when I’m already doing my bit by choosing reusable bags most of the time.”
“My dog destroys all the carrier bags he finds, so I always have to buy new ones. And I’m not being funny but this does add up.”
“I’m not made of money, and do shops really expect me to juggle my shopping? It’s ridiculous.”
“I’ll be honest, it gives me a bit of a buzz every time I build up the nerve to just take a plastic bag. Besides it’s not really stealing is it, I mean it’s only 10p here and there. No harm done.”
“I bet they don’t even cost a penny each to make, so it’s a shameless money-grabbing markup for the shops. Total scam, and it’s almost a victimless crime”
Alex from Reading pays for his plastic bags but does admit that some retailers are taking the mick by charging a small fortune for a bag for life – “I accidentally bought a reusable bag in Waitrose and it was FIVE POUNDS. I’m still furious about this. What’s worse is that I’ve since lost it.”
Well Alex, it pays to be prepared and bring one of the many carrier bags you undoubtedly have stashed away in a cupboard somewhere – but kudos for being a law-abiding citizen!
Turning your forgetfulness into a charitable donation
While 226 million plastic bags are purchased every year in the UK , many retailers have made the decision to scrap selling single-use carrier bags and instead only offer bags of life. That, hopefully, will mean less plastic going to landfill.
But yet again, the price of these bags for life vary depending on which retailer you go to, so see where your shop of choice ranks below:
Asda – 20p
Aldi – 25p
Tesco – 30p
Sainsbury’s – 30p
Waitrose – 50p
Morrisons – 60p
So what happens to all this money collected by shops from plastic bag sales? Is it lining the pockets of some head-honcho in an office?
Actually, for the most part a lot of retailers have set up schemes where the money collected goes to charities, and around £9.2 million pounds a year goes from carrier bag sales to good causes. 
Some retailers donate to national causes, while others let the local branches of their stores decide which local charity will benefit which means that each bag sold can actually make a small difference to your community.
Business Waste’s Mark Hall says “While it’s always better to be prepared and reuse the bags you already have, at least it softens the blow of having to shell out for a bag if you know that the money is going to a good cause.”
“And if you are part of the 30% who have admitting to nicking one, then technically you’re stealing from charity. It is not a victimless crime.”
And you know who else you’re robbing? Mother Earth and her precious resource, that’s who. Have a think about that next time you get itchy fingers in the supermarket.
Should fast-food chains pay
for extra litter pick up?
When it comes to food and drink on-the-go, boy are we spoilt for choice in the UK, and we also seem to do our best to spoil our towns and countryside as we go.
Some of the biggest brands we all know and love are among the worst culprits for creating a huge amount of litter, which is costing local councils a small fortune to constantly clear up.
BusinessWaste.co.uk – the UK’s waste collection company – believe it’s time that these big chains paid extra for the rubbish their businesses create.
The scores on the floors
Fast-food litter is a broad term which covers all types of food that are consumed outside and disposed of incorrectly, which can be anything including plastic bottles, sweet wrappers, and food containers.
So while we love our ‘on-the-go’ food and drink brands because of how convenient they are, the packaging from takeaways or meal-deals is creating chaos for our waste collectors across the UK.
Just how much fast-food litter are we dealing with?
BusinessWaste.co.uk have taken a deep (bin)dive into just how loyal we Brits are to our consumable brands, and just what this means in terms of rubbish littering our country.
* On average, McDonald’s serves over 3.8 million customers a day in the UK. This means millions of wrappers, boxes, and soft drink cups are being disposed of daily.
* Coca-Cola produces 2.5 billion soft drink cans a year in the UK – including fan favourites Fanta, Sprite, Dr Pepper, and of course, Coca-Cola.
* Walkers produces over 11 million packets of crisps a day, which means over 4 billion packets being produced and consumed a year.
* More than 2 billion Nestle products are sold in the UK every year, with 97% of UK households buying their products, including popular items such as Kit-Kats, Nescafe coffee, and Buxton water.
Hall – Our love of these trusted brands is an environmental nightmare, as many of the top selling products in the UK are made out of non-sustainable packaging such as plastic and foil.
And lets not forgot about the billion rubber bands the royal mail litters each year.
What’s the cost
and what can we do?
The bill for litter cleaning up and down the UK currently costs local authorities around £586 million a year, which of course is money raised straight from the tax payer.
Business Waste don’t think this is fair on local councils and tax payers to have to pay when they aren’t the ones profiting from the sale of these goods, especially as consumers are often stuck for choice when it comes to making a sustainable choice when buying fast-food.
Hall: “Consumers have no choice as to what packaging their favourite products come in, so if the big brands don’t want to be eco-friendly then they should have to reach into their pockets to pay for the inevitable amount of waste their items produce.
“This could be the incentive they need to become more environmentally friendly.”
So what can we do to clamp down on the fast-food litter that is taking over our streets?
Some brands such as McDonald’s have partnered with local councils by organising daily litter picks with their staff around stores and have done for years. Some stores such as in Dagenham have agreed to up the number of litter picks to four times a day covering a half mile radius around the shop.
And the government are cracking down on fast-food litter too, by introducing new guidance for new applications made by franchises including installing more bins around takeaways to reduce the amount of rubbish. 
But Business Waste believe that ultimately, introducing charges for these brands is the best way to stop the amount of rubbish they create, and save local councils from having to foot the bill to clear it up.
National Pizza Day is on the 9th of February
National Pizza Day is on the 9th of February
Massive campaign to rid Britain of this greatest of all culinary blasphemies
If there’s one thing we all agree on, it’s that putting pineapple on pizza is one of the greatest sins ever committed in the name of cooking.
And that’s why one British waste company is launching a national campaign to have this culinary blasphemy deleted from takeaway menus across the country, and – if necessary – naming and shaming the guilty parties.
While some people might think this a bit extreme, it’s clear that there’s a growing wave of public disgust at the Hawaiian Pizza, UK waste management company Businesswaste.co.uk says.
“Every time you order a Hawaiian, a pizza chef loses a tiny piece of his soul,” says Businesswaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, “and if we do not act now there’ll be no room left for proper British creations like Chicken Tikka Masala pizza and Full English Breakfast pizza.”
“These people need to be stopped.”
Are you serious?
A 2017 YouGov poll claimed that an unhealthy 53% enjoyed pineapple on pizza, while 41% said they disliked it (the rest said ‘don’t know, and we’ve no time for fence-sitters). However, it appears attitudes have hardened in the intervening six years.
Our own informal poll carried out among over 1000 Business Waste customers in December 2022 found just a single respondent saying that they liked a crafty Hawaiian pizza, while a staggering 85% saying that pineapple on pizza should “get in the bin”.
Once again there were a umber of fence-sitters who claimed not to eat pizza, and we are minded to respect their life choices without further comment.
And that’s why Businesswaste.co.uk is launching its campaign to eradicate the Hawaiian.
“It’s not even from Hawaii,” says Businesswaste.co.uk’s Mark Hall, “It’s from Canada, and frankly they should apologise to the United Nations”.
It’s a call with international backing, with Iceland’s president Guðni Th. Jóhannesson saying that he would actually ban pineapple on pizza if he had the power to do so. He eventually rolled back on his proposal, presumably under pressure from Big Pineapple.
And an expert analysis on the legal situation called the Hawaiian “a barbaric practice that violates the very essence of morality, humanity, culinary dignity of all peoples and good taste”, and it doesn’t get any blunter than that.
So we think it is time to name and shame those who promote pineapple on pizza, and a list sprinkled with a few celebrity names, maintained by the relevant HM Government department, should be enough to turn the tide on the Mrs Brown’s Boys of cooking.
“And don’t get us started on anchovies, and people who eat their pizza crust first,” says Businesswaste.co.uk’s Mark Hall. “We’d draw the line at calling them weird, but it’s just another level of pizza wrongness we just don’t need.”
A pizza the action
The UK pizza takeaway market is worth 3.3billion pounds per year, and about 49% of the British public say they are pizza eaters.
The most popular topping is pepperoni, a safe choice that is a launchpad to more exotic tastes.
London, unsurprisingly, eats the most pizza, an estimated 288,000 being sold in the capital daily.
And YES, you can put your pizza box in the recycling, as long as it doesn’t contain any food waste. Any spare grease comes out in the recycling process.
With tens of millions sold every year in the UK, that’s an awful lot of cardboard boxes not being recycled because of this untrue myth.
But one thing is true: A quarter of people don’t eat the pizza crust, saying that it’s either “too filling” or that they just don’t like them.
It’s a finding backed up by our own informal poll which discovered that waste pizza is routinely thrown straight into the bin, still in the box, rather than being separated and put in respective recycling containers. What a waste.
“Once again, that’s millions of recyclable cardboard boxes going to landfill every year,” says Mark Hall, “and that’s a thing that needs to stop almost as much as pineapple on pizza.”
“Say NO to pineapple on pizza, and say YES to recycling your waste.”
Table of contents
Nowadays, our consumeristic culture has led to rates of purchasing that have not been seen before and this has led to an increased turnover of items being thrown away. Public awareness of the importance of waste management has emerged although relatively late. Thanks to the growing sensitivity to environmental and climate issues, a common thread linking these issues have become apparent.
The UK’s current waste management situation
England has made huge steps under this perspective to face a waste pile increasing year after year. The latest report from the government indeed states that this country passed from the 168 million tonnes of total waste produced in 2010 to the 187.3 million tonnes of 2018. England accounts for 84% of the UK’s yield, whose 63% is constituted by the categories ‘mineral wastes’ (e.g., stones, bricks, road surface’s components) and ‘soils’ (earthen materials). Such a high value reflects the predominant impact of demolition, construction, excavation, and other industrial activities. In the UK, waste collection is supported by an efficient (made up of mostly private companies) service system. This is evident in England at county and town levels. Local government authorities benefit from a certain degree of independence in this respect and can administer solutions to specific local needs in the form of services or new installations to aid the recycling and processing of waste. Private companies often manage these public utilities.
Hazardous wastes and their regulation
Despite representing a minimal proportion of the waste produced (between 4 to 5 million tonnes in England), hazardous wastes must be handled consciously. All have industrial origins and are subdivided into six classes: general industry, water treatments, construction and demolition, oils, and chemicals. In England, these rejects are rigidly regulated according to the Government’s Strategy for Hazardous Waste Management. At the international level, the legislation on this subject originates from the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their disposal and an Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Council Decision on the Control of Transfrontier Movements of Wastes Destined for Recovery Operations. OECD protects countries external to the European Free Trade Area from the indiscriminate transfer of wastes. Besides, this organization regulates the transport of rejects across its area following environmentally-driven principles.
Recycling and energy conversion
To cope with this surging problem, the UK is progressively replacing a linear dead-end approach with a circular strategy for waste management. As of 2018, recycling or other forms of recovery involved over 50% of the total waste production. To bring this matter closer to the general audience, it is noteworthy that one third of recycling concerns typical household materials. These have been categorized in the following classes: residual waste, 55%; dry recycling, 27%; unspecified organics, 16%; and separately collected food waste, 2%. Additionally, leftovers directed to energy-recovery treatments have surpassed incineration facilities without R1 accreditation in 2018. In this regard, domestic wastes appear to be suitable for energy conversion, constituting 80% of the total amount transiting through recovery facilities. Moreover, energy conversion commonly referred to as waste to energy ‘kills two birds with one stone’ since it offers a profitable outlet option to materials that are not available for reuse or recycling and require dismantling. In parallel, the average consumer shall be content to know that his/her household rejects represent ‘only’ 34% of what becomes incinerated. As a remarkable example of the possibility to efficiently dispose of household rejects, 44.7% of England’s domestic wastes have been reused, composted, or recycled in 2018. Overall, this corresponds to make 176 kg out of 394 kg of rejects produced per capita available again.
On the other hand, landfilling is placed at the second position in the list of waste processings, accounting for 23.6% of the entire waste production in 2018. ‘Soils’ and ‘mineral wastes’ play a dominant role here (58% and 6%), while household materials are present with a minor fraction (10%). Therefore, wastes other than leftovers are unfortunately subjected to this destiny. Also, ‘soils’ materials make up 90% of the backfilling materials. Regardless, newly stipulated policies are intended to decrease the relevance of landfills as waste outputs. As a result, energy recovery facilities with R1 accreditation have increased from 37 to 40 in two years (2016-2018), and the waste tonnages treated have followed a proportional positive trend.
Following and understanding the flow of waste in the UK
Understandably, not all waste types can be tracked according to the Waste from Households (WfH) protocol, which thus is considered to yield only indicative estimates. For instance, this method cannot register wastes derived from healthcare, street filth, and gully drainages. Asbestos, plasterboard, and rubble are not assessed as well. Moreover, individual UK countries can apply distinct protocols and measure different parameters. For example, certain packaging rejects may be over- or under-represented depending on the step of the manufacturing chain at which they are evaluated. Ambiguity might also exist regarding the precise definition of ‘recovery’ versus ‘recycling’, like in the case of metal wastes subjected to incineration. Shifting the focus locally, commercial companies can voluntarily register in the national electronic duty of care (EDOC) system, which enables tracking rejects along the production sequence. To date, more than 11’000 firms adhere to this system.
Future perspectives and goals
Despite the commendable efforts carried out by the UK, much remains to be done. However, at least on paper, some good news is on the horizon. The UK promulgated the 25 Year Environment Plan to preserve the natural landscape’s quality and biodiversity over an intergenerational period. This plan stands on top of the hierarchy formed by the other policies related to such issues (e.g., Resources and Waste Strategy, Waste Prevention Programme for England, Waste Management Plan for England). It has ambitious goals, such as a drastic reduction of carbon emission and international agreements. On a smaller scale, the whole policy system proposes to enhance domestic recycling in different ways. For example, it promotes the door-to-door collection of dry leftovers, the separation of garden wastes, and the weekly gathering of alimentary wastes. Ultimately, these measures are expected to substantially raise the fraction of household recycling, reaching up to 65% before 2035.
– HM Government (2018) A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment. Available at: www.gov.uk/government/publications (Accessed: 27/09/2021).
– Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs, Government Statistical Service (2021) UK Statistics on Waste. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-waste-data (Accessed: 27/09/2021).
– Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (2021) Waste Management Plan for England. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/waste-management-plan-for-england-2021 (Accessed: 27/09/2021).
If you’re an established business, start-up or otherwise new to looking after your companies waste, chances are the commercial waste industry is causing you some confusion. Not only does it go by various names (including waste management, trade waste, waste disposal and business waste), but there are different types of waste to consider, too. Paper waste, general waste, recycling, dry mixed recycling, clinical waste, plastic waste and cardboard are all processed differently. As such, there can be different disposal costs for each separate waste type, and in certain circumstances, you may need more than one commercial waste solution, depending on the type of waste your organisation generates.
This guide is here to explain everything and you can always call the business waste team for any advice.
How much commercial waste is there in the UK?
It is estimated that businesses in the UK are responsible for the generation of 27.5 million tonnes of commercial waste and 13.6 million tonnes of “industrial” waste every year – a whopping total of 41.1 million tonnes.
Commercial organisations create almost twice as much waste as households, which means there’s much greater demand for commercial waste disposal. If you’re running a business then you will have to arrange for commercial waste collections and do some research into what this costs. The processing of waste can be a significant cost for businesses of all sizes.
Naturally, these sorts of administrative tasks can feel like a bit of a distraction, particularly when there’s a company to run and money to be made – but nevertheless, correct disposal of your commercial waste is incredibly important. Whether you’re getting rid of rubble from a construction site, food waste from a restaurant or documents from an office, it all needs to go somewhere.
Before signing a contract with a commercial waste disposal company, you and the other decision-makers in your organisation should familiarise yourselves with what you can expect your waste disposal solution to cover, what the must-haves from a disposal company are, and if there are any hidden costs you should be wary of.
When choosing a waste collection company you must ensure they have a Waste Carrier Licence
What is a waste carriers licence?
A Waste Carrier Licence is a legal document, which allows a business to buy, sell, dispose and/or transport waste, or arrange for others to do so on their behalf. It essentially covers the carrying of waste in a commercial vehicle. If you legally require a WCL and do not have one, you could face a fine of up to £5,000. Business Waste LTD has a higher tier waste carriers licence.
What are the different types of waste carriers licences?
There are two tiers of Waste Carrier Licence. The type of waste carried will determine which licence is required. Vehicles which carry construction waste (everything from rubble to empty silicone tubes) require an Upper Tier licence. Other forms of waste (such as office documentation) are covered under a Lower Tier licence.
How much does a waste carriers licence cost?
Lower Tier waste producers can usually apply for a free licence. Upper Tier licences cost £154 in England and Wales. Costs may vary in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Who issues the waste carriers licence?
The UK government is responsible for the issuing of the Waste Carrier Licence.
What happens if my waste management company doesn’t have a Waste Carrier Licence?
If your waste management solution is processing waste without the requisite documentation, and you are aware of this, your company could fall foul of the law and face a fine of up to £5,000. Before agreeing to a contract with a waste disposal company, you should always request to see their WCL.
Here is a copy of Business Waste LTD higher tier waste carriers licence registration number CBDU49243
What are my legal obligations regarding waste disposal?
All businesses have a duty of care to keep waste to a minimum by doing everything to prevent the creation of waste. Businesses must also make a reasonable effort to reuse, recycle and recover waste.
How can I tell if a waste disposal company is legitimate?
When searching for a waste disposal solution, chances are you will come across many lead generation websites. These websites will simply sell your data – usually to unscrupulous businesses who are unable to generate their own custom, due to poor reviews.
Lead generation sites often masquerade as genuine businesses or price comparison companies. Be wary though – these firms only want your data so they can sell it to the highest bidder with no regard to the quality of service you receive. Such companies certainly do not compare thousands of prices on your behalf. There are only a handful of local waste companies in each area and a small number of national waste disposal operators – don’t get tricked into giving your data away.
Should I check online reviews for a waste company?
Taking the time to read online reviews of the services provided by prospective waste management companies will save you lots of future wasted time, energy, stress and money. Remember that each company will give you the “sell” and make the same promises. Search the internet for reviews on a waste company before going ahead with them and ask for references or testimonials from their existing customers if you can.
Beware of hidden costs
In all industries, there are those who look to exploit. The waste management trade is no exception. Here are some of the tricks you should be aware of that unscrupulous companies will try to pull. Although these practices are not strictly illegal, they are however unethical.
Bin weight limitsWeight limits are in place to encourage companies to develop more pragmatic approaches to how they deal with waste. By placing limits on the amount of waste a company can send to landfill, it encourages recycling, reusing of materials and the prevention of excess waste generation.
What are the weight limits for each wheelie bin size?
Waste limits are currently as follows:
- 240 Litres of General Waste equals 10kg
- 360 Litres of General Waste equals 15kg
- 660 Litres of General Waste equals 35kg
- 1100 Litres of General Waste equals 65kg
- 240 Litres of Mixed Recycling (Dry) equals 10kg
- 360 Litres of Mixed Recycling (Dry) equals 15kg
- 660 Litres of Mixed Recycling (Dry) equals 20kg
- 1100 Litres of Mixed Recycling (Dry) equals 35kg
You will be charged at up to 18p per additional kg over this allowance. If you are being charged more than this, you are paying too much.
How much does a wheelie bin cost?
Some bad companies will charge you ongoing fees for renting out wheelie bins to your company.
Note – Business waste provides customers with FREE bins so a wheelie bin should costs you £0.
Duty of care certificate – why do you need it?
Under UK law, your organisation has a legal obligation and duty of care to get and keep a waste transfer note which documents every load of waste that leaves your business premises. Your waste management company should provide you with this FREE OF CHARGE. Be very wary of any company which wants to charge you for the provision of a waste transfer note. These have to be provided by law.
Read more on waste transfer notes and see an example.
Bin Insurance – is it really insurance?
Some companies include a statutory fee for bin insurance. This is rarely an actual insurance policy and is simply a means of increasing your overall fees. If your waste management company includes bin insurance on your invoice, don’t be afraid to query them over this and ask for the actual insurance policy documents, odds are it is a completely made up and fake charge – or better still, switch to a company like BusinessWaste.co.uk who have no hidden extras.
Does the waste company offer a price match promise?
Any reputable company will have a price guarantee in place. When searching for quotes, it’s often the case that some companies take more time than others to respond, and a situation may arise where you’ve agreed on a price with one waste management contractor, only to be offered a better deal by another a day later.
Your commercial waste disposal company should be willing to foster a good working relationship with your organisation – which means price-matching their competitors. BusinessWaste.co.uk has a 14 day written price match guarantee.
What are the different types of waste collection?
There are two common types of commercial waste collection –
One-off collections – such as the removal of waste after moving offices or renovating
Contractual ongoing collections – removal of the regular collection of commercial waste generated by your business. Collections can take place on a weekly/fortnightly/monthly basis.
How much does waste collection cost?
There are no set-in-stone prices for waste collection as there are so many factors to consider. These include the following:
Landfill tax – to encourage recycling, the government imposes a tax on all waste disposed of at a landfill site.
Gate fees – waste processing facilities, such as recycling plants and landfill sites, charge a gate fee. The average UK gate fee weighs in at approximately £6 per tonne.
Rebates – certain types of waste like glass, cardboard, metal and alloy has scrap value and can be potentially be sold for a small profit for this you would need very large volumes measured in multiple tons in order to get a rebate.
What are the different type of waste that can be collected?
The main waste types are;
Clinical waste management
Confidential waste disposal
Hazardous waste disposal
Packaging waste recycling
Hospital waste management
Waste oil collectionTOP TIP – look for a supplier who can look after all your waste, this way you don’t have endless invoices, collection schedules and contracts to deal with.
Commercial bin collection prices
There are different types of bin sizes, and the size of the bin collected, along with the waste inside, will dictate the collection price. The most popular commercial bin sizes (in litres) are as follows:
Can I get a rebate on my recycling?
Certain waste types have scrap and recycling value and these can sometimes generate a small profit. Glass, cardboard, metals, alloys and recyclable computer components are the most common form of rebate-generating waste, but please note your waste volumes must be significant in the multiple tons for a rebate.
How much are landfill charges?
Tips on saving money on your waste collections
Waste audit – by determining the amount of waste and the types of waste generated by your organisation, you may be in a position to further understand how to reduce the amount of waste you send to landfill. A waste audit is a process of figuring out ways in which you can reduce, re-use and recycle.
Recycle – as part of its commitment to the environment, the government is encouraging businesses to recycle as many materials as they can. Recycling costs less than sending waste to landfill and is not subject to the landfill tax, which could help save your business some serious money.
Improve your buying practices – get in the habit of only buying items you need, and only buying items that can be recycled.Reuse – do you need to recycle the bottled water from the staff room when you could replace it with tap water from a filtered container? Try to foster a culture of sustainability within your organisation – think no more plastic bottles, ditching disposable coffee cups and reusing items where possible.
How do I arrange commercial waste collections?
We use plastic every day, in both our personal and professional lives. For example, a large majority of packaging is made from plastic – and it can be difficult to avoid using it altogether. However, as a Business Owner, you have a personal responsibility to ensure that you reduce the amount of plastic you use, and responsibly dispose of the materials wherever possible.
Who produces plastic waste?
What are some examples of plastic waste?
There are many different types of plastic waste. They can be divided into seven categories, depending upon the type of plastic they are made from.
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
Frozen food packaging
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
Detergent & bleach containers
Motor oil containers
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Internal and external cladding
Thicker plastic items
For a full guide on the different types of plastic click here.
What bins should be used for plastic waste
Various different bins and containers are used to store plastic waste before disposal. This includes:
However, if you are producing large amounts of plastic waste, you could benefit from using a waste baler or compactor. Compactors work by compressing large amounts of waste into smaller cubes, which can then be recycled. You can find out more about them here.
What is commercial plastic disposal?
Commercial plastic disposal refers to the safe storage and collection of any plastic waste produced in or by your business. For example, if your work with Business Waste, we will:
- Conduct a site visit to discuss your best options.
- Provide you with free bins to store your waste.
- Collect your waste according to a pre-agreed schedule. (This could include daily, weekly or monthly collections).
- Ensure that all plastic waste is safely disposed of through environmentally friendly practices, such as recycling.
How much plastic is produced and generated in the UK each year?
Plastic is one of the most widely used materials in the world – and its popularity only continues to grow. As a result of this increased demand, we produce a vast amount of plastic (and by extension, plastic waste) every year. For example, in the UK alone, we produce around 5 million tonnes of plastic waste in a single year.
391 million tonnes of plastic are produced globally each year – a statistic that is expected to double within the next decade, despite efforts from numerous environmental agencies.
How can you recycle your commercial plastic?
There are several steps you can take to recycle your commercial plastic waste.
- Wherever possible, reuse products multiple times before disposing of them.
- Put together a waste disposal plan.
- Encourage employees to recycle wherever possible.
- Ensure all plastic waste is put in the appropriate bins. For example, plastic should not be mixed with your general waste.
- Arrange for your waste to be collected by a licensed carrier, who will take the waste to the appropriate recycling facilities.
What are the laws and regulations of plastic waste disposal?
There are various laws and regulations placed on the disposal of plastic waste. This includes:
The Environmental Protection Act (1990)
- . This legislation imposes a duty of care on business owners to safely and securely dispose of all waste, including plastics.
EU Landfill directive. The Landfill directive was introduced to reduce the amount of waste that is mistakenly sent to landfills each year, which could otherwise be recycled.
Producer Responsibility Legislations. This legislation focuses on packaging waste and ensures that businesses who manufacture, import, and sell those materials are responsible for how they are disposed of.
The above list is by no means exhaustive, and you must get to grips with the various government legislation relating to business waste. Failure to comply could mean that you face a hefty fine and even a prison sentence.
How does the process of plastic recycling work?
There are various different methods used to dispose of plastic.
- is the process whereby recycled materials are repurposed to create new items. In this case, plastic recyclables such as bottles, containers, and packaging, will be cleaned to remove all impurities. Following this, they are shredded and melted down into pellets – which can then be made into new products.
This process is sometimes referred to as mechanical recycling, or ‘chop and wash’ recycling.
Certain plastics can also be recycled through a depolymerisation process, to produce oils such as petroleum. This is a form of thermal decomposition, through which heat and pressure cause hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon polymers to decompose and form petroleum. The method is similar to how fossil fuels are naturally produced over time.
The process of using heat compression to recycle plastic is continuing to grow in popularity over time. Heat compression works by mixing plastic waste in large, rotating drums and applying large amounts of heat to the waste. Heat Compression is beneficial as nearly all types of plastics can be recycled in this way.
Certain types of plastics, such as PET, can be disposed of through chemical recycling. This process uses a variety of chemicals to reduce a polymer to its original form. This means that it can be used again to create new plastic materials.
Why does your business need to benefit from plastic waste recycling?
There are many reasons why your business needs to recycle plastic waste – and there are many benefits attached to this. For example, when you take the appropriate steps to safely and securely dispose of all waste (including plastics), you minimise the impact your business has upon the environment. This means that you are complying with all government regulations, whilst simultaneously playing an important role in securing our planet for future generations.
Furthermore, by operating with the environment in mind, you can increase your brand’s reputation – as customers tend to favour brands with strong environmental policies and practices.
How is plastic sorted?
Whether you have a separate waste container for your plastics or store them in dry mixed recycling bins, they will need to be sorted accordingly when they arrive at a recycling facility. In some cases, sorting is performed manually. Otherwise, the materials will be run through a machine that picks up on different polymers and can therefore separate (and sort) them much quicker.
What is the environmental impact of plastic waste?
You mustn’t underestimate the negative impact that plastic waste can have upon the environment if it is not handled correctly and recycled. This is because most plastics can take thousands of years to decompose, and can cause a great deal of harm during this time. Here are some startling facts.
Around 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year. This causes significant damage to marine life. For example, 100% of baby sea turtles have some form of plastic in their stomachs.
In the UK alone, we throw away 15 million single-use plastic bottles a day, even though they can be easily recycled. When sent to a landfill, the average plastic bottle will take around 450 years to decompose.
Plastic production and incineration produce harmful greenhouse gasses. In 2019 alone, plastic was responsible for the emission of 850 million tonnes of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) into the atmosphere. These figures are set to rise in coming years.
Chlorinated plastics, such as those made from PVC, can release dangerous chemicals during the decomposition process. If this soaks into the surrounding soil, it could lead to water pollution.
When can’t plastic be recycled?
Most plastics can be recycled, but certain products, such as polystyrene and plastic bags, are nearly impossible to recycle. However, this does not mean that the products cannot be repurposed. For example, plastic bags can be used numerous times instead of throwing them straight in the bin. This minimises their environmental impact as they aren’t taking up space in landfills.
How can you manage your plastic disposal and waste collections?
As mentioned previously, the most effective way of managing your plastic waste disposal and collection is by working closely with a waste management company. At Business Waste, we know that you don’t want to spend valuable time sorting through your waste, or dropping it off at different recycling facilities – and that’s where we come in. We will arrange for the safe and secure collection of your waste and take all the necessary steps to ensure that its environmental impact is kept to the minimum.
If you have any further questions or would like to arrange a site visit, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We have a team of experts on hand to answer any questions you might have, just give us a call at 0800 211 83 90
What are sharps bins?
As a business owner, you are responsible for ensuring that all waste produced in your facility is safely and securely disposed of. However, this duty is particularly important when dealing with potentially hazardous materials, such as sharps. By definition, ‘sharps’ refers to any materials that could puncture or cut the skin. This could, for example, include needles used in medical practices or tattoo parlours. Sharps bins are also used to dispose of clinical waste materials associated with sharps that may not necessarily be sharp themselves – this could include PPE.
Sharps bins, therefore, are specially designed to safely store sharps prior to their collection and disposal – ensuring the safety of anybody who may come into contact with them. As they are so important, there are a range of different sharps bins on offer to meet the varied needs of customers.
At BusinessWaste, we provide our customers with easy access to a range of free bins, including sharps containers,to ensure that your waste is always safely and securely disposed of.
What are sharps bins used for?
As mentioned previously, sharps bins are used to dispose of any material that could puncture the skin. This could include:
- Hypodermic needles
- Insulin pens
- Tattoo needles
- Piercing needles/guns
- Broken or contaminated glass
- Broken or contaminated plastic
- Sharp knives
- Razor blades
- Metal wiring
Who uses sharps bins and why?
How do sharps bins work?
Sharps bins function similarly to the containers you would use to dispose of general waste. They are:
- Sealable/lockable – to prevent unauthorised access.
- Made of a durable material that cannot be pierced or easily damaged.
- Colour coded.
- Available in a range of sizes, styles and shapes.
What are the different kinds of sharps bins?
Sharps bins come in a variety of sizes, depending upon the amount of waste you dispose of on a daily basis. For example, medical facilities will likely produce high volumes of sharps waste, meaning that their sharps bins tend to be larger to cope with the increased demand. Sharps bins sizes are often measured in Litres and available in different colours and shapes.
Why are there different coloured bins?
Sharps bins are organised by colour to avoid cross-contamination of products and ensure that all waste is safely and securely disposed of.
Sharp bin colours
What colour sharps bins do I need?
When putting together your waste disposal plan, it can be hard to determine which sharps bin colouring is best for your business. The most common sharps bins colours are:
Orange-lidded sharps bins. Orange-lidded sharps bins are used to dispose of non-pharmaceutical sharp waste, such as tattoo or piercing needles, knives, stables, and other stationery products.
Yellow-lidded sharps bins. Yellow-lidded sharps bins, sometimes referred to as medical sharps bins, are typically used to dispose of sharps that could have been contaminated with medical waste, such as syringes.
Blue-lidded sharps bins. Blue-lidded sharps bins are not actually used for waste that is considered ‘sharp’, but instead other forms of pharmaceutical/ medical waste such as expired pharmaceuticals and PPE.
Where should I store sharps bins on my property?
As sharps bins present a significant health and safety risk to your employees and the general public, you must store them correctly before collection. For example, they should be stored at eye level, so that they cannot be knocked over. Due to this, many companies offer wall-mounted sharps bins. Ensure that you always lock or seal the container after use.
What are the laws regarding sharps bins?
There are various rules and regulations regarding waste disposal in the UK that all business owners must comply with. Examples of sharps bins regulations include:
Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013 and 2015. These regulations dictate that appropriate training should be provided to employees so that they know how to dispose of sharps. Furthermore, sharps must be clearly labelled and stored in secure containers.
Hazardous Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2005. These regulations dictate that any waste that could be considered hazardous to others or the environment must be stored securely before collection.
Sharps bin collection
How are sharps bins disposed of?
There are various methods of disposal used to safely and securely deal with sharps waste after collection. This includes:
Disposal via autoclave. Autoclaves are a form of a pressure chamber, which use steam and high temperatures to sterilise sharps and medical equipment. The waste can then be compacted and safely disposed of.
Disposal via incineration. At Business waste, we have high-temperature incinerators, which are used to dispose of waste whenever appropriate. They operate at a temperature of around 1,100 degrees. This is perhaps the most common method utilised when disposing of sharps bins waste.
Sharps bin disposal
How do I dispose of needles?
If your business or organisation uses any form of needles, you need to ensure you dispose of them safely and securely. You can use this step by step process as a guide for needles and sharps.
- Do not attempt to bend or break sharps before disposal.
- Where appropriate, use a needle clipper to remove the sharp part of a syringe.
- Put all sharps into the appropriate sharps container immediately after usage.
- Do not attempt to remove any sharps from the bin yourself.
- Do not overfill the bin.
- Arrange for the bin to be collected within an appropriate time frame.
When should sharps bins be disposed of?
Sharps bins must be disposed of when the container is around ¾ full. This reduces the risk of injury or cross-contamination whenever the waste is collected and helps ensure that you comply with all of the appropriate waste collection regulations.
You should not keep sharp waste at your facility for longer than a month. This means, at the very least, you should arrange to work with a company that will provide you with monthly sharps bin collection services.
How can I get sharps bins, and how do I arrange for them to be collected?
At Business Waste, we’re committed to providing our customers with the highest quality service across the board – no matter what waste you may be dealing with. When working with us, you’ll never have to worry about how to dispose of sharps bins alone – as you’ll be working with a team of experts with years of industry experience who know exactly how to get the job done.
As a result, we can provide you with free access to a range of different sharps bins and containers for use at your facility. We’ll then work closely with you to put together a waste management plan covering sharps bins disposal and aligns with your needs. This means you can arrange for the daily, weekly or monthly collection of sharps bins or additional waste. Collection times will be carefully coordinated, ensuring that we will not interfere with the day-to-day running of your business. We can also provide you with sharps bins accessories, such as trays and stands to ensure that they are always stored securely.
Sharps bin cost
Get in touch today to find out more about our sharps bin UK services or for a free quote. We’re always on hand to answer any questions you might have – and look forward to working together to secure a greener future.
Explosion in UK rat population is putting refuse workers at risk
Do you hate going to work on a Monday? Spare a thought for refuse collectors who dread Monday mornings as their rounds bring them in direct contact with Britain’s surging rat population.
That’s because they’re coming up against overfilled commercial and domestic bins that rats have had a chance to ransack for food, says a national waste and recycling company.
And with the British rat population increasing by 25% over the Covid pandemic, there’s some truth in the old urban myth that you’re never more than six feet away from a rat, says waste collection company BusinessWaste.co.uk
“Our operators come up against rats on a daily basis,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, “but Mondays are especially bad and our teams are genuinely worried about getting bitten”.
What’s the problem?
Binmen (and women) have struggled with vermin since time immemorial, but the Covid pandemic and milder winters have allowed an explosion in the rat population.
Estimates put the number of rats in the UK at around 150 million, and they’re attracted to wherever humans leave them a steady supply of food. And that means bins.
And, according to refuse collectors, the worst day of the week is always a Monday, because the hungry rodents have had the chance to settle down relatively undisturbed over the weekend in overfilled bins.
“When we go to empty a bin on a Monday, there’s a stream of rats running to safety,” Mark Taylor 44 refuse collector from Addingham told us.
“It’s really bad if it’s a food store or a restaurant, and they haven’t secured the lid. We’re clubbing the bins with a big stick, then giving them a couple of minutes to run away. It’s terrifying.”
We’ve seen videos of rats fleeing commercial bins as if it’s a sinking ship, and it’s not a pleasant experience for anybody involved.
“Once disturbed, the vermin are in a state of panic and run in all directions,” says Waste collection company Divert.co.uk’s Operations Director Adam Bailey, “Our teams now go into action with trousers tucked into boots and sleeve cuffs done up tight. But that’s still no guarantee.”
Another veteran operator tells BusinessWaste.co.uk that the problem is worse than ever. “We’re seeing more rats and other vermin than ever before, hundreds of them. And they’re bolder, too.”
Ratty Monday to Fear-filled Furry Fridays – there’s no escape for Britain’s bin men.
Is there a solution?
While it may be difficult to put an end to Ratty Mondays and Terrifying Tuesdays (if Ratty Monday is a Bank Holiday*), Business Waste’s Mark Hall says that there are plenty of things that people can do to deter vermin.
“The number one thing owners can do is secure the lids on their bins,” he says, “And the number two thing is not to overfill them”.
Bin operators approach open and overflowing bins with a sense of dread, knowing that it’s inevitable that there’ll be a fury explosion of angry and frightened rats the moment they move the bin.
For most domestic bins, it’s not really a problem. But for commercial bin owners, the sheer volume of food waste means that bin management is essential to deter vermin.
“That means people who run restaurants, food shops, pubs – anywhere that produces tasty, tasty food waste – needs to lock down their bins every time they use them,” says Hall.
It’s a basic safety measure for which there should be no exceptions, and something local authorities should clamp down on with local byelaws, he says.
“They say that if you’re in a big city, you’re never more than six feet away from a rat,” Says Mark Hall of BusinessWaste.co.uk “While that’s been an urban myth for years, it’s coming more and more of a reality, and it’s a problem of our own making.”
*Other days of the week are available, but they’re ratty too.
From time to time, we’re all guilty of leaving some leftovers on our plates- whether you are eating out at a restaurant and aren’t enjoying your meal or try to avoid eating your vegetables as much as possible. While this issue may seem pretty minor, food waste is actually a global environmental issue that must be resolved sooner rather than later – here’s why.
Food waste facts
While there are many provisions in place to reduce food waste, the UK produces the highest amount of food waste in Europe.
- Over ⅓ of all food produced globally goes to waste.
- The UK throws away around 9.5 million tonnes of food waste in a single year – even though 8.4 million people in the UK are in food poverty.
- Billions of pounds are wasted each year when food is disposed of unnecessarily.
What is food waste?
To put it simply, food waste refers to any food products that are thrown away as opposed to being consumed. Typically, this waste can be split into four categories:
- By-product food waste. This refers to solid and liquid food by-products created through the manufacturing or production process or agricultural practices. This could include peels and trimmings from fruits & veg.
- Expired products. This refers to products that have surpassed their sell-by date in shops and supermarkets and cannot be consumed.
- Leftovers. This could refer to leftovers created in your household or leftovers acquired within restaurants and food preparation.
- Bakery and packaged food waste. This could refer to unsold food items that could spoil quickly or packaging waste.
What are some examples of food waste?
Just about any item of food can be classified as ‘food waste’. However, according to a recent study by River Cottage, the most commonly wasted items are:
What are the main causes of food waste?
There are many different causes of food waste. However, the leading causes are:
- Shops, supermarkets, or restaurants ordering too many products that will not sell.
- Poor education regarding how we should dispose of food waste.
- Lack of awareness of expiry dates, meaning that food is left to spoil instead of being used.
UK food waste statistics
Why is food waste a problem?
Food waste presents a significant problem due to the volume of waste that is produced each year. In fact, in the UK alone, it’s estimated that we throw away around 9.5 million tonnes of food waste annually. The vast majority of food waste ends up in a landfill site – which are already overcrowded. While many people do not view this as an issue as food items degrade naturally over time, it contributes heavily to global warming and the erosion of the OZ layer.
This is because food waste releases a great deal of methane gas as it breaks down. According to a report by the EPA, methane is 25 times more harmful than carbon dioxide because it can trap heat within the atmosphere.
Furthermore, food wastage is problematic from both a moral and economic standpoint. To put it simply, we throw away millions of pounds worth of food each year – even though many people across the globe go without fresh produce and groceries.
How can we reduce food waste?
Thankfully, there are various ways in which we can go about reducing food waste. Here are some great examples.
Food waste in the workplace
Whether you work within an office or factory, you will likely produce some form of food waste on-site. For example, this could include food that your employees bring for lunch or to snack on throughout the day. To reduce food waste in the workplace, you could:
- Have a communal shelf – where employees can share food/drinks they no longer want.
- Provide your employees with access to a freezer alongside a fridge to give any leftovers a longer shelf life.
- Ensure fridges are cleaned out regularly, and employees dispose of any food that will pass its use-by date.
- Offer to pay for lunches for your employees – giving them notice so they do not bring their lunch with them.
Food waste in restaurants
Restaurants, alongside bars, and pubs, are clear contributors to food waste. They can reduce the volume of waste they produce by:
- Keeping track of their stock cupboards, ensuring they do not purchase excessive amounts of products.
- Pay attention to consumer habits and buying stock accordingly. For example, some dishes may be more popular during a particular season.
- Avoiding over buying stock.
- Storing food safely and correctly.
- Labelling all food clearly, with instructions on when it will need to be used.
- Donating leftover food to local charities or organisations.
Food waste at home
Food waste also occurs every day within our homes. However, it can easily be reduced by:
- Pre-planning your meals so that you know exactly what to buy from the supermarket and do not waste money on groceries that will not get eaten.
- Cooking larger meals in bulk and freezing any leftovers to be enjoyed at a later date.
- Setting up a compost heap in your garden.
- Cleaning out your fridge regularly, ensuring that you are aware of all use-by dates.
Food waste at supermarkets
According to a report by The Grocer, supermarkets throw away 100,000 of edible food annually in the UK alone. In fact, it’s estimated that the UK’s total food waste could feed upwards of 30 million people a year. As a result, supermarkets have a responsibility to reduce food waste as much as possible. This can be achieved by:
- Training employees to be more aware of food waste and how it can be combated.
- Carefully monitoring stock to ensure that everything that is purchased is sold.
- Selling ‘damaged’ produce or produce that may not be aesthetically pleasing instead of throwing it away.
- Reducing products that may be close to their sell-by date.
- Donate surplus waste to charities or organisations.
Food waste on farms
While food waste is a product of just about any industry, it often occurs at places where the food is grown or produced – such as on farms. Thankfully, there are various steps farmers can take to reduce food waste. Such as:
- Investing in new technologies that make it easier to monitor and track crops’ growth minimises the chances of them being spoiled.
- Distributing goods to numerous facilities, whether that means local market stalls or chain supermarkets.
- Scheduling the growth of different crops to ensure as few crops are wasted as possible.
- Composting on-site.
Food waste in schools
As children can be notorious for throwing away the fruit you’ve packed into their lunchbox – it’s no surprise that food waste is a growing problem within schools. Food waste can be tackled in a school environment by:
- Introducing an ordering system – where students decide what they would like to eat for lunch earlier in the day and the dishes are made accordingly.
- Handling stock carefully and ensuring products are used before they expire.
- Monitoring portion control carefully, ensuring that excessive amounts of food are not being served.
- Informing students and staff of the dangers of food waste.
Food waste in the fishing industry
The fishing industry is another key contributor to food waste – for numerous reasons. For example, sometimes seafood is not considered fit for sale if it is damaged due to poor fishing practices. Fishing industry food waste can be reduced by:
- Refusing to discard fish at sea and finding alternative methods to dispose of surplus waste.
- Ensuring all fishermen are well-versed in efficient fishing and processing methods.
- Ensuring that all goods are labelled appropriately and stored by rigid health and safety guidelines.
- Paying attention to consumer trends and ensuring that products can be sold and distributed easily.
Which countries produce the most food waste?
The severity of food waste issues varies from country to country, but the biggest culprits for food waste in relation to their general populations are:
- The USA
How much food waste comes from the home/from businesses?
It’s estimated that around 60% of food waste comes from the home within the UK – with the other 40% being divided out between business and the hospitality industry. Nevertheless, it is the business owner’s responsibility to ensure that all food waste produced or created within their company is safely and securely disposed of.
What do the date labels on food packaging mean?
Sometimes, food waste accumulates because we aren’t sure what the labels on our packaging mean. This means that we could be throwing away waste unnecessarily.
- Sell-by date. The sell-by date is only relevant to the retailer selling the product – and it refers to the time when the product must be sold to the customer. However, this doesn’t mean the food is close to expiring, as it typically has around ⅓ of its shelf life remaining when it reaches its sell-by date. As a result, you shouldn’t be wary of picking up these products.
- Use-by date. The use-by date is designed to help the consumer know when the food items should be consumed by. However, it’s important to remember that you can still consume food on its use-by date (but not afterwards). If you have any food approaching its use-by date and you don’t think you’ll use it in time, pop it in your freezer. The packaging will usually detail how long the items can be frozen for.
How should you store food
to minimise food waste?
Knowing how to store food properly will reduce the amount of food waste you produce significantly. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Store raw meats on one of the lower shelves on your fridge to stop cross-contamination of products if there are any leaks.
- Keep goods that expire quickly at the front of your fridge so that you don’t forget about them.
- Clean out your fridge once a week and your freezer once a month.
- If you are meal-prepping or batch cooking, label each dish so that you can remember exactly when you cooked it.
- Ensure that you know how each food item should be stored – be that within the fridge or at room temperature. If you are unsure, check the packaging.
Why should you portion plan?
Portion planning is a great way to keep track of the food you are eating, meaning that it is often used by those trying to adapt to a healthier lifestyle. However, it’s also a great way to reduce food waste – as it gives you the insight you need to shop smarter. For example, instead of buying random ingredients, you might not need or a handful of potatoes when you only need one – you’ll know exactly what you need to purchase ahead of time. This saves you money and stops food from going to waste!
What are some great food waste organisations
and what do they do?
A few great food waste organisations in the UK are:
- The Real Junk Food Project is a UK-based charity that redistributes surplus food from various hospitality and retail industries. They donate their goods to schools, organisations and charities and even offer bespoke catering services.
- Too Good To Go works with various restaurants and bars to ensure that none of their delicious food goes to waste. Users can download an app that lets them know what restaurants in their area offer a ‘magic bag’ of food – which often includes customer favourite items for a highly reduced price.
- Fare share aims to combat this issue of food waste by redistributing goods to over 10,500 different charities in the UK.
- The Felix Project collects fresh produce from supermarkets and hospitality venues that cannot be sold and donates them to charities, food banks or local schools.
How should I dispose of my food waste?
There are various ways in which you could dispose of food waste – such as through composting. However, if you run a business and produce large amounts of food waste regularly – you’ll need to organise for it to be safely and securely collected and disposed of by a licensed waste carrier.
At BusinessWaste, we’ve got decades of industry experience that make us your number 1 choice for business waste disposal, and our services extend across a wide variety of waste types – including food waste. From putting together a waste management plan to providing you with wheelie bins and scheduling waste collection – we’ve got you covered. Get in touch today to find out more!
Facts about Christmas waste
We all love Xmas day, everyone but the environment. Below we have probably the world’s largest collection of shocking and disgusting Xmas waste facts and figures, how many of them do you contribute to them?
For all things relating to Christmas waste including statsics visit our xmas waste hub
Christmas food waste facts
- The waste generated at Christmas goes up by 30% compared to the waste created during the rest of the year.
- Over one in seven British consumers buy more food than they need.
- The biggest culprit is the food we consume. Approximately 66% of people admit to buying too much Christmas food that ends up in the bin.
- This binned food usually amounts to 42 million dishes of Christmas food.
- We purchase 10 million turkeys in the UK for xmas day.
- Over 19,000 tonnes of turkey is cooked over the holiday season.
- For frozen turkey, we consume approximately 12,472 tonnes of it, and for fresh turkey, we consume 6,711 tonnes of it.
- We throw away 263,000 turkeys.
- We throw away 7.5 million mince pies.
- We also bin 740,000 portions of Christmas pudding.
- This year we are expected to consume 25 million Christmas puddings all wrapped in plastic or cardboard.
- 17.2 million sprouts also end up in landfills.
- Christmas in the UK results in the sad disposal of two million kilograms of cheese.
- It is estimated that during the Christmas season, Brits cook 80 percent more food than at other times of the year.
- 230 000 tonnes of this food ends up in the bin during the festive season.
- Pigs in blankets are also sadly wasted, with a whopping 7.1 million going to the bin.
- Gravy waste amounts to 9.8 million cups, enough to fill up an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
- Brits love their parsnips for Christmas so much that they’re produced in excess resulting in about 10.9 million of them going to waste.
- 11.3 million potatoes end up wasted
- 9 Million carrots end up wasted
- Approximately 40% of groceries in the UK are sold on sale during the Christmas season, which encourages overspending and wasteful habits.
- Nearly 45 percent of households said they throw away excess fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Brits are not above giving away food in the Christmas spirit, but, only 60% of the food that would otherwise be thrown away ends up in the hands of the less fortunate.
- With just one caddy of Christmas food waste, enough electricity can be generated to power a television for two hours or a refrigerator for eight hours.
- Beer consumption over the holidays would fill 57 Olympic-sized pools. This equates to a little over 250,000,000 pints of beer.
- Every Christmas holiday season, 500 million cans of soda are sold.
Christmas packaging waste facts
- The amount of Christmas plastic packaging that was placed in the general waste bin instead of the recycling bin in 2018 was estimated at 114,000 tonnes.
- 3,000 tonnes of turkey packaging are sent to waste.
- For the preparation and storage of turkey and other Christmas holiday meals, UK customers will use almost 4,500 tonnes of tin foil.
- 300 million plastic cups and straws will be used.
- Just during the festive season alone, approximately 125,000 tonnes of food-wrapping plastic is discarded
- Plastic waste generated by the UK each Christmas equals the weight of 3.3 million Emperor Penguins.
- The packaging for toys and gifts is discarded in approximately 100 million black bags every year.
- The one million mince pies consumed by Britons over Christmas creates one tonne of aluminium waste material.
- Christmas time generates 125,000 tonnes of plastic, with goods ranging from advent calendar trays and candy wrappers to enormous gift boxes.
- 2,003 Britons were polled about how environmentally conscious they are, and 48 percent said they plan to reuse their gift bags. Sixteen percent of them intend to use more paper-based wrapping paper that is recyclable.
Christmas wrapping paper waste facts
- During the Christmas season, the amount of wrapping paper thrown away if laid need to end would equal 384,400 kilometres or 238,855 miles
- This wrapping paper is followed by its companion, a sticky tape, with over million rolls used on Christmas eve.
Christmas tree waste facts
- 160,000 tonnes of trees are dumped each January.
- 14% of respondents said they would discard their artificial Christmas trees rather than reuse them the following year.
- Rotting Christmas trees give off 100,000 tons of toxic gases. This is because the trees decompose and produce methane gas, which is 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
- In the Christmas spirit, UK citizens cut down 8 million trees for Christmas trees each year, contributing largely to deforestation.
Costs associated with Christmas waste
- Every year, the UK citizens spend £700 million on unwanted gifts!
- Of all the purchases made for Christmas in the UK, only 1% will remain in use six months after the festivities have ended.
- Each year, the average household spends £185 on Christmas decorations.
- During the Christmas holiday season, Royal Mail sends out over 150 million cards across the UK all of which end up in the bin.
- Every year, the UK spends £26 million to dispose of holiday waste that is transported to landfills.
- 12500 tonnes of Christmas decorations are discarded in landfills, totalling £1.2m. This includes 68,488 miles of Christmas lights.
- Each year after the festive season, 141,525 tonnes of food packaging are discarded at landfills, costing £13.3 million.
- Every year, 30,000 tons of Christmas cards are thrown away, which is equivalent to £2.8 million worth of landfill costs.
- The average UK household spends an extra £100 on food, of which at least £16 goes straight to the garbage. Based on this figure, potential Christmas food waste in the UK would amount to £444 million.
- One in five British adults (49%) expect to receive an advent calendar this year, with Londoners spending an average of £13.60 on them in 2019. All of these advent calendars end up in the bin at the end of the holiday season.
- Each household in the UK spent more than £400 on Christmas decorations, food, and drink in 2019.
The carbon footprint associated with Christmas waste
- It is estimated that turkey cooking generates 14,056 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide in the UK
- Cooking the UKs Xmas sprouts alone would uses enough energy to power a house for three years.
- Our trips to family and friends during the Christmas holidays results in a total of 1 billion miles driven.
- The carbon impact of Christmas Eve, Christmas, and Boxing Day account for 5.5 percent of the UK’s total annual carbon footprint.
- The Christmas feasts have the same carbon footprint as a single car travelling around the world 6,000 times.
- The annual Coca-Cola tour truck is a famous Christmas tradition with Brits driving over 3000 miles just for pictures. The environmental toll of this outweighs the fun. Can you call standing in a carpark fun?
Christmas glass waste facts
- During the months of December and January, 13,350 tonnes of glass are discarded, including wine and other bottled beverages drunk over the holidays.
- Every Christmas, UK households consume and discard 205 million glasses of champagne.
General Waste Associated With Christmas
- According to a study conducted by Business Waste on 1100 UK households, 99 percent of individuals put Christmas cracker gifts in the bin at the end of the day.
- 81 percent of the 1100 households polled admitted to using a plastic tablecloth that they threw away at the end of the holiday season.
- Despite this, a recent study indicates that one-fifth of Brits will be more waste-conscious than ever this coming Christmas.
- On Christmas Day, about 40 million Christmas crackers are anticipated to be thrown away.
- The bulk of the plastic produced during the holiday season is single-use products.
- The majority of Christmas jumpers are made of plastic, and 50% of the microfibres leak in the first wash!
- Paper packaging makes up only 1% of all packaging for household toys.
- Only one out of every four Christmas cards is recycled.
- By March of next year, 41% of toys bought as gifts will be broken and destined for the landfill.
Learn more about Christmas waste
Visit our Christmas waste hub to find out more about all the waste we create around Christmas and how we can reduce it as households and businesses. Explore some further information and facts about Christmas waste on the following pages:
- We need to ban christmas cards
- Should Christmas crackers be banned?
- Sellotape to be banned to avoid a landfill disaster after Christmas
- Disposable power banks: The world’s worst stocking filler?
- The hidden cost of your choccie-filled advent calendar
- Thousands of xmas candles head to landfill this January
- Tis the season to be wasteful: What’s happening to your wrapping paper?
- Why Compost?
- Where can I get a compost bin?
- What materials can I compost?
- Composting Questions and Answers
To help the environment:
Composting your organic waste at home is a great way to help reduce the amount we are throwing in landfill sites every year.
Using homemade compost will help to protect natural rare peat bogs that are being destroyed, by reducing the need for natural peat based compost products.
To Improve Your Garden:
By digging compost into the soil it improves soil texture and nutritional quality.
Through using compost as mulch around plants to help retain moisture.
The organic matter in garden compost helps to break up heavy clay soils, making them lighter and much easier to work.
To Save Money:
Buying less peat and fertilisers.
By helping the County Councils cut disposal costs for household waste.
Compost bins are also available from outlets such as garden centres, DIY stores and online. They can be made of various materials and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes so you are sure to find one that suits your garden.
WHAT MATERIALS CAN I COMPOST?
- Grass cuttings
- Hedge clippings
- Uncooked food (tea bags, vegetable peelings, apple cores, banana skins, egg shells, etc)
- Shredded paper and card
- Cooked foods
- Cat and dog litter / poo
- Diseased plants
- Meat and fish
- Persistent weeds
COMPOSTING QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q: Where should I put my compost bin / heap?
A: Firstly ensure your composter, whether it is homemade or bought, is in a good spot in the garden. The best place for a composter is on soil or grass, to allow drainage and to let the worms get in. Also you should put the composter in a nice warm place in the garden to maintain the best temperature for the process.
Q: Can I put just one material in my compost bin or does it need a mixture?
A: To make good compost add a variety of compostable materials and create loose layers. Avoid heavy layers of grass cuttings or leaves.
Q: Should my compost bin be dry or wet?
A: Keep your materials damp but not wet. Add small quantities of water, or moist grass clippings or leafy materials if the compost is drying out. Or add drier material such as shredded newspaper if the mixture is too wet.
Q: My composter gives off a nasty smell, why and what can I do about it?
A: This is because your compost is too wet and is breaking down anaerobically, meaning without air. To help reduce the wetness try leaving the lid off in dry weather, removing some grass clippings or adding some shredded paper. Turn regularly with a garden fork to mix dry and wet materials together to improve air circulation.
Q: How long does it take to make compost?
A: Composting can take weeks or months, depending on how much air and moisture the material receives. By turning the compost regularly to help add air you should make compost in 3-6 months. In winter it will take longer because cold weather slows the process down.
Q: What can I add to speed up the process?
A: Compost can take a while to make. A slow turn over may be because the material is not reaching high enough temperatures. Try moving the composter into sunlight and keep the lid on. It could also be that its too dry so try to keep the pile moist. Try adding an activator; ready made activators can be bought from most Gardening Centres. Young nettles help to speed the process up too.
Q: Why does compost turn wet and slimy?
A: Usually because you have put in too much soft material, grass clippings and vegetable peelings etc. Make sure you get a good mixture of materials, try adding chopped up dry twigs and wood chips and some shredded newspaper you will give the compost a better texture. Try turning the mixture with a garden fork more often.
Q: Can I compost my hedge clippings?
A: You can compost green garden waste. This includes fallen leaves and prunings from hedges. Try to ensure that you get a good mixture of materials in your compost pile as well as the hedge clippings. Any woody stems and branches will take longer to decompose and you may want to take those to your local Community Recycling Centre and add them to the green garden waste collections for larger scale composting.
Q: Will having a compost heap attract mice and rats?
A: Compost heaps may highlight the fact that vermin are in your local area. You need to remove any unsuitable material and remember what can and can’t be composted. Try placing chicken wire round the base of the compost heap.
Not got the space for a compost bin? Then try a Wormery!!
Having a wormery is an easy & efficient way of converting ordinary organic kitchen waste into top quality compost and concentrated liquid feed therefore reducing the need for chemical fertilisers. Naturally worms ‘recycle’ the organic material, therefore reducing the waste dumped in landfill sites.
GETTING A WORMERY
Contact your Local Council to find out if they sell wormeries at a discounted price. Alternatively try your local garden centres or please click here to go to our links page.
Wormeries are easy to maintain and don’t cause nasty smells if used properly. Have a look at our top tips:
When you put new worms in a wormery, they like to explore their new home. If you don’t ensure the lid is firmly closed, they might escape! We suggest you keep the wormery outside in a sheltered shady place.
Add a touch of water now and then if your worm bin is getting too dry.
After about six months you’ll probably have too many worms for your bin. Empty half of the mix onto the garden, or split it into two and make a second worm bin.
YES! What to feed your worms
Fruit and vegetable peelings
Small amounts of newspaper and cardboard
Leaves from houseplants
NO! Don’t feed these to your worms
Garden waste such as cuttings, grass etc these materials are better on a compost heap
Too much strong food such as onion, chilli, garlic and citrus peel
Fat / oil
What are the categories of food waste?
1. Uneaten food and food preparations wastes
2. Uncooked and expired food
3. Flowers, rotten fruits and vegetables
4. Teabags, eggshells and coffee grounds
Different sectors in the retail and consumption stages of the food chain contribute to immense food wastage.
Who creates the most food waste?
Unsurprisingly, the highest contributor to food waste in the country.
Restaurants, cafes and other food services waste £3.2 billion worth of fresh meals every year. Naturally, businesses will not intend on wasting food on purpose but habits such as over-preparing food, improper storage of food and produce, over-buying ingredients and poor stock management all contribute to food waste. In addition to this, hospitality businesses also are responsible for throwing away leftovers and uneaten food they serve to their customers.
Food waste is created in the meat industry in a variety of ways, including waste from slaughterhouses, butcheries and meat processors. According to research, the UK throws away 34,000 tonnes of beef every year.
Food wastes in butcheries emanate from bones, blood, internal organs and unused fat, expired or unsold stock. Improper disposal of meat-based food waste is a threat to animal and human health. In the UK, butcheries should adhere to Environment Protection Act and Animal by-Products Regulations 2013.
Bakeries are another huge contributor to food waste in the country. In the UK, consumers typically only want to buy bread that has been baked that day otherwise they fear it will be stale. For this reason, many bakeries throw away a high volume of bread and baked goods due to overproduction or lack of demand. Food waste in this sector includes bread, dough, icing, cakes, sugar, flour and other confectionery products.
Bread is among the top three most wasted foods in the UK. About 1.2bn edible slices of bread are thrown away each year.
It is important to highlight, food waste is not just created by commercial businesses. Many domestic households do not realise how much food waste they create. Statistics show that families throw away about 22% of their weekly shopping contributing to 50% of food waste in the country. How is this food wasted? Lack of proper meal planning, impulse buying, poor storage and cooking too much are common culprits.
Proper food waste management
The best way of managing food waste is by reducing food waste in our homes and businesses. Households, for example, could create a meal plan at the start of each week to ensure they don’t overbuy or forget about fresh produce. Businesses could similarly put more effort into their stock management and food storage plans.
Even when you aim to reduce food waste as much as possible, however, there are instances when food waste is inevitable. If you have food waste you need to be collected, get in touch with our team. Our company strives to offer reliable, quality and affordable services to ensure your business meets the highest hygienic standards. We have all the equipment needed to cater for the food waste needs of the different sectors. Contact us today for efficient and tailor-made services.
What is low carbon food?
Hair salons and beauty parlours have specialist waste disposal needs to get rid of everything from old hair dye to broken hairdryers. As a registered waste carrier, we understand these needs and can ensure you meet your legal obligations by organising storage and waste collection solutions for your hair salon.
As a salon owner or manager, it’s your duty to ensure the correct hair salon waste disposal procedures are in place. For example, human hair is non-biodegradable and can cause environmental issues if not disposed of correctly. Your salon is legally responsible to ensure human hair waste is managed, stored, and disposed of correctly.
Taking human hair to a local tip or disposing of it at home is illegal, as it needs to be transported and disposed of by licensed waste carriers. Call 0800 211 8390 or contact us online for a free quote for hair salon waste disposal – or learn more about the types and methods below.
What types of waste
do hair salons produce?
Hair salons create a wide variety of waste in addition to human hair. These include:
- Chemical waste – chemicals, hair dye, and cleaning products
- Metal waste – old scissors, aerosol cans, and tin foil
- Plastic recycling – shampoo and styling product bottles, plastic water cups
- WEEE – old hair straighteners, hairdryers, and salon equipment
- Paper recycling – till receipts, old magazines and newspapers
- Packaging waste – hair product boxes, and delivery packages
- Clinical waste – wax strips, pads, cotton wool buds, and needles
- Sanitary waste – feminine hygiene products
At Business Waste, we understand the unique types of waste hair salons produce. That’s why we can provide unique and convenient waste solutions whatever types of salon waste you create.
Hair salon waste
UK legislation provides a framework for the disposal of waste and governs how different waste types must be stored and disposed of. Hair salon waste can be separated into different categories to prevent contamination. Each category has different rules around its storage and disposal.
Recycling in hair salons
Businesses are legally required to separate recyclable rubbish from general waste. Much of the rubbish your hair salon produces can be recycled. This includes rinsed out shampoo and conditioner bottles, carboard packaging, and the magazines your clients have got bored of flicking through. Empty aerosol cans can be placed with metal recycling and if you offer disposable beverage options then many plastic cups are recyclable too.
For highlights and other hair services, your salon may use tinfoil. Recycling hair salon foils is possible if the foil can be scrunched and hold its shape. If the foil springs back when scrunched, it’s metallised plastic film and recycling these hair salon foils isn’t possible, so you must dispose of it with general waste.
Recycling hair dryers is also important. The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations 2013 provide rules around the recycling of electronic products. We can help ensure that your broken straighteners, hairdryers, and other types of salon equipment are disposed of correctly. Use a WEEE bin to store any electronic items for recycling.
Did you know, you’re legally obligated to take back old electronic products when customers are purchasing a new one? If your salon sells electrical hair styling tools, you need to make this service known to your clients.
Hazardous waste in hair salons
Under the Hazardous Waste (Regulations England and Wales) 2005, there are rules governing how hazardous waste is defined and how it must be stored and disposed of. There are strict penalties for breaches. Waste is considered ‘hazardous’ when it could harm human health or the environment and can only be disposed of at authorised sites.
All sharps from your business, such as acupuncture needles, must be disposed of in secure, puncture-proof yellow hazardous waste bins. There are different categories of hazardous waste bins that you may require, depending on the treatments you offer. We can assist and advise to ensure you have the right sharps bins in place.
Liquid hair dye and other chemicals also class as hazardous waste due to the damage they can cause to the environment. We offer various solutions to dispose of such chemical waste.
Clinical waste also needs separating from normal waste. This includes things like pads, cotton buds and wax strips, which are disposed of separately in specific coloured bags. We can also provide sanitary bins and collection for your guest and employee bathrooms.
General waste in hair salons
This can be anything that doesn’t fall into any of the other categories such leftover lunches, non-recyclable packaging, till receipts, and hair clippings. General waste created in hair salons can be collected in black bin bags and put in your commercial general waste bins for a reputable waste disposal company to collect.
Why do hair salons need to be more sustainable?
And how they can do it?
Hair salons should aim to be more sustainable to reduce their environmental impact and to make significant financial savings. The more hair salon recycling you do, the less waste you send to landfill and less landfill tax you have to pay. These are some of the top ways salons can be more sustainable:
Hair salon bins and collection
To ensure that your hair salon bins are compliant with your obligations under waste disposal regulations, we can provide all the necessary bins for free. This helps ensure your hair salon waste is correctly separated and disposed of. You simply pay for their collection and our licensed waste carriers will remove the bins at an agreed time.
Our 7-day-a-week hair salon waste collections are flexible to suit the needs of your business and can be daily, weekly, or fortnightly. For some clinical waste and sharps bins, this service can be on an ad-hoc basis. Explore the bins we can provide to improve your hair salon recycling.
Hair salon sustainability
It’s important for hair salons to become more sustainable and we work with our customers to help them achieve this. Here are our top tips to ensure that your business is as eco-friendly as possible:
- Wash out your shampoo and conditioner bottles so they can be recycled.
- Move from disposable cups and glasses to reusable options.
- Look at using alternatives to aluminium hair foils.
- Buy products with biodegradable packaging.
- Place recycling bins in visible areas to encourage people to use them more.
- Talk to your clients about recycling hairdryers and straighteners if they’re replacing old or broken ones.
Read our reviews
We use Business Waste for our hair salon. Initially starting out with just a General Waste bin to begin with but after their attentive and friendly service we’ve upgraded to a recycling bin too. I’m very impressed with the team at Business Waste and their level of care. Nothing is too much for them especially since we needed lockable bins. Even going so far as to check whether bins have been delivered/pickups have been completed. I would definitely recommend them to any businesses looking for a larger bin!Bryony Akerman
Hair salon FAQs
How much waste do hair salons in the UK produce?
The hairdressing industry creates enough waste to fill 50 football stadiums every year. Sadly, the vast majority of this currently ends up in landfill sites even though lots of it can be reused or recycled. Around 99% of hair cuttings end up in landfill from hair salons, while beauty salons also send more than 1.3 million tools to landfill every month.
How many hair salons and beauty businesses are there?
There are approximately more than 46,000 hair and beauty businesses in the UK. Most of these businesses are small, with around 75% employing fewer than five people – while 94% employ less than ten people.
How many people work in hair and beauty salons?
Around 250,000 people are employed in the hair and beauty industry. Around 83% of hairdressers and barbers, and 94% working in beauty, are female.
What can be recycled in a hairdressing salon?
Hair salon waste varies greatly – from the products you use to provide treatments, to food wrappers customers throw away in bins on your premises. Thankfully, lots of salon waste is recyclable. Hair salon waste disposal methods depend on the type of rubbish created, but in many cases, you can recycle items. In a hairdressing salon you can recycle:
- Aluminium foils
- Colour tubes
- Plastic shampoo, conditioner, and colouring bottles
- Newspapers and magazine
- Drinks bottles, cans, and other dry mixed recycling
Some simple tweaks to your approach to shopping, cooking, and food waste disposal can potentially cut your food-related carbon footprint by almost two-thirds and it can be a healthy, fun, and inexpensive way to make a very real difference to our precious environment and to promoting ethical products.
What is low carbon food?
Low carbon food is any product that limits its environmental impact when it comes to production and processing, preparation, transportation, packaging and waste. If a product is grown, produced and shopped for locally, it lowers carbon usage in terms of transport fuels. It is also more likely to be seasonal, meaning that it has not taken a toll upon the earth in terms of processing and production.
What is a carbon footprint?
Everyone on earth has a carbon footprint, meaning that we all contribute to carbon emissions simply by existing. The average UK resident uses 12.7 tonnes of Co2e per year. The good news is that low carbon eating can make a real difference to this figure.
Why you should care about your food’s carbon impact?
If caring about what you put in your body is to be considered a prudent lifestyle choice then why not care about the origin of your food, the sustainability of a low carbon food diet and the impact we can all have upon our environment? Products that contain little or no packaging reduce the use of plastics and eating less meat, dairy and processed foods is not only good for your health but also uses less carbon dioxide in production and maintenance. Sensible portion sizes, recycling, and composting can end the process positively by reducing waste.
What is a low carbon diet?
A low carbon diet is a dietary regime that takes into account the impact the food we choose has upon our health whilst considering the effect it has upon planet earth. Choosing to eat less meat, dairy and fewer processed foods is replaced by a diet of fresh, local and seasonal foods which are sustainably sourced and produced and which are disposed of responsibly.
What is the best low carbon food?
Freshly grown, local fruits and vegetables are some of the best low carbon foods available but it is not only Vegans who can reduce Co2 emissions and harmful Green House Gasses (GHGe).
– Locally reared meats such as chickens, their eggs and pork all have lower emissions than lamb or beef.
– Wild game such as pheasant or rabbit would be lower still. Growing in your own vegetables or foraging for free 0% emission foods can be fun and consider finding local producers of cheeses, bread, milk, preserves and even alcohol.
– Local fisheries and fishermen can also supply sustainably sourced, fresh fish with very low emissions and minimal packaging.
What is the cost of adapting a low carbon diet?
Buying locally produced foods can be expensive but clever shopping and savvy household management can reap rewards and keep your bills low.
– Consider where your food comes from and how it was produced and packaged because this will add money to your bill and your emissions. An internationally produced food will have literally thousands of air miles attached to it.
– Cook at the section where foods approaching their sell-by dates are kept in supermarkets. This prevents waste and saves you money.
– Proper storage at home, as well as creative cooking, can help foods to last longer and be used up.
– Always think about what you can grow yourself. This is not only cheaper but fun and good for your mental well-being.
– Having a target to reduce your emissions in every part of your life will ultimately save you money.
Should we ban ready meals and only cook with local ingredients at home?
Banning all processed foods is not practical but it stands to reason that learning to cook from scratch with healthy ingredients should be a target for everyone. Revolutions often start as small gestures so a few small changes can make a really big difference in the long run.
Low carbon facts and stats: How can food waste add to carbon emissions?
In the UK we waste an estimated 9.5 million tonnes of food a year which means we are not only wasting food and increasing emissions, we are also wasting approximately £250-£400 per household. Food waste can be as simple as putting too much food on your plate or can be not using up products with shorter shelf lives. Furthermore, not recycling and composting can have a real impact. 1kg of wasted food can contribute a whopping 7.6kg of carbon emissions to the atmosphere and this can easily be avoided by:
– Making a shopping list and only buy what you need. Do not be swayed by 3 for 2 offers or discounts.
– Observe portion control and don’t cook more than you need. If you do, consider leftovers as a meal or freeze for later. Be creative.
– Use your Granny’s domestic advice and be in control of your cupboards and fridge. Poor household management makes waste! Store foods correctly to avoid spoilage.
– Understand that a ‘sell by date’ is not the same as a ‘use by date’.
– Compost peelings and responsibly recycle packaging.
A list of basic foods and their carbon footprints from worst to best
Beef (eating) 60
Palm oil 8
Chicken/ poultry (farmed) 6
Farmed tinned fish 5
Soy Milk 0.9
Fruits (citrus) 0.3
How to save money on the most expensive outfit you’ll only wear once
Your big day can be one of the most expensive events you’ll ever throw in your life, especially with the UK couples spending on average an eye-watering £27,000 on their nuptials.
This has prompted a new wave of savvy brides on a budget to turn to renting their wedding dresses instead of forking out on a frock they will wear only once.
In fact, UK waste prevention company BusinessWaste.co.uk found that after speaking to 2100 brides to be, 4 out of 10 brides would be willing to hire a dress for the day, with many saying that they would rather put the money towards their future as a married couple.
“It’s crazy how much the cost of weddings has sky-rocketed in the last decade, but there are plenty of ways you can save some money and keep within a smaller budget,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesman Mark Hall.
“Renting a wedding dress is a great way to still look the part but save some precious pennies that could be put to much better use in future married life!”
Bargain bridal ballgowns
Currently, the average UK bride will spend around £1,300 on her wedding dress, which is likely to be the most expensive piece of clothing most brides will ever purchase in their lives.
Hall: “The expectations for couples to throw a lavish event for their friends and family has really put the pressure on them to spend more to thrill and excite guests.
“Years ago it used to be a cheap shindig down the local social club, but now couples are spending a small fortune on venues and dresses to rival what they see on social media and in magazines.”
However, nearly half of brides surveyed by BusinessWaste.co.uk said they would be open to the idea of renting a dress instead of buying it outright, giving reasons such as not wanting to overspend on an outfit they would only wear once, and preferring to save the money for more long-term goals such as travelling or a house deposit.
There’s also the factor that wedding dresses take up a lot of valuable wardrobe space!
Sarah from Doncaster is getting married next year, and says she is happy to rent her dress so she and her partner can spend more on their honeymoon – “I’d rather we made some memories just for the two of us rather than being selfish with the cash and spending it on my dress for the day.”
“Plus we’re trying to save for a mortgage, so financially it really doesn’t make sense to me.”
Myriam is currently looking for her dream dress to rent, “I just think you get more choice, rather than what’s in ‘fashion’ at the moment, so I can get something really unique that will suit my personality.”
“Plus I don’t have to worry about getting it professionally cleaned afterwards or figure out where to store it – I can just hand it back!”
Saving the planet – one dress at a time
Renting clothes is not a new concept, with many online platforms being created so you can hire an outfit for any occasion with ease. Most grooms and best men routinely rent their morning suits, after all.
As well as being easy on the bank balance, renting clothes also has the added benefit of being much more sustainable and ensures fewer garments end up in landfill.
Instead of buying a new item that has used new, raw materials and consumed energy to produce and ship to you, eco-conscious shoppers and brides-to-be are keen to make the most of existing garments in a fight against fast fashion.
With 2 million tonnes of textiles being thrown away each year in Europe, it’s no wonder that there has been a huge rise in people looking to reuse as much clothing as possible to stop perfectly good items from being needlessly thrown away.
But can renting a wedding dress really have a big impact on reducing waste and be better for the environment?
Second-hand wedding dress website Still White believes it can, especially since they have resold over 20,000 dresses – saving over 200,000 kg of carbon emissions and 180 million litres of water being used in producing new garments.
And even the PM’s new wife Carrie Symonds is getting in on the act, with reports that she recently hired her frock for their low-key wedding this year.
Hall: “Hiring your wedding dress can not only save you money, but it can also free up more of your time to enjoy your wedding planning and enjoy your big day, whilst being sustainable and helping to reduce waste at the same time.
“It’s a win-win really, so why not hire your dress and do your bit of the planet – one giant white frock at a time?”
Avoca-DOH! Our slightly sarcastic listicle shows you which products to avoid, and how to shop better.
British households are wasting millions of pounds every year because they’ve bought fresh products which have gone bad by the time they get round to eating them.
According to one British food waste and recycling company, it doesn’t have to be that way if we avoid certain products, only buy them when needed, or just shop better.
Food waste collection company BusinessWaste.co.uk says that millennial favourite that is the avocado leads the way with its depressing habit of being too tough to eat one minute it before becomes a squishy mess the next.
“But if we change our shopping and eating habits, we can avoid this enormous waste,” says Business Waste spokesperson Mark Hall.
“And frankly, I can go without smashed avo on toast.”
Top ten of wasted food
We looked at expert research, as well as asking customers about their personal experiences, and have come up with this list of shame. These are the top ten products that British consumers are wasting the most, in listicle form:
Avocados – The trickster gods of fresh foods. The day science discovers the key to preserving avocados for more than 30 seconds, the better.
Berries – You’ve said it: “It’s nice and warm, let’s have strawberries and cream!” Then you forget about the strawberries or raspberries you’ve bought, and before you know it, they’re a brightly coloured smear at the bottom of the fridge.
Milk – Tricky devils, milk. You don’t know that two litre carton has gone off until you pour it into your tea and it comes out as lumps of yoghurt. Thanks for nothing, milk.
Meat – This one could actually kill you if you don’t pay attention. With a shelf life of only a few days, wasted beef, chicken and pork goes into the bin more frequently than you dare admit.
Bananas – The avocado’s apprentice. You buy them a bit green so that they can ripen up at home, then BANG – fit for nothing but tasty cake recipes.
Fresh fruit juice – We forget the fresh juice has a much shorter shelf life than the long-life stuff. The clue’s in the name, and so is the smell of wonky cider when you open the apple juice after it’s gone over.
Grated cheese – Why are you buying grated cheese? It goes off quicker than a block of cheddar, and you’re just making the grater in your utensil drawer sad.
Apples and pears – You buy them because it’s one of your five a day, knowing full well that they’ll actually form none of your five a day, and will end up looking like the back of your granny’s hands within a fortnight.
Carrots – Go to your fridge. Go now. There’s a carrot in the veg drawer you can bend into a full circle, isn’t there? The same goes for all vegetables, but this is a top ten, otherwise this list will reach down to the centre of the Earth. Top tip: Only buy the veg you’re going to eat.
Mushrooms – The only consolation is that they’re small enough not to take up mushroom (much room!) in your bin when you throw them out.
There’s a serious side to this, says Business Waste’s Mark Hall, and it’s that we’re addicted to “over-shopping” – the habit of buying everything we fancy in the so-called ‘big shop’ which many people are now stretching out to last a fortnight.
“Then we’re surprised that the chicken you’ve bought for next Sunday’s roast is smelling like the bottom of a bin,” says Hall, “And instead of just changing your dinner plans, you should be thinking why that bird’s gone off.”
Changing your shopping habits
British households waste around 4.5 million tons of food every year, or approximately 7% of the food we buy. That adds up to £700 per family, annually.
“If you don’t want that £700, I’d quite happily take it off your hands,” says Mark Hall, “but I expect you’d rather keep it through better meal planning and shopping management.”
While it may not be a suitable solution for everybody, the easiest way to prevent food wastage is to plan ahead, then shop often, shop local, and buy less as a result.
But the problem remains: We’ve got so used to anonymous internet shopping where the product is reduced to an idealised picture on a screen, we’ve lost touch with simple skills like portion sizing, and buying sufficient supplies for your family.
“If you’re not pushing that trolley around the supermarket, how do you know when you’ve bought too much?” says Hall.
“Convenience is leading to massive food waste, and we need to stop and take a look at our habits.”
Charity shop treasure…or just trash?
Is your donation worth a fortune, or is it costing charities to get rid of your rubbish?
Donating unwanted items to charity is a great way to support well-deserved causes while having a clear out, but is your unloved junk even making it to the shop floor?
The waste collection experts at BusinessWaste.co.uk have estimated less than a third of donations make it to the shelves in local charity shops after staff have picked through the high-value items for online selling and thrown away the rubbish, which costs shops £100’s of thousands to have collected and disposed of.
“Donated items have to go through a purging process where staff have to decide what stays and what goes, and sometimes this includes what can make a tidy profit online,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesman Mark Hall.
“And beware, people really do try to donate everything, so with the treasure always comes the absolute trash that belongs in a bin.”
Swapping the shop floor for online auctions
If you’re hitting up a charity shop to see if you can find something worth a small fortune, the odds are it’s already been sifted out for an online auction before it’s even left the stockroom.
Savvy workers and volunteers can spot a treasure from a mile off when rummaging through donations and tend to cherry-pick the best items to sell online for a higher profit, instead of throwing it out on the shelves for a couple of quid.
Certain items are guaranteed to never get to the shop floor as one volunteer in Bradford tells us, “we all know what things are worth and are told to look it up, so most high-value products such as silverware or video games will end up in an online auction.”
Selling online became a lifeline for charities who were unable to sell when the shops were shut during lockdown, with Oxfam reporting increased sales online by 86% over the festive period.
Leading charities such as The British Heart Foundation have partnered up with online selling platforms such as Depop, to promote sustainable fashion and raise much-needed funds online.
It’s not just charity shop workers who are eagled eyed at spotting a bargain, as BusinessWaste.co.uk have learnt about a growing trend of clued-up customers who are searching out bargains that can be sold online for a meaty profit.
Business-brained bargain hunters often use charity shops as a way of scoping out items at low prices that can be resold for a profit, such as a mum from London who found a copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales for £11 that turned out to be worth up to £4,000 and has since started an online shop selling collectable items she finds in charity shops. .
And sadly, BW has learned that some people volunteer at charity shops just to line their pockets in this way.
Hall: “It turns out there might actually be some treasure to be found somewhere between the countless Robbie Williams CDs and copies of Fifty Shades of Grey, but only if the resellers haven’t beaten you to it.”
In the bargain bin
Donations that aren’t good enough for the shop floor are sadly destined for the bin, and as BusinessWaste.co.uk knows, this actually costs charities money which can often leave them out of pocket.
The British Heart Foundation estimates it costs ‘hundreds of thousands of pounds’ to pay local councils to dispose of unsaleable items.
This is why most charity shops now are getting picky because it’s easier to reject donations than to pay to throw them away.
Hall: “People need to think carefully about what they are planning to donate, by looking at the condition of the item and consider whether it’s something they would be happy buying second-hand themselves.”
One charity shop in South Molton, Devon, estimates it only keeps around 10% of the items it receives, after having to throw away donations such as out of date food, blood-stained clothes, used sex toys, and bags of dog poo.
Hall: “Charity shops are not an alternative for the bin, so if you’re giving them rubbish you’re just wasting their time and money.
“So please stop donating (literal) bags of crap.”
Read next – Weird things donated to charity shops
The greenest cities in the world (and the least) – which international cities top the list for recycling and which don’t make the grade
The need for recycling has, by now, been fairly well cemented into the minds of the general public. Citizens the world over are aware of what can and cannot be given a new lease of life through the recycling process, and – in countries where there are recycling schemes available – generally act accordingly.
But alongside individual action is what happens at a bigger scale – in neighbourhoods, cities or countries. The decisions made by policymakers, city planners and governments also affects the recycling rates of our towns and cities; and some cities worldwide are topping the list for recycling with interesting or innovative ways to ensure they waste as little as possible.
Waste collection experts BusinessWaste.co.uk have compiled a list of the fifteen best cities across the world for recycling – including some hidden gems which you may not have heard of – and five which still have some way to go…
The top 15 greenest cities in the world
1. Vancouver – Canada’s shining jewel when it comes to recycling, the city of Vancouver has increased its rate from 40% to over 60% in just over a decade, with a goal of 80%. The city does this by making recycling part of the circular economy and innovative schemes that reward businesses who upcycle or reuse materials.
2. Singapore City – Singapore generates an impressively small amount of landfill waste per person each year – just 307kg, compared with the average of 380kg across the rest of Asia, according to the Siemens Green City Index. It has a goal to recycle 70% of its waste by 2030, and has increased business participation by introducing laws which make companies responsible for the waste they use.
3. Copenhagen – Aiming for an impressive 70% recycling rate, Copenhagen benefits from the Danes’ enthusiastic support for waste reduction (Circular Copenhagen). Door-to-door collections make it as easy as possible for citizens, and Copenhagen is working towards becoming a zero waste municipality by 2050.
4. Helsinki – Despite struggling with waste collections during the frozen winter months, Helsinki recycles a respectable 58% of its waste. The city has been improving its eco credentials – including green taxis – in recent years, introducing schemes to recycle construction waste and adding a much-needed plastics recycling scheme.
5. Curitiba – Awarded the title of Sustainable City in 2010, Brazil’s Curitiba is environmentally focused by design. A piece in Smart Cities Connect has explored how it prioritises pedestrians over cars, has interconnected green spaces, and – most impressively – has a ‘green exchange’ which allows the city’s poor to exchange collected rubbish (two thirds of which are recycled) for fresh food.
6. Delhi – Despite limited resources, the city of Delhi has achieved an enormous amount when it comes to reducing waste. It has created ‘eco-clubs’ in over a thousand schools, impressing the importance of protecting the environment on young citizens and bolstering the city’s existing culture of ‘careful consumption’ and waste reduction policies (delhi.gov).
7. Los Angeles – Famous the world over, this West Coast city is more than just film stars. Los Angeles recycles almost 80% of its waste according to Columbia Climate School – more than most cities in Europe. Led by a city-wide education drive and company tax concessions for recycling, LA remains fully committed to a zero waste initiative.
8. Leeds – the UK’s own Leeds is impressive when it comes to recycling – around 40% of its waste is diverted from landfill. Its impressive approach to recycling includes the ‘Leeds by Example’ scheme which has placed over 180 on-street recycling points across the city, which have almost tripled recycling rates in the city centre to 49%. The scheme represents the UK’s biggest effort to improve the level of food and drink packaging recycling rates and sets an example which other UK cities hope to emulate.
9. Vienna – Innovative Vienna is unusual for keeping its waste management entirely within city bounds rather than shipping it elsewhere (Bloomberg) – and since the introduction of recycling plants in the 1980s, recycling containers for metals, plastics and glass are found all over the city. While Austria has some way to go when it comes to recycling on the whole, Vienna is improving each year.
10. Stockholm – Still in the Scandiavian region, Stockholm is an exceptional example of recycling in Europe, having undergone something of a revolution. According to Sweden.se, 50% of its waste was turned into energy in 2019 and 84% of cans and bottles were recycled. Clothing recycling is also a huge part of Stockholm’s economy, with homegrown fashion giant H&M offering garment recycling in the city’s stores.
11. Seattle – One city using tech to tackle waste problems is Seattle, in Washington State. The city’s use of an app called Recycle-It allows citizens to check waste removal dates and set handy reminders, and has helped increase Seattle’s engagement with its compulsory recycling scheme.
12. Songdo – You may not have heard of this South Korean “smart city”, but it’s doing something truly revolutionary with its waste disposal system. As reported in Bloomberg City Labs, a series of underground pipes automatically collect waste and take them to a processing facility nearby, meaning its citizens can have no excuse not to help Songdo meet its recycling goals.
13. Kamikatsu – Okay – so this one isn’t a city, but Japan’s Kamikatsu, a village isolated on the side of a mountain, is widely known as the ‘waste free town’ Due to its remote location, locals separate their waste into a staggering 34 categories to ensure its waste reduction can be optimised without the need for costly (and environmentally-unfriendly) transportation of waste.
14. Ekilstuna – Another little-heard name, but Sweden’s Ekilstuna is one of the most environmentally friendly cities in the world overall. Biofuel public transport and low-carbon power plants earn it this title – but the city’s 100% recycled shopping mall, Retuna, where all goods are donated by citizens and resold on, creating a truly circular economy.
15. San Francisco – Of course, the crown of the most recycling-friendly city must go to one which makes mass recycling work on a huge scale. Landfill disposal in the USA’s San Francisco is at its lowest rate ever, reporting that over 80% of its waste is diverted via reduction, reuse, and recycling schemes every year. This makes it one of the most successful cities in the world for reducing waste sent to landfill, using a mix of incentives for citizens and businesses, educational programmes and cleverly-designed recycling systems to top our list.
But what of the cities where recycling is low on the priority list? Despite global efforts to reduce, reuse and recycling, there remain many cities where recycling is yet to become truly embedded in the culture.
The top 5 least green cities in the world
1. Mexico City – While recycling initiatives have been launched in Mexico City, it has yet to run a smooth system and relies on private waste management. The city closed its largest landfill site, where over 70 million tonnes of waste are already buried and causing environmental problems, almost a decade ago, leading to illegal dumping grounds forming and streets piled high with waste. Just 15% of the city’s waste was recycling, leaving much room for improvement.
2. Beijing – In 2017, Beijing, with a population of 21 million, incinerated or sent to landfill almost all (95%) of its waste according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics – a shocking number for a city which has so many citizens. Despite historically poor recycling rates, China’s ban on importing landfill waste from other countries in 2017 has led to improved efforts to responsibly process its own waste, and the only way is up for Beijing’s figures.
3. Kolkata – India’s Kolkata has recycling rates well below the international average. While India recycles approximately 60% of its plastic waste, the city of Kolkata is growing so quickly that it struggles to implement effective recycling collection and processing, leading to a growing problem with landfill in the area. It’s a problem which faces many fast-developing cities, who are under both ethical and legal pressure to meet increasingly important global targets.
4. New York – It isn’t only developing cities which are wasteful, however. The Big Apple, despite aggressive recycling drives across the city, fail at the most important hurdle – producing less waste in the first place. According to Grow NYC, in 2019 the city’s residents produced 12,000 tonnes of waste per day, which it farms out largely to nearby landfills.
5. Kuwait – Indeed, being an incredibly wealthy city doesn’t mean having a robust recycling programme – despite being in one of the richest countries in the world in terms of GDP, Kuwait City’s citizens generate twice the global average of waste per day and less than 10% of it is recycled. Grassroots movements to improve recycling in the city have been introduced, but it has a long way to go.
Mark Hall, spokesperson for BusinessWaste.co.uk, said:
“Countries the world over are tackling waste in innovative and interesting ways, but many lag behind. The challenge over the next decade will be bringing all cities to a standard where waste reduction is made part of policy, not merely a target to let slide by – and in the meantime technology and science continue to innovate to make our collective impact on the planet less harmful.
“Some of the best approaches covered in this list are ones which take local requirements and considerations into account – cities and towns working with their specific geography or economic status to improve their approach to recycling. This is something that is key for cities, towns or regions to incorporate into their own waste disposal policies in future, to ensure the best possible uptake and to minimise impact on the local environment.”
According to a recent study by the Office for National Statistics, around 14.9% of adults in the UK consider themselves to be smokers, meaning that the safe disposal of cigarette butts and similar was products is vital if we want to protect the planet for future generations. While the safe disposal of cigarette waste lies mainly on the shoulders of the smoker, it can also prove to be a real issue for those who work within the hospital industry.
With that in mind, here is a guide regarding everything you need to know about Cigarette Butts and their disposal.
Cigarette Butt FAQs.
What are cigarette butts?
How many people drop cigarette butts?
While there are plenty of ways to dispose of cigarette butts safely, a staggering amount of cigarettes are dropped in the streets or down the drain. As a result, the UK government launched a #BinTheButt campaign in 2019, aiming to target the issue. During their research, they found that:
52% of smokers thought that it was okay to put a cigarette down the drain.
11% of smokers do not classify cigarette butts as litter.
75% of smokers report dropping cigarette litter on the floor.
Not only does cigarette litter cause great environmental damage, collecting or picking up discarded waste costs the government a great deal of money annually.
How do cigarette butts contribute to pollution?
Are there any chemicals in cig butts?
Cigarettes and cigarette butts also contribute heavily to pollution because they release certain chemicals and toxins while degrading. This includes:
- Polyaromatic hydrocarbons
Are Cigarette Butts biodegradable?
How can they be recycled?
The waste is then collected by a licensed waste carrier and taken to a specialist facility.
Paper waste and residual tobacco products are separated from the rest of the cigarette waste and composted. This is a great way to dispose of organic waste without relying on landfill sites. You can find out more here.
Cigarette butts litter (cellulose acetate) is thoroughly cleaned to remove the traces of chemicals or hazardous waste.
The plastic is then melted and turned into pellets. This process is known as extrusion.
The pellets are then mixed with other kinds of plastic, ready to be reused or repurposed.
What can Cigarette Butts be made into?
Recycled pellets, produced in the Cigarette butt recycling process, can be used to make a wide range of plastic products. This includes:
- Drain Pipes/Gutters
- Window and door frames
How to dispose of Cigarette Butts?
Whether you work in a pub, bar, restaurant or simply have employees who smoke, it’s important that you incorporate cigarette butt disposal into your waste management plan. One way in which you can achieve this goal is by working with a company such as BusinessWaste. We will:
Provide you with a range of free bins to safely store waste on-site.
Arrange for the regular collection of your business waste – tailoring the schedule to your unique needs. As each business requires a different schedule, we offer daily, weekly, or even monthly waste collection plans.
Ensure that your waste is taken to the right recycling facility instead of sending it directly to a landfill site.
To find out more information, or for a free quote, please do not hesitate to get in touch today.
Move over track and trace – it’s time to trash and trace
Do you know what happened to your waste collection? Blockchain might.
The last 12 months have literally been rubbish – especially with an overwhelming amount of fly tipping being reported across the UK. And we’ve all heard about the NHS track and trace service to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, so what if there was a way to use a similar programme to prevent fly tipping?
Trusted waste collection company BusinessWaste.co.uk have proposed a ‘trash and trace’ scheme to stop dodgy waste collectors from dumping your waste at the side of the road.
“There needs to be some kind of encrypted database that all waste collections can be logged into by law, like a blockchain for waste, so fly tipping can easily be traced back to the perpetrator”, says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesman Mark Hall.
“It would be easy to put in place and will safeguard customers from being conned by dodgy disposers.”
Using blockchain in the fight against grime
Another lockdown, another clear-out – but after a long year of on-and-off again Covid-19 restrictions, you may be tempted to hire someone to come and remove your waste instead of dragging it all down the tip.
Currently, waste collectors need to be licensed with the Environmental Agency, but there are plenty of unlicensed ‘man-with-a-van’ adverts online promising to remove your waste for a fraction of the cost.
And recently, Divert.co.uk revealed that just 1 in 50 tradespeople have waste carrier licences, which could land customers with hefty fines if their rubbish is dumped
This is why rubbish experts BusinessWaste.co.uk are calling for an online database that all waste carriers must use by law, to prove traceability for their trash.
Spokesman Mark Hall says, “using an online blockchain system to log all waste collections will ensure that all rubbish is accounted for, so if piles of rubbish are dumped they can be traced on the system to the people responsible.”
So what is blockchain?
Simply put, it’s a way of recording information that is impossible to hack or change because every time new data is added it is replicated across the whole network for computers on the chain.
Blockchains are popular online on platforms such as Bitcoin because not one person is charge as it is run by all who use it, making it a fair system that can be trusted.
Hall: “This is exactly the type of technology we need in the fight against grime, something that can’t be hacked into by clever criminals looking for a sneaky way to break the system.”
“A trashy trove of evidence”
Fly tipping has hugely increased across the UK in the last 12 months, with the Countryside Alliance reporting a 300% rise in some areas since the start of Covid-19 lockdown.
And recently, a BBC Panorama investigation found that the government licensing system for waste carriers was cheap and easy to obtain with minimal background checks conducted – but there’s no way of knowing if they have honest intentions to properly dispose of your waste and not dump it.
Hall: “Dishonest disposers are leaving a trashing trove of evidence that can lead straight to your front door, but if there is a database that they have to log the collection in then they simply won’t get away with it.”
BusinessWaste.co.uk’s call for a ‘trash and trace’ system will hold all waste carriers to account, making it easier for customers to pick a disposal company they can trust.
Hall: “With our proposal, you will no longer be stung by dodgy man-with-a-van types on social media promising to clear your garden for a bargain price – giving you peace of mind that you won’t be footing a clean-up fee from the council if your trash is found littering a lay-by.
“It’s time to change up the system of how we manage waste disposal and crack down on illegal litterbugs fly tipping across the UK.”
Only 1 in 50 clean their bins – Britain’s stinky streets
That’s wheelie grim
Our household bins aren’t often given much thought, it seems, as the result of BusinessWaste.co.uk’s survey of over 3,000 households shows that very few ever cleaned out their rubbish bins. While it may seem pointless to clean something that’s going to be filled with waste, there’s method to the madness. In warmer months, the heat combined with food debris and decomposing rubbish mean these dark, warm enclosed spaces become a magnet for flies and, horrifyingly, bins can quickly become full of maggots.
As well as helping control that unpleasant bin smell that plagues back alleys and bin stores everywhere in summer, cleaning your wheelie bins helps remove the build up of bacteria and food debris that accumulates through use, deterring flies and their larvae – the pesky maggot.
The BusinessWaste.co.uk survey respondents were a mixed bunch. Of those surveyed:
87% ‘never’ cleaned their wheelie bins at all
11% had cleaned their bin ‘once or twice’
2% cleaned their bins regularly
Many saw cleaning as pointless, with Katie, 32, from Northampton, echoing a popular sentiment: “I’m just putting rubbish back into it – why would I bother?”, and many others saying the job was “disgusting”, “smelly” or “too difficult due to size”.
The rare few who cleaned their bins regularly were horrified to learn this wasn’t the done thing, with one survey respondent noting: “There’s nothing worse than the smell of the bins in summer – I wouldn’t be able to open my kitchen window if I didn’t make sure it wasn’t stinking of bin juice”. One concerned friend, Mike from Ilkley, said “We even bought our friends a year’s worth of a wheelie bin cleaning service as a jokey wedding gift – and they didn’t renew it!”.
How can I stop my wheelie from smelling?
General waste bins, food caddies and glass and can bins are the biggest culprits, as they’re more likely to be attractive to pests and flies than cardboard bins.
Properly rinsing all recycling – as we should be doing anyway – will help deter flies from your recycling bin or box, as will ensuring all general waste is disposed of in bags. But once the bin has started to take on that familiar whiff, how can you get rid of it?
Hot soapy water swilled in after bin collection and tipped down the drain is a great start – and a capful of disinfectant liquid will help to kill germs. For those whose bins are further gone, a hose or garden jet washer will get the more stubborn (or disgusting) matter off the bottom and tackle the bacteria causing smells. Tipping bins on their side will make it easier to access them and prevent any unpleasant ‘falling in’ accidents.
Of course, if you’re desperate to tackle the smell but don’t want to take on the task yourself, there are dedicated wheelie bin cleaning services that will take on this important job for you. Coming at regular intervals and for reasonable prices, they’ll take your bin from grim back to sparkling – keeping flies and maggots at bay, and ensuring your back garden or side return doesn’t smell like the last day in a festival toilet.
Learn how to clean a wheelie bin
Mark Hall, spokesperson for BusinessWaste.co.uk, said:
“It’s shocking but perhaps not surprising that so few people clean their wheelie bins – after all, they’re dirty, smelly, and generally kept out of sight and out of mind. But as anyone who’s had an infestation of maggots in their bin knows, it can quickly become very unpleasant during the summer months, and with the current hot weather set to last throughout summer it’s the perfect time to give your bin a spruce up.”
“Although your wheelie bin might be causing a stink, it’s still not the worst smell, the 10 worst smells“
Over 15 million empty chairs and desks create furniture furor: work from home sparks landfill concerns
If a quarter of businesses close office space, around 15 million desks and chairs will no longer be in use
“Businesses should not forget their obligation to dispose of waste responsibly”
London tops the list as nation’s capital, but other cities face enormous surplus of furniture
A game of musical (empty) chairs, or a landfill disaster? The move toward home working could cause a landfill influx of millions of chairs and desks as offices close or downsize following Covid-19, warns BusinessWaste.co.uk.
The business waste specialists are warning of a mountain of unwanted office furniture making its way to landfill as companies embrace a new way of working – and closing offices as a result.
A study undertaken by YouGov showed that a quarter of UK businesses are planning to close or downsize their office space as a result of a shift toward home working, with the BBC reporting that over 50 major employees have ‘no plans to return full time’.
There were over 6 million private sector businesses in the UK in 2020 (ONS) – the vast majority (5.94m) of which were small businesses, which have an average of 10 employees. If a quarter of businesses closed their office space, this would mean around 15 million desks and chairs no longer in use.
London, as the nation’s capital, has the largest square footage of office stock at 140m sq ft – the next closest, Manchester (20m sq ft), Birmingham (18m sq ft) and Glasgow (13m q ft), are all less likely to see huge influxes of office furniture being turfed out. But even cities with a few million office workers are going to feel the effects – both economic, in city centres, and environmental, as office supplies are ripped out and unceremoniously thrown away.
Worryingly, if even half of the 1.5 million businesses looking to shift their working patterns merely downsized, it would still create an enormous excess of office furniture ready to be sent to the tip – and charity shops aren’t the answer.
A spokesperson for BusinessWaste.co.uk said:
“Charity shops are full to the brim with stuff people have cleared out during pandemic spring cleaning – and most don’t have the capacity to store bulky items like desks and chairs in large numbers. Plus, even if they did, there’s no resale market – other offices are closing down en masse, so there’s nobody who wants to buy them.”
It’s certainly at risk of becoming a strain on waste centres. Second hand office retailers or reselling sites like eBay, previously a great choice for cheap office renovations or new businesses short of cash, are overflowing with second-hand furniture at ever-lower prices, and even waste disposal centres don’t have the capacity to cope with larger amounts of office furniture at once.
Mark Hall added:
“Nobody wants – or has the space for – bulky corporate desks in their home working spaces. At the beginning of the first UK lockdown, furniture retailers such as IKEA and Argos were selling out of their more attractive offerings as soon as they were restocked These desks tend to be smaller, with more chance of being able to match them to your decor – not many people have ‘office chic’ as the theme of their dining room or spare bedroom! As a result, office furniture is set to be heading to landfill in frankly alarming numbers.
“Some furniture types can be recycled effectively – chipboard and metal, both of which are key components of many office desks, can be recycled effectively, but it remains to be seen whether businesses take the time to separate them into the individual components and recycle them appropriately. We certainly hope so.
“Some retailers, such as IKEA – who are a popular choice, especially among smaller businesses who love their cheap and cheerful pieces, offer to buy back or recycling schemes, so this is something we hope will be used, too.
“But realistically, we are still about to have millions and millions of desks and chairs heading to landfill sites – a real concern. Businesses should not forget their obligation to dispose of waste responsibly, even in unusual circumstances such as this.”
Food and energy waste are the only things being created in these kitchens
The majority of the food you see on TV cooking shows ends up in the bin and totally wasted. Why?!
According to one waste management company, that sets a terrible example to the rest of us and we need to put a (saucepan) lid on it.
UK food waste management company BusinessWaste.co.uk is appalled by the volume of food being wasted to provide TV entertainment, especially while there are people living on foodbanks.
Company spokesman Mark Hall says, “We have families who rely on donations at their local food banks to survive, yet if they turn on a telly they can see plates of food being created which are destined for the bin.”
“It should be illegal for cooking shows to waste food while we have people starving up and down the country.”
TV programmes such as Masterchef, The Great British Bake Off and Saturday Kitchen are among some of the most watched shows in the UK, but as viewers watch lavish dishes being made, they are often unaware that much of it is destined for the bin.
But as approximately 1.6 million people were reported to have used a food bank in 2019, it seems ridiculous to think how much extra food is being wasted due to cooking shows, especially considering that 9.5million tonnes of UK food waste was binned in 2018.
Hall: “Seeing all the food waste being created has left a bad taste in my mouth, food should not be allowed to be wasted when we have people starving”.
Plates of food end up being sat out for hours under warm stage lighting during filming to the point that it becomes inedible, so due to health and safety it often gets thrown away.
This is why BusinessWaste.co.uk wants food waste created by entertainment programmes to be made illegal.
Hall: “More needs to be done to reduce the amount of food unnecessarily going in the bin, so by tightening up rules and regulations it should make shows think about how to deal with the food produced”.
Some programmes such as Masterchef have already released statements about their food waste policies, highlighting that they only order the amount of food necessary and try to reuse ingredients or donate leftovers to nearby charities and food banks.
And if rumours are to be believed, leftovers from The Great British Bake Off often find their way into the bellies of Prue Leith’s neighbours’ pigs.
Hall: “We appreciate that some efforts have been made to reduce waste, but there is always more that can be done – and making TV food waste illegal will ensure no food gets thrown away”.
Along with making TV food waste illegal, Business Waste are also advocating for producers to consider the carbon footprint created by sourcing ingredients for each programme.
Transporting produce such as out-of-season berries accounts for 11% of the UK’s food travel emissions, which can be easily reduced by using locally sourced in-season food.
“There’s definitely a problem when all the ingredients sourced for one plate of food has travelled enough miles to cover the Earth just to create one meal for the screen,” says company spokesman Mark Hall.
“It’s not a sustainable way to cook, so producers need to look more at locally sourced ingredients that have been sustainably sourced.”
Cooking in the age of Covid
2021 has thrown an extra spanner in the works with TV food waste, as during the Covid-19 pandemic many shows are having to throw more away due to safety measures put in place.
“Many programmes are now running on a skeleton-crew, which means there are fewer people on set to scoff up the leftovers,” says Hall.
It has also been reported that in some cases, bosses aren’t allowing the food to be shared out due to social distancing measures and fears of contamination.
Hall: “Food has been particularly scarce this year as it is, and many more people are finding themselves in dire straits trying to put food on the table for their families, so it’s essential that we make waste from these entertainment programmes illegal.
“Maybe it’s time to ditch the cooking shows altogether, especially in a time like this when food is hard enough to find on the supermarket shelves.”
Read next –
The one that was only worn once…
Pampering your pet rotten? That’s great, but those oh-so-funny novelty dog outfits are a huge waste of money and resources.
While most dog owners treat their pets with snacks and toys, many owners will follow the trend of buying their dogs clothing, as experts predict that the UK pet industry could be worth £2billion by 2023.
Waste Management Company BusinessWaste.co.uk is concerned about how many of these canine costumes are being thrown away, as pet owners splash the cash treating their pups and dressing them up.
“Many of these outfits are one-hit wonders, whether it’s just for a quick snap on Instagram or a family photo,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, “odds are the dog hates wearing it, and you’ll never bother with the struggle of getting that pirate outfit back on them again.”
A glimpse inside the ‘paw-drobe’
With hundreds of dog outfits available on the market, BusinessWaste.co.uk asked pet owners about their most memorable pet dressing up experience.
Sarah, Poole: “I’ve spent £100s on clothes for my westie Harry, he looks cute and he loves it. Once the outfit is on, he’s such a diva, especially in his cowboy booties. And he can’t go for a walk without his coat on, he’ll catch a chill.”
Holly, London: “My partner and I have four pugs, and we love dressing them up as the superheroes we named them after. We might have taken it a bit too far when we tried to put a mask on Spider-man and he tried to bite us.”
Nick, Luton: “I buy my dog Wesley a new reindeer costume every Christmas for the family photo. I’d reuse the one from the year before, but he always manages to poo in them. We even put him in a nappy one year to try and stop him ruining another outfit, but history found a way to repeat itself.”
Andrew, Blackpool: “My five stone rottweiler Rover ran away once, and it took us two hours to get him back. One look at the cat costume my wife had bought him, and he bolted. If she really wants a cat she should just go and get one.”
Tracey, Wolverhampton: “By dressing up our staffy Buzz, our family isn’t limited to just enjoying a regular dog. The kids get to play with a spaceman, a dinosaur or even Pikachu. It’s so hard keeping them interested in things, but they’re never bored when they get to dress up the dog!”
It’s not just dressing up dogs in fancy dress that owners enjoy says spokesman Mark Hall, there’s a growing trend in people buying outfits to match with their dog.
In 2019, clothing company Missguided launched a ‘twinning’ pet clothing collection to match outfits to owners, which saw 20,000 visitors visit the range online in the first 48 hours.
“People buy these outfits for the perfect Instagram moment, but it’s not something that the dog wants to be plausibly running around in for much more than a photo,” Says Hall, “with such a focus on sustainable fashion, we need to make sure this extends to four-legged fashion too.”
A new lease of life
While many pet owners think dressing their dogs up is cute, BusinessWaste.co.uk are concerned by the many canine clothes that are being thrown in the bin after just a single wear.
“Seeing as most owners admit to only putting their pup into the outfit once, I’m surprised that a dog outfit rental business hasn’t taken off,” Says Mark Hall, “There would be no waste as clothes can be washed and reused.”
There are plenty of ways dog clothes can be repurposed, as unwanted outfits can be donated to charity shops or to a local dog shelter as long as they are clean and in good repair.
“We use the warmer clothes such as jumpers for pups who need them, but we also have a lot of fun using the fancy dress outfits for online campaigns and adoption adverts,” says Jo, a volunteer at a dog rescue centre.
“We recently had a family come in to adopt a terrier we put up a picture of dressed up as Elvis. They found the photo hilarious and wanted to take him home.”
Hall says BusinessWaste.co.uk encourages swapping outfits with other pet owners, to reduce the amount of clothing is being needlessly bought, therefore you can get more use out of the outfits with the added bonus of keeping your dog’s Instagram content fresh.
“And if your dog runs out of outfits for Instagram, why not consider dressing yourself up as your dog? You could start a new trend.”
Anything to stop the outfits taking a ‘walkies’ to landfill, we say.
Time to clean up our makeup habits
We’re flushing away or binning an astonishing 11 billion wet wipes every year which can take up to 100 years to biodegrade.
BusinessWaste.co.uk, waste management specialists, are concerned about the volume of waste being created by the number of makeup wipes and says that women and men across their country need to change their ways.
“Makeup wipes are the quickest and cheapest way to remove makeup on the market, but this doesn’t mean they’re the best option for the environment,” says Mark Hall, company spokesman.
But as global sales of all wet wipes are set to hit £16 billion by 2021, it’s time to scrub away our nations unhealthy habits of using makeup wipes, he says.
Time to clean up
We all know that using makeup wipes is bad for the environment, but because they’re an incredibly convenient way to remove makeup, it’s easy to convince yourself that one wipe a day won’t cause too much damage.
Millions of consumers rely on makeup wipes as they promise to wash away the day in seconds using just one product, making them cost effective and a low maintenance part of their daily routines.
But despite the plush cotton feel makeup wipes have on your face, they actually contain a mix of plastic fibres such as polyester and polypropylene which prevent them from biodegrading.
BusinessWaste.co.uk warns that they break down into micro-plastics and smaller fibres which will end up polluting the oceans and entering the food chain.
“With such a high number of wipes being used, there’s a lot of single-use plastic coming into the world,” says spokesperson Mark Hall, “the only way to prevent this happening is to stop using them.”
To add to the damage, makeup wipes and other wet wipes are not recyclable, meaning that the only way they can be properly disposed of is to put them into your rubbish bin.
“For heavens sake do not flush makeup wipes down the toilet,” warns Mark Hall, “you’ll only break your toilet and block up the sewers.
“You don’t want poo flooding your bathroom, do you?”
“I know it’s hard to get hold of toilet paper at the moment, but this is not the answer.”
With 9.3 million wet wipes being flushed down the loo every day, they account for a staggering 93% of all sewer blockages, and makeup wipes are a big contribution to this problem.
BusinessWaste.co.uk explain that flushing anything other than toilet paper down the loo could add to ‘fatbergs’ in the sewers, which are caused by a build-up of fat and non-biodegradable materials such as wet wipes, which can lead to sewers blocking or overflowing.
Fortunately, several brands are leading the way, such as high street store Holland & Barrett pledging to remove all wet wipes from their stores, and brand Huggies aiming to remove all plastics from their wipes in the next five years.
“Thank god people are taking action, otherwise our entire planet is going to be covered in a layer of makeup wipes,” says Hall, “imagine a squishy wet wipe mush underfoot everywhere you go. Yuck.”
What alternatives are there?
With many people knowing that makeup wipes are bad news for the environment, alternative ways to remove makeup are becoming increasingly popular, so why isn’t everyone is making the change?
“I’ll admit, I buy the cheap makeup wipes from the supermarket, but then I end up using 4 instead of 1,” says shopper Heidi in Lancaster, “but I still think it’s cheaper than whatever else is out there.”
Makeup wipes can cost as little as a pound for a pack, whereas plastic free alternatives can cost ten times that, so it’s easy to see why people are finding it hard to make the switch.
We’ve put together a list of inexpensive alternatives to help people cut down on makeup wipe use.
- Try one of the many cleansers such as micellar water available on the market with a flannel, a bottle can last for ages, and the flannel is washable.
Invest in a washable makeup remover cloth which only needs to be run under a tap before use. It can be chucked in your washing machine when you’ve used it, which over time will be much cheaper than restocking on makeup wipes.
Use a gentle soap and some water and little bit of arm power.
Stop wearing makeup every day, saves on wipes and saves you money! This is the ideal lockdown solution.
Ultimately, we need to get people to realise that makeup wipes are a single-use plastic, like carrier bags and straws says company spokesman Mark Hall.
“If people can take their own bags to the supermarket, then they can wipe out the wet wipe.”
Is your work outing harming the planet?
Conferences and trade shows are the equivalent of the ‘school trip’ to staff members, often wrapped up in the guise of being a place to research other companies and suppliers – but we all know the main reason to go is to stock up on all the freebie pens.
But is it worth paying expenses to send your staff off on their jollies for a day, will it really benefit your business?
According to UK based Business Waste, conferences do not provide any information that cannot already be sourced online or gained by speaking to representatives over the phone or through emails.
“It’s a complete waste of time and energy putting a conference together,” says company spokesman Mark Hall.
“You have people travelling the length and breadth of the country to turn up, and the amount of energy used is unnecessary – get with the time and move it all online. That’s what LinkedIn is for.”
“It’s an environmental crime”
It’s no big secret that if you want to make it in business, it’s all about making connections – but do these really need to be face-to-face?
While it’s true that conferences and trade shows can provide learning opportunities and in person interactions with potential future contacts, they also carry big carbon footprints, according to UK based BusinessWaste.co.uk
The average conference attendee emits approximately 145KG of CO2 emissions per day, but this can often be as high as two tonnes per person if there is extensive travelling such as flights involved, and the average number of attendees at one conference is approximately 258 people.
You do the maths, that’s a lot of CO2 for one conference.
“The carbon footprint of each person travelling to a conference is unnecessary damage being done to our planet,” says company spokesman Mark Hall.
“It’s an environmental crime being committed, and physical attendance should be stopped. All conferences should be online events.”
Online events are nothing new, and there are many benefits to them such as being able to reach a broader audience, and no travelling means they are significantly cheaper for employers to cover the expenses for.
And if 2020 has taught us all anything, it’s how to use Zoom.
Hall: “Seminars and shows can still be held via video link apps such as Zoom, with question and answer sections at the end so people can still feel like they are able to engage with the group and presenter.”
Virtual conferences would be an ideal way for big and small companies to generate business to companies further afield due to the worldwide connection of the internet, and events could still generate revenue by charging for participation.
“It’s a no brainer really.”
Wrap them up…but not in plastic
Travelling isn’t the only damaging aspect of attending conferences, as they are often jam-packed with single-use items including name tags, badges, plastic bottles, and laminated guides.
Emma is a consultant from Leeds, and tells us that she came away from the last show she went to with bags of plastic items, “Each stand hands you out bags of brochures, stress balls, keyrings, all kinds of corporate tat that no one really wants or has a need for.”
“And just when you think you’d seen enough plastic you go for lunch and all the vendors are using plastic cutlery and disposable cups.”
Plastic pollution created by conferences can easily be reduced by catering with washable plates and cups and asking exhibitors to go plastic-free with their giveaways.
The change could be as simple as providing stainless steel drink bottles to attendees and setting up refill spots around the venue, in order to combat the thousands of plastic bottles being thrown away daily at these events.
UK based BusinessWaste.co.uk believes that the amount plastic produced by conferences and shows just provides more evidence that these events should be made illegal to physically attend as the waste created is damaging the planet.
Hall says: “These events not only require people to travel long distances, but they promote the throw-away culture that we urgently need to move away from to save the planet.
“Going plastic free, although a great step in the right direction, won’t be enough to slow the rate of climate change, which is why we are asking for laws to make them illegal.”
“The future of our planet is not worth risking for free pens.”
We crumple them, shove them in coat pockets and find them forgotten in shopping bags every day – the humble receipt may not seem like a big problem, but waste collection company BusineseWaste.co.uk says paper receipts should be banned to stop them heading to landfill.
Over 11.2 billion paper till receipts are printed each year by retailers in the UK – a staggering number that generates enough paper to reach to the moon and back. Shoppers are increasingly conscientious about their recycling habits, meaning that a large number of these pieces of paper are thoughtfully discarded into paper recycling. But BusinessWaste.co.uk say this is not quite as helpful as it seems – concerningly, till receipts are not only non-recyclable in most cases, they’re also potentially harmful.
Despite this, UK shoppers are overwhelmingly unaware, with 95% saying they believed receipts were recyclable in a study undertaken by BusinessWaste.co.uk. Just 1% of the 2000 people surveyed knew they were non-recyclable, with 4% unsure either way.
Common responses from survey takers included:
“Yes – it’s paper!”
“If I remember to take them out of my wallet, they go straight in the recycling.”
“I usually chuck them in the on-street recycling bins as soon as I leave the shop.”
Although well-meaning, these shoppers could be adding to a bigger problem – and one which BusinessWaste.co.uk says requires a receipt ban altogether.
About half of receipts are printed of a special type of paper which reacts to heat. The till ‘printer’ contains no ink, but rather heats the paper in the pattern needed to make the text appear: a clever trick, but one which hides a more worrying fact.
This thermal paper contains two chemicals, known as BPA and BPS, which are classed as toxic to people and the environment – so much so, that plastic water bottles are no longer allowed to contain these harmful chemicals, which can cause hormonal changes and have been linked with a risk of cancer. Yet millions of pieces of paper containing both BPA and BPS find their way to both landfill and recycling centres each year – contaminating the other waste or releasing the dangerous chemicals into the air.
Mark Hall, spokesperson for BusinessWaste.co.uk, said the solution is simple.
“We simply need to ban receipts altogether. Most people find them annoying as it is – how often do we throw them in the nearest bin as soon as we exit a shop or, equally wastefully, decline them after they’ve been printed, leaving till staff to throw them away?
“Some retailers have introduced electronic receipts, sent by email, and we think this is a great alternative, particularly as it makes it easier for consumers to find if they did need to return or check the warranty on a product. It could also be done by text or QR code, giving consumers the option to decline the receipt altogether or enter their details to get it sent to their phone or emails.
“For those who need to collect receipts for expense or tax purposes, having digital receipts would save bulging files with scraps of paper for long-suffering accountants to sift through at the end of the year – it’s a win-win. For those who don’t need to save each one, more retailers need to give customers the option to say no to pointless pieces of paper – or offer environmentally friendly alternatives.
“We’re aware that some retailers have shifted towards using a different type of paper in their receipts which is recyclable, but we think this is just creating another form of waste that enters the recycling process: it’s usually entirely unnecessary.”
For when you want to sesh with the squad but still respect the environment
Want to have a drink AND do something good for the environment? While celebrating the hideous goo you find at the bottom of bins?
Boy, have you come to the right place, because two of the UK’s leading waste collection experts have gone into the brewery business together to raise awareness of the impact rubbish has on the planet while delivering tasty, tasty beer.
BusinessWaste.co.uk and Divert.co.uk’s new joint venture, ‘Bin Juice’, contains a range of flavours that aims to get people talking about Mother Nature and being an ethical choice for conscientious consumers by using recycled cans.
BusinessWaste.co.uk company spokesman Mark Hall says, “We’re always looking for new ways to get our eco-friendly message across, and who doesn’t need a drink after the year we’ve all had?”
“So kick back, relax, and get a Bin Juice down you – we’ve got the rubbish side of things covered.”
You’d better beer-lieve it!
The boozy new business venture between BusinessWaste.co.uk and Divert.co.uk has been brewing for a while and aims to get Britain talking about the environment while enjoying a refreshing can of ale.
“I’ve always wanted to make my own beer and this was the perfect opportunity,” says Hall.
“Once we drafted up the name for Bin Juice we knew we were onto a winner – who doesn’t want to drink something with a silly name?”
There’s something for everyone in the Bin Juice range, including the following flavours:
‘The Brown Bin’ – A nice earthy-toned brown ale
‘Hot Summer’s Day’ – A fruity sour beer
‘Black Bags’ – A nice stout
‘The Old Chair’ – A lemon and marshmallow premium flavoured beer
Hall: “All of our booze is completely rubbish-free, there is no bitter aftertaste and you won’t find any bin bags or bits of old chairs in your tinnie.
“The only thing rubbish about this ale is the name.”
The good news keeps flowing, as following Bin Juice’s success, a wine range using recycled glass bottles may be added to the collection.
Hall: “We know beer is not for everybody, so if you prefer wine glasses over beer goggles we’ve got you sorted.
“We’re thinking of calling it Chateau Binbag.
“Who knows, if the wine is a success maybe after lockdown we’ll keep going and open a pub called ‘The Dump’.”
Drinking at home? Yes, you can!
Bin Juice is the perfect beverage for drinkers who want to positively impact the environment, as each drink comes in a recycled can.
80 million aluminium and steel cans are sent to UK landfills every day, creating a mountain of waste that is doing nothing good for the planet.
Divert.co.uk and BusinessWaste.co.uk have tackled this growing problem head-on by recycling old cans for their Bin Juice range, reducing the amount that ends up rotting away in landfill.
Hall: “Each can will be thoroughly sterilised before being repurposed for Bin Juice, so you’ll be happy to know there are no actual bin dregs in your drink.
“All the packaging can easily be recycled again, so the only thing getting wasted is you.”
And if you’ve found yourself drinking more than usual in the last 12 months at home then you’re not alone, as it’s estimated that a quarter of UK adults have reporting drinking more while the pubs have been closed.
UK pub gardens aren’t set to reopen until the 12th of April, with indoor seating not allowed until the 17th of May under the current government roadmap out of Covid-19 restrictions.
And those itching to throw some shapes on the dancefloor in a nightclub will have to wait even longer until the 21st of June when all restrictions are lifted.
“Look, the pubs are shut and you’ve been stuck inside drinking for a year, so why not mix it up and crack open a Bin Juice instead of your usual tipple of choice,” says spokesman Mark Hall.
“Forget about the sticky floors of your local pub during this lockdown, grab a Bin Juice and let the good times flow.”
Why not switch to a plastic-free alternative?
Enough plastic waste to circle the globe twice is the annual result of us cleaning our teeth with toothpaste from tubes that can’t be recycled.
With the global toothpaste industry worth tens of billions per year, one waste and recycling company thinks it’s high time its house was put in order.
The UK’s waste management company BusinessWaste.co.uk is concerned about the volume of plastic waste being thrown away due to toothpaste tubes and are calling for plastic free alternatives.
“Toothpaste is an essential hygiene item that people will always buy” says Mark Hall, company spokesman, “however the problem is the packaging; does it really need to come in a plastic tube?”
Brushing up on the facts
We use 300 million tubes of toothpaste every year. Spread end-to-end that’s about 75,000 kilometres of plastic, almost twice around the world. And that’s just users in the UK.
The problem is that they are usually made of different types of plastics, and many brands contain a metal layer inside the tube which isn’t easy to separate.
“A lot of toothpaste tubes have that layer of aluminium in to keep them fresh, but this makes it a recycling nightmare,” says spokesman Mark Hall, “so unfortunately most tubes will end up at a landfill.”
This worries BusinessWaste.co.uk, as on average, it takes 500 years for a toothpaste tube to fully biodegrade in landfill, meaning that every tube you have used in your lifetime could still be out there in a big hole in the ground.
Fortunately, pump-action toothpaste tubes can be easier to recycle, says Hall, but you will still need to check with your local council to see if they can be collected.
Not only are plastic toothpaste tubes bad for the environment, there’s a high chance you might not be getting your money’s worth with up to 10% of the product remaining when you think it’s empty.
“Manufacturers do this on purpose,” says spokesman Mark Hall, “it’s all designed to make you buy a replacement tube sooner.”
“Plastic toothpaste tubes aren’t beneficial for the earth or your value for money.”
With people growing more concerned about their plastic footprint, many companies are inventing clever solutions to reduce the amount of plastic we throw away, and this includes dental hygiene.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best plastic-free toothpaste alternatives for you to sink your teeth into.
Glass Jars of toothpaste – Many zero waste shops now stock variants on this, either in a powder, or as regular toothpaste in glass jars. The jars can then be reused or recycled.
Toothpaste tablets – These can often just be popped in your mouth and crunched up like a sweet and then continue to brush like normal for pearly white teeth.
Solid toothpaste – You can buy solid toothpaste either on a stick that you apply to your teeth, or as a bar, then brush as usual.
Make your own at home – many websites offer recipes for making your own toothpaste, often including baking soda and coconut oil.
“While you’re at it, why not invest in a bamboo toothbrush or recyclable heads for your electric toothbrush?” says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesman Mark Hall.
But if making the change to a plastic-free alternative is a bit much, one toothpaste brand is going the extra mile to reduce the amount of plastic tubes heading to landfill.
Leading brand Colgate have launched plastic-free initiatives, including a new vegan friendly toothpaste that comes in recyclable packaging which is made from the same material as milk bottles.
Colgate have also become part of the Terracycle scheme, where you can take your empty toothpaste tubes and plastic brushes to collection points for specialised recycling, and they can be turned into new items such as park benches.
“As Colgate brush up the competition, one thing’s for sure,” says Hall, “we all need to step up and do our bit to reduce toothpaste tubes going to landfill.”
“Let’s stop filling the earth’s cavities with dental plastic waste.”
Is the Royal Mail the nation’s top litterer?
Delivering kerbside waste to a street near you
If you take a close look at the pavements up and down the UK, you might notice that they are littered with rubber bands – but where on earth are they coming from?
Unfortunately, the culprit is your local postie, as the Royal Mail use rubber bands to group letters together in their sorting offices ready for postal workers to deliver eagerly-awaited letters and unwanted junk mail in your letterbox.
UK based waste collection company BusinessWaste.co.uk say that the amount of rubber bands thrown on the ground around the UK is in the millions, which makes the Royal Mail one of the nation’s biggest litterers.
Company spokesman Mark Hall says, “Unfortunately, a lot of postal workers have got into the bad habit of flinging the rubber bands onto the pavement instead of collecting them and reusing them. That’s terrible for our environment.”
“Every street has a rubber band on it – have a look around and it won’t take you long to find one. They are worse than fast food litter.”
Pounding the pavement
With each postie doing the rounds six days a week delivering to every single street in the UK, BusinessWaste.co.uk have estimated how many elastic bands are being used by the Royal Mail each year.
A freedom of information request spills the beans that nearly 1 billion rubber bands are purchased by the company each year.
Only a proportion of this billion go out on rounds, and we have to assume that there are as many litter conscious postal workers as there are who drop rubber bands. So we reckon that as many as 250 million line our streets every single year.
Adam Bailey from rubbish removal company Divert.co.uk commented “Imagine how many more are being bought each year, especially as we have even more houses and entire estates that have been built – and more houses means more rubber bands for the postie”.
So just how bad are these elastic bands for the environment?
Rubber bands take up to 50 years to biodegrade and can be incredibly harmful to the environment. If burned they release carcinogenic pollution into the atmosphere.
And that’s not all because rubber bands can be dangerous for wildlife too, causing them to become tangled up and injured, or even eat them and die.
Birds have been seen to eat elastic bands and even feed them to their young, confusing them for worms on the pavement.
Hedgehogs are also at risk of injury, with reported cases of rubber bands becoming tangled and eventually embedded into their skin causing them severe pain and distress.
Hall: “We have to take a stand and stop the Royal Mail from littering our streets on a daily basis and causing so much harm to our wildlife.
“It’s time for them to do away with rubber bands and find an environmentally alternative.”
Return to sender
For some UK residents, the daily delivery of rubber bands on their streets has been as unwanted as the bills they receive through the letterbox.
One man from Merseyside spent 6 years collecting 10,000 elastic bands dropped by posties, and in 2018 made them all into a rubber band ball which he claimed was the same size as his head.
Mr Brown is calling for the Royal Mail to be fined for each rubber band he has found, which considering his local council fines £80 for dropped litter would cost them upwards of £800,000.
Business Waste spokesman Mark Hall agrees that companies such as the Royal Mail should be reprimanded for littering just as everyone else would be in accordance with fines set by local councils, in order to *ahem* curb the amount of bands they drop.
The Royal Mail do seem to be aware of the problem, and in a statement have said that they have switched to biodegradable bands and try to reuse as many as possible, but for Business Waste this isn’t enough to stop the harm being done to wildlife and the environment.
Hall: “Even the most conscientious postal worker will drop bands at some point, so why not completely do away with them altogether?”
“The Royal Mail need to be held accountable for the amount of rubber bands they are littering on our streets – so maybe if you find them on your road you should do them a favour and pop them into a post-box and send them back.”
In order to make the process of recycling and disposing of waste easier, many manufacturers now include specific labels on their packaging. This means that whenever a consumer picks up a product, they know exactly what to do with it when they are finished. In fact, there are several rules and regulations in place that mean these materials must be included in the packaging.
However, while some symbols are very clear in their instructions, others are used less frequently and maybe a little harder to understand. That is where this handy guide comes in!
The triangle on its own means the product can be recycled. Typically, this means that the item can be disposed of with your general recycling. Sometimes, a variation of this logo exists with a percentage featured in the middle of the loop. This gives you an indication about how much of the product can be recycled.
How much of this waste is produced: We produce large volumes of recyclable waste on a daily basis. In the UK alone, we produce around 12 million tonnes of recycling waste each year – which is just under 50% of our overall waste output. However, too often, recyclable waste finds its way into general waste collections, meaning it is disposed of incorrectly. In fact, a recent report by the National Geographic found that 91% of plastic waste is not sent to a recycling facility.
Recycle and Rinse symbol
This symbol means that the item can be recycled, but it must be rinsed/cleaned before you throw it away. This is often used on food packaging and reduces the chance of your waste being contaminated or attracting vermin.
There are various types of products that feature this symbol. This includes:
Glass Jars (Food)
Metal (Cans, tins)
Plastic (Shampoo bottles, food containers)
How much of this waste is produced: Failure to rinse products before recycling them could mean that your waste is classified as contaminated – meaning that it may be impossible to recycle. Around 15% of dry mixed recycling bins are contaminated in this manner, which significantly reduces the material that can be recycled.
Recycle, Rinse with Lid Cap on symbol
Products with this symbol can be recycled. However, you must ensure that they are rinsed and that their lid/cap is tightly secured. This is because small bottle caps can interfere with the recycling process. Furthermore, if they are thrown away in general waste, they could serve as a choking hazard.
A variation of this symbol will appear on any products with small caps/lids. This could include:
Plastic Water Bottles
How much of this waste is produced: As this kind of waste mainly includes bottle and drinks containers, thousands upon thousands of them are thrown away every day. For example, in the UK alone, around 35 million plastic bottles are used every 24 hours- but the vast majority of them are not properly recycled.
Don’t Recycle and Remove Sleeve symbol
Unfortunately, not all packaging waste can be recycled. When you see this product, it may be that everything but the sleeve can be recycled – so ensure you take the time to remove it fully.
There are various products that feature this symbol. This includes:
How much of this waste is produced: Product packaging, such as sleeves, are used to help promote brand and inform as to what the products we buy are made from – whether they be food items or commercial products. However, they are often difficult to recycle, and as a result, packaging waste is a key contributor to crowded landfills. In fact, plastic packaging makes up for 70% of the UK packaging waste.
Flatten with Cap on recycle symbol
When this symbol is featured on a product, it means that before it is stored in the recycling bin you must flatten the item and ensure the cap is still on. This can help you maximise the space in your bins.
Numerous products will feature this symbol. This could include:
Fabric Softener containers
How much of this waste is produced: Keeping the cap on your bottles when recycling reduces the chance of the lid getting lost during the recycling process. For example, sometimes, the lids will fall through holes in machinery. Taking the proper steps to recycle this kind of product can reduce the damage that single-use plastics have on the environment. Currently, less than 10% of single-use products are recycled – despite millions of them being used daily.
Recycle at a large supermarket and don’t recycle at home recycle symbol
This symbol mainly relates to your household waste, and it means that the materials cannot be recycled through kerbside pick up. This is because the items may be slightly harder to recycle.
Various items can be recycled at your local supermarket. This includes:
Plastic cereal bags
Plastic packaging waste
How much of this waste is produced: It is hard to monitor the amount of waste produced in this category, as it covers a wide range of products. However, since their implementation, supermarket recycling points have had a positive impact on the environment by ensuring products that would otherwise be thrown away are now taken to the appropriate treatment facilities.
The Green Dot recycle symbol
Whenever a green dot appears on packaging, it means that the company who produces the product contributes money to recycling schemes. Though it appears to suggest that a product is recyclable, this is not always the case.
This symbol features prominently on a variety of different products, namely in relation to packaging. This could include:
How much of this waste is produced: A large proportion of the waste we produce is non-recyclable. For example, in 2018, the Uk produce around 37 million tonnes of waste; of which a very small fraction was sent to the appropriate recycling centers. Failing to source recyclable products, or disposing of them correctly, has an increasingly negative impact upon the environment.
How can you reduce the amount of recyclable waste you produce?
There are various steps you can take to reduce the amount of waste you produce – both within your business and household.
Perhaps the most important step you can take to achieve this goal is to quite simply educate yourself. Before purchasing a product, do your research so that you know about the potential implications it can have on the environment.
Following this, you need to be prepared to implement real change. For example, you can change the way in which you shop. The most straightforward way to reduce this kind of waste is by making smarter, more environmentally friendly decisions when it comes to sourcing products and materials for your company or your home. For example, this could mean that you stop purchasing single use plastics in favor of materials that last longer and don’t need to be disposed of right away. In addition, you should also ensure that you buy the right amount of materials and supplies you need – so that nothing is going to waste.
You can also reduce the amount of waste you produce as a business by reusing or repurposing materials as much as possible. Put together a company recycling policy – and ensure that employees stick to it. Finally, you can reduce the amount of waste you use or dispose of incorrectly by working with a licensed waste disposal company – who can ensure that all waste is safely and securely disposed of.
Plastic Resin Recycle Codes
There are several different types of plastic, and some facilities will require the plastic to be separated prior to collection. This is due to the fact that each type of plastic will need to be disposed of in a slightly different way.
Code 1: PETE (Polyethylene Terephthalate)
PETE plastic (or PET). is the most widely used form of plastic. In fact, around 70% of all plastic bottles and containers in the United Kingdom are made from PETE. Thankfully, it is widely recycled.
Code 2: HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene)
HDPE was typically used by those who work within the construction industry, as it was used to manufacture pipes. However, it is now also used to create containers such as milk cartons and cleaning product bottles. It is widely recycled.
Code 3: PVC (High-Density Polyethylene)
PVC, like HDPE, is typically used within the construction industry – to create products such as door and window frames. It is widely recycled.
Code 4: LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene)
LDPE is often used to create plastic carrier bags and bin bags. Unfortunately, it is the most typically discarded form of plastic – with the world using around 500 million plastic bags each year – of which a small portion are recycled. Thankfully, there are now initiatives in place to recycle the products.
Code 5: PP (Polypropylene)
PP plastics are often used to create packaging, such as plastic tubs and containers, or drinks cartons. It can also be used to create furniture. This type of plastic can be recycled.
Code 6: PS (Polystyrene)
Polystyrene is sometimes referred to as styrofoam and is used predominantly within packaging, to protect fragile items from getting damaged. Polystyrene is not widely recycled and can pose a real threat to the environment.
Code 7: Other.
This section holds any type of plastic that does not fall within any of the above categories. It includes items such as fibreglass and acrylic plastic. Whether or not the items can be recycled varies.
Other Important Recycling Symbols
Glass recycling symbol
This symbol is added to packaging to remind consumers that the glass can be recycled after use. It is recyclable, even if the materials contained within it aren’t.
Aluminum recycling symbol
This symbol informs the user that the product is made from recyclable aluminum. For example, this is typically featured on tinfoil packaging.
Steel recycling symbol
This symbol means that the product is made from steel, which can be recycled. This could for example be found on steel cans.
Tidy Man recycling symbol
This symbol was introduced as part of a UK initiative to remove waste from the streets. It is known as the ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ scheme, and the inclusion of the Tidy Man on packaging encourages users to safely dispose of the product after use.
Waste electricals recycling symbol
Compostable waste recycling symbol
This symbol means that the products or packaging can be composted. This could include food waste, or garden waste, but also certain types of packaging – which you can dispose of via composting. On some occasions, a slight variation of this logo will inform you whether or not this can be composted at home or at a specialist facility.
Symbol: Forest Stewardship Council
This symbol means that the product has been approved by the Forest Stewardship Council, meaning that it is produced in a way that is deemed environmentally friendly. It typically features on products made from paper, cardboard and wood.
It is important, as a business owner and consumer – that you take the time to fully understand what each of these symbols mean. This can help you improve your recycling habits, working towards a better and brighter future.
In fact, there are many benefits of recycling at work. It means that you are cooperating with government mandated regulations and can demonstrate to your customers that you are committed to protecting the planet. By implementing a strong recycling scheme at work you can also save your company a great deal of money, while helping to reduce pollution.
If you’re looking for help with your waste management and disposal, please do not hesitate to get in touch. At BusinessWaste, we have years of industry experience that means we are in a prime position to tackle any of your waste management and disposal needs; working to put together a plan that suits you.
What are commercial waste bins?
Do commercial waste bins have other names?
Wheelie bins have lots of different names including;
Many commercial waste bins are referred to as Biffa Bins. This name can easily be attributed to the waste management company Biffa, who used to provide the vast majority of commercial storage solutions in the UK. Over time, many business owners began referring to this kind of bin as a ‘Biffa Bin’.
Much like Biffa Bins, the name Veolia Bin grew in popularity due to its association with the brand Veolia.
Euro Bins or Euro Containers
Many business owners also refer to Euro bins in relation to commercial waste bins. This kind of bin was typically used as an industrial stacking container but was quickly developed for waste disposal.
What’s the difference between a domestic and commercial bin?
There are several differences between a domestic and commercial waste bin. For example:
Domestic waste bins are designed for personal or household use. As a result, they tend to be smaller in size than commercial waste bins used by businesses.
Some commercial waste bins can store potentially hazardous waste that cannot be disposed of in a domestic waste bin.
Domestic waste bins are typically provided to homeowners by the local council, who also arrange for their collection. Business owners are responsible for sourcing commercial waste bins for their property and ensuring that all waste is safely and securely disposed of.
What different kinds of commercial waste bins are there?
As there are hundreds of different kinds of waste, there are numerous bins you can choose from – and it is essential that you chose the right option for your needs. That’s where we can help. We have the following options available:
Wheelie Bins are the most common type of waste disposal unit and are available in various sizes.
Weight limits: 10kg.
Dimensions and sizes: 1070mm (L) x 585mm (W) x 740mm (D)
Wheels: 2 Castors.
Lockable: Available as lockable.
How many bags of waste can be stored inside: This bin holds the equivalent of 3 bags of waste.
Weight limits: 15kg
Dimensions and sizes: 1090mm x 600 x 880
Wheels: 2 Castors.
Lockable: Available as lockable.
How many bags of waste can be stored inside: This bin holds the equivalent of 4 bags of waste.
Weight limits: 35kg
Dimensions and sizes: 1190mm x 1360 x 1070 (
Wheels: 4 Castors.
Lockable: Available as lockable.
How many bags of waste can be stored inside: This bin holds the equivalent of 10 bags of waste.
Weight limits: 65kg
Dimensions and sizes: 1300mm x 1360 x 1070
Wheels: 4 Castors.
Lockable: Available as lockable.
How many bags of waste can be stored inside: This bin holds the equivalent of 15 bags of waste.
What kinds of waste can be stored inside wheelie bins?
Wheelie bin collection details:
The frequency at which your waste is collected depends on the volume of waste you are producing. This could result in daily, weekly or fortnightly collection.
No matter how complex your waste collection requirements are, we will take care of it, reduce your costs, and stop waste going to landfill.
Still searching for further questions and answers about wheelie bins?
Front End Loaders (FEL) and Rear End Loaders (REL)
Dimensions and sizes: 2.12m x 20.2m
Wheels: Loaders do not use wheels.
Lockable: Locks can be added for increased security.
How many bags of waste can be stored inside an FEL or REL?
Dimensions and sizes:2.00m x 1.68m
Wheels: Loaders do not use wheels.
Lockable: Locks can be added for increased security.
How many bags of waste can be stored inside: The volume of waste stored within the FEL depends on the size of the loader that you chose.
What kind of waste can be stored inside of Front and Rear End loaders?
Loaders are often used to store large amounts of compactable waste. This could include:
- Mixed recycling
Delivery and collection details:
As FEL and REL bins deal with compactable waste, you may not need to arrange for frequent collections, particularly if you are not producing a large volume of waste on a daily basis. We’ll work closely with you to develop a cost-effective plan that meets your needs.
Dimensions and sizes: There are various sizes of balers available, depending upon the amount of recyclable waste you produce. This includes portable balers, mini balers, and mill/large balers.
Lockable: Locks can be added for heightened security.
Balers work by compressing waste into smaller blocks. This means they can handle large volumes of waste.
What kind of waste can be compacted inside a Baler?
Balers are used to simplify the process of recycling by compressing recyclables into blocks. You can use them to dispose of the following waste safely:
As Balers deal with compressed waste, you may find that you do not require regular collection services. At BusinessWaste, we’ll work closely with you to arrange for the timely collection of waste, developing a schedule that works for you.
Dimensions and sizes: 4 x 3 x 3 ft.
How many bags of waste can be stored inside: Mini Skips can hold up to 20 bags of waste.
Dimensions and sizes: 6 x 4 x 3 ft.
How many bags of waste can be stored inside: Midi Skips can hold between 25-30 bags of waste.
Small Builders’ Skips
Dimensions and sizes: 10 x 4 x 4 ft.
How many bags of waste can be stored inside: Small Builders’ Skips can hold between 40-55 bags of waste.
Large Builders’ Skips
Dimensions and sizes: 12 x 6 x 4 ft.
How many bags of waste can be stored inside: Large Builders’ Skips can hold between 60-75 bags of waste.
Large Maxi Skips
Dimensions and sizes: 13 x 6 x 6 ft.
How many bags of waste can be stored inside: Large Maxi Skips can hold between 90-110 bags of waste.
What kind of waste can be stored inside Skips?
If you are unsure which skip is best suited to your needs, check out our handy skip hire guide.
Skip delivery and collection details:
At BusinessWaste, we offer a range of skip drop-off and collection services. All you have to do is let us know what kind of skip you need when you need it and for how long. After that, we will provide you with a comprehensive waste collection plan and an affordable quote.
Specialist Clinical Waste Bins & Bags
Certain waste, such as pharmaceutical waste, needs to be disposed of in separate bins or containers. This is to minimise the chance of cross-contamination and spillages and helps to ensure that waste is stored securely. There are many different types of specialist waste disposal bags and bins. This includes:
Yellow and Black Clinical Waste Bags
Size: Normal domestic waste bag size.
What kind of waste can be stored inside: Yellow and Black bags can be used to store non-hazardous Clinical Waste. This includes:
- Empty colonoscopy bags
- Incontinence pads
- Disposable garments
Yellow Clinical Waste Bags
Size: Normal domestic waste bag size.
What kind of waste can be stored inside: Yellow bags are used to store waste that is classified as highly infectious. This includes:
- Couch roll
- Disposable garments (contaminated with infectious bodily fluids)
Orange Clinical Waste Bags
Size: Normal domestic waste bag size.
What kind of waste can be stored inside: Orange waste bags are used for waste that is labelled hazardous. This includes:
Medicinal Waste Bin
Size: Available in 11L, 22L and 50L.
What kind of waste can be stored inside: As indicated by the name, these bins are designed for storing medicinal waste. This includes:
- Tablets in containers
- Blister packs
- Unopened medical vials
- Inhaler cartridges
- Droplet bottles
Oil Drums and Liquid Containers
Size: Available in 20-205L.
What kind of waste can be stored inside: Oil drums are used to store various oils before collection. This includes:
- Engine & Gearbox oil
- Lubricating oil
- Hydraulic oil
- Cooking oils
- Essential oils
- Oily rags
- Oil contaminated PPE
- Oil filters
- Oily water
- Oil turps
- Electrical insulation oil
- Medium & light fuel oils
- Diesel/Gas oil
- Mixed fuel
- Brake fuel
- Oil absorbent gas
Intermediate Bulk Containers
What kind of waste can be stored inside: IBC’s are built to store large amounts of liquid waste. This could include:
- Hazardous liquid waste
- Chemical waste
- Hazardous sludge/slurries
If you have any further questions about our waste bins, bags, or collection services – do not hesitate to get in touch. We are always on hand to answer any questions you might have, or provide you with an affordable quote!
What are the most common types of waste?
- Hazardous Waste
- Landfill Waste
- Inert Waste
- Scrap Metal Waste
- Bulky Waste Items
- Green Waste
- Recyclable Waste
01 | Hazardous Waste.
What is hazardous waste?
What are some examples of hazardous waste?
How do you manage hazardous waste?
Hazardous waste must be managed with caution due to the threat to both humans and the environment. Therefore, you must ensure that it is stored safely and securely before collection. We provide the following storage solutions for hazardous waste:
Orange chemical waste bags
- . Suitable for bandages, dressing, and
- such as masks, gloves, and aprons.
Sharps Bins (Yellow lid)
- . Suitable for sharps containing contaminated medical products, such as needles and syringes.
Sharps Bins (Orange lid)
- . Suitable for sharps used for blood tests and acupuncture.
Sharps Bins (Purple lid)
- . Suitable for medicinal products.
- . Suitable for storing hazardous liquid and chemical waste.
Once full, all bags should be tied securely to prevent any products from spilling out. They should then be left in an appropriate bin or container, depending upon the volume of waste you produce.
What are the hazardous waste legislations and laws?
The Strategy for Hazardous Waste Management In England (2010). This legislation enforces a ‘duty of care’ on businesses, which means they must manage, store and dispose of hazardous waste safely and appropriately.
The Hazardous Waste Regulations (2005). This legislation was an expansion of the Hazardous Waste Directive (1991) and focused on tracking hazardous waste in England and Wales (i.e. how the waste is collected from premises).
How can I reduce the amount of hazardous waste I produce?
There are various different ways that you can reduce the amount of hazardous waste you produce. For example, you should carefully research the materials you use to see if you can find a non-hazardous (or less hazardous) alternative. You should also focus on developing your business plan, to ensure that you purchase the right amount of products, thus effectively reducing the amount of waste you produce as a whole.
How much does it cost to dispose of hazardous waste?
For an immediate quote call 0800 211 83 90
02| Landfill waste
What is landfill waste?
Landfill waste refers to any waste that is taken to a landfill site after disposal. Each year, around 14 million tonnes of waste are sent to landfills in the UK alone. Therefore, it is unsurprising that various industries contribute to the rapidly overflowing landfill waste.
Examples of landfill waste:
How do you manage landfill waste?
Wherever possible, you must reduce the amount of landfill waste you produce. For example, plastic can be separated from general waste and sent to a recycling facility. Despite this, you should use the following solutions to store your landfill waste:
- . Available for free in a variety of different sizes, dependent upon the type or amount of waste you are producing.
What are the Landfill waste regulations and laws?
Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010. This legislation was put in place in line with the EU Landfill directive. Both work to control the products that are brought into Landfills. For example, you can no longer dispose of chemical or liquid waste at a landfill site.
The Environment Protection Act 1990. This legislation encourages business owners and companies to be mindful about the waste they produce, whilst also ensuring that it is safely and securely disposed of.
How can I reduce the amount of landfill waste I produce?
Proper education can significantly reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills each year. For example, you should ensure that all employees know which waste can and cannot be recycled, thus limiting the amount of waste sent to landfill sites. Wherever possible, you should also alter your purchasing habits to limit the use of single-use, non-recyclable products that can only be disposed of via landfills.
How much does it cost to dispose of Landfill waste?
The cost of your landfill waste disposal will depend upon the amount of waste you produce. However, it is also subject to landfill tax. Landfill tax is an environmental tax, designed to minimise the amount of waste mistakenly sent to landfills that could be sent elsewhere.
03| Inert Waste
What is inert waste?
Inert waste does not pose any threat to the environment or human life. However, it takes a long time to decompose. In many cases, it does not decompose at all. This is because it is not biologically or chemically reactive. It is used in a lot of industries, including:
- The mining industry
- The production industry
Inert waste examples:
How do you manage inert waste?
What are the inert waste legislations and laws?
The Landfill (England and Wales) Regulations 2002. Following this legislation, inert waste must be disposed of at specialist landfill sites, though precautions should be put in place to limit the amount of waste you produce.
How can I reduce the amount of inert waste I produce?
The most straightforward way to reduce the amount of inert waste produced by your company or business is by managing your stock more efficiently. For example, you should ensure you buy the correct amount of materials you need each year, to reduce the risk of certain products going to waste.
How much does it cost to dispose of inert waste?
For costs for inert waste collection please contact 0800 211 83 90
04| Scrap Metal Waste
What is scrap waste?
Scrap waste refers to waste that is leftover when a product is being manufactured or consumed. This could include surplus supplies or building materials. Many industries produce scrap waste; this includes:
- The automotive industry
- The aviation industry
- Construction industry
- Factories & Laboratories
Scrap waste examples:
The large majority of scrap waste are metals. This includes:
- Alloy steel
- Carbon steel
- Cast iron
- Wrought iron
How do you manage scrap waste?
The large majority of scrap metal can be recycled or repurposed. You may also be able to sell your scrap metal to earn a small profit. However, to achieve this, you need to ensure that your scrap waste is kept separate from other products, to allow for easy collection. To do this, you may need to use a variety of storage solutions. This could include:
- . If you are regularly producing large amounts of scrap metal, you may need to use a front or rear-end loader, or a skip. We have a variety of sizes on hand to meet your needs.
What are the Scrap waste regulations and laws?
Scrap Metal Dealers Act (2013) If you are planning on selling your scrap metal, you need to ensure that you work in accordance with the Scrap Metal Dealers Act. This law dictates that it must be sold to a licensed dealer.
How can I reduce the amount of scrap waste I produce?
There are numerous ways in which you can reduce the amount of scrap metal waste you produce. This begins with more efficient management to ensure that you reduce the amount of waste you produce overall. Following this, you can focus on improving employee efficiency, minimising the amount of scrap produced.
How much does it cost to dispose of scrap waste?
For local metal waste collection and disposal prices please call 0800 211 83 90
05 | Bulky Waste Items
What is bulky waste?
Bulky waste is any waste that is too large to be collected with your regulation waste collection. This is produced by a variety of industries, including:
- The construction industry
- The takeaway and foodservice industry
- The hospitality industry (i.e. hotels)
- Household waste
Bulky waste examples:
- (Fridges, freezers, TVs, ovens, microwaves)
- (Couches, chairs, tables, beds)
- Plumbing fixtures (Baths, sinks and toilets)
How do you manage bulky waste?
Due to its size, bulky waste cannot be stored in traditional wheelie bins or containers. However, larger storage solutions are available, including:
What are the laws and legislations covering Bulky waste?
The Environment Protection Act (1990). Bulky waste must be stored safely and securely before collection. This is particularly true if you are dealing with WEEE products, which may contain harmful chemicals or materials.
How can I reduce the amount of bulky waste I produce?
How much does it cost to dispose of bulky waste?
For a immediate price for a one off collection call 0800 211 83 90
06| Builders’ Waste
What is Builders’ Waste?
How do you manage builders’ waste?
To safely and securely store your builders’ waste, you will first need to separate the waste into different sections. For example, some items, such as asbestos are considered hazardous and must be disposed of accordingly. Here are some of the storage solutions we offer for builders’ waste.
- . If you are dealing with asbestos, you may need to bring in a member of our team to handle it outright. Ideally, it should be double-bagged to prevent the substance from being disturbed before collection.
- Small/Large Builders Skips. Our builders’ skips are specifically designed for use on construction sites and can help you manage large volumes of waste effectively.
What are the builders’ waste legislations and laws?
The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011. This legislation applies to various fields outside of construction waste but places a duty of care on companies to ensure they minimise the amount of waste they produce.
How can I reduce the amount of builders’ waste I produce?
Builders’ waste can be reduced by effective management and training. For example, employees should be taught how to make the most of the resources available to them, thus reducing the amount of waste they produce daily. Wherever possible, you should also ensure you have a variety of recycling facilities on site, that allow you to better manage the waste you produce.
How much does it cost to dispose of builders’ waste?
For local skip prices or one off waste clearance call 0800 211 83 90
07| Green Waste
What is green waste?
Green waste is sometimes referred to as biological waste and can be fully composted. Green waste is produced by a variety of industries, including:
- The Agricultural industry
- The Foodservice industry
- The Environmental service industry
Green waste examples:
- Grass clippings
How do you manage green waste?
Various storage solutions can be used to store green waste. This includes:
- Prepaid waste bags.
- Wheelie bins.
The storage solution you use will depend largely upon the amount of green waste you are producing. We are also on hand to arrange regular collections to meet your needs.
What are the green waste legislations and laws?
The Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011. There are no specific regulations relating to green waste, though companies must ensure that they work to meet general waste regulations, as dictated in the Waste Regulations (2011).
How can I reduce the amount of green waste I can produce?
You can reduce the amount of green waste you produce by setting up a space for composting on-site. This could prove particularly useful if you work within the agriculture industry, as it proves to be beneficial in the growing of plants and crops.
How much does it cost to dispose of green waste?
For local green waste disposal costs please call 0800 211 83 90
08 | Recyclable Waste
What is recyclable waste?
Recyclable waste refers to any waste products that can be recycled. This means that it can be reused, repurposed or sent to a specialist recycling facility and given a new life. Many industries produce recyclable waste, including:
- The business industry (Offices, warehouses)
- The education industry (Schools, colleges, nurseries)
- The retail industry
Recyclable waste examples.
How do you manage recyclable waste?
What are the recycling waste legislations and laws?
UK Waste Regulations (2015). This legislation dictates that businesses must separate their recyclable waste from their general waste. This was put in place to reduce pressure on overcrowded landfill sites.
The Environmental Protection Act (1990). This legislation was established to ensure that companies, businesses and individuals take responsibility for the waste they are producing, and operate with the environment in mind.
How can I reduce the amount of recyclable waste I produce?
Thankfully, there are various steps you can take to reduce the amount of recycling waste you produce. For example, the vast majority of waste produced within office or administration settings is paper waste. You can reduce this initially, by going paperless and digitising your files. This means you will no longer need to purchase paper products. Another way to reduce recycling waste across your business is by providing your employees with easy access to recycling bins. This means that you reduce the chances of recyclable waste ending up in your general waste bins.
How much does it cost to dispose of recyclable waste?
How can business waste help?
At BusinessWaste, we provide a range of waste collection and disposal services on your behalf. This means you will not have to hire multiple waste companies to manage your company’s waste – we’ve got you covered.
Our services include:
- Quick quote services.
- Free bins and containers.
- One simple to understand invoice.
- An expert team on hand to cover any questions.
How do I arrange waste collections?
Arranging waste collections through BusinessWaste.co.uk could not be easier. To begin, get in touch via our website, or call on 0800 211 8390. Our expert team will be on hand to answer any questions you might have and can provide you with a quote in 7-10 days.
Following this, we’ll work closely with you to put together a waste collection plan that works for you and your business. We can arrange for daily, weekly or monthly collection of waste and provide you with the appropriate storage solutions, including FREE bins to install on your premises.
What is a duty of care certificate?
As a result, you may need to organise additional Covid-19 Waste Collection Services for your company/business. Call 0800 211 83 90 to arrange this service.
Rapid Lateral Flow Waste Disposal
What waste is produced by COVID-19 testing?
Covid test swabs
Lateral flow devices
PPE (Gloves, masks etc.)
The waste codes asscoiated with testing waste are EWC 180104 and 180107.
How can we help with COVID-19 test waste?
Whilst we provide businesses with a immediate quote, we have put a specialist team in place to deal with urgent bin, bag and container delivery.
We are passionate about our work and hope to provide you with flexible plans that are best suited to your needs. As a result of this, we have 1,3,6 and 12-month contracts on offer.
What happens to the COVID-19 test waste?
Any waste associated with COVID-19 must be disposed of safely and securely. As a result, we strive to provide the best services possible for our clients. We will provide you with all of the equipment you need to store your waste before collection. The waste will then be transferred to a specialist facility. In terms of COVID-19 waste, it is typically disposed of via incineration.
What bins, bags and containers are used for storage of COVID-19 test waste?
Yellow and Black Clinical Waste bags
PPE equipment, such as face masks and gloves, should be disposed of in Yellow and Black Clinical Waste bags as they are classed as ‘offensive waste’. The bags are also known as ‘Tiger Sacks’, due to their pattern.
Waste from lateral flow tests, such as the swabs and slides, should be stored in clear bags. Again, you must ensure that it is stored securely.
Once your bag is full, it should be stored in a 45l unit before collection. Depending upon the amount of waste you produce, you can have as many 45l units as required.
Pre-paid waste bags
Lateral flow testing also includes a large amount of packaging. However, this can be disposed of much easier and can be group with your general waste or dry mixed recycling.
Sharps bins are used, rather simply, to store any products that could be considered ‘sharp’, such as needles. Therefore, they are necessary if your facility is offering vaccinations or other tests.
How often can the waste be collected?
At BusinessWaste, we offer highly flexible services that allow us to schedule waste collection as frequently as required. In addition to one-off collections, we provide daily, weekly, fortnightly and monthly collection schedules.
Where do we collect COVID-19 test waste from?
Covid testing centres
Why are lateral flow tests important?
Lateral flow tests (or, rapid tests), are set to become commonplace across the UK in the coming months. This is because they provide results within just 30 minutes. Whilst beforehand, they were used predominantly by those working within the Healthcare sector; various different industries will use them to allow businesses to return to normalcy. For example, plans are being put into place to allow for lateral flow testing to take place at Cinemas, Restaurants, Airports and even warehouses such as Amazon.
How do lateral flow tests work?
A swab is taken from inside the nose/mouth.
The swab is then mixed with a buffer solution, which causes it to release virus fragments.
The buffer solution breaks up the virus fragments.
A small amount of the solution is then dropped into a lateral flow device, including a small absorbent strip.
The absorbent strip contains antibodies, which can bind to viral fragments. This means we can see whether or not the user has Covid-19.
Why are you still sending Christmas cards?
It’s time to ban this outdated, wasteful festive pastime
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, trim the tree, stuff the turkey, and reach out to loved ones, but you’re unwittingly wasting literally tonnes of paper through wasteful Christmas cards.
According to Britain’s fastest growing waste collection company, it’s time to ban the old tradition of sending cards, as they are terrible news for the environment.
Christmas grinches BusinessWaste.co.uk say we need a ban on unrecyclable glittery Christmas cards, to go with the self-imposed ban some stores have on Christmas decorations that use glitter.
“We know most people will see us as The Grinch trying to ruin Christmas, but unfortunately for our environment, the season creates a waste problem that lasts all year long,” says company spokesperson Mark Hall.
“The Christmas card tradition has had its day, and now it’s time to make eco-friendly choices during the jolly holidays.”
To send, or not to send
The sending and receiving of Christmas cards can be traced back as far as 1843, the same year that Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol, and it’s estimated that now around a billion cards are sent every year in the UK.
But unfortunately, the vast majority of these cards end up in landfill, as the widely recyclable cardboard is often contaminated with shiny and glittery decorations.
“People seem to think that sending Christmas cards doesn’t do much harm to the environment because of the perception that all cardboard is easily recycled,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk’s Mark Hall.
“However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. People chuck their cards into the recycling bin, which causes havoc at recycling centres causing whole loads of paper to be dumped because it’s contaminated with glitter.”
This problem is why leading retailers Waitrose, Morrisons, and John Lewis have banned glitter this year across their own-brand Christmas products, including cards and wrapping paper, as glitter can take hundreds of years to biodegrade.
But not only are Christmas cards awful for the environment, they cost you a small fortune too as the Christmas card industry in the UK worth £1.7 billion, higher than anywhere else in the world.
“By the time you’ve gone out and bought enough to send to everyone and painstakingly handwritten them out, you’re then stung with postage costs,” says Hall.
Hall: “I bet you’ve never considered how much CO2 delivery trucks use to get card up to beloved Aunt Edith 400 miles away, while getting the billion other cards to the right addresses in the same month too!”
Five great alternatives to Christmas cards
For most of us this year, sending a Christmas card is the closest contact we can offer – which is why BusinessWaste.co.uk have come up with some sustainable ideas of how to send Christmas messages to your nearest and dearest.
Make your own cards – Ditch the glitter and get creative using items you might already have laying around your house from last Christmas.
Pick up the phone – Reach out to those you haven’t been able to see this year with a phone call, people will appreciate your time for a catch up much more than a card in the post.
Send an E-card – For the more tech-savvy, why not send a personalised e-card to your friends and family, plus you can send these all around the world at no cost at all.
Use eco-friendly cards – There are plenty of companies offering eco-alternatives to Christmas cards, just make sure they are from a sustainable source, and free from glitter, glue, and foil. And try to hand deliver as much as possible, socially distanced of course!
Donate to charity – Take all of the money you would have normally spent on cards and postage and donate to a charity of your choice on the behalf of your recipients. The money will go much further for a charity than sending a one-off card to your sister.
There is plenty you can do with the cards you might receive this year too, such as reusing the images as gift tags for presents or use them to make your own cards for next year so that they don’t end up in landfill.
Hall: “We need to start viewing Christmas cards as a single-use waste product, because that’s essentially what they are.
“And once we start phasing them out and using alternatives like we have with plastic bottles and straws; it’ll be much cheaper for us and far better for the planet too.”
The waste company has been named one of UK’s fastest growing companies.
Yorkshire-based waste collection company Business Waste is celebrating its inclusion in the prestigious list published in this weekend’s Sunday Times.
The company appears at no.59 in the paper’s 24th annual Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100 list marking the fastest-growing companies in the UK.
Established only five years ago, BusinessWaste.co.uk uses its propriety software to match companies with the best available waste operators, ensuring that customers are always with the right supplier, and this USP has seen them add some 3,000 new customers in what’s been a challenging year for everybody.
“We’re so pleased with this recognition,” says company marketing director Mark Hall, “We’ve worked from the very start to offer the best value while being greener and cleaner, and it’s paid off”.
Local jobs boost
It’s a genuine cause for celebration, with Business Waste employing 61 people in York, Ilkley and Chesterfield, and despite a tough outlook for all business sectors, it hopes to expand to 75 staff in the future.
BusinessWaste.co.uk sits shoulder-to-shoulder with prestigious names such as independent brewer Brewdog, nutrition brand Huel, and sporting promoter Matchroom.
Founded 2015 over 15,000 businesses now use the York firm’s waste management services. It acts as a broker, subcontracting out the collection of waste, as well as more specialist requirements such as clinical waste disposal.
Customers find they can save up to £300 per bin using BusinessWaste.co.uk’s services. But savings also come with a positive customer experience.
“What makes the difference is that all customer care his handled in-house,” says managing director David Adams. “It’s a point of pride that we maintain a good relationship with our clients rather than just point them toward a new waste sub-contractor”.
“Everything on a single monthly invoice – we exist to make life simpler and easier for our business clients.”
The green machine saves money
Behind the BusinessWaste.co.uk success story is its engagement with its customers.
“We’re not like other, less ethical, companies,” says director Mark Hall, “We don’t want to see people overcharged for their waste.”
He points out that BusinessWaste.co.uk helps their customers understand such concepts as weight limits on bins, and helps them to produce less waste for landfill so that they aren’t hit by excess charges.
“Being greener actually saves our clients money – who knew?”
Hall adds: “We also don’t charge for the Duty of Care certificate, which is something that others try to get away with”.
BusinessWaste.co.uk’s position as a broker means that it saves its customers the legwork of changing their waste contractor, giving them the peace of mind of regular collections with huge savings.
Managing Director David Adams says “BusinessWaste.co.uk has become one of the country’s fastest-growing waste company because we save companies money and make their lives simpler.
“But most of all, we’re delighted that this growth has resulted in local jobs – especially when 2020 has been so difficult right across the board.”
What next for Business Waste?
BusinessWaste.co.uk have no intention of resting on its laurels despite the mention in the Sunday Times Fast Track List.
“We’re looking toward further expansion,” says David Adams, “We’ve got big plans to increase our turnover in the next two years, and that – of course – will mean more jobs.
“While we cover the whole of the UK, we’re proud of our local roots and are committed to contributing to the Yorkshire economy,” he continued.
The local saying “Where there’s muck there’s brass” may be almost a cliché these days, but Yorkshire’s BusinessWaste.co.uk has proved that it’s still relevant in the year 2020 and beyond.
“We’ve got a couple of challenging years ahead,” says Mark Hall, “but we’re on target to be the fastest growing and most ethical waste company in the country.”
Food waste generated by Britain’s hospitality sector each year amounts to a staggering 920,000 tonnes of food waste, of which 75% is avoidable if we look to recycle food waste properly.
As a result, BusinessWaste.co.uk is calling for the hospitality industry to be compelled by law to make arrangements to recycle food waste, as Britain’s increasingly full landfill sites reach crisis point. This change is crucial as food waste left to rot in landfill emits harmful greenhouse gases.
The environmentally-friendly waste management company says that the UK is in the midst of a food waste crisis. The amount of food wasted in the hospitality sector equates to 1.3 billion meals with the hospitality sector making up 12% of the UK’s total food waste.
Mark Tissington, Warehouse Manager at Hancocks and customer of BusinessWaste.co.uk says: “The importance of having food bins on site is beneficial to keep the waste streams separate and reduce the risk of wasps and flies in the summer months and reduce the vermin all year round in your general waste bins.
We also have lighter general waste bins which reduces costs and food bins are cheaper to have emptied so we benefit from further cost reductions, all resulting in less food waste going to landfill sites.”
Anaerobic digestion and composting are preferable outcomes for food waste, as rotting food left in landfill releases methane, one of the most damaging greenhouse gasses. It is estimated that the total food waste produced by the hospitality industry accounts for a shocking 1,785,754 tonnes of carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere
Mark Hall, waste management specialist at BusinessWaste.co.uk comments: “While there are long-running campaigns to encourage households to reduce their waste footprint through buying more sensibly and composting their food waste at home, it seems that many businesses in the hospitality sector are still lagging behind and relying on landfill to dispose of unwanted food, with little regard to the environmental impact.
“While it’s certainly possible for organisations to recycle food waste, far too many just don’t bother. Although this may initially seem like a big ask, all businesses in the hospitality industry have to do is make an arrangement with their current waste management company to collect organic waste separately.
“We all play a moving part in fighting the food waste crisis, it starts with waste companies adapting their practices to enable greener collections and onward recycling, but it will only work if businesses also stand up and adapt their current practices. The government also plays a huge part and needs to incentivise and support businesses in becoming more environmentally conscious.
“All companies and organisations have a social responsibility to act now and make a change before it’s too late.”
The disposable spooky season is only scary for the environment
For a year that’s already been quite scary for a lot of people, the spookiest time of year is creeping up on us, and frankly we’re not looking forward to it.
The scary truth about Halloween is that there is plastic hidden in pretty much every aspect of celebration, from shabby costumes to the cheap plastic decorations and sweet wrappers.
All of this plastic pollution has left a sour taste for UK based waste collection specialists BusinessWaste.co.uk, who are calling for a ban on Halloween if it doesn’t become a plastic-free festivity.
“Halloween is one of the biggest events of the year, but the amount of waste it generates is disgusting,” says company spokesperson Mark Hall.
“It’s your choice, either ditch the waste or we will have no choice but to ban Halloween.”
One of the most popular ways people celebrate Halloween is by dressing up in ghoulish fancy dress, but how damaging can this be for the environment?
In 2019, it was estimated that 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste would be created by Halloween clothing, which was the equivalent of 83 million plastic bottles.*
As a nation we already throw away 7.7 billion bottles a year**, so the amount of plastic generated from creepy clothing adds an extra layer to an already huge problem.
Not only is buying a new Halloween costume every year bad for the environment, but over the years it starts to add up, so Business Waste are asking the nation to seek other options for fancy dress.
Some alternative ideas for dressing up are:
· Make your own costumes from charity shop finds – See what creative costume ideas you can make using preloved items in charity shops, plus the money goes to a good cause.
· Swap costumes with friends and family – Try switching outfits with friends or family to wear something new.
· Make your own with household materials – Fed up with generic shop bought costumes? Get creative with household items and think outside the box to be really unique.
Hall: “This all goes for decorations as well as costumes, there are plenty of ways you can set the spooky vibe without covering it in a layer of plastic.”
To be able to throw a zero-waste Halloween means finding an alternative way to give out trick or treat sweets, as most come in plastic wrappers.
Hall: Plastic wrappers have to go, and if you can provide an alternative that’s great, especially as giving away so many sweets is only encouraging obesity anyway.
The most eco-friendly way would be to make the switch from wrapped sweets, and there are plenty of alternatives available.
The healthier option is to give away fresh fruit and vegetables, such as carrots or apples, to trick or treaters, but for those with a little bit more time on their hands, why not bake some cookies or brownies to hand out.
“Treat or treat is just awful for the environment, people go out and buy a big plastic bag full of smaller plastic bags of sweets – it’s an environmentalists’ worst nightmare,” says company spokesman Mark Hall.
“All the extra plastic will end up in landfill, that’s if it’s not already been littered somewhere by those who cannot wait to get home before tucking in.”
Carving up a nightmare
After all that, you might think that the most eco-friendly way to celebrate Halloween is to carve a pumpkin, but new research shows that more than half of pumpkins that will be bought for Halloween this year will not be eaten.***
“Pumpkin carving at Halloween is promoting food waste, nothing gets eaten and it gets thrown in the bin,” says Hall.
“There are people starving while people are wasting food as decorations. This behaviour needs to be stamped out.”
Only 42% of those intending to celebrate Halloween this year know that the inside of a pumpkin is edible***, meaning that a mountain of gourds will be heading to landfill.
Hall: “Major changes need to be made, or we will have to ban Halloween to help save our planet.
“The amount of waste just one day creates quite honestly scares the hell out of me.”
Britain’s Food Waste Crisis:
Food waste generated by primary and secondary schools during one academic year amounts to a staggering 80,382 tonnes of food waste, and almost half of this is reported to be fruit and vegetables.
As a result, BusinessWaste.co.uk is calling for local councils to be compelled by law to make arrangements to recycle food waste, as they currently only offer general waste collections to schools. This leaves the education sector solely responsible to fork out cash they don’t have, to help the planet. This change is crucial as food waste left to rot in landfill emits harmful greenhouse gases.
The environmentally-friendly waste management company says that the UK is in the midst of a food waste crisis, and whilst it is well-known that commercial and industrial waste accounts for one quarter of all waste in England, the impact of food waste from the education sector is a significant contributor.
Anaerobic digestion and composting are preferable outcomes for food waste, as rotting food left in landfill releases methane, one of the most damaging greenhouse gasses, and, it is estimated that the total food waste produced by the Education sector accounts for a shocking 155,283 tonnes of carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere.
Mark Hall, food waste management specialist at BusinessWaste.co.uk comments: “While there are long-running campaigns to encourage households to reduce their waste footprint through buying more sensibly and composting their food waste at home, it seems that many schools are still lagging behind and relying on landfill to dispose of unwanted food, with little regard to the environmental impact.
“While it’s certainly possible for organisations to recycle food waste, far too many just don’t bother. Although this may initially seem like a big ask, all schools have to do is make an arrangement with their current waste management company to collect organic waste separately.
“We all play a moving part in fighting the food waste crisis, it starts with waste companies adapting their practices to enable greener collections and onward recycling, but it will only work if businesses also stand up and adapt their current practices. The government also plays a huge part and needs to incentivise and support businesses in becoming more environmentally conscious.
“All companies and organisations have a social responsibility to act now and make a change before it’s too late.”
Excess food waste and a rise in Covid-19 cases – was it worth it?
2020 will go down as the year we all stayed home, clapped for the NHS, and then rushed back out again to spend our money on dinner with friends and family we couldn’t see for months.
But according to one company, it looks like Eat Out To Help Out been a disaster – in more ways than one.
But food waste collection experts BusinessWaste.co.uk say that the government scheme has been a complete fail, due to the rising R Number and a huge rise in food waste the scheme created.
“Food waste went through the roof during the scheme, people over-ordered on discounted food meaning platefuls were being chucked in the bin,” says company spokesman Mark Hall.
“It should be a crime to throw away perfectly good food, especially when we had empty shelves in our supermarkets and a rise in food bank use during the pandemic.”
No one coming in = food in the bin
The Eat Out To Help Out (EOTHO) scheme was used to discount over 100 million deals during August, but as BusinessWaste.co.uk points out, it doesn’t mean 100 million people went out for dinner.
“It’s more likely that people are ordering more food than they can eat because it’s discounted,” says spokesman Mark Hall.
“It’s the old psychological pull of buying things because they’re on offer, which ultimately means more food going to waste because customers have eyes bigger than their bellies.”
This was true for Ellie from Norwich who used the scheme to try new dishes she wasn’t sure she would like, “I’ve always been curious about some of the more adventurous dishes, but at half price I can afford to order them and not eat it if I don’t like it and order myself something else.”
But not everyone was happy to venture out to use the government scheme in August.
People were reluctant to go out again after months of strict lockdown measures, fearing that venturing into the outside world would put their family’s health at risk.
Mental health charity Anxiety UK have dubbed this as ‘Post-lockdown anxiety’, and reported that in June 2020, more than 60% of Britons felt uncomfortable about the idea of returning to bars and restaurants as they began to reopen.
But despite this, BusinessWaste.co.uk have found that many businesses restocked ready for a surge of customers that never came, so the surplus of food ended up chucked in the bin.
Hall: “Hospitality businesses were promised that customer levels would be as good as pre-lockdown due to the EOTHO scheme, but quickly found this wasn’t the case.
“If anything, it’s cost these businesses more in waste. Complete fail.”
Catching Covid instead of a bargain
If the amount of wasted food wasn’t enough of a fail, the government have now admitted that the EOTHO scheme may have actually increased the number of Covid-19 cases in the UK.
Boris Johnson has admitted that new restrictions to control the virus were being bought in to ‘counteract’ any damage that the scheme may have caused, as people from multiple households ventured out to use the scheme together.
Public Health England have also reported that between 10th August and 20th September, eating out was the most commonly reported activity in the days prior to those who have tested positive for the virus.
And to add insult to injury, recent financial reports are finding that the government scheme didn’t boost the economy as much as they had hoped, with spending levels not rising to what they were before the pandemic began.
Hall: “I think it is probably fair to say that whole scheme was a massive fail, and that it appears that nobody actually benefited from it.
“All going out for a cheeky discounted dinner with your mates in August has done is put more food in the bin, and put you at risk of catching the virus.”
You can make ALL of these six tasty baking recipes using just TEN store cupboard ingredients.
With the latest series of The Great British Bake Off set to hit our screens on the 22nd of September, baking fever is about to take over Britain once again.
It doesn’t get much better than settling down to the latest episode of Bake Off on a cosy Autumn evening at home, with a hot cup of tea and a slice of homemade cake. But how many of us have been swept away by the Bake Off excitement, bought 5 different types of sugar, and then only used a pinch of each, before leaving them to go out of date at the back of our forgotten baking cupboard until the next series rolls around?
The UK is in the midst of a food waste crisis, with households wasting 4.5m tonnes of food each year, bakers working round the clock, which not only has a hugely negative effect on climate change, but also on our pocket, with the wasted food said to be worth £14bn.*
With this in mind, food waste management specialist, BusinessWaste.co.uk, has sourced the best recipes the internet has to offer that use the bare minimum household ingredients, in the hope that Bake Off fans can enjoy their usual watching rituals, without harming the environment.
The following recipes use only the 10 ingredients listed below, meaning you can rustle up something delectable for every week of Bake Off, without contributing to the food waste crisis. Your waist might not thank you, but the planet certainly will!
Ingredients you will need:
Self Raising Flour
Lemon Drizzle Cake – Jane’s Patisserie (@janespatisserie)
A lemon drizzle cake is a staple British bake with the zesty lemon topping keeping it light and moist. This recipe is the perfect pick me up and alongside a classic cup of Earl Grey tea, it makes for Bake Off viewing perfection.
Ingredients used: Self Raising Flour, Caster Sugar, Icing Sugar, Butter, Eggs, Lemons
Chocolate Shortbread – A Mummy Too (@amummytoo)
This recipe combines two of the best sweet treats, chocolate and shortbread. It takes just over 20 minutes to make from start to finish so is the perfect bake to whip up when you’re short on time.
Ingredients used: Plain Flour, Caster Sugar, Cocoa Powder, Butter, Chocolate, Vanilla Extract
Vanilla Loaf Cake – The Baking Explorer (@thebakingexplorer)
This no frills vanilla cake with creamy buttercream icing can be made ahead and frozen for up to 3 months – perfect to see you through the Bake Off series, if you can make it last that long!
Ingredients used: Self Raising Flour, Caster Sugar, Icing Sugar, Butter, Eggs, Vanilla Extract
Gluten Free Chocolate Brownie Recipe – Becky Excell (@beckyexcell)
Intensely chocolatey, fudgy and extra gooey, what more could you want from a brownie? Becky’s recipe suggests using gluten free flour, but standard plain flour can be substituted if you’re not gluten intolerant.
Ingredients used: Plain Flour, Caster Sugar, Cocoa Powder, Butter, Eggs, Chocolate
Fork Biscuits – The Happy Foodie (@thehappyfoodie)
According to The Happy Foodie, these simple biscuits are a favourite of Mary Berry – the Bake Off queen herself! A simple 3 ingredient recipe, perfect for dunking into a cup of tea.
Ingredients used: Self Raising Flour, Caster Sugar, Butter
Lemon Shortbread Squares – Lavender and Lovage (@lavenderandlovage)
Another zesty lemon recipe, this time in the form of delicious crumbly shortbread. The one tray baking method means minimal washing up, so more time on the sofa enjoying these fluffy lemon slices of heaven.
Ingredients used: Plain Flour, Caster Sugar, Icing Sugar, Butter, Eggs, Lemons
Mark Hall, Waste Management Specialist at BusinessWaste.co.uk comments on the food waste crisis: “While many people are great with recycling every last scrap of paper, we’re not so good at accepting that we need to do the same with food waste.
“For everyday consumers, the first step is to cut down on the food waste we produce. Simple steps towards this include making sure to use things up by their sell-by date, making multiple meals from the same ingredients, and planning your food shopping in advance so that you only buy the amount you need.
“Where food waste is unavoidable, composting is a preferable outcome, as rotting food left in landfill releases methane, one of the most damaging greenhouse gasses.
“Whilst the statistics around the several million tonnes of food waste produced by British households are shocking, businesses are as much to blame, adding millions of tonnes more food waste to the issue. On top of the steps individuals need to take, it’s down to waste companies to adapt their practices to enable greener collections and onward recycling, both for businesses and households.”
What are the benefits of recycling?
It goes without saying that there are numerous benefits to recycling. Firstly, it allows products to be reused as opposed to being improperly disposed of in a landfill. Landfills emit dangerous pollutants into the air, causing damage to the planet and the ozone layer. Secondly, recycling helps to protect the environment from further harm. Additionally, by opting to only purchase products that can be recycled, we are reducing the demand for single-use plastics and are, therefore, moving towards a more eco-friendly and sustainable future which will allow us to minimise our impact on the environment.
What are the 3 types of recycling?
There are three main types of recycling.
- 1) Primary recycling
Primary recycling refers to a product that can be reused without altering its current state or purpose at all. This means that once recycled, it will serve the same function again. An example of this is when you reuse a single-use plastic water bottle several times to avoid throwing it away after one use.
2) Secondary recycling
Secondary recycling is when we repurpose a product for alternative use, without it being processed or altered at all. For example, you may use leftover materials for a DIY or arts and craft project. One way in which you can do this is by using newspaper to create papier-mâché art.
3) Tertiary recycling
Tertiary recycling is when recyclable materials are collected and altered (often chemically) in order for them to be reused as something else. This is typically what happens when our recyclable waste is collected and sent to a centre.
What items can be recycled?
There are a large variety of products that can be recycled, and although the below list is by no means comprehensive, it should give you an idea of what items you can recycle.
What is natural recycling?
Natural recycling refers to adapting our practices to ensure that our products can always be reused – if not, they should be broken down in a way that doesn’t harm the planet. It aims to replicate the way in which the earth naturally makes use of its waste. For example, plant and animal decay become part of our soil.
In order to practice natural recycling, we should attempt to reuse everything we purchase, where possible. We can also begin the practice of composting, as this allows us to reuse non-recyclable materials such as food waste to benefit the environment.
What materials are non-recyclable?
Unfortunately, there are some materials that cannot currently be recycled. It is important, where possible, to cease using these products or at least minimise our consumption of them. They include:
- – Plastic shopping bags
- – Plastic wraps, such as cling film
- or ‘food contaminated’ items
- – Plastic utensils
- – Garden waste (though this can be
Learn how to set up a recycling scheme at work
What are the advantages of recycling?
Lockdown = less pollution
“Nature is healing” has been one of the much-repeated themes from the lockdown, mainly because it’s true – human impact on the environment has significantly reduced this year.
With global carbon dioxide emissions for 2020 expected to fall by up to 8% due to global shutdowns, some organisations are calling for annual lockdowns for the sake of the planet.
Waste management company (and environmental campaigners) BusinessWaste.co.uk say governments should consider an annual month-long environmental lockdown to try to help reverse the destruction caused by man-made climate change.
“The Covid-19 global pandemic has been challenging for everyone around the world, but if we can take anything positive from it, it has to be the enormous drop in pollution levels around the world,” says company spokesman Mark Hall.
“We’ve had wildlife returning to populated areas, increased recycling, fewer emissions from vehicles – and all we had to do was stay at home.”
Return to the wild
Although most of us were holding up in our homes and keeping safe from Coronavirus, the outside world was flourishing due to reduced human impact through fewer emissions from transportation and less rubbish being generated.
Pollution has decreased all over the world due to people being asked to stay at home in response to the pandemic, but with fewer cars on the road and planes in the air we are seeing smog clearing up in big cities, and clearer water in places like Venice and Hawaii.
People living in Northern India were able to see the Himalayan mountains for the first time in their lifetimes, due to the drop in air pollution as a result of the country’s lockdown measures.
Hall: “The environment is thriving due to less air pollution from humans, and less commercial waste is being produced because a lot of businesses have had to close their doors – which is great news because it’s given the planet a bit of a break from the constant overflowing waste”.
In the UK, the amount of household recycling being processed has increased by 30% during the lockdown period, including an 80% increase in plastic recycling in May.
And there are reports of wildlife taking back human spaces all over the world, with goats descending from the hills into the seaside town of Llandudno in Wales, and wild boar roaming the streets of Barcelona.
This is why BusinessWaste.co.uk are calling for a month-long lockdown once a year, where people are asked to stay and work from home and travel restrictions worldwide so that nature has an annual cooling-off period to rejuvenate itself.
Hall: “Although Covid-19 has been devastating to humans, we cannot deny that the lockdowns all over the world have helped to encourage the environment to thrive, so having an annual lockdown period would have huge benefits for the planet.”
Will this be enough to save the world?
The idea of an annual lockdown may seem disheartening to many, but as it won’t be for medical purposes there will be fewer restrictions on seeing and being in close contact with loved ones, as the primary focus will be to globally restrict movement and waste.
“We could promote it as a ‘work from home month’ type thing, where businesses shut up shop and people get to spend time at home with their families. This will be beneficial for both the planet and the mental health of workers who feel they don’t spend enough time at home,” says Hall.
But as the current pandemic lockdown has shown, there have been some environmental issues that have occurred due to the lack of human intervention.
In Kenya there has been an increase in ivory poaching, and in the UK birds’ eggs have been eaten by rats, both occurring due to the absence of conservationists to protect them.
BusinessWaste.co.uk has identified these issues surrounding an annual lockdown plan and says that there would have to be measures drawn up to allow for local volunteers to undertake vital conservation work, as sometimes nature needs a helping hand to thrive.
“There also needs to be a balance, we cannot rely on the idea that a month off each year will fix the problem, we will need to make sure that for the other 11 months we are still doing as much as we can for the environment such as reducing emissions and increasing recycling,” says company spokesman Mark Hall.
“But if the last few months are anything to go by, nature can bounce back if we give it a chance.”
Retailers waste energy and money lighting empty stores.
It’s been revealed that three out of ten shops have continuously left their lights on whilst they’ve been shut for the last three months due to the Coronavirus.
Many retailers leave their lights on overnight in shops, but what you might not have noticed is that many shops have been lit up 24/7 as well, a UK waste company says.
UK business waste specialists BusinessWaste.co.uk are appalled to see such a huge waste of energy and poor waste management from high-street retailers, especially as the UN has declared 2020 a pivotal year for climate change.
Company spokesman Mark Hall says, “There is simply no need to keep the lights on during this time, it’s like the Blackpool illuminations.
“Imagine how much money this is costing businesses in their electricity bills, it’s such a waste.”
Watt’s the problem?
We all know that one of the easiest ways to reduce the electric bill is to turn off light bulbs when you no longer need them, but 30% of shops seem to have forgotten this simple trick to save energy.
Although it’s not uncommon for many retailers to leave some form of lighting on overnight, often to deter any vandalism or theft, these are often dimmed and on a timer system to reduce the amount of energy being wasted.
Hall: “Unfortunately it seems that when the shop doors closed in March, 30% of retailers forgot to turn off or adjust the timer system, so the lights have been coming on full whack every day.”
This was seen to be the case in Liverpool when the city’s only Zara store shut up shop because of Covid-19 but had left all the lights on inside.
With the average 60 watt light bulb costing £78.36 a year to run if left on for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, it’s easy to see just how expensive these retailers electricity bills can be.
“Once you go away and do the maths on how many lightbulbs there probably are in each shop and how many shops have left their lights on, you’re looking at an awful lot of money and energy being wasted,” says Hall.
“If these lights have been left on to make the stores look pretty, I think owners are forgetting that everyone has been stuck at home and no one has been able to see them!”
The lights are on, but nobody’s home
After finding out that 3 out of ten shops had left the lights on during the entirety of the Covid-19 lockdown, BusinessWaste.co.uk have some ideas to prevent such a huge energy waste from happening in the future.
Mark Hall suggests that commercial businesses need to set an energy strategy, to prepare for unexpected long periods of time when the premises might be empty.
These energy strategies use only the bare minimum amount of energy required to keep the building running efficiently, such as keeping chillers or freezers going in shops or power for security cameras and essential lighting.
Other ideas include having automatic sensors on lights, so even if they are able to come on during the day time they will only operate if they detect motion, or having light detection devices which dim the lights when there are high levels of natural sunlight.
“One of the most effective ways you can make sure the lights are off in your premise is to keep reminding staff members to switch lights off as they leave, especially in backstage areas,” says Hall.
“Put stickers on light switches and posters on doors.”
Perhaps this advice would’ve been useful to the last staff members leaving a former Co-op and Budgens store in London, as despite it being closed to customers for two years, the lights were still on inside 24 hours a day.
Imagine the cost of that electricity bill.
With charity shops closed, people have found other ways to get rid of unwanted items.
The great ‘Covid-19 clear-out’ across the UK saw many people who were furloughed or working from home having an almighty sort out of their homes – leaving charity shops bereft of donations.
Now that charity shops are beginning to reopen, UK waste and recycling company BusinessWaste.co.uk has learned that donations have more than halved on previous years, as people are too impatient to wait for them to reopen and have thrown away their potential donations.
“The natural cycle of throwing things out has been shaken up with the Coronavirus lockdown,” says company spokesman Mark Hall.
“Because it’s taken so long to reopen charity shops, three months’ worth of items have ended up in local landfills, or wrapped up as gifts for the poor individuals who’ve had lockdown birthdays.”
The joys of regifting
People have been waiting impatiently for charity shops to return, and it has driven many to throw their unwanted items away at local recycling centres.
In fact, tips were so busy when they reopened in some parts of the UK, local councils have been asking people to book a tip run appointment in advance.
But ultimately this has had a knock-on effect, as charity shop volunteer Wendy tells us: “it’s a shame for us because the government allowed the local tip to be opened before us, so naturally people took all of their stuff there.”
But some of the lucky items that weren’t slung into a giant bin at the tip have found themselves in the reluctant hands of family and friends.
UK based waste specialists BusinessWaste.co.uk asked people online about regifting during the lockdown, and it turns out some have absolutely no shame in offloading their junk onto their loved ones:
• “I had the worst birthday ever in lockdown, all of my family just gave me their old junk. My grandad gave me a dictionary that was printed in 1983, and all the pages with naughty words on them were ripped out so I couldn’t even get a laugh out of it.” – Chris, Leicester
• “I sent my niece some bits for her birthday through the post, including a toiletry set I got for Christmas. But because I’d opened it and used a little of the moisturiser before I decided to give it away, it leaked all over the place and ruined everything in the box.” – Jill, Weymouth
• “My brother gave me some DVDs, and to be honest I was looking forward to watching Fight Club until I opened the case and found the disc for The Sound of Music instead. To be fair, there were a few fight scenes towards the end, so it wasn’t a complete loss.”- Jack, Taunton
• “Bath salts? No thanks” – Vic, Basingstoke
When the doors do not reopen
For some charity shops in the UK, their donation days may be over.
Charity shops have only recently reopened on 15th June after almost three months of being closed, meaning that a lot of charities have lost out on a quarter of the year’s potential takings.
Charities such as Cancer Research are predicting a decline in fundraising income by 25%, and Oxfam has been losing £5million a month in revenue with all their shops closed.
Age UK have announced that they will have to make some staff redundant as they prepare to close stores, and one branch of The Wessex Cancer Trust in Cosham is only reopening its doors for a large clearance sale before shutting up shop for good.
Mark Hall: “It’s such a shame for these shops to be closing, but without donations, fundraising and sales, they cannot afford to continue.”
But the shops that are reopening will gladly take any donations, and to reassure customers that they are safe from contamination, all donations will be quarantined for three days and disinfected before going on the shelves.
If you’re unsure if your local charity shop is accepting donations, BusinessWaste.co.uk recommend calling ahead to ask them instead of assuming they don’t want your stuff and dumping it.
Hall: “You never know, someone out there might be desperately searching for your unwanted copy of Robbie Williams Greatest Hits.
“OK, perhaps not.”
Also, please don’t use someone’s garden as a toilet
With public toilets as well as loos in pubs and shops being closed during the Covid-19 outbreak, there’s been an outbreak of what can only be described as “fly peeing”.
In the true nature of ‘if you got to go, you got to go’, waste management company BusinessWaste.co.uk are hearing reports of people turning local beauty spots into public bathrooms, and increasing numbers of bottles of urine appearing along main UK roads.
“Easing of lockdown measures means that people are venturing out for day trips, but unfortunately many councils haven’t reopened their public toilet facilities due to social distancing measures,” says company spokesman Mark Hall.
“Instead, people are fly-tipping UK roads with bottles of wee – perhaps we ought to rename this environmental crime fly-peeing.”
“Can’t you tie a knot in it?”
One group that have been a constant on our roads during the lockdown are the delivery drivers who have been delivering essential items up and down the country, but Business Waste have heard from many admitting they have resorted to using plastic bottles as a substitute toilet.
Many truckers are concerned about not being unable to stop due to a lack of open facilities, or being too frightened to stop at services and potentially risk catching Covid-19.
And that’s led to the hideous sight of plastic bottles full of pee in laybys up and down the country. And to be fair, it’s not only truck drivers, but regular drivers too.
Trucker Mark Taylor of Addingham tells us: “I’m old and my bladder isn’t as strong as it once was, but I haven’t been able to stop for a wee because most services have been shut.
“I’ve had to pee in my Lucozade bottle, but it tends to get a bit smelly in the cab, so I’ve thrown a few bottles out of the window.”
But not all drivers are participating in this behaviour, with delivery driver Eric telling us, “I’ve got a plastic-free reusable bottle that cost me twenty pounds – I would have to be really desperate to use that for a urinal and throw that kind of money away.
“Just pick your spot and go behind a tree, like normal people.”
Mark Hall of BusinessWaste.co.uk says, “Just because the toilets are shut and desperate times are leading to desperate measures, we still need to not be adding to the plastic pollution problem by chucking bottles out of the window.”
“Some for waste disposal operative’s got to go out and pick up all those stinking bottles. Take your litter home, you animals.”
It’s not just the pee – it’s also the 35m plastic bottles being thrown away every year in the UK.
“Plastic bottles can take up to 450 years to biodegrade, so if you’re chucking one out of the car window full of wee it could be sitting there for years,” says spokesman Mark Hall.
“There’s poo in my front garden”
The imminent reopening of public toilets comes too late for beauty spots around the UK.
One of many reports comes from a care-worker in Burnham-on-sea in Somerset, who says she has had to battle countless people urinating and defecating in public, with several incidences happening against her garden fence.
Hall: If the toilets are closed, then desperate people will go wherever want, which unfortunately spoils the area for local residents.
One lady in a resort in Dorset says: “People are travelling the length of the country for a day at the beach, meanwhile those of us who live here have to put up with the horrible sights and smells they leave behind. I found human poo in my front garden, and next door found a bottle full of wee in his recycling bin.”
Hall: We’re not the police, but we have to remind people that it is illegal to be caught urinating in public and that if you’ve been seen in the act you could be done for indecent exposure too.
“All I can suggest is what I tell the kids – make sure you’ve been to the toilet before you go out. Or tie a knot in it.”
Fears of chaos after weeks of lockdown
After weeks of lockdown and social distancing, many councils are reopening local household waste recycling centres to the public, and there are fears that it could lead to chaos.
Many people have been waiting for tips to reopen, and they’ve created mounds of rubbish through home and garden improvements, a national waste and recycling company says.
Although lots of people will be thrilled that they can finally get rid of their extra waste, waste management company BusinessWaste.co.uk are calling for calm and order as people rush straight to the tips during the first few days.
“It’s going to be absolute chaos,” says company spokesman Mark Hall, “people need to remain calm, and think about the people who work there, as well as the other people waiting their turn.”
“The staff at the centres will need the patience of saints to survive this reopening.”
BusinessWaste.co.uk echoes the statements made by many councils that residents should only visit waste centres if it was ‘absolutely essential’.
Most will be at reduced capacity due to social distancing measures, which means that queues may be even longer and slower than usual.
We’ve compiled a quick guide of basic tip etiquette to help anyone who – after all the warnings -really feels they have to venture to the recycling centre.
• Expect long queues – It’s not going to be a simple in-and-out job. Book a whole day for the occasion.
• Don’t bring the family – It’s not an outing.
• Don’t go beeping your horn – We get it, it’s frustrating sitting in a car that isn’t moving but please remember that everyone else is in the same boat, and tip workers are doing their best in these circumstances so please, don’t be that person.
• Pack your car efficiently – If you’re taking loads of random bits to the tip, try and load the car up with things for different bins all grouped together, that way you’re not faffing around going back and forth when you finally get into the tip.
• Bring your ID and tip pass – If this is something you usually need to enter your local tip, make sure you have it to hand so that you can get straight in, plus you don’t want to be turned away if you’ve forgotten it after waiting in a long queue.
• Pay attention – Listen to what the staff at the site are advising and follow any guidelines they’ve put in place, they’re only there to keep you safe.
• Don’t hang about – There are other people waiting. Dump your rubbish, go home, wash your hands.
“And lastly, and I can’t believe I even have to remind people this, but be polite,” says Hall.
Keep calm and carry on
Waste centres were closed to the public as part of the nationwide lockdown, but as these measures are expected to gently ease over coming weeks, people are likely to be able to leave their homes for more than just the weekly shop and essential journeys.
BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesman Mark Hall says, “Although we may all be granted some more freedoms, it doesn’t mean that we can start taking the mick and pretending we’ve gone back to normal – social distancing rules will still most likely apply across the board.”
BusinessWaste.co.uk is concerned that with local rubbish tips starting to reopen, people who have steadily been accumulating a pile of waste from countless DIY projects and garden overhauls will grab the first opportunity to get to the tip, creating chaos at packed out sites.
This was definitely the case in Birmingham when a queue of 150 cars had already gathered three hours before the tip had officially reopened, with the police having to help manage the traffic.
But while people are expected to surge to the tips on opening day, a number of people were unable to patiently wait for the tips to reopen to discard their waste, with an unfortunate rise in fly-tipping whilst tips were closed – up to 300% according to experts.
“This behaviour committed by a few people during a national crisis is disgusting,” says Hall, “but thankfully the majority of people have sensibly piled up their rubbish for future disposal.”
• “So now we ask that we patiently wait our turn and stagger use of the facilities, and not all rush at once!”
As cars flood into the tips overflowing with rubbish, staff are going to be working even harder than usual to cope with the rising demand, so a little bit of kindness to these folks can go a long way.
“After this stressful ordeal is over,” says Hall, “I personally don’t think it’s too far to suggest a statue in their honour.”
What happens to confidential waste while working from home?
With employees working from home because of the Covid-19 outbreak, how safe is the information they’re accessing and disposing of now it’s out of the office?
According to one specialist waste handling organisation, remote working means new headaches for companies and their data security.
UK waste collection agency BusinessWaste.co.uk knows that even during the crisis of a pandemic, confidential waste must be disposed of correctly in order to protect businesses and their customers from fraud or blackmail.
“Even if people are working from home, they need to be mindful that any waste they create needs to be destroyed in the same ways it would if they were in the office,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk company spokesperson Mark Hall. Companies could still be in line for massive fines if they get it wrong, Hall warns.
What counts as confidential waste?
Essentially, confidential waste refers to documents possessed by any company that can expose discrete information about suppliers, customers or employees.
“Basically, if it details any information about the nature of your work or anyone associated, then it counts as confidential information which will need proper disposal,” says spokesman Mark Hall.
However, it can be very tricky to distinguish what counts as confidential waste, as many businesses work with different mediums of materials.
BusinessWaste.co.uk has compiled a list of different types of confidential waste, making it easier to understand which work-related items will need expert disposal.
• Personnel files and contracts – including CVs and application letters
• Financial records – such as order forms, invoices, bills and statements
• Health and social care records
• Criminal Records
• Business cards, ID badges and security passes
• Letters, memos and other items containing names and addresses.
• New business proposals and business plans
• Used notebooks
• Product samples or profiles
• Research data
“If you’re working from home, you need to be aware that any of these resources could contain confidential details which could be dangerous in the wrong hands,” says Hall.
“So please make sure you or your staff don’t throw this information into the household waste!”
What could happen if it’s not disposed of properly?
Failing to dispose of confidential waste can lead to a variety of outcomes, ranging from prosecutions under the law to identity theft and fraud.
“Your company could fall victim to industrial espionage, so it’s really important to make sure that private information cannot be leaked to rival companies through improper disposal,” says Hall.
Although it might be easier to just chuck all rubbish into your household waste bin, there are legal implications such as breaching the UK 1988 Data Protection Act, which regulates the collecting, storing and destroying of confidential data.
Any companies that fail to oblige the act can face crippling fines from the UK data watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office.
“This is serious stuff that could ruin a company’s reputation and lose customers,” says Hall, “and if you’re the one discovered to be doing it, you could be fired.”
Confidential waste needs to be disposed of by a licensed waste removal company in order to comply with the latest laws and guidelines.
Actions you can take now
BusinessWaste.co.uk recommends that all members of staff be reminded about company policies regarding waste, and firmly told not to chuck any work materials into their household rubbish.
Mark Hall says that in an ideal world, sensitive information should not leave the office, so the best thing for businesses to do is to try to restrict what is essential and needs to be taken home.
Another suggestion from Hall is to make as many work tasks computer-based as possible, with sensitive files only accessible from a secure device approved by your company.
“The best thing you can do if you’re unsure is to keep all information secure and together at your home workspace, and when it is safe to do so, take it all back to work for proper disposal,” says Hall.
“If in doubt, don’t chuck it out.”
For further information see https://www.businesswaste.co.uk/confidential-waste/ and https://www.businesswaste.co.uk/waste-transfer-note-faqs/
It’s time to clean up our binning habits
With the world’s focus firmly fixed on the Covid-19 virus pandemic, maintaining perfect hygiene has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
However, a national waste company notes that while people are following the advice of healthcare officials, the resulting waste may not be doing much good for the planet.
Waste Collection experts BusinessWaste.co.uk has lifted the lid on the fact that with more hand sanitisers and liquid soaps being used, these single-use plastics are not always being efficiently recycled.
“Although it’s fantastic to see that people are really taking personal hygiene seriously, we have a duty to fulfil to our planet,” says company spokesperson Mark Hall.
How to tackle the plastic problem
The bottom line is that we all need to make sure that we are recycling as much as we can.
But with the nation buying every single bottle of liquid soap and hand sanitiser it can lay its hands on, BusinessWaste.co.uk sees up to 10 million empty bottles ending up in already stretched landfill sites.
“Times may be frightening and confused for many individuals during the COVID-19 outbreak, we cannot allow ourselves to fall into the bad habit of just chucking everything into the general rubbish,” says Mark.
“With everything currently up in the air, it’s understandable that recycling practices may not be everyone’s main concern right now,” says Hall, “but we need to make sure we continue recycling for the future.”
Most households and businesses now separate their rubbish into recycling bins – but the worry is that this will become seen as unimportant as people worry about their health.
And it’s feared that levels of recycling will drop during this global pandemic, says a concerned Mark Hall, but we have to keep stressing to people that as they use more hand sanitiser and soap, these plastic bottles could infesting the planet long after Coronavirus is gone.
“We don’t want one of the lasting legacies of Coronavirus to be the vast number of hand sanitiser bottles polluting our oceans and piling up around the world, but unfortunately it will be if we don’t act now.”
Recycle and shop smart – it’s really that easy
Plastic bottles are one of the most commonly recycled waste products, but it is important that they are recycled correctly. Fortunately, this is an incredibly simple process.
• Wash out the bottle to remove all residue and avoid contamination
• Take the cap off of the bottle, as different grades of plastic will be recycled separately
• Make sure soap bottle pumps are removed as they are not currently recyclable in the UK
• Place the bottle into your recycling bin ready for local collection
“If the hand sanitiser you’re carrying around in your bag runs out, we understand that the easiest thing to do is chuck it into the nearest bin,” says spokesperson Mark Hall, “but really the best thing you can do is to take it home, rinse it out, and recycle it. The environment will thank you for it.”
Another recycling method that BusinessWaste.co.uk hopes people will make use of is to refill existing plastic bottles once they’ve been rinsed out, to reduce the demand of manufacturing more plastic that could otherwise end up in a rubbish tip.
With the rise of local ‘zero-waste’ shop, it’s easy to find out where you can take your own containers and reuse them to stock up on cleaning essentials such as detergents, surface cleaners and soaps.
Soap manufactures Carex have recently launched a scheme which aims to get people to reuse their existing soap bottles. Refill pouches of soap can be purchased to fill soap pumps, and the pouches can be recycled through local Terracyle collect points, which can be easily found online.
“You can also buy bars of soap, which are just as effective at keeping your hands hygienically clean and have the added benefit of often not coming in plastic packaging,” says Hall, “Plus you’re bound to have a stash laying around from years of Christmas gift sets from your nan.”
So, while the world scrubs up, it’s important to remember the impact that plastic sanitizer and soap bottles will have in the future, and that we have to do something now to avoid millions of unnecessary bottles being dumped into landfills.
“We need to make sure that not only are we looking after ourselves, we need to be doing it in a responsible way that looks after the environment.”
Do you wish your business waste would just disappear? New research shows that the best way to dispose of waste is to throw it into a parallel universe.
As our planet becomes consumed by waste, where better to offload our rubbish than to put it in a portal to another dimension?
A national and not-evil-at-all waste and recycling company is offering businesses and citizens the chance to do just that by harnessing a well-known space-time anomaly.
UK-based BusinessWaste.co.uk (Bermuda Triangle Division) can remove all your unwanted rubbish, and make sure it will never be seen again.
“Are you an evil villain with toxic nuclear waste, or just a regular Joe with too much trash?” asks company spokesperson Hank Scorpio, “we will take it all – no questions asked.”
What are the benefits of using another dimension for waste disposal?
BusinessWaste.co.uk (Bermuda Triangle Division) has done the maths and found that utilising an interdimensional portal for waste management is 99% cheaper than sending it to landfill.
“It just makes sense, it saves a tonne of money as well as completely removing the waste from our planet,” says spokesperson Hank Scorpio.
“We initially thought about shooting all the rubbish into the sun, but that was too expensive. Also, the first test-run missed and now orbits Venus.”
Another benefit that Bermuda Triangle Waste claims is how much time new waste system will save each customer.
“Gone are the days of separating your rubbish and recycling. Just chuck it all in together, the portal will take care of it. There’s no need to separate your general waste from your recycling and nuclear waste anymore!”
How does the system work?
Bermuda Triangle Waste has taken advantage of things already living in the interdimensional portal to help get the job done.
“Ever wondered what happened to all those poor red shirts from Star Trek? They wound up in the portal and work for us now,” Mr Scorpio from our undersea base in the Caribbean.
They will collect your waste from the kerbside, throw it into a bigger-on-the-inside lorry based on tried-and-tested TARDIS technology, meaning they will take more rubbish than your local collection services. Gone are the days of squishing down your rubbish to make sure your bin-lid closes.
Scorpio explains, “We wanted to make sure that we could take absolutely everything, so what better to use than a ‘bigger-on-the-inside’ time machine! Plus they seem to have a never-ending supply of jelly babies, I haven’t had to buy snacks in months.”
Bermuda Triangle Waste then take the rubbish to a portal hidden in a *top secret location*, where it is never to be seen again.
“We are unable to disclose exactly where our portal is, for legal reasons,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk company spokesperson Hank Scorpio, “But what we can say is that we can guarantee that any waste thrown into this space-time anomaly won’t be coming back to this planet.”
“I mean, we threw Godzilla in there a while ago, and no one has seen him since, have they?”
Can you really throw away anything into the portal?
Yes. Absolutely anything can be thrown into the portal, no matter how big, small, or embarrassing it might be.
Customer Ryan has made great use of the scheme, “I’m doing my bit for the planet and rounding up all the Green Lantern DVDs and merchandise I can find. They belong in the portal. It’s the least I can do for humanity.”
It isn’t just shameful franchises that are winding up in the portal, absolutely anything can be removed from the Earth forever.
“I ordered a huge batch of hats to be made with my campaign slogan on, but I made a bit of a typo on the order form,” says Donald, “Turns out the portal is the best place to remove all traces of my mistake, I don’t want people thinking I’m stupid.
“It also turns out that America isn’t spelt with a double ‘m’.”
In the unlikely event that a global disaster occurs as a result from the use of the portal, Bermuda Triangle Waste cannot be held accountable. Therefore, please contact Agent Nick Fury at S.H.I.E.L.D, so we can palm the problem off on them, because they just love any opportunity to save the world.
As people overstock, bins are overflowing
As people prepare to self-isolate to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, many are afraid that they will run out of everyday essentials.
But as people flock to the shops to fill their cupboards, is this doing more harm than good?
BusinessWaste.co.uk, a national waste collection company, warns that panic buying will result in more food being thrown away as people are buying far more than they need.
“At the moment there is a huge strain on supermarket supply chains to ensure there is enough food to go around during these difficult times,” says company spokesperson Mark Hall.
“People should only buy what they need, otherwise they will only be throwing a lot of it away when it all goes out of date. There’s only so much you can eat.”
Greed in the aisles, bare shelves and full fridges
Fears of being housebound for the foreseeable future are causing people to fill up their cupboards, fridges and freezers in a bid to make sure they don’t run out of food.
“Coronavirus is sending people into an overbuying frenzy,” says Hall, “They’re wasting money on things they don’t even need or want, and it’ll only end up in the household bin.”
Hall explains that you only need to see the empty shelves of your local supermarket to understand the extent of the problem.
“I went into Waitrose and got the last pot of hummus, but the olives were already gone”, says shopper Steven from Harrogate, “What if I want to throw together an impromptu mezze board?”
Susan, a mother of three from Chesterfield, who was searching her third supermarket of the day for supplies sums up the national mood: “I’m only stockpiling because everyone else is. If I don’t get as much as I can when I see it, who knows when I’ll be able to get hold of it again?”
But as some clear the shelves and overfill their cupboards, Business Waste are concerned that others will be unable to get hold of basic supplies, which is why they are recommending that shoppers only buy what they know they will use in sensible quantities.
“Some people cannot spend more than a set budget every week, therefore are unable to buy in bulk,” says Hall.
“It’s not fair to these people to excessively fill up your cupboards with fifteen bags of potatoes and a month supply of bread which goes in the bin, when the likelihood is that most of this food will end up in landfill anyway. If everyone only buys what they need, then we can massively reduce the amount heading into the trash.”
Should we be limiting how much food we buy?
Many supermarkets have recently taken action to try and prevent stockpiling, by introducing war-like rations on how much people can buy.
Supermarkets such as Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s have restricted shoppers to a certain amount of each item, including everything from groceries to toiletries, in a bid to stop stockpiling and in due course a huge volume of waste.
As BusinessWaste.co.uk’s Mark Hall points out, these policies will be pivotal to making sure that people get the resources they need, without there being an increase in waste.
UK supermarkets are also introducing schemes to make sure that vulnerable customers can come in and safely get their shopping, such as only opening for the first hour to the elderly.
But as Hall highlights, it’s not just the elderly we need to be considerate of, it’s people with dietary requirements as well.
“I can’t drink dairy, and everyone has been buying all the milk alternatives,” says Ben, a worried shopper from Woking. “What am I supposed to do?”
“All the gluten free stuff’s gone,” Laura of Reading says. “I’m coeliac – help, anybody?”
“We need to be mindful of others when we shop,” says Hall, “We need to leave enough for other people and not just buy it all and shove it into freezers. You could be denying a neighbour of something they desperately need.”
“It’s much better to make sure there’s enough food for everyone, than to buy too much and chuck it in the bin.”
And remember, if you do still have food scraps, at least make sure it is recycled with household food collection schemes, or better still, compost it.
As supermarkets struggle to fulfil demand, calls for unwanted food to be redistributed.
As people prepare to stay at home for weeks on end, many businesses are feeling the full force of the Covid-19 pandemic as they close their doors to the public for the foreseeable future.
Establishments such as hotels and restaurants will see their fully stocked kitchens potentially going to waste while supermarket shelves are being laid bare on a daily basis.
This irony is not lost on BusinessWaste.co.uk, a UK commercial waste collection company, who feel that these hospitality kitchens may be an untapped resource in our time of need, and calls for the sensible redistribution of unwanted food.
“Supermarket shelves are being ransacked everyday as people frantically stockpile, meanwhile there’s plenty of food sitting in unused kitchens,” says company spokesperson Mark Hall.
“Surely hospitality businesses need to be making this food available to the public, otherwise much of it will go out of date and end up in the bin, which would be such a waste.”
Checking out, not chucking out
Restaurants, hotels and cafes are now switching their food service to takeaway status, but business is set for a nose-dive.
Many businesses pride themselves on serving fresh foods, but with no one to eat them a huge amount of food looks like it will definitely be going to waste.
Felicia is a chef from a top hotel, and she worries about the amount of food left behind as her employers ended trade this week. “As we hung up our aprons at the end of the last shift, I left knowing that all of our freezers had been recently completely filled, and that the fridge was rammed with fresh ingredients.”
“A few of us took bits home, but I know that when I go back, I’ll have to throw a disgusting amount of food away. It’s just not right.”
The hospitality sector already produces 920,000 tonnes of waste a year in the UK (that’s enough for 1.2bn meals – Source: WRAP), and this number looks likely to increase due to the waste that will be created by so much uneaten food during this outbreak.
“All of this comes at a time where fights in supermarket aisles become a daily occurrence, as people scrap over the last precious tins of tomatoes and fresh loaves of bread, which goes in the waste collection bin, blissfully unaware that the closed-down businesses they drove past on the way may have everything they were looking for in their kitchens and stockrooms”, says company spokesperson Mark Hall.
“There’s a large amount of food sitting around not being eaten which is crazy in this time of need, so why shouldn’t people be able to get their hands on it before it perishes?”
Raiding the cupboards
Business Waste conducted an online questionnaire to find out what the public thinks would be the right thing to do with this hidden supply of food. The results ranged from practical, to practically ridiculous.
• Amanda, Falmouth: “It would be such a shame to see all this perfectly good food going to waste. I think they should be opening their doors to the most vulnerable like the elderly and the disabled and let them come in and take the food. They’re the ones missing out while everyone else is playing supermarket sweep.”
• Ethan, Hastings: “Why are we trying to take away from businesses here? They should be shoving it all into freezers, so they have stock when this pandemic is over, it’s not our right to be claiming dibs on whatever they’ve got.”
• Tony, Chester: “First come, first serve. That’s the motto I live by. First one there gets dibs on the goods. I’m hoping for a few months’ worth of free Nando’s out of this.”
• Tanya, Hull: “Why can’t they arrange a soup-kitchen kind of set up for the homeless. They rely on donations for food, and people are hardly going to be donating while they’re selfishly stockpiling are they? It makes the most sense to me.”
• Imran, Aberystwyth: “The government needs to get involved here. Maybe put all the food into a giant central reserve, and then they can dish it out equally to every person in the country like wartime rations.”
BusinessWaste.co.uk’s Mark Hall: “We still have time to make use of this food, we just need business owners to come forward and help out in our time of need.”
“Food is meant to be eaten, not thrown away, the amount of perfectly good food we are collecting at the moment is utterly sickening.”
Do you have an overflowing household waste bin? If you have reached the stage where you’ve had enough of mounting, uncollected household waste or other waste including commercial business waste, you should consider our one-off, Adhoc, private waste collection service. For a fixed fee, we can make your waste disposal headache disappear.
More working and schooling from home = more waste
One off bin collection
With the current increase in working at home, lots of households will be generating more waste. Not only that but with many non-essential businesses and services suspending their activities it means there will be more people spending more time at home. This is bound to create more waste than usual and will stretch a household’s hygienic waste storage capability.
Prevent further harm to your local environment
Any surplus of uncollected waste will cause damage to the environment from a hygiene point of view. Excess, uncollected waste brings with it an increased risk of pests and creates the perfect setting for the spread of infectious diseases. In addition, it also escalates the potential for fire hazards.
Arrange an extra home waste collection
Additional residential waste collections can make all of those dangers go away. Arranging extra waste pick-ups couldn’t be easier thanks to the new service we are now offering. Your local authority will still collect as before, but, by taking avoiding action, you can get around the problem of built-up excess waste with one phone-call.
One-off collection offered no contract necessary
As more and more people take up the option of working from home, creating extra waste is going to become the new norm. To help you to deal with this problem we can provide you with an extra bin if this required but only as part of a longer-term commitment.
However, if you only have a temporary surplus, we are provide a hassle free one-off ad hoc collection without the need for a contract.
What our residential waste collection service includes
Here’s what you get when you choose our residential waste collection service
• A one-off, ad hoc, private service without any contract
• User-friendly book by phone or email option
• Empty bin put back tidily after emptying
• Collection of waste in an existing bin
• Any waste collected from anywhere in the UK
As you can see, our waste collection service covers all residential requirements.
Waste to energy
Your waste won’t go to waste. Virtually everything we collect from your bin will be recycled or if that is not viable, it will be used to be converted into energy. Just one tonne of waste can make as much as 598 kWh of electricity. One-years’ worth of waste from an area the size of any UK city can power: all the following
• 1 million fridges
• 108,000 average size homes
• 2.8 million office computers or laptops
• 12 million low energy light bulbs
• 2.1 million television sets
How awe-inspiring is that?
We understand that additional residential waste collections are required for many reasons. Whatever the reason, and whatever the waste we can help you to easily get rid of it for you.
Catering for a rapidly increasing demand for extra bin collections
The demand for additional residential waste collections is on the rise, be assured that we can book and collect your waste quickly in some areas offering we can offer a same day collection, please speak to a member of the sales team to confirm for your area.
Charity shops lift the lid on some of the strange stuff they’ve received
The staid and dependable world of charity shops hides stock rooms filled to bursting point with the horror and the turmoil of strange donations.
While most of us see quiet shops filled with quality second hand clothing, bric-a-brac and a million copies of “Fifty Shades” books, behind the scenes there are volunteers wondering whatever bonkers item they’ll find next among donated goods.
UK waste collection company BusinessWaste.co.uk, which works closely with charity shops to encourage reuse, and to ensure that the minimum possible items go to waste, asked workers and volunteers to list their weirdest finds, and they did not disappoint.
“It’s safe to say that some people think charity shops will take any old tat, no matter how damaged for tasteless,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesman Mark Hall, “luckily we’re here to take these things off their hands so they can be recycled for disposed of properly.”
A delve into the stockroom
BusinessWaste.co.uk asked workers at charity shops throughout the UK to list the weirdest, most disturbing, or funny items they’ve come across from public donations.
• A taxidermied owl, clutching a taxidermied mouse (“We weren’t even sure if that kind of thing is legal these days”)
• “Far too many” wedding photo albums
• A blood-stained wedding dress (“I wouldn’t have liked to have been at that reception”)
• 30 self-portraits of the same man (“He kept coming back into the shop to see if anyone had bought one. They had not”)
• A “really terrible” portrait of Princess Diana (“She looked like she’d just swallowed a wasp. Several wasps, the poor love”)
• A VHS tape of the A-Team TV series, but closer inspection revealed it to actually be an episode of Lovejoy (“Still a major win as far as we are concerned”)
• Dirty, stained bedsheets (“Come on folks, it’s not beyond the realms of decency to give them a wash before you donate them, is it?”)
• A Monopoly set with real but out-of-date bank notes inside (“We tried to track down the donor, but in the end The Bank of England were quite happy to exchange them for a good cause”)
• Several tins of octopus, apparently from somebody’s holiday in Spain (“We don’t accept food donations, but they thought we could raise – ha ha – up to six squid from them”)
• A sealed box with something rattling inside. The donor said it was cursed. (“Thanks for that, we’re not a personal exorcism service, we just raise money for the hospice”)
BusinessWaste.co.uk’s Mark Hall reveals: A lot of the charity people said they know all about Facebook groups featuring wild charity shop finds, but items that don’t make it to the shop floor go right off the scale compared to what appears on social media.
“I’m told that in many cases, the charity has its own reputation to think about. They’ve strict rules about shoddy goods and electricals, but they’ve also their own way of doing things when it comes to taste and decency. For example…
“What can a charity shop do with a suitcase full of porno magazines? The answer to that is stick it in the recycling like the donor should have done in the first place,” he says.
Making the best of it
And that’s where companies like BusinessWaste.co.uk come in.
“We already have a working relationship with many charity shops as part of their commercial waste disposal obligations,” says spokesperson Mark Hall, “so we go the extra mile helping them dispose of the strange stuff they receive.”
Hall says that BusinessWaste.co.uk encourages reuse and recycling, and in most cases charity shops represent the face of making the best of second hand goods up and down the country. This is especially so when they get nothing but one particular item in their donations, which they know they’ll never be able to shift.
“It used to be Dan Brown books, but now it’s Robbie Williams CDs and Fifty Shades, and all those copycat erotic novels,” says Mark Hall. “At one point most shops literally had boxes full of unread Fifty Shades, and books are particularly difficult to recycle because of the glue they use in the spines.
“We heard of one shop that made a very sturdy desk out of several dozen Fifty Shades books and a donated kitchen work top. That’s brilliant recycling,” Hall said.
The real problem, though, is dealing with hazardous donations.
“It’s when they need to get rid of something out of the ordinary from people who see charity shops as some sort of free rubbish skip that we really need to step in,” he says.
It’s not unusual for charities to find completely unacceptable items among their donated goods – car batteries, chemicals, half-used tins of paint and dozens of fluorescent strip lights. They need specialist disposal, and that – in the end – hits charities in the pocket.
And that’s led to this appeal from BusinessWaste.co.uk: “THINK about what you’re giving to charity. In the end you end up costing them money for something you should have dealt with yourself.
“Let charity shops get on with what they do best – raising money for good causes. They’re not your personal rubbish service!”
“But we’re quite interested in that cursed box. As a present.”
Fly-tipping: Let’s call it ‘Environmental Terrorism’ from now onIt’s time to label these criminal gangs for what they really are.
Fly-tippers who destroy local beauty spots and hand huge clean-up bills to councils should be called out as environmental terrorists and treated as such.
That’s the opinion of a nationwide commercial waste collection company, which has had enough of seeing hazardous materials dumped at the side of the road by people who lack any sort of moral code.
UK based BusinessWaste.co.uk says that the “fly-tippers” label is far too bland for the danger and destruction they cause, and a stronger term is needed as we head into a global climate emergency – especially as it emerges that organised crime is behind many large dumping incidents.
“We don’t think it’s too over-the-top calling these criminals ‘environmental terrorists’,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, “They damage local communities and the countryside, and we need to make it a truly shameful crime, with truly fitting punishments”.
The cost of fly-tipping
According to UK government statistics* there were over one million fly-tipping incidents in England alone in the year 2018/19.
Fly-tipping is becoming a national epidemic, with incidents increasing by 8% year-on-year
The clear up cost for incidents classed as a “large lorry load”, which comprised only around 3% of all incidents, was £12.9m.
One third of incidents were classed as “small van load”, which points to rogue traders dumping their waste instead of paying rubbish tip charges
Councils managed to issue 76,000 fixed penalty notices to fly-tipping offenders, while another 2,000 people were fined in court, raising some £1m – that’s an average fine of just £500.
“It’s infuriating,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk’s Mark Hall, “These stats show that there are many people who are willing to risk a relatively small fixed penalty rather than pay gate charges at council waste facilities.
“And despite the increase in people getting caught, the figures show that they get away with it nine times out of ten.”
Now that it has emerged that a huge increase in large dumping incidents is the work of organised criminal gangs setting up fake waste removal companies**, it’s time to take a different tack and hit them with the full force of the law, with punishments to fit.
This is especially urgent as unscrupulous gangs offer services claiming they remove and dispose of hazardous waste such as chemicals and asbestos, putting public health and the environment at risk in the name of short-term profit.
Why is fly-tipping an act of terrorism?
Fly-tipping isn’t just an ugly blot on the landscape.
Fly-tipped rubbish often contains chemicals and hazardous waste that needs to be dealt with safely.
Dumping this waste in the countryside risks wildlife and water tables, and has serious long-term effects.
Dumping this waste in urban areas like housing estates and alleyways risks the health of the public, especially inquisitive children.
“Fly-tippers don’t care about this, they’re only interested in the bottom line – their bank balance,” says Mark Hall.
“They may think of it as purely a business transaction, but it’s an act of terrorism against everyone and everything decent in this country.”
Punishments to fit the crime
BusinessWaste.co.uk appreciates the fact that courts can issue unlimited fines on environmental criminals who fly-tip their waste. However, the average fine is only £500, which would been seen as an acceptable risk for the offender.
But only 0.2% of offenders end up in court facing a fine, the majority (and that’s still only about 8% of all incidents) receiving a fixed penalty notice. The vast majority of cases remain undetected.
That’s why BusinessWaste.co.uk wants these criminals to be called Environmental Terrorists, with punishments to match.
Community clear-up punishments
Awareness courses, paid for by the offender
And if we wanted to go a bit medieval, there’s also
The stocks, to be pelted with rubbish
A walk of shame dressed as a bin
“We’re not seriously suggesting the stocks and public shaming,” says Mark Hall, “But now is the time to ram home the idea that fly-tipping is a crime against the whole community”.
It’s time to call out these people and shame them into changing their ways.
Over a billion journeys, but customers only get a single waste bin
Thousands of tonnes of rubbish which could have been recycled go straight to landfill every year because of a lack of recycling available on Britain’s trains.
There are over a billion and a half individual rail journeys in the UK every year, with passengers generating tonnes of waste products which are never recycled, a national waste company says.
That’s all because of a lack of choice on trains, says waste disposal experts BusinessWaste.co.uk
“Network Rail and the train franchises say they’re proud of the recycling records,” says company spokesman Mark Hall, “but the lack of on-board choice gives an empty ring to their words. They need to do more.”
According to the Office of Rail and Road, rail passenger journeys rose to 1.759 billion in 2018-9.
And tens of millions of these journeys inevitably create some sort of on-board waste, BusinessWaste.co.uk says.
Among this rubbish, you’ll find food wrappers, food waste, newspapers and magazines, plastic drinks bottles, drinks cans, and the general detritus that comes with sitting in a railway carriage for any period of time.
“As you can see, it cries out to be recycled, but it all goes into the single general waste bin that you see on most trains and rail platforms which is never going to be recycled,” BusinessWaste.co.uk’s Mark Hall says.
That means there’s no inclination from the rail companies to separate this waste, so it all heads straight to landfill as general waste: “Nobody wants to fish apple cores and banana skins out of a plastic sack of old newspapers,” Hall says.
“That’s a direct cost to the rail companies as Landfill Tax, a cost that’s inevitably passed on to passengers. And it’s also a cost to us all as wasted resources,” he says.
Passengers want to recycle
There is a will among rail passengers to recycle their on-board waste.
BusinessWaste.co.uk conducted a survey of 1500 rail passengers, and found:
82% of passengers would recycle their waste on board or on the platform if facilities existed
Only 9% of passengers say they take their recyclable waste home to put in their own bins
Alex from Basingstoke, who has a season ticket on South Western Railway is typical of views we heard: “I’d love to recycle things into different bins, but we only get the one on Class 450s. It’s a pain, but I’m not so passionate about it to carry a bag of rubbish to work or back home.
“I suppose we’re lucky to get bins at all,” he told Business Waste.
And that’s true – it wasn’t so long ago that you’d be hard-pushed to find any sort of bin on the railways, the result of Irish Republican terrorism in the 1980s and 1990s which found easy targets in bins and toilets on the UK’s railway networks.
But times change, and people want bins and more of them: “Once again we see a willingness from people to recycle if they get the chance and if it’s convenient,” says Mark Hall.
“And also, we see that people don’t tend to recycle if there’s an immediate inconvenience, such as taking their rubbish home with them.”
Train of thought
BusinessWaste.co.uk wants train franchises to rethink their rolling stock and allow at least rudimentary facilities for recycling.
“Even if it’s a receptacle for free newspapers in the carriage vestibule, that would be a start,” says Mark Hall.
Free newspapers comprise the huge majority of train refuse, especially on rush hour services.
On long-distance, daytime and late evening routes, that rubbish is more likely to be food waste, and – again – there’s no way to dispose of drinks cans and plastic bottles separately.
“It doesn’t take much of a train of thought to boost recycling rates on trains at all,” says Hall.
“Although there might be initial costs refitting rolling stock and platforms with suitable receptacles, they will pay for themselves reasonably quickly with reduced Landfill Tax payments.”
It makes sense, and it’s what people want.
A massive thank you to our customers, suppliers and dedicated colleagues, it’s been an amazing journey in the 4 years since we launched Business Waste LTD. Heres to 2020 and beyond.
Eco focussed waste company hits £10,000,000 after just 4 years
Major jobs boost for Yorkshire-based commercial waste collection and disposal company
One of Yorkshire’s success stories continues to shine with the announcement that it is taking on new staff as it continues to grow.
York-based BusinessWaste.co.uk, a national waste and recycling company which provides refuse services to commercial clients, says that it plans to add 15 new posts on top of the 58 it already provides in the local area.
Founded in 2015, the company has gone from strength to strength, and boasts a turnover of more than £10m, hoping to increase this to £13.5m in the coming year.
BusinessWaste.co.uk managing director David Adams is understandably proud of the way the company has grown, and says: “In an uncertain time for businesses up and down the country, we’re continuing to bring in local jobs for our national company”.
The scores on the doors
Born out of the idea of providing companies and organisations with the cheapest available commercial waste contracts, BusinessWaste.co.uk now boasts over 12,000 customers creating a turnover of some £10.2m in 2019.
Committed to local employment, the company moved into its second York office due to expansion in 2017, and now has 58 staff, and has provided apprentices for 22 people.
The company has also invested £235,000 on in-house software, specifically designed to give customers the best possible deal for their waste collections.
“That’s the secret of our success,” says David Adams, “We promise our customers spectacular savings and astonishing reliability on one of the least attractive obligations required of all businesses, and we keep those promises.”
Greener but not leaner
In an age of concern for the planet and the environment, BusinessWaste.co.uk is proud of its green record, having diverted over 50,000 tonnes of waste from landfill.
“That’s the equivalent of over 20,000 African elephants,” says company spokesperson Mark Hall.
“Then there’s the 17 million glass bottles we’ve recycled. That’s a lot of glass.”
It’s cheaper to recycle than it is to bury all your rubbish in a big hole in the ground, and that’s the message BusinessWaste.co.uk uses to save its thousands of customers money on waste collections.
“Not only do we encourage our customers to join our green commitments, we’ve also been at the sharp end of campaigns to discourage single-use plastics.
“Having a greener business is – in the long term – great for business,” says Mark Hall.
And that’s been borne out in increasing turnover for BusinessWaste.co.uk from companies and organisations happy to pay less for their waste contracts.
The future is bright, the future is rubbish
York’s BusinessWaste.co.uk is proud of its local roots and its continued commitment to local jobs.
“We’re proud and thrilled of our success story,” says David Adams, “And every new job we create makes us prouder still.”
Repeating a message that the company has used since day one, Adams says: “We refuse to be beaten on price.
“And not only that, we refuse to be beaten on having most reliable service in the trade as well.”
Not only that, BusinessWaste.co.uk is proud to be perhaps one of the happiest companies to work for in Yorkshire.
“We have a great culture including shared learning and mind fullness. We just enjoy being a big happy team.”
And with plans to recruit even more staff to this Yorkshire success story, that team is going to be getting even bigger in 2020.
Here’s why you shouldn’t be tempted to this shocking addition to disposable culture
In the long and not particularly distinguished history of terrible Christmas gifts there has rarely been a product so pointless and environmentally damaging as the disposable phone charger.
That’s the professional opinion of a British waste and recycling company which is equally alarmed and disappointed at finding these use-once-then-bin devices are still on sale as impulse purchases on supermarket tills.
According to UK based BusinessWaste.co.uk, disposable power banks are another symptom of the disposable culture in which we’re living.
“We’re shouting from the rooftops to try to get people to stop being wasteful,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, “And then these things come along literally encouraging people to think short term. What’s going on?”
Everybody needs to charge their phone, right?
Available for as little as three pounds, the disposable phone chargers come with sufficient power to recharge most mobile devices.
They look the ideal Secret Santa gift or stocking filler for somebody who is always looking for somewhere to charge their mobile phone.
And who doesn’t need an emergency hit of power when the “battery low” alert comes on when you’re in the middle of an important WhatsApp conversation? We all do, so we hunt around for a friendly power socket or charger to get that battery percentage back into the green.
And there, on the supermarket till, it’s winking at you: Three quid, directly into the charging port. Oh yeah.
But they come with a hidden cost: Each one comes with a lithium battery inside.
A lithium battery that is used once and then thrown away.
“Lithium batteries are rechargeable,” says Mark Hall, “which makes it even worse”.
And as only a fraction of the UK’s electronic waste is recycled, you can lay very good odds that thousands of these devices end up in landfill alongside the other 50 million tonnes of this country’s e-waste.
“They’ve been around for a couple of years now, and we’re dismayed that you can still get them from major retailers,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk’s Mark Hall. “And they’re available on online tat market Ebay for pennies, too.”
Literally for a few pounds extra, you can buy a reusable power bank, which – with a little love – can give you hundreds of uses before it goes to the big recycling centre in the sky (via your local council small electricals bin).
You just want to rob us of our right to 100% battery, then?
Nothing of the sort. With a little bit of what people call “getting your life in order”, you need never have a flat phone battery.
• Get a multi-use recharger. They are dirt cheap, are available everywhere, and last for ages. The perfect Secret Santa gift or stocking filler.
• Carry a plug and charging lead. There are plugs everywhere these days. Coffee shops are falling over themselves to give you somewhere to get that sweet, sweet electricity while you enjoy an Americano and a cake.
• See also buses, trains, burger bars, pubs, hotels. They all want your custom and the charging point is the new customer loyalty gimmick.
• Use your phone less. No, really. You can do it. Be brave.
The message is simple, says Mark Hall of BusinessWaste.co.uk. “The planet doesn’t need thousands of single-use batteries dumped in holes in the ground.
“We care about the environment, and the damage that we’re doing to it through single-use plastics and electronics is a disaster.
“Don’t give these useless devices as presents.”
Here’s why your Christmas countdown is a single-use plastic nightmare
In the next few days, millions of children – and quite a few adults – will open the first window on their advent calendars without a second thought of the mountain of waste to which they’re contributing.
One of Britain’s top waste and recycling companies estimates that there are 16.5 million advent calendars containing single-use plastics out there this year, which will be impossible to recycle and will end up either burned or dumped in landfill.
And, according to UK based BusinessWaste.co.uk, well-meaning attempts to recycle them mean that genuinely recycled waste will be contaminated, making the situation worse.
“Once again, we’re going to be the Grinches who stole Christmas”, says BusinessWaste.co.uk’s Mark Hall, “We’re the guys who are taking this one little bit of Yuletide joy and make you feel bad about it.”
It’s just cardboard and chocolate. What’s the problem?
It’s not just cardboard and chocolate, and there is a problem, says BusinessWaste.co.uk.
And with 16 and a half million advent calendars out there – more than enough laid end-to-end to stretch from London to the North Pole – that’s an awful lot of used calendars going into the bin once the Festive Season ends.
BusinessWaste.co.uk explains: Long gone are the days when kids would open the window on their card-backed advent calendar to see the picture hidden behind.
“We’re a society based on instant gratification – we want MORE,” company spokesperson Mark Hall explains, “That means advent calendars with even better gifts inside. Lovely.”
Now the vast majority have a chocolate or some other gift behind the door, and that’s where things have got complicated.
“They’ve added plastic and silver foil to the mix,” says Hall, “and because they’re glued together that’s made it expensive to recycle.”
It is – he says – a single-use plastic nightmare where it’s difficult to separate the two, meaning it’s more economically viable to either burn them or dump them straight into landfill.
“And frankly, neither of those is an acceptable outcome. What a waste.”
What makes it worse is that well-meaning attempts to recycle the innards of these calendars by putting the plastic/foil mix into the household recycling bin means that entire lorry loads of “recycled” waste in the New Year will be rejected as contaminated loads.
“That time of year is always a nightmare for refuse collectors,” Hall explains, “Shiny Christmas wrapping paper is another reason to reject loads intended for recycling, and the added plastics just make it worse.”
TIP: Rip your old advent calendar apart. Recycle the card packaging, just bin the rest.
Surely there’s an alternative?
Of course there are alternatives to these mass produced disposable efforts.
“Just Google ‘refillable advent calendar’ and you come up with dozens of affordable examples,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk’s Mark Hall.
“You fill them up with your own treats – and get this – you don’t throw it in the bin when Christmas is over. Used again and again it becomes a family heirloom – all part of your own Christmas traditions.
And what makes these reusable calendars so unique is that you get so much more that a tiny lump of chocolate for breakfast.
“What you put in them is up to your own imagination. How about throwing in the odd lump of coal the night before as a warning when your little one is heading for Santa’s Naughty List?”
BusinessWaste.co.uk is at pains to say that we’re not out to suck all the joy out of Christmas. (And we get no joy from the thought of a coal-based breakfast tantrum)
In fact, the exact opposite is true – we want people to dump the damaging convenience items that surround the Festive Season, use a bit of imagination and make it a proper family occasion.
“And if we can do that while protecting the environment, we’re quite happy to take all the Scroogey-Grinchy criticism on the chin and make this world a better place,” says Hall.
Why it’s high time we ditched cheapo Christmas crackers…and the shiny wrapping paper, and the plastic table cloth, and the Christmas napkins, and…
Families across Britain could give a huge present to the environment by dumping shop-bought Christmas crackers this year.
That’s the opinion of one of the country’s commercial waste collection experts, which says that the huge majority of treats from crackers are single use plastics, whose life is effectively over by the time everybody is sleeping off the Christmas pudding.
UK commercial waste management company BusinessWaste.co.uk says that the Festive Season creates more plastic waste than any time of year, most of which goes to landfill or is burned – all a horrifying waste of money, resources and energy.
“Instead,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, “families could choose a sustainable Christmas, just by using a bit of imagination and ditching the single-use plastics”.
The single-use Christmas
It’s estimated that over 40 million Christmas crackers end up in the bin on the 25th of December.
BusinessWaste.co.uk asked 1100 families about their Christmas habits when it comes to dealing with the day’s rubbish:
• A staggering 99% said they simply threw Christmas cracker gifts in the bin at the end of the day
• Some 81% said they used a plastic table cloth which is thrown away at the end of the Festive Season
• 78% said that their Christmas wrapping paper just goes straight into a big plastic bag and is jammed into the household waste bin
• Even Christmas table napkins aren’t immune – 45% said they threw out the unused ones in the New Year
“With tens of millions of us celebrating Christmas, the scale of unnecessary waste is appalling,” BusinessWaste.co.uk’s Mark Hall says.
“When you think what goes into a Christmas cracker – the plastic toy, the snap, the shiny paper hat, the ribbons – it’s all wasted. And millions of these are pulled and immediately binned every Christmas Day.
“And that’s before you factor in the fact that millions upon millions of these things are shipped halfway across the world from China. It’s madness,” he says.
The crackers amount of waste goes far beyond crackers, Hall says.
For example: Most gift wrapping paper is not recyclable because it contains plastics to give it that lovely sheen people love to see under their trees.
“And there’s something about Christmas that makes people forget their good recycling habits,” he says, “Everything seems to get stuffed into the household general waste bin over Christmas. Drink? Gluttony? Laziness? Who knows why.”
The sustainable Christmas
So, what can families do to avoid needless waste this Festive Season?
It’s simple: Just use a little brainpower to cut out the single-use plastics.
• Ditch the shop-bought crackers and make your own. All it takes is the middle out of a loo roll, a bit of tissue paper, and a bit of imagination for a gift and a joke. Tip: Raid the Quality Street tub.
“Get the kids to make them the week before the big day,” says Hall, “It’ll add to the fun when granny gets a handful of Werther’s Originals and a joke about an elephant’s bottom”.
• Don’t use printed Christmas wrapping paper which can’t be recycled. Use plain brown paper instead, or a large roll of white drawing paper. Believe us, your tree will look like something out of a lifestyle magazine on Christmas morning.
As one family told us: “We use gift bags that get used again and again every Christmas and birthday. It’s our family in-joke and it saves us hours wrapping presents – and nothing gets thrown out!”
• Plastic table cloth? Are you mad? Get a real table cloth that you wash in the New Year and use again for Christmases yet to come. Make it a dark colour that doesn’t show the stains.
Business Waste’s Mark Hall: “As you can see, most of these ideas require very little change at all, and won’t make your Christmas any less enjoyable.
“In fact, you’ll be giving the world a Christmas present, knowing you’ll be joining many other families choosing to do exactly the same thing by slashing their Christmas waste and kicking the single-use plastic out of the Festive Season”.
And you never know, with everybody pulling in the same direction it might even prevent the inevitable Christmas arguments. But we can’t help you there.
Schools are missing out on valuable income which could be generated from waste cardboard and commercial waste collections– as well as teaching their pupils a valuable lesson about the importance of recycling.
The 24,000 or so primary and high schools in the UK go through plenty of cardboard throughout the year, often in the form of delivery packaging for supplies such as books, pens, textbooks and other classroom essentials. But recycling and waste management experts BusinessWaste.co.uk are keen to remind schools they could be missing a trick when it comes to recycling their waste.
The average and spends between £300 and £1000 on waste disposal per year; but instead of paying for the removal of their cardboard, schools could be earning valuable funds from it instead.
Buyers of waste cardboard pay upwards of £60 per tonne of cardboard, meaning that schools could quickly offset some of their commercial waste collection costs each year simply by storing and selling the recycling cardboard they already use instead of paying for the disposal and importantly boost this by setting up a cardboard drop of scheme for parents and for local businesses who can’t afford a cardboard bin. However, BusinessWaste.co.uk said, it is possible to use their cardboard recycling scheme as a crucial life lesson for students, too.
Mark Hall, Communications Director of BusinessWaste.co.uk, said:
“Teaching young people about the importance of being environmentally friendly is absolutely key, and schools play an enormous role in helping them see the benefits of recycling their waste responsibly. If schools encouraged students and their parents to send in their own cardboard waste – freeing up valuable bin space at home – the community effort could generate more cash for crucial school supplies, teach children there’s a real, tangible benefit to recycling, and improve the local community’s attitude towards responsible waste disposal.”
The idea has many merits – the average primary school in the UK has 260 pupils, and the average secondary has 910 pupils. With funding for schools down 8% since 2009/10, inspiring young people to help contribute towards a shared recycling fund will help provide much-needed cash where schools are lacking and help support existing fundraising by the school.
Hall added: “Many parents are too busy – or too stretched financially – to contribute to yet another bake sale or raffle evening to help raise funds for their child’s school. But getting rid of your old Amazon boxes or the cardboard that came wrapped around your new sofa is not only free but a helping hand when council bin collections are less frequent than you’d like.”
With very little effort required by the school other than setting up a central collection point, these school recycling schemes could quickly generate a handy residual income source as pupils ‘donate’ scrap cardboard from Christmases, birthdays, and deliveries to be baled up and sold. BusinessWaste.co.uk suggests that schools could keep running totals of the weight of cardboard delivered to give pupils a visual connection to the benefits of recycling.
Hall concluded: “There are so many ways that schools can make this a fun, interactive way to get their pupils interested in recycling, as well as reducing costs or even making money for themselves! Challenges for pupils in different houses to see who can raise the biggest total of recycling would work well or keeping a fundraising chart on the school website showing exactly where the students’ cardboard contributions are going – for example, towards new sports equipment or computers.
“We’ve seen anecdotal evidence that schools who engage their pupils in a way that’s meaningful to their everyday lives improve those pupils’ attitudes towards the subject – and we think this is something which could really encourage recycling amongst young people. The fact that schools can make money from it makes it a win all-round!”
How the law of unintended consequences hits the plastic carrier bag tax
An unforeseen factor behind the supermarket plastic bag charge means that people are buying more single-use plastic bags.
It’s the kind of thing that makes you slap your forehead with frustration, one of the UK’s top waste and recycling companies says, and it’s all because of a thrifty habit we still haven’t shaken.
What everybody who supported the plastic bag charge levied on supermarket customers forgot is that millions of people use their supermarket carrier bags as bin bags, BusinessWaste.co.uk says.
“And as one study has found,” BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall says, “the cut in supermarket bags is now being offset by people buying more plastic rubbish sacks.”
Wait… that can’t be right, can it?
Here are the numbers:
According to a study published in a scientific journal earlier this year, the author concluded that in the US state of California, where single-use plastic supermarket bags are banned and shoppers have to pay ten cents for a paper sack:
• Some 20,000 tons of plastic supermarket bags were eliminated, but…
• This was offset by Californians buying an additional 6,000 tons of rubbish bags and refuse sacks
The logical conclusion from this is that nearly a third of people were using their shopping bags as bin bags, and they needed something else to hold their rubbish.
“This is the law of unintended consequences in action,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk ‘s Mark Hall, “and while there’s still a big decrease in the amount of plastic being used, it’s something nobody even thought would happen”.
That’s America. But what about the UK?
Mark Hall: “Of course, we had to find out if this is happening in the UK as well.”
And yes it is.
• BusinessWaste.co.uk carried out its own survey of 1500 households and found that:
• 470 households were buying extra rubbish bags instead of using supermarket plastic bags
• All put it down to the fact that supermarket carrier bags “cost money” and they don’t want to waste them by throwing them in the bin.
In fact, delving deeper showed that people tended to buy smaller rubbish bags, because – to quote one householder:
“Shop bags were just the right size for our bedroom and bathroom bins, and you just can’t get them for free anymore.”
So, as we’ve found out, the unintended consequence of the well-intentioned and enormously successful plastic bag charge in the United Kingdom is that it has undone a bit of household thriftiness for millions of people.
“And there’s no way that the charge is going to change because of that,” Hall says.
“Our top tip to people now belatedly in the market for refuse bags is to buy the ones with the highest rate of recycled materials, or bags that are biodegradable.
“And recycle more of your waste so you use fewer rubbish bags.”
OK, how about gaming the system? I can still get free bags?
And, as BusinessWaste.co.uk found out, there’s always people with a system to get out of paying 10p or more for a plastic bag.
It doesn’t always seem to work, though.
“We just use the free plastic bags that come with takeaway food,” one chap told us. “That does mean having take-out three or four times a week, and to be honest that’s not really worth it. Also, I’ve just gone up a jean size.”
While another householder with an eye for a deal said: “I bought a case of plastic bags from a wholesaler for pennies each.” Asked how many they have left as part of this extraordinary money-saving scheme: “Ten thousand.”
So, we know a gentleman in the English Home Counties – who wishes to remain anonymous for obvious reasons – with up to ten thousand plastic bags in his garage. We hope the rats and mice don’t get to them first.
But our message is this: Re use, recycle more, waste less. That’s how you win at this game.
Drug users upset by plastic straw ban
“I might as well just give up, I’m losing a fortune”
The move away from plastic drinking straws to paper has sparked one of the most bizarre complaints registered with a company, quite possibly since the dawn of time.
Yorkshire–based commercial waste services company BusinessWaste.co.uk says that they’ve fielded a comment that claims the end of plastic straws is annoying COCAINE USERS because their paper replacements just aren’t up to the task. Whatever that task might be, we don’t know.
Says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall: “Some guy came up to one of our refuse operators and gave him the whole nine yards about how recycling and saving the oceans is messing up his drug habit, and he couldn’t believe his ears.”
But while this little slice of somebody’s misspent life may seem funny, the dash for paper straws does leave genuine concerns, especially for disabled people, he says.
Recreational drug user less than happy
BusinessWaste.co.uk’s Mark Hall says the bizarre confrontation happened one morning in London when one member of our team was confronted by a man in his twenties while going about his rounds.
Our operator was told that paper straws “are useless for cocaine” as – apparently – they collapse under the strain before the user satisfied.
“I might as well give up, I’m losing a fortune in white stuff,” we were told.
Our operator pointed the complainant to the local police station if he wished to take the matter further. “Unsurprisingly, we have heard nothing since”, says Hall, “but we’ve got nothing but praise for our employee’s calm, patience, and exemplary customer support”.
However, Hall says, our drug-addled friend has a point to make about paper straws – they’re not the solution for the current problem, and millions are not yet recyclable.
From milkshakes to landfill
There’s been a lot of press about the poor performance of paper straws, and some of it is entirely justified says BusinessWaste.co.uk
For example, the coating that’s on millions and millions of them are unsuitable for recycling, and the best method of disposing of them is either through incineration for landfill.
“And the last thing we want is even more rubbish buried in holes in the ground,” says Hall.
The complaints that they’re of no use to the millions of people who like a fast-food restaurant milkshake are also borne out by personal experience.
“The straws give up halfway down the cup,” says Hall. “You’re better off with a spoon.
“Seriously,” he says, “I hope that a true recyclable straw of sufficient structural integrity is on the way soon. It will be a genuine step forward in removing tons of waste from the system.”
Why disabled people still need plastic straws
While most of us are complaining about how poor-performing paper straws are bringing about the downfall of our civilisation, there’s one voice that’s being drowned out by this First World Problem.
There are significant numbers of disabled people who find paper straws difficult to use, and only a more rigid plastic straw will suffice in a drink.
With plastic straws being harder to find in pubs, bars and restaurants, it’s making life difficult for people who find it difficult to drink without one.
Paralympic gold medallist and disabled rights advocate Tanni Grey-Thompson feels strongly about this and tweeted: “What upsets me is the number of people who demand the ban on straws but no understanding of why they’re needed. And the assumption we hate the environment. It’s not all disabled people’s fault.
“This is not life or death, but if plastic straws are not available it could cause lots of medical issues.”
While metal straws aren’t great for hot drinks, and paper straws collapse too easily, not enough is being done to ensure that people who still need plastic straws can find them.
The alternative, Baroness Grey-Thomspon said in a television appearance last year, is that disabled people just won’t socialise or leave the house, and that’s even more expensive in human terms.
“Let’s use some common sense here,” says Business Waste’s Mark Hall. “The issue for some folk is far more important than people think.”
Open fridges – seen in supermarkets up and down the country – should be banned due to their environmental impact.
Thousands of these open fridges are in supermarkets in the UK and millions worldwide. Now environmental experts BusinessWaste.co.uk has urged for them to be banned.
A common sight for shoppers, these fridges are used to display cold products such as meat, dairy, ready meals and other staples, and can line dozens of aisles in bigger supermarkets. They became popular with retailers as their open fronts allowed shoppers to see what was on offer more easily – leading to more impulse purchases and bigger profits for the businesses.
However, this open-fronted design is precisely what makes them so damaging for the environment. The refrigerant used in many of the leading retailers’ stores consists of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – a group of so-called ‘super greenhouse gases’ which are much more harmful even than carbon dioxide, which means that the over 7,000 supermarket locations in the UK are collectively making a hefty contribution to harmful emission levels.
Supermarket fridge facts:
– 1.5 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy are used by supermarkets each year, with 60-70% used by fridges – that’s the energy equivalent of boiling the kettle 15 million times. That’s a lot of cups of tea!
– Sainsbury’s alone uses 1% of the UK’s energy demand
– Supermarkets’ HFC gas emissions are equivalent to producing 5.6 billion plastic bags
– New ‘aerofoil’ technology in supermarket fridges could mean energy savings of up to 25% if adopted by retailers
While some retailers have made moves to improve the environmental impact of their refrigeration systems – with some of the household names, such as Aldi and Tesco, committing to reducing their HFC use – this fails to address the energy wastage which is a factor of all open fridge designs, regardless of the coolant used.
Mark Hall, spokesperson for BusinessWaste.co.uk, urged retailers to reconsider:
“Committing to reducing harmful emissions is all well and good, but retailers have been slow to do so in practice – and by continuing to use open fridges, they are simply paying lip service to improving their environmental credentials. Shoppers adapt quickly to new initiatives; the 5p plastic carrier bag levy is an excellent example of the general public quickly adopting new ways of shopping. And, with environmental concerns higher than ever on the public consciousness, we are finding that consumers are increasingly willing to accept that changes must be made to prevent further damage to our planet.”
If all UK supermarkets put doors on their open fridges, the electricity saved would be approximately double of that generated by Yorkshire’s coal-fired Drax powerstation – Europe’s second largest. It seems obvious, then, that closed fridges could result in cost savings for supermarkets, as well as improving their emissions.
Hall added, however:
“Supermarkets are ultimately concerned about the bottom line, and whether or not their sales would be affected without the pull of products catching shoppers’ eyes. They rely heavily on impulse purchasing – hence more expensive products being stocked at eye level and those tempting treats placed by the tills. But, as with many issues which are huge contributors to environmental damage, it’s now the responsibility of industries to innovate and find new ways to operate in this new, concerning landscape we find ourselves in.
“We urge all retailers to look more closely at how they store and market their cold products, and help dramatically reduce the use of open fridges in the UK. We have the opportunity to make the UK a leader in this space, and while some work has already been done, we have a long way to go.”
Roberta Lindley from Health and Safety software company Protecting.co.uk added “ Its worth noting that there could be certain dangers arising in older fridge with the leaking of toxic Freon gas, which is extremely harmful to the environment. A tell tale sign could be spots on oil dripping onto the floor. If you see that, get out of the shop”
Learn about fridge disposal
If 2018 was the year of the reusable coffee cup (but sadley not the end of single use coffee pods)and paper straws, where next for the ethical high street consumer? BusinessWaste.co.uk research takes a closer look at the areas to watch in 2019 as well as a look back at the progress so far.
Selling produce without excessive packaging is less a new idea and more a return to traditional methods, but packaging-free shops have seen a huge increase in popularity in the first half of 2019.
Plastic-free stores have opened in Edinburgh and London this year, with smaller versions – selling dried goods and refills of cleaning products, amongst other items – popping up in markets in Manchester and Leeds. Beauty retailers Lush have followed suit, opening a packaging free location where devoted followers of the cult brand can buy solid shower gels, soaps, and perfumes – all without packaging.
Increased demand is leading to much more choice for consumers who’d like to skip on wasteful packaging, making this an area to watch in 2019.
Renewable energy sources
This year has seen the first coal-free week in UK energy supply – and a huge rise in the number of consumers switching energy suppliers towards sustainable providers.
Firms such as Bulb and Ecotricity have been picking up thousands of new customers for their eco-friendly claims over 2018 and the start of 2019 – with plans which promise renewable and carbon-neutral energy sources.
In response, the Big Six energy providers have been forced to introduce new plans to accommodate increasingly eco-minded customers – although they often stop short of the more green companies’ claims, such as Npower’s Go Green plan which promises to match 100% of a user’s electricity usage (or 15% of their gas usage) by purchasing the equivalent in renewable energy certificates.
A greater move to renewable energy could not only encourage
bigger providers to offer better propositions, but could also prompt bigger
conversations at government level about investment in renewable energy sources
– watch this space!
Slow fashion has seen – well, a slow burn. Created as an antidote to the fast fashion of high street chains, whose cheap, often unethically sourced, garments are designed to be replaced in a matter of months, slow fashion focuses on ethical sourcing, high quality, and classic pieces which will stand the test of time. The industry has seen slow uptake due to the higher pricing associated with slow fashion and a lack of choice for consumers, but that could be about to change.
While even high-end brands like Versace are now keen to flex their sustainable muscle, at the more affordable end of the market there has been a boom in new brands – and existing companies upping their game. Retail giant H&M launched a new line of recycled-fabric garments; hundreds of companies signed a charter to reduce plastic waste; even High Street staple M&S has proudly announced all of its cotton now comes from sustainable sources and a clothes recycling scheme in partnership with Oxfam.
Mark Hall, spokesperson for BusinessWaste.co.uk, said:
“Consumers with environmental concerns will find themselves increasingly well catered to as the High Street catches up with demand – and we hope that the trends seen in the first half of 2019 continue throughout the rest of the year.
“Businesses can no longer ignore that people are more concerned than ever about the effects of consumerism on the environment, and they are taking notice slowly but surely. Consumers can have the biggest influence on this change by choosing to shop from retailers who take the environment seriously – and hit those who don’t in the profits and losses. “
Certain items should be banned immediately to prevent further damage the environment, business waste and recycling experts BusinessWaste.co.uk have said.
While the impact of single-use plastics is being discussed more visibly, actual change has been slow. The introduction of a 5p charge for plastic bags saw a dramatic reduction in the number of new bags issued by retailers, but still saw 500 million bags issued in six months after the scheme was rolled out – still equivalent to 4,000 tonnes of new plastic.
Similarly, many chain restaurants have announced their intention to introduce paper, rather than plastic, straws, following the Government’s announcement that they would soon ban the sale of plastic straws – but many outlets are still using plastic, 6 months away from the proposed implementation of the ban.
There are, research by BusinessWaster.co.uk and studies have shown, a number of items whose use – and subsequent disposal – create an unjustifiable amount of plastic waste. Here, we look at the worst offenders (and some alternatives):
Plastic bags take 10-20 years to break down in the environment – unlike a water-soluble alternative developed in Chile, which (despite looking identical to a traditional carrier bag) dissolves once stirred into water, removing the need for landfill-clogging plastics.
Taking a horrifying 450 years to break down, disposable nappies are one of the worst offenders for single-use plastic – and, as many contain moisture-locking gels, can have other unintended ill-effects once dumped in landfill. However, reusable cloth nappies are now widely available, and have been found to be better for babies’ skin – making for happier babies and more eco-friendly parents.
An unusual entry, but with 1.2 million fishing licences issued for 2015-16 (the most recent year for which data is available), there are millions of miles of plastic fishing line (which takes 600 years to break down) bought and discarded each year. Banning this would not stop angling enthusiasts, however – dissolvable fishing line has been developed which eventually breaks down in water, meaning fishing fans can still hook their catch of the day without adding to landfill!
By now, everyone is aware that smoking itself is dangerous – and banning it outright would contribute dramatically to an improvement in public health. But plastic cigarette filters, which are discarded once a smoker finishes their crafty smoking break, take between 1 and 5 years to break down in landfill. However, with improved support for smoking cessation and reusable vaping technology available, there are alternatives for those who are addicted and struggling to quit.
Taking up to 450 years to break down, plastic bottles are a prime offender – and banning them could see the continued increase of reusable water containers, which have seen a dramatic increase in sales in recent years. Many of these are more durable plastics, or aluminium, and therefore can be used for many years before needing recycling.
Horrifyingly, there are no indications for how long this widely-used packaging material takes to break down after it has been discarded – causing a potentially massive headache for the environment, as online shopping (and therefore carefully-packed parcels) reaches new heights each year. However, there are eco-friendly alternatives to styrofoam. From bamboo fibre packaging to cardboard ‘packing peanuts’, there are a wealth of cushioning options for your brand new TV to be delivered safely.
While aluminium cans are recyclable, many local authorities lack the capacity to actually do so – and many millions of drinks cans are sent to landfill each year. However, as they can take up 200 years to break down, drinks retailers could consider more eco-friendly options if they were banned – such as reusable glass containers or even recyclable cardboard cartons.
BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall said:
“We truly believe that there cannot be significant change to the amount of single-use plastic – and other materials – going to landfill without equally significant action. Banning these products might seem like a big step, but as we’ve shown, there are plenty of eco-friendly alternatives.
“The best way to encourage businesses to innovate and find better ways of manufacturing is to create demand for it, and that’s what we believe a ban on these items would do. The general public are now more aware of green issues than ever and we feel that there would be widespread support for a bold move towards improving our environmental credentials.”
As wildfire races through even more acres of British countryside this week, devastating the beautiful Ilkley Moor, calls are being made to ban disposable barbecues to prevent further damage.
The ancient moorland, in West Yorkshire, saw two fires over the Bank Holiday weekend – despite laws having been in place since 1900 prohibiting citizens from having fires on the moor. Firefighters tackled the blazes for several days to control the damage, but a number of eyewitnesses were appalled to report that there were still thrill-seekers holding barbecues in the area.
Local business and recycling & waste disposal experts, BusinessWaste.co.uk, have called for the disposable barbecues – often costing as little as two or three pounds – to be banned.
There are a number of downsides to using the cheap grills – not least of which is their throwaway nature, which (combined with their cheap price) means they perpetuate the harmful ‘single-use’ culture which threatens the environment. They also contain charcoal, which is normally unsustainably sourced, contributing to the ‘desertification’ of forest, and cannot be recycled or composted, meaning that for each one sold in the UK each year – estimated at over a million – there is new waste committed to landfill.
Mark Hall, Communications Director of waste collection compnay BusinessWaste.co.uk, said
“One supermarket chain alone sold 300,000 disposable barbecues last year – that means there are likely over a million of them sold each year, each one contributing to ruining forests for charcoal and adding to piles of waste in landfill. While most people will dispose of them safely, even a small percentage failing to do so could have drastic consequences for the local flora and fauna. Banning them wouldn’t mean the end of the great British barbecue – but it would mean the end of a throwaway attitude to something which can do real harm.”
The business has called for ‘swift and decisive’ action to be taken by some of the biggest retailers in the Ilkley area and across the UK, including Tesco, Booths and Co-op. BusinessWaste.co.uk say that a move to immediately ban the sale of these items will reduce anti-social behaviour, cut down on littering, and show a real commitment to improving both their local and national green credentials.
To date, no response has been provided.
Other areas have taken similar steps, with Moors Valley in Dorset banning disposable barbecues in 2018 following two enormous moors fires in Greater Manchester and Lancashire.
Mark Hall concluded:
“It’s truly heartbreaking to see huge areas of iconic British countryside damaged due to the thoughtless and selfish actions of a few – and we would strongly urge retailers to reconsider selling disposable BBQs, which are very often the source of wildfires.
“Being based a stone’s throw from this week’s fire on Ilkey Moor, we’ve seen first hand the devastation that can be done, and we are indebted to the incredible, tireless fire service who have been ensuring nobody was hurt.”
“As amazing as the emergency services have been, we shouldn’t have to rely on already-stretched public services to tackle completely preventable damage. Items which are not only environmentally unfriendly due to their packaging and disposal, but also repeatedly cause enormous, irreparable damage to our countryside should be banned without question, and it is our duty to champion that cause.”
Everyday life can be hectic and small details often get missed – but a staggering 95% of households have ‘no idea’ which of their rubbish bins are due to be collected each week, waste disposal experts BusinessWaste.co.uk have found.
The survey conducted by BusinessWaste.co.uk, which polled 1,400 households, showed that the vast majority of households could not remember which of their bins was due to be collected that week – and an entertaining number of respondents admitted to resorting to ‘Bin Chess’ to find out.
Kelly, 38, from Bristol, laughed: “It starts on a Sunday evening – you can see people popping their heads round their curtains seeing if anybody’s made the first move yet so that everyone else can follow suit.”
While it might sound like something from a spy film, this is much less glamorous than James Bond – instead, hapless residents are lying in wait for their (hopefully more knowledgeable) neighbours to indicate which bin needs placing by the kerb for collection.
Macclesfield resident Stuart, 46, said it occasionally resulted in a stand-off, adding: “Sometimes you know it’s going to be a long night when nobody’s made a move by 9pm!”
The BusinessWaste.co.uk study showed that, despite their frequency, bin collections continued to be a source of trouble for households, indicating that:
- 95% had ‘no great certaintly’ which bins were collected each week;
- 10% have had to chase the bin truck last-minute;
- and 45% have forgotten to take the bin out altogether in the last 6 months.
Despite the comical image of a half-asleep neighbor chasing after the bin lorry dragging their recycling bin, failure to prepare for collection can cause a number of issues for residents.
Mark Hall, spokesperson from BusinessWaste.co.uk, said:
“In many places, each type of bin is only collected once a month – so while it might be easy to forget in our busy day-to-day lives, we could find ourselves with much bigger problems down the line. Piling black bags next to our jam-packed bins is a magnet for local cats, foxes, and rats, not to mention unsightly, and many local authorities will refuse to collect extra bags of rubbish from the kerbside.”
When asked what they do with excess waste due to forgetting the bin collection date, survey respondents had mixed responses. Some, like Anna from Chiswick, said they waited until they could get to a local tip. She added: “It’s a massive pain, and you end up carting smelly leaky bags in your car – I hate it but I can still never seem to remember to take the bins out right for more than a few months at a time”.
Others resorted to more underhand tactics. Ollie, 19, a student in Birmingham, admitted: “We just shove our binbags in next door’s bins when we’ve forgotten to put ours out. After one party we ended up putting about 20 cans in their recycling bin and they still don’t know it was us – well, we hope!”
Mark Hall concluded:
“Most people will forget to put their bins out and now and then – but instead of conducting covert missions to a neighbour’s garden or driving to the tip, households could find easier ways to remind themselves. Most councils have printable calendars on their website with the dates of upcoming collections, and many even now have an app which will send you notifications – saving you a rubbish-based nightmare in future!”
Consumers are increasingly turning towards second-hand clothing, studies are revealing – with conscientious buyers set to make pre-loved items a bigger market than so-called ‘fast fashion’ by 2029.
In a poll conducted by waste management collection company, BusinessWaste.co.uk, almost half of the 1500 respondents (45%) said they would buy clothes that had been pre-owned. This mirrors other studies that show that the second-hand clothing market was set to double in the next five years – and overtake the fast fashion movement in the next decade.
Fast fashion, commonly seen on the High Street, focuses on regular changes to clothing ranges, cheaply made garments, and low prices – meaning it has seen a boom in recent decades, as fashion conscious shoppers became accustomed to having the latest look. But it also results in many tonnes of clothing – much of which is made from non-recyclable fabrics – being sent to landfill.
However, it seems that consumers are beginning to shake off their prejudices about wearing second hand clothing. While just 20% said they currently regularly buy second-hand clothes, a huge amount said they could be influenced to start doing so
What would encourage you to buy more second-hand clothing?
Friends or family doing so first 90%
Celebrities doing so 94%
Nothing would 6%
Interestingly, while both younger and older fashionistas were seemingly happy to shop second-hand – 80% of 16 – 21 year olds and 91% of over sixties, respectively – the overall percentage averaged at 45%, suggesting that there are cultural elements at play.
Mark Hall, Communications Director of BusinessWaste.co.uk, said:
“Older people are used to buying clothes that were made to last and passing hand-me-downs through families, which explains this age group’s willingness to buy second-hand. And, on the other end of the scale, young people are increasingly environmentally conscious, which could certainly influence their shopping decisions and cause them to turn away from fast fashion. However, those in their thirties and forties are perhaps of a generation more used to consumerism, having grown up in the excessive 1980s – it’s certainly an interesting generational divide.”
Of those who said they would be happy to buy second-hand garments, there was a clear consensus that image played a part – with charity shops still carrying a slight stigma. 62% (2) said they would be happy to purchase from charity shops – much lower than the figure who would buy elsewhere.
Would you buy second-hand clothes from:
A charity shop? 62%
A High Street retailer? 80%
Interestingly, 92% said they’d buy second-hand clothing from a High Street retailer if celebrities or friends did first, suggesting that there remain some hang-ups about being part of the ‘in crowd’ when it comes to fashion.
“People are turning to second-hand clothing – not just out of financial necessity, but out of choice. There’s a huge opportunity here for retailers to improve their green credentials and tap into a growing number of consumers who would like to buy stylish clothing, but without the ethical concerns. Some well-known retailers already feature vintage or pre-loved selections in store and there’s clearly room for these to be more widely available – consumers still have the benefit of shopping curated lines of (second-hand) pieces in line with their preferred style, but without the environmental impact.”
What is a waste transfer note?
A waste transfer note (WTN) is a legally required piece of documentation that must be completed when waste changes hands. This means if a business needs waste disposing of or collecting by a waste disposal company and it’s passed over to another business, perhaps for recycling or processing, a WTN must be completed.
The only notable exception is when a householder initially parts with waste. In those circumstances, a WTN is not required for the waste to be removed. However, if it’s passed on, then a WTN will be required. WTNs can cover either a single transaction or a number of similar transactions (a “season” WTN).
Why do I need a waste transfer note?
Waste needs to be disposed of legally and correctly – and completing a waste transfer notice is a legal requirement. To achieve this, it’s essential that there’s a clear audit trail showing what type of waste has been transferred and what happened to it when it was transferred between owners (if anything).
If the waste is hazardous, waste consignment notes help ensure the safety of the employees working with it as it’s moved through the waste disposal process.
What are the different types of waste transfer notes?
Non-hazardous waste is covered by a generic duty of care waste transfer note. This contains details of the waste producer and waste receiver, as well as information regarding the type and volume of waste.
If you some or all of the waste is hazardous, you must complete a hazardous waste consignment note. This enables those handling, managing, and disposing of the waste to do so safely and appropriately. Broadly speaking, hazardous waste is any type of waste dangerous to humans or to the environment.
Common types of hazardous waste that require a consignment note can include batteries, asbestos, solvents, paints, brake fluids, fridges, pesticides, and oils. These types of waste must be dealt with professionally.
A separate type of WTN – a Vehicle Purchase Receipt – is required if a vehicle is sold for waste.
What is a waste consignment note?
A waste consignment note is a piece of documentation that needs completing every time hazardous waste is moved, regardless of a transfer in ownership. In comparison, a waste transfer note is completed when waste changes hands. Non-hazardous waste doesn’t require the completion of a waste consignment note.
Hazardous waste consignment notes are part of a system of audit information that shows how a company stores, manages, and moves the hazardous waste in its possession. Companies owning hazardous waste are legally required to show how they are managing it appropriately – a waste consignment note is part of this process.
How much does a duty of care waste transfer note cost?
There’s no formally levied charge for completing a WTN or a waste consignment note. WTNs can be completed by your waste carrier for free, by simply using a generic waste transfer note template – see the example below. If a company attempts to charge you a fee for filling in a WTN, be suspicious!
There’s no reason why a charge should be applied. It could be that a business is attempting to extract cash from you for a piece of paperwork that should be completed at no additional cost, as part of the waste transfer transaction. At Business Waste we provide all our customers with their duty of care waste transfer note for free.
Do I need a waste transfer note?
Yes, a waste transfer note is needed as it’s legally required when passing on your commercial waste to another party – except where a householder is parting with waste. If in doubt, fill in a WTN. Companies have been prosecuted and fined in the past for failure to complete a WTN when required to do so by law. Why take the risk?
How long do we need to keep waste transfer notes for?
WTNs should be kept for audit purposes for at least two years. Remember that the relevant information can be stored online if paper storage is likely to prove too onerous. Where possible it’s best to extend the waste transfer note retention period, just to be safe.
How long should waste consignment notes be kept?
Waste consignment notes should be kept for at least three years. In the same way as WTNs, waste consignment notes can be stored online as well as in paper form.
What is a waste transfer licence?
A waste transfer licence is required by any company that transports waste as part of their business. You do not need to produce or own the waste, but if you move it to a recycling facility or landfill site, you must have a waste transfer licence. At Business Waste, all the drivers we work with are licensed waste carriers.
Waste transfer note template
Meet your duty of care with the below waste transfer note example. Use this waste transfer note template for an example of what needs including to ensure your rubbish is removed safely and legally.
That wonderful time of the year has come and gone – but those thoughtful gifts will soon turn into an environmental headache as millions of candles head to landfill in January.
A report by business waste management service BusinessWaste.co.uk has shown that, far from being a light-hearted stocking stuffer, candles are one of the worst offenders for Christmas-related waste.
The candle market in the UK is now worth an eye-watering £90 million, with over a quarter of households now buying them regularly – and with this huge increase in popularity has come an increase in candles, particularly by luxury brands, making a widely-purchased gift during the festive season. Even lower-end retailers such as Aldi jumped on the home fragrance bandwagon, releasing hugely sought-after copies of more expensive scents – even causing scuffles to break out in stores where stock was lower.
So where does this increase in our obsession with lighting candles come from? It seems the Scandinavian trend of ‘hygge’ might have a lot to answer for. The term, which has become synonymous with cosiness, is Danish and represents “creating a warm atmosphere”. This cosy ideal has been widely adopted as a ‘lifestyle goal’, particularly by the Instagram generation, and it is often depicted by luxurious blankets, fairy lights and – of course – twinkling candles.
It’s no wonder, then, that their popularity is soaring – particularly as on-trend gift last Christmas. However, the environmental impact of this huge uptick in candle sales cannot be underestimated. Candles are often packaged in plastic wrap and even plastic holders – particularly popular tea-light style candles – and recipients are failing in their droves to recycle the remains of their cosy evenings in.
The average candle in retail outlets in the UK burns for six hours – meaning that for just six hours of household decor, the plastic casings of candles could remain in landfill for up to 1,000 years. And plastic isn’t the only culprit – many manufacturers also use glass and metal casings. While the general public has begun to increase its household recycling for the most part, reports suggest that efforts are mostly focused on food packaging, meaning that hundreds of thousands of other household waste items – such as candles – are still heading straight for landfill.
Mark Hall, Communications Director of BusinessWaste.co.uk, cautioned:
“As relaxing as a candle-lit room in the depths of winter can seem, households need to be aware that their choices as consumers have a direct impact on the environment. We see novelty candles flood the shelves throughout the run-up to Christmas and while they make a nice, cheap gift, their long term impact is just not worth the brief enjoyment they bring.”
Adding to the poor recycling rates for candle packaging is the fact that paraffin, a key component in most candles available on the High Street, is a by-product of petroleum, which means the increase demand for candles is adding to the already considerable pressure on non-renewable energy sources – and burning them also releases the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. Luckily for ethically-minded consumers, beeswax and soy alternatives are available and lessen the impact on the environment.
“Of course, many of us like to add a few luxuries to their homes – and there are certainly ways to reduce the impact you have on the environment. If you’re buying candles as gifts, aim to purchase those made from more eco-friendly waxes such as soy or beeswax with longer burn times, to maximise useage before recycling.
“For those of you who received a few scented candles in their stockings this year, please do ensure you’re recycling the remaining plastic, glass or metal afterwards wherever possible – it might be nice to have a festive glow in your living room, but the planet pays the price for it!”
SIt’s something most of us won’t give a second thought while wrapping our presents during the festive period – but is there a more sinister consequence to using Sellotape, and should it be banned for the good of the environment?
The UK’s waste management service, BusinessWaste.co.uk, has delved into this sticky subject as Christmas – and with it, the enormous increase in purchases of sticky tape – approaches. It found that, alongside wrapping paper and plastic bows, sellotape was one of the most-purchased items during December, with 6 million rolls sold in the UK in the run-up to Christmas.
Of course, by the time the Queen’s Speech begins on Christmas day, eager families will have long since opened their presents, and it is the aftermath of this wrapping bonanza which BusinessWaste.co.uk is concerned with.
Sellotape, or sticky tape, is non-recyclable – generally made of a type of plastic called polypropylene, and one which many people may mistakenly believe can go in their recycling bin. Incidentally, many types of wrapping paper are also non-recyclable – meaning that Christmas day can create an enormous amount of waste headed directly for landfill.
Even the more eco-conscious amongst us who seek our recyclable paper may see their efforts thwarted, as paper with sticky tape on it causes problems further down the line at recycling centres – meaning that, with an average of 1.1 billion presents bought each Christmas, the implications for landfill sites are enormous.
Mark Hall, Communications Director at BusinessWaste.co.uk, commented:
“While it’s easy to get lost in the twinkling lights and excitement of Christmas, we have a very real responsibility to consider the impact millions of rolls of non-recyclable plastic have on the environment every year. With over a billion presents being given each year, consumers must act to reduce the unnecessary landfill totals each December.” We will use some 6+ million rolls of sellotape, more than enough to go to the moon and back.
It’s not all doom and gloom for December’s environmental impact, however. There are plenty of alternatives to this sticky problem – with the rise in eco-friendly entrepreneurs meaning there are now a number of biodegradable tapes on the market. Of course, you could also go back to the more traditional string or ribbon methods – string, particularly, has had a renaissance in recent years for its rustic look, and it’s cheaper than plastic tape.
Shoppers who are the ultimate in thrifty – and environmentally conscious – gifting, could consider giving gifts which don’t require any wrapping at all, such as concert tickets, charity donations or experience days.
“When it comes to this time of year, people are often caught up in the consumerism and the desire to buy (and wrap) huge numbers of gifts for their families – but we should remember that gifts that contribute to damaging the environment are hardly in the Christmas spirit! Turning to recyclable or biodegradable wrapping methods will leave you with the warm glow of knowing you’ve done something good for the environment, as well as from your favourite Christmas tipple.”READ – ALL THE CHRISTMAS WASTE FACTS
A surprising majority of shoppers have confessed to stealing plastic carrier bags during their weekly shop, it has been revealed.
Despite the 5p plastic bag levy introduced by the Government in 2015, a survey collated by waste management agency, BusinessWaste.co.uk, shows that light-fingered shoppers are still sneaking bags past the scanners in a bid to avoid paying.
The survey, which covered 1,000 shoppers from across the UK, showed that 41% admitted to the theft of plastic bags at least once in the past 12 months, blaming shops who charge more than the minimum 5p amount set by the legislation.
One unabashed shopper added: “Most places charge 10p now – that’s just too much, especially when I’ve got a grand’s worth of them under the sink already!”
This appears to be a common attitude, with social media awash with jokes about plastic bag stashes being worth a small fortune after the charge came into effect – suggesting that households are well aware that bags should, and can, be reused.
However, those who avoid paying the levy despite hoarding plenty of bags at home highlight a misunderstanding of the purpose of the charge – in that it was introduced by the Government to encourage reuse of existing carrier bags, or a switch to a reusable product such as cotton shopping bags.
The move saw a dramatic reduction on the number of carrier bags issued in the year after the charge was introduced – down to 19 per person from 140, suggesting that Brits have responded to the financial disincentive and are adopting more eco-friendly shopping habits. However, 1.04 billion plastic bags were still sold by the seven major supermarkets in 2017-18 – and single use plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to break down, meaning there’s still an enormous risk to the environment if shoppers don’t change their ways.
Mark Hall, Communications Director of BusinessWaste.co.uk, warned:
“Shoppers may resent paying for plastic bags – but the solution is certainly not to steal them! A cotton or jute tote bag is easy to keep in the car, your handbag, or by the front door and can be used hundreds of times. Of course, it means remembering to take it with you, but with a bit of preparation you never need to buy a plastic bag again – which is great, not only for the environment, but also for your wallet.”
Shoppers may soon find themselves more inclined to switch to reusable bags, as the Government has announced a consultation on the plastic bag levy, to take place at the end of this year. The consultation could see the charge rolled out to all retailers, not just supermarkets – and crucially, could see the minimum levy double to 10p per bag.
“With Government plans to further increase scope and cost of the plastic bag levy following the success of the initial 5p charge, it’s the perfect time for shoppers to make the switch over to reusable bags.
“Many people will have suitable bags lying around already, but they’re readily and cheaply available and, as with many lifestyle changes, once you’re used to taking a cloth bag with you, it’ll become second nature. A tiny amount of forethought could have an enormously positive environmental impact, and that is something we should all endeavour to spend an extra second or two on before we head to the shops and think about plastic recycling.”
Despite the rise of recycling and recent high-profile debates in Government and the media about plastic use, 90% of businesses still do not have a green policy, it has been revealed.
UK waste management agency BusinessWaste.co.uk, says that the overwhelming majority of businesses are still behind the times when it comes to reducing their environmental impact.
Mark Hall, Communications Director of BusinessWaste.co.uk, explained:
“Households are expected to recycle their waste as a matter of due course now, and we are seeing much more media coverage of environmentally unfriendly items such as plastic water bottles or straws – but many businesses have been slow to implement changes into their day-to-day operations”
BusinessWaste.co.uk conducted a survey with 700 companies and found;
80% Had no separate recycling bins (internally or external)
96% Did not use recycled paper
59% Used plastic cups at the water fountain
20% Had an written green policy
6% Used green cleaning products
36% Used an fridge not AA+ rated
Johnny who works in marketing said “Mel in accounts is always asking for a paper recycling bin, I don’t know why we don’t have one to be honest”
Hall from BusinessWaste.co.uk added
“It isn’t just about recycling their waste – although this is, of course, very important – there are small changes which can be made each day which add up. Paper cups instead of plastic at the water cooler and encouraging employees to turn off lights in unused meeting rooms are two seemingly small ways to improve a business’s green credentials – and each of these actions has real benefits.”
However, failing to address environmental impact – or even consider a green policy – isn’t just bad for a firm’s impact on the environment. A study reported in the Guardian in 2015 showed that young people were increasingly more likely to consider a company’s ethical standing when applying for a jobs – including its approach to sustainability, which suggests that businesses may be damaging their own desirability as employers, too.
Environmental experts recommend including both employees as well as management in the creation of new green policies in the workplace. Not only does engaging with employees create a sense of ownership over the workplace and its collective environmental impact, it can also help generate broader discussions about policies which are most relevant to their daily routines. For example, teams working in paper-heavy departments may be more likely to suggest moving to paperless systems, while employees who frequently travel to meetings might be more inclined to suggest conference calling as an alternative to cut the firm’s carbon footprint.
Creating an environmental policy is an opportunity for businesses to review whether its operations are environmentally responsible. It can also help lower cost through reduced consumption and waste, providing a real incentive for firms to look at all aspects of their day-to-day running, including their suppliers, energy use, and use of consumables.
“Some businesses, especially smaller companies, may feel daunted by the idea of creating a green policy – but it doesn’t have to be War and Peace. Simply looking at your current use of energy and consumable items and setting some goals for reducing waste (alongside small, easily-implemented actions such as buying recycling bins for break areas) go a long way.
“Not only does this have a measurable effect on both your environmental impact and your overheads, it can also be a positive reflection on your business for clients, suppliers, and potential employees. Considering how urgent and crucial the issue of environmental damage, particularly waste going to landfill, has become, businesses cannot afford to ignore it any longer – and the good news is that companies can begin make a huge difference with just some small changes.”
The community-run football team is now sponsored by BusinessWaste.co.uk, a leading waste management firm who operate nationwide, and StemProtect.co.uk, a stem cell storage facility with 75,000 families entrusting their precious stem cells to its protection.
Budding sports stars train on at Ben Rhydding on Sundays at 8:45 am – come rain or shine, its dedicated local coaches put young athletes through their paces in a fun and motivating environment which aims to enrich the surrounding community.
The newly-announced sponsors agree that supporting the initiative was an easy decision.
David Adams, the spokesperson for BusinessWaste.co.uk, said:
“Anything that gets children outside, learning new skills and having fun, is worthy of our support. As part of our community outreach, we are always looking to promote schemes which encourage health and confidence in young people – and not only this but a sense of community and responsibility too. This is a great way for us to engage with young people and help them feel connected to their local area – and, if they pick up on the importance of recycling along the way, even better!”
Andrew Shepherd, head coach of the team, commented of the team’s recent focus:
“It’s going really well especially considering that we recently held our first sessions for the under-5s, who showed plenty of enthusiasm. It’s also been encouraging to me how the under-6 team played – it’s clear that they have been playing over the summer and continuing to develop! With the excellent training facilities, we have available to us at Ben Rhydding, we’ll be doing our best to help them have fun and move forward.
Shepherd noted that, while part of a team, the sessions are aimed at helping the young athletes grow in themselves and build skills, adding:
“It’s our intention to work with the under-5s to encourage them to work with the ball, get used to how it feels and not be frightened to express themselves to build up confidence – to this end we’ll be using FA coaching briefs, games and skills training to make sure that they learn how to play the right way, whilst having fun, which is the most important thing for them at this age!”
However, Shepherd added that the under-6 team would be starting to work on ‘more technical’ skills as they prepared to play friendly matches next year. He noted:
“We’ll try to develop their skills, such as small nets to help them target the ball and 3-man team drills to help them learn their passing and awareness, and start to point them in the right direction in terms of how to play. However, it will still be fun based – the idea is that they learn to play and express themselves.”
The coach concluded:
“A big thank you to StemProtect.co.uk and BusinessWaste.co.uk for the sponsorship of the team shirts – they really bring a sense of community and boost the players’ morale by making them feel like a ‘real team’.
“We have about 13 children in both age groups and whilst we don’t want too many as this will make it difficult to maintain the quality of coaching the club wants to achieve, we have space for a few more. If you know anyone that might be interested, please encourage them to come along!”
This week, environmental protesters have hit the headlines for posting their empty crisp packets back to the UK’s largest crisp makers, Walkers – but ready salted snacks aren’t the only offenders.
Thousands of empty packets have been posted to the food giant’s freepost address in a protest designed to highlight the fact that, despite a continued trend towards more environmentally friendly packaging, crisp packets are still not recyclable.
Although the protests have drawn attention, leading business waste management service, BusinessWaste.co.uk, says that protesters haven’t gone far enough.
Mark Hall, Communications Director of BusinessWaste.co.uk, said:
“Enormous companies, including Walkers, respond to financial pressure – while posting crisp packets back to them is a good way to draw media attention for the greater good, ultimately it doesn’t hurt their bottom line, and won’t effect change.”
With over 4 billion packets of crisps produced by the company each year – 11 million per day – its environmental impact is considerable.
In April this year, a young boy discovered a 30 year old crisp packet washed up on a Cornwall beach whilst litter picking, highlighting the concerning fact that plastics, such as those used in food packaging, do not biodegrade and remain in the ecosystem for decades. This, plus the disappointing response from Walkers, who pledged only to have replaced their plastic bags with eco-friendly options by 2025, has led consumers to take a stand against the environmentally unfriendly packaging.
“Consumers could really push this issue by making the returns more difficult for Walkers to deal with – for example, by filling the packets with heavier items, just like consumers did to the freepost credit card applications a few years ago. This will be more costly for them to process and, in turn, cause them to address the reason for the protest – which is that, in 2018, it is deeply concerning that a large business continues to use non-recyclable packaging.”
“While this is clearly a pressing issue, other manufacturers are guilty of similar lack of care. Disposable nappies, the household staple for many families with young children, create millions of tonnes of waste per year, with 8 million thrown away per day in the United Kingdom. Not only are they widely used, meaning that billions of individual nappies enter the waste disposal system each year, they also contain non-recyclable plastics which can take hundreds of years to decompose.”
Hall from BusinessWaste.co.uk noted:
“If consumers want to lobby companies who produce widely-use products with damaging environmental footprints, then perhaps they should also be sending nappies back to their manufacturers.
“For hundreds of years before plastic disposable nappies were invented, babies – and the environment – coped perfectly well without them; but their introduction sees millions of tonnes heading to landfill every year, despite there being less harmful and much cheaper options out there.
“Unfortunately, big businesses do not care about finding an ethical solution while consumers are happily using their products. While we know that the convenience of disposables is irreplaceable for many families, perhaps a glut of used nappies sent to the manufacturer – like these crisp packets – might force businesses to take notice of how consumers feel about unethical and environmentally damaging products.”
“We would suggest the answer isn’t posting back used items, it’s not buying those items to begin with”
Below are a number of dog poo posters.
You can prevent people from leaving their dog poop by displaying a poster in your local community. Here are some examples. Please note we do not provide or sell any posters these are just examples of what you can create.
Poop free zone.
No dog pooping.
The street is watching. Pick up your dog poo.
Keep calm and clean up dog poop.
Please clean up after your pet.
Poop happens. Just pick it up and move on.
Keep calm and clean up the dog poop.
No pile left behind! Scoop the poop! That means you, soldier.
Please clean up after your pet.
Bin shaming, for making a mess of recycling? Households could soon be charged a return fee
Households who fail to recycle properly could soon be hit with a bin shame fee by their local council in a bid to reduce landfill waste.
The plans, reported by BusinessWaste.co.uk, would see local authorities charge individuals whose households incorrectly put recyclables into general waste bins, causing a bigger strain on landfill sites.
Despite huge increases in the rate of recycling nationwide, there remain tonnes of paper, plastic and other recyclable goods which needlessly go into landfill each year. Councils are under pressure to keep the rate of recycling high – including introducing penalties for households who fail to properly separate their waste.
The scheme, which has been described as a way to ‘shock repeat offenders’, aims to remove the burden placed on landfill sites, which saw 44.7 million tonnes of waste – of an overall 203 million tonnes of waste handled – in 2016. Councils across the UK budgeted a staggering £6.3 billion for waste management in 2017-18, and many authorities are looking both to reduce the burden of landfill fees as well as meeting strict recycling targets.
While households may worry fear that the proposals will mean complicated or time-consuming additions to their waste disposal routines, it won’t add any extra difficulties into the recycling process. Rather, it will follow the existing recycling guidelines, with penalties only incurred by those who fail to place recyclable materials in their usual designated bins.
BusinessWaste.co.uk say that the charges will only form part of the new measures. The incorrectly-sorted items will be returned to the household to be correctly recycled – with the fee covering the shipping and handling costs for sending the waste to its original source. It is hoped that the move will force households to think more closely about the environmental costs of waste management by imposing a financial cost on those who contribute unnecessarily to the problem.
Mark Hall, spokesperson at BusinessWaste.co.uk, commented:
“It may seem like an excessive move, but with recycling bins provided to all households, there’s no excuse not to take a few seconds to seperate your waste. Hopefully this will also prompt consumers into making more conscious decisions when they shop – for example, choosing items which can be recycled – and thus further reduce their environmental impact!”
“Of course, we don’t necessarily agree with levying charges on homeowners as a punitive measure. We’d like to see councils and local government take an educational approach to ensure that the general public are well-informed of the benefits of recycling, which is a more positive way to help form life-long habits. However, this is certainly one way to turbo-charge recycling growth, especially for councils with historically low recycling rates.”
There is plenty of information online and elsewhere that espouses the benefits of recycling. It saves on energy, it encourages us to reuse things, it cuts down on waste sent to landfills… and on it goes.
But what about disadvantages? It would be foolish to assume there are none, but this is not an area many people think about. We thought we’d cover some of the disadvantages to even up the balance.
It takes time
Separating recyclables from non-recyclables takes time. It’s also easy to throw something away you think isn’t recyclable when it is, and vice versa. The more you know about recycling in this way, the easier it gets, but it is a point worth noting.
It takes up more room
If we threw away everything, as we used to in years gone by, we’d only ever need one bin. Nowadays, most people have at least three bins to sort their waste into, sometimes more. Glass, plastic, paper, regular rubbish… all these things must be cleaned, sorted, and put into the correct receptacle.
It costs more to start with
To recycle plastic, the right processes must be in place to make it happen. That means investing in vehicles to collect and transport the waste. It also means making sure the right machinery is provided to make it possible to recycle the waste. However, once these are in place, the long-term cost would be very different.
Recycled products are not always safe or of good quality
This varies enormously from one product to the next. However, it is worth noting some recycled products are of a poorer quality than ones that are made from new. The original products must be cleaned, melted, pulped, or otherwise dealt with to make it possible to recycle them. That isn’t always a good thing.
Putting best practices in place
While there are many benefits to recycling as much as we can, it makes sense that we would need to adopt best practices from start to finish to create the ideal scenario. Everyone wants to do their bit for the environment, so it is vital that we find the best ways to recycle products without causing further harm to the world around us. Learning more about the products we use, how we use them, and how we dispose of what’s left, is very important. It makes sense to do what we can to preserve the world we live in.
Scandal of hundreds and thousands littering British countryside
On any given day, there are hundreds and thousands of spent shotgun cartridges and associated debris littering the British countryside.
That’s the finding of a national waste and recycling company that says that lazy country sports enthusiasts routinely fail to clear up after themselves following a day’s shooting.
According to the UKs waste management agency BusinessWaste.co.uk, continued enthusiasm for both clay shooting and licensed hunting means that this unwelcome litter builds up day-by-day and week-on-week.
“It’s no exaggeration to say there are tens of thousands of used cartridges littering our countryside,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, and they cause far more damage that you might think.”
“And then there’s the lesser-known but more damaging peril of shotgun shell wadding which is even less likely to be cleared up,” he says.
While many farmers and country sportsmen clear up their debris after a shoot, there is still a solid hardcore who do not, leaving their spent cartridges littering fields and hillsides.
“It’s ironic that people see themselves as country types, but fail to even follow the basics of the Countryside Code,” Hall says angrily.
In fact, the latest version of the code says “leave no trace of your visit and take your litter home” right at the very top of the document, a statement that many people seem to forget.
What are shotgun cartridges made of?
While shotgun pellets are now (mercifully) lead free, the average shotgun shell is made from a metal base plate and a plastic sleeve, all of which is ejected after firing.
- The “brass” part of the shell is usually steel, which rusts.
- Wadding which separates the pellets from the charge can be either plastic or fibre. Fibre wadding is more eco-friendly.
- The plastic case is generally not biodegradable, meaning they could lie in a field for years, often containing chemical residue left over from the explosive charge
How can shooters be greener?
The obvious solution, says BusinessWaste.co.uk ‘s Mark Hall is for country sports enthusiasts to take their used cartridges away with them.
That would remove thousands of cases from the countryside’s ecosystem.
But there are also moves within the shooting community to make the cartridges themselves greener.
“The wadding actually is the biggest problem when it comes to litter-picking a shooting site,” says Hall, “And a day-long shoot means there are hundreds of wads of plastic blown to the four winds.”
“It doesn’t matter how diligently you clean up your cartridges if you’re still leaving plastic wadding all over the place.”
That means moves toward biodegradable wadding can only be welcomed, meaning that the unnecessary littering from country sports could be slashed.
BusinessWaste.co.uk says they want to encourage manufacturers who make cartridges with water-soluble components.
“That means that clay shooters can go about their sport knowing that they are being as green as possible, and that can only be good for the reputation of country sports,” says Hall.
“Shooters – you can still shoot, but your target is to be green.”
Each year, over 10,000 door or car keys end up in rubbish tips as a result of forgetful owners, leading some to attempt to retrieve them with potentially dangerous consequences.
Research by leading the Uks waste management agency, has revealed that citizens across the UK are losing their keys every day – and that a surprising amount of them end up in rubbish bins, often to be lost to waste disposal services shortly after.
BusinessWaste.co.uk say simple carelessness was blamed for the majority of these key-based disasters, with many respondents knocking keys off kitchen counters or seeing their expensive car keys ending up in the rubbish by accident, but some had altogether funnier (although equally expensive) stories.
Having a moment of confusion seemed to be a common theme behind some of the more comical stories from people BusinessWaste.co.uk spoke with.
Jamie, 39, from Leeds, said he was distracted enroute to work when he made this error:
“I was holding a crisp packet and my car key in the same hand and casually threw them both in bin on the way into the office – I only realised what I’d done at lunch time!”
Whereas Sally, 33, from Bristol, took it one step further and threw her keys not in the bin – but all the way into a waste removal lorry!
“I woke up late and ran down the road with a bin bag after the bin truck – and when I walked back to the house I realised I still had a bin bag in my hand and my door keys were being carried away in the bin lorry. Luckily my roommates were at home to let me back in, but they’ve never let me forgot it.”
One frustrated mum, 54, from Sheffield, said her son managed to deliberately throw the bag containing his keys away in a fit of post-exam excitement, telling researchers: “My idiot son, Johnny, threw his school bag into a skip after he’d finished his A Levels… only the bag had his back door key in it!”
Despite the amusing stories of keys lost across the country, researches were keen to point out that some of the survey’s respondents also took it upon themselves to turn up at local landfill or recycling sites to hunt for their keys – and that this was a dangerous course of action.
Mark Hall BusinessWaste.co.uk spokeperson, noted:
“It’s frustrating and often expensive to lose your keys for your home or car, and in some cases can land you in hot water if you lose work keys and cause a security risk. But turning up at landfill or recycling sites is dangerous and, with large machinery and all manner of potentially dangerous waste around, you could end up injured or even in trouble with the police if you trespass into restricted areas.”
The best course of action for preventing key-related problems is prevention as replacing lost keys – particularly for cars – can be expensive, not to mention disruptive to your daily routine as you struggle to get access to your vehicle or home.
Many households use hooks or magnetic holders to keep their keyrings in full view to reassure them they haven’t binned an all-important bunch of keys, and BusinessWaste.co.uk agreed this was the safest course of action.
Mark Hall concluded:
“Prevention is definitely better than cure in this case – we get daily calls from people wanting to come and look for their lost keys but unfortunately there is nothing we can for help once it reaches that point. Once we have the waste collected it would be almost impossible to find something as small as a key – we worked out it could take a team of 100 people ten years or longer to find it, so not much use to a busy commuter who needs their car.
“Some people do get angry with us for not being able to return their lost keys. Of course we would if we could, but the fact is that sadly we can’t, so please keep an eye on your keys and the rest of your valuables to avoid being disappointed – we can’t help with your lost wedding rings either!”
One very important feature of the new GDPR legislation that came into effect on 25 May 2018 is the correct disposal of confidential waste.
Under the new law, every company who has clients within the EU is now responsible for the appropriate disposal of GDPR waste, including items such as hard drives, old computers, memory sticks, old client data files, paperwork, and marketing materials.
How can you get GDPR disposal right?
The first thing to know is that the destruction of any form of data is classed as a form of data processing under GDPR. The best way to ensure that you stay within the law is to employ a secure data destruction provider such as Business Waste to carry out data disposal for you.
We will securely collect any unwanted media from your business and destroy it by means of approved GDPR shredding or GDPR recycling procedures. As per GDPR requirements, we certify that the data has been destroyed, providing you with a clear audit trail from the beginning of the process to the end.
Which items of equipment should you consider for GDPR waste management processing?
Where electronic data is concerned, you need to know that hard drives can be held within any form of electronic device from CCTV systems, to photocopiers and printers. Under GDPR you are required to identify all these data sources and you must be able to account for how long you have stored data on them and the reasons for doing so.
When you are auditing your equipment, you must consider every kind of media storage device your company uses, including:
• Hard disk drives
• Media tapes
• Solid state drives
• Mobile phones
• Memory sticks
During the disposal process, we remove the hard drives from the equipment so you can be sure that all the data contained within them is processed right through to destruction. There’s no risk of any of your data being stolen and your company suffering a serious data breach.
Paper documents and files
Paper documents and files should be disposed of by shredding them on-site. Once the documents have been shredded, the remnants should be disposed of securely by bagging them and placing them in one of our bins. Be sure to store the bin in an area that cannot be accessed easily so that the contents cannot be stolen.
A British waste collection company has become the first in the world to accept Bitcoin.
National company BusinessWaste.co.uk, which is based in York, England are now accepting payment in virtual currencies for its commercial waste contracts.
With Bitcoin now moving into the mainstream, it’s logical that British companies should move into the 21st Century and process payments in whatever form that’s offered, BusinessWaste.co.uk officials say.
“Individuals and companies are trading in Bitcoin and other virtual currencies all over the world,” says Business Waste spokesperson Mark Hall, “so of course we’re going to accept it from our customers.”
It’s not a publicity stunt, and it’s not taking advantage of the current surge in Bitcoin value, says BusinessWaste.co.uk – it’s a logical business decision.
“To us, it’s just another way to pay for our services. It’s just money,” Hall says. We’re also accepting Litecoin and Ehereum
What kind of customer pays in Bitcoin?
BusinessWaste.co.uk deals with commercial waste, and collects from all sorts of companies and institutions. But it’s not just tech companies who would pay in Bitcoin or virtual currencies such as Litecoin.
“You’ll be amazed”, he says. “Ordinary people are now both mining and trading virtual currencies, and they’re keen to use them to purchase goods and services.
“And we’re the first in this business sector in the world to accept them. So the answer is ‘every kind of company’. Bitcoin is mainstream now.”
Old-fashioned money still accepted
Hall is at pains to point out that BusinessWaste.co.uk will still trade in good, old-fashioned payment types for the huge majority of their customers.
“Bank transfers, bank and credit cards, direct debit it’s all good,” he says. “But in a fast-moving world, you’ve got to be flexible.”
“This is just another way we can be flexible with our customers.”
Untangling the hair grip problem. It goes by many names – it might be called the hairpin, the bobby pin or the hair grip.
But whatever you call it, The UK’s waste management agency have called for these hair essentials to be made exclusively from recycled materials.
BusinessWaste.co.uk argue that the much-used hair grip is used and lost so frequently by women around the world that they risk becoming an unnecessary blight on the environment, as well as a huge waste of materials.
Spokesperson Mark Hall from waste collections company BusinessWaste.co.uk said: “While boys might not know exactly what they’re looking at when they see one, girls can’t do without that small piece of metal that somehow gets absolutely everywhere.
“Sometimes they might only be used once and then thrown away or lost, which is why you see them littering everywhere from gyms to pavements, workplaces, pubs and anywhere else ladies with hair might go.
“Because we know how frequently they’re discarded, it’s only right that they should be made from recycled materials, otherwise we’re just wasting resources on something that is effectively disposable.”
A survey was conducted by BusinessWaste.co.uk which involved over 3000 people. When asked where they’d seen hair grips discarded, people had some strange and interesting responses. 53% of people said they’d seen hair grips in public bathrooms, even down the loo in some cases, although it’s not clear whether they ended up there on purpose or by accident.
86% of people had found them in their own homes with no idea how they got there.
Of the 86% who had found them in their homes the most common places where
Under the bed
Down the side of sofa
And some odder finds including
In the dishwasher
In the toilet
9% of men surveyed by BusinessWaste.co.uk said they’d been put in a tricky situation at some point in their lives, with a girlfriend finding a stray hair grip that wasn’t hers in their home or car.
Steve, 33, Leeds said: “I was seeing a couple of girls at once when I was at uni, one didn’t go to my university and one did so their paths never crossed. I thought I was being really smart and careful, but then the uni girlfriend, Sarah, found a hair grip in my bathroom left by the other girl, Laura, I was rumbled. I tried to convince Sarah it was her own hair grip but she had really short hair and never used them – and neither did I.
“The irony is that Laura later found Sarah’s earring under my bed so she dumped me too. Lads need to know what these things are otherwise we’re going to slip up, that weird little bit of metal can ruin your life.”
It’s estimated that tens of millions of hair grips are sold in the UK each year, with many coming in multipacks of 50 or more. On average, each one of these hair grips lasts up to two weeks before it’s lost or broken, inevitably ending up in landfill.
BusinessWaste.co.uk say that switching to recycled materials would be a much more environmentally-friendly and sensible way to make hair grips, and would have a considerable impact on our planet considering how many are bought each year
Read next – A guide to hair salon disposal
We’re all aware of the need for police to wear body cameras as they work, with allegations of police misconduct a constant threat. But the UKs waste management agency BusinessWaste.co.uk argue that the same technology should also apply to bin men, and have laid out a case to add body cams to their uniforms.
The tiny, wearable cameras used to record the often eventful shifts of police officers on duty are unquestionable proof of any unethical behaviour, as well as helping to exonerate officers accused of crimes they didn’t commit. And now BusinessWaste.co.uk say they could do the same for our waste collectors.
Mark Hall spokesperson for BusinessWaste.co.uk said: “Bin men often face accusations of poor behaviour from the public, whether that’s claiming they haven’t collected valid waste, have made a mess during their rounds, or have been rude and abusive during their shifts.
“We recommend to all councils to add body cams to their bin men’s uniforms to counter these accusations, and help improve the reputation of these vital workers to give them the respect they deserve.”
BusinessWaste.co.uk said that among the problems that could be solved with this camera footage are over-filled bins, waste in the wrong bins, bins that haven’t been put out, and general conduct from bin men on their rounds.
In more than 80% of cases where residents complain about their waste collection services, the resident themselves is found to be at fault, but this doesn’t stop the bin men suffering reputational damage.
Over-filled bins are a common complaint among bin men, with bins that have been over-filled often being messy and difficult to empty. A resident complaining of mess, and who has also over-filled their bin, can be shown to be responsible for the mess with the footage from a bin man’s body camera.
And waste collectors are not duty bound to collect waste that has been put into the wrong bin, which can cause all kinds of problems at the processing end. That means leaving behind bins that have been improperly used, something that can be shown with a body camera to have been the reason for leaving a bin un-emptied.
Missed collections can also incur wrath from the public directed towards bin men, so body cameras can help to protect them from harm or prove what has happened, as well as showing instances where bins were not collected because they were not put out.
BusinessWaste.co.uk say that the slight increase in cost for these cameras is more than worth the money to protect waste collection workers of the UK.
Shoppers no longer bothered about the 5p fee as carrier bag use shows signs of bouncing back.
Supermarket plastic bag use is showing signs of increasing again as the 5p charge for a carrier no longer acts as a deterrent.
That’s the view of the UK’s waste and recycling company, which thinks that now, is the time to increase the fee to a more realistic level.
The BusinessWaste.co.uk company suggests – after carrying out a poll of supermarket customers – that a charge of £1 is the only way to finally make plastic carrier bags a thing of the past.
“The introduction of the 5p charge in England led to an 85% decrease in the number of plastic carrier bags being used,” BusinessWaste.co.uk ‘s Mark Hall says.
“Unfortunately, 5p is no longer the shock to the system it once was, and we’re certain that the next government statistics will see a significant rise.”
With the next set of statistics due at the end of July, BusinessWaste.co.uk is confident that the annual figure will rise above the billion mark for the first time since the charge was introduced.
Previously, English shoppers were getting through seven billion single-use bags every year.
“We want to see that figure fall to zero within five years,” says Hall, “and the only way that can be done is by increasing the charge, while making reusable bags cheap and widely available.”
BusinessWaste.co.uk polled nearly 2,000 shoppers who patronise a wide range of stores from the budget end to the luxury end of the market. We found widespread agreement that 5p was no longer a hurdle to asking for a plastic bag, though there was not a great deal consensus on raising the charge.
When the 5p charge was introduced, did it stop you using plastic carrier bags?
Are you now routinely paying 5p for carrier bags at the supermarket?
Yes, for all my shopping: 24%
Yes, for some of my shopping: 38%
“It’s clear that we’re backsliding on our shopping habits, and the main reason is that we no longer care about adding a few pence onto our shopping bill,” says Business Waste’s Mark Hall.
“And that’s straight from the mouths of shoppers who find the whole performance of remembering your reusable bags a bit of a palaver.
“That’s especially the case for those who pop into their convenience store for a few items on their way home, now accounting for a staggering number of supermarket visits.”
And while there’s still resistance to increasing the fee (with even some demanding it be scrapped), it looks like that the only way to increase use of reusable bags is to hit shoppers in the pocket.
What’s the most you would be willing to pay for a supermarket carrier bag?
Mark Hall: “It’s hardly surprising that there’s resistance to raising the charge to 50p or a pound, but that’s the pressure we need to put on shoppers to make them change their habits.
“Raising the plastic bag fee to 20p – while it would be great for the charities who benefitted by millions in the last year – would only leave people in their comfort zone where they won’t miss the money.”
Says the BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson: “It’s got to be set to a high level for the charge to actually work.”
Can we decide what to do with fidget spinners once the craze is over?
Britain’s kids (and quite a few adults) have succumbed to the fidget spinner craze that’s swept the world, but like all crazes it’s going to come crashing down sooner rather than later.
And that’s when millions of the metal and plastic devices will end up in the bin, with the vast majority going straight to Britain’s already brimming landfill sites.
That’s the opinion of the UK’s waste management company BusinessWaste.co.uk, who says the spinners will go the same way as loom bands did before – into the bin and a big hole in the ground.
“We’ve seen it before, we’re seeing it now, and we’ll see it again,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall. “The market’s saturated with the things, kids have moved on, and there are literally millions of them gathering dust in the shops.”
The problem is two-fold, says Hall. Firstly, there’s the millions of spinners in the hands of (currently) happy users who will soon get bored with them.
“They’ll either gather dust in a drawer before being sold as a genuine antique on Ebay in ten years’ time, or they’ll end up in the bin,” he says. “My money’s on the latter.”
And the second – far larger problem is the unsold stock filling shop backrooms and warehouses all over the country.
“We saw this with loom bands,” says Hall, “Shops and mail order companies over-ordered like they were going out of fashion, and suddenly they did just that.”
No amount of discounting will shift them, and they’ve got to go somewhere, Business Waste says.
That somewhere is straight into the bin as companies cut their losses, and BusinessWaste.co.uk hopes this is done responsibly, as the spinners contain parts that can be recycled.
What are fidget spinners made from?
• It all depends on the quality of the spinner
• The best ones are made from high-quality metals such as titanium, brass, stainless steel or copper
• At the cheap and more popular end of the market, they’re dominated by aluminium, low-quality steel and padded out with plastic
• But whatever the manufacturing process, the metals are recyclable
“If they go straight into the general waste – and that’s the temptation for many individuals and companies who will eventually be sick of the sight of them – that’s a huge waste of resources, not to mention precious landfill space,” BusinessWaste.co.uk ‘s Mark Hall says.
The BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesman recalls a previous craze that backfired: “Back in 2014, landfill sites looked like an accident at a spaghetti factory because there was so much loom band waste from shops and warehouses – companies didn’t know whether to recycle them or not, so just binned the lot.”
And that’s going to be the same with fidget spinners, as the plastic content sows doubt in the mind of those making decisions on which bin to use.
“There really ought to be separate plastic bins for fidget spinners this autumn,” Hall says, “Not to mention separate areas at rubbish tips and fidget spinner amnesty boxes at charity shops and school reception areas.
“We can hoover up millions of the things if we do this right.”
There is an easy way to get rid of them, though. Business Waste’s advice to mum and dad for when the kids eventually get bored with their devices is simple.
“Take a family trip down to your community waste facility. Keep the kids in the car for safety’s sake, and bung the spinners in the bin marked ‘metals’. Job done.”
Refuse operators live in fear of accidentally killing a rough sleeper
The UK homeless crisis means that refuse collectors are now living with the fear that they could accidentally kill a person sleeping in a commercial wheeled bin as they attempt to stay warm for the night.
That’s a fear expressed by a Yorkshire-based waste and recycling company, which says that hundreds of people take the risk on any given night, bedding down in large bins set aside for paper, cardboard or general waste, either through homelessness or substance abuse.
According to Business Waste, Britain’s fastest-growing waste organisation, that means refuse collectors are having to check bins before they empty them, in case they accidentally inflict terrible injuries or even death on someone inside.
“It’s not just the homeless, even though that’s bad enough,” says Business Waste’s Mark Hall, “There are also drunks sleeping off a session on their way home, and even drug addicts.
“It’s terrifying for our staff to find somebody lurking inside on their early morning rounds, and they constantly worry if they’ve ever accidentally killed somebody.”
It’s almost impossible to tell how many people are sleeping in unsecured commercial wheeled bins every night, but Business Waste is certain that the problem runs into hundreds, if not thousands of cases.
“A bin behind a bank, shop or office filled with paper waste provides a relatively comfortable ‘bed’ for the right with a roof over your head,” says Hall. “But there is a genuine danger that the person inside might be too soundly asleep when the refuse truck comes.”
And that’s where substance abuse becomes a factor.
“People who are drunk lose their judgement, so they think a bin is a good place to hunker down and save the taxi fare on a rainy night,” says Hall.
He also says that wheeled bins provide a modicum of privacy for people using drugs. In both these cases, these people could be ‘too far gone’ to hear the approach of the bin lorry and make their presence known.
“In most cases, the lorry reversing klaxon is enough to act as an alarm clock for anybody inside, but the thoroughly drunk or drug users may be in a deeper state of unconsciousness and not recognise the danger at all,” he says.
Waste operator Tony tells of the typical experience of his trade: “We have a rough sleeper jump out of a bin on us at least a couple of times a week. It’s got to the point that you know which bins to expect them to leap out from. It’s really sad and a bit unsettling, but what can you do?”
And colleague Piotr says: “It always gives me a heart attack when it happens. One of these days we’re gonna miss one, and I don’t like to think about that.”
Both Tony and Piotr say that they’ve got in the habit of checking inside likely bins, just to be on the safe side. However, businesses could easily help prevent the problem by securing their bins at night.
“They should either corral their bins so that they’re behind closed doors, or lock their bins to ensure only approved people can access them,” says Business Waste’s Mark Hall.
“But it’s the poor refuse lorry operators who are the last line of defence here, and it’s a responsibility which weighs heavy on them.
With missing airman Corrie McKeague being a case in point, the issue is as vivid as ever. The missing RAF gunner is now thought to have somehow ended up in a bin on his way home from a night out, with presumed tragic consequences.
“It seems Corrie’s disappearance may have been a tragic accident,” says Hall, “And we cannot begin to think how the innocent waste workers are feeling right now.”
And Hall suggests this may be the tip of the iceberg.
“This is one tragedy that is being played out in public. How many other incidents involving homeless people who have fallen off the radar are going unrecorded?” he asks.
Burning bins doesn’t get you high. In fact, it might just make you dead
Bins are burning, and a rash of local news stories from around the UK all point to the same conclusion – Britain’s stupidest urban myth which claims the fumes from burning wheelie bins gets you high is back with a vengeance.
According to one national waste management and recycling company, the rumour – which did the rounds a decade ago and featured widely in the national press at the time – says that burning a wheelie bin and sniffing the resulting fumes has the same effect as certain recreational drugs.
It doesn’t (of course), and waste management experts BusinessWaste.co.uk says that it’s not only potentially fatal for those people idiotic enough to believe the urban myth, but it’s also an enormous waste of time and money for the victims and those who have to clear up the resulting mess.
“We’ve seen reports from Wolverhampton, Hull, Glasgow and Swindon over recent weeks, and they’re all the same,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, “Idiots stealing wheeled bins from outside homes and businesses, taking them to waste ground or parks, and torching them for whatever kicks they can derive.
“While some of them could just be arson, others include quotes from police officers who acknowledge that they’re doing it for weird drug-related kicks.”
• The urban myth is told differently depending on the locality. For some, any bin will do. For others, it is all about the colour of dye used in manufacturing the bin, so towns sometimes see a rash of blue or red bins going up in flames.
• But the end result is always the same: higher crime figures, the expense to the fire service, not to mention householders, businesses and councils having to clear up the resulting mess of melted plastic and replacing destroyed bins. There’s an unreported human cost too:
“Let’s not forget the idiots suffering smoke inhalation injuries and carbon monoxide poisoning,” says Hall. “They’ve fallen for this myth, and end up paying the price.”
So far, there have been no deaths from this ridiculous habit, but it’s only a matter of time, BusinessWaste.co.uk says.
“Whether it’s from trying to huff smoke in an enclosed space and succumbing to the fumes, or from the act of arson itself, somebody is bound to fall victim sooner or later.”
The so-called “addicts” often use the contents of the bin to start the fire, and that means the risk from explosion or toxic fumes.
“Just one aerosol might cause a potentially fatal explosion,” says Hall, “And bins stolen from business premises could contain just about anything that can cause fatal injury to the unwary.”
But it’s all a waste of energy. The only thing you get from bin-sniffing is a headache, melted soles on your trainers from standing too close, and all your clothes smelling like a camp fire.
While BusinessWaste.co.uk says this is hardly the devastation wreaked by crack cocaine, this nonsensical attempt at a “legal high” causes grief that people just don’t need in their lives.
“Our people are sick of having to scrape melted plastic from pavements and parks, and our clients hate the inconvenience of having their bins stolen,” BusinessWaste.co.uk says.
“So, at the risk of going all Grandmaster Melle Mel on the kids – Don’t do it!” says BusinessWaste.co.uk ‘s Grandmaster Mark Hall.
Lewisham is the worst London borough for recycling household waste
The south-east London borough of Lewisham has been named the worst borough for household recycling in London following research carried out by a private sector waste company.
The information was taken from official data collected by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and local authorities.
The national average for householder recycling is 44.9% in England.
According to the latest statistics, only 17.1% of residents in Lewisham are recycling their waste. While the residents of Newham aren’t performing much better, with only 17.2% their taking the time to recycle.
Out of the 32 London boroughs, it was Bexley which came out on top in this recycling war. An impressive 54% of householders here are regular recyclers; more than the national average.
Bromley and Kingston-upon-Thames were the only other boroughs beating the national average, with rates of 48% and 45.7% respectively.
Westminster was ranked 30 out of the 32 boroughs for its householders commitment to recycling, with a rate of 19.1%.
One industry expert involved in the research said he was surprised that the rate for Westminster was so low below the national average, considering it is one of the wealthiest London boroughs.
London’s seemingly poor recycling attitude has been blamed on the city’s growing population, which makes recycling harder to enforce, and the number of rented accommodation compared to properties occupied by homeowners.
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Hertfordshire haulage firm fined £28,000 for storing waste in breach of its environment permit
Winters Haulage has been fined £28,000 in Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court for breaching its environment permit following an investigation by the Environment Agency.
The firm is based in Hertfordshire but the breaches took place at its second site in Oakleigh Road South, in Southgate, London. Winters Haulage no longer operates from this site, but at the time of the offences, the company was storing waste in a manner which breached permit regulations.
The EA found waste wood, soil and plastic stored outside the reception area at the Oakleigh Road South site. Waste had also been allowed to build up to heights above the maximum of 2.5m permitted by the firm’s environment permit.
Mark Winters, the director at Winters Haulage, said that an arson attack at the company’s Hertfordshire premises had led to the waste offences, as it had been forced to dispose more waste than usual at the London site.
In court, the prosecutor for the EA claimed that Winter Haulage failed to act upon the agency’s advice and the problems went uncorrected.
Winters Haulage, which is allowed to operate 30 vehicles and 12 trailers, was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £13,878.34 and a victim surcharge of £120.
Environment Agency officer, Ruth Shaw, commented: “Storing waste in excess of the amount permitted and outside rather than inside the designated covered area increases the potential risk to the environment and human health.”
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London waste firm and its directors handed huge fines in court for fly-tipping and permit breaches
The directors of a waste management company based in Dagenham have been fined over £100,000 in court after the Environment Agency found them to have fly-tipped 6,000 tonnes of waste on land surrounding one of their homes.
In 2014, the bosses of Manns Waste Management, Ricky Mann and Glenn Tamplin, dumped thousands of tonnes of commercial and household waste on land owned by Mr Tamplin in Abridge.
The land is located on the banks of the River Roding and is an important safety measure used by council officers to prevent water spread in the event of the river flooding. The large stretch of land is designed to collect water and to direct it in a particular direction.
However, the pair or waste directors had fly-tipped so much waste on the site that the ground level had risen by two metres, which would have significantly reduced the impact of the land if a flood had occurred.
The Environment Agency (EA) carried out an investigation at the site and found that some waste had been buried under surface level and had begun to degrade, creating an odour and causing discolouration to the surrounding soil and thus posing a very serious pollution risk to the ground and nearby river.
In Snaresbrook Crown Court, the prosecution team for the EA said it had also found permit breaches at the Manns Waste Management site, situated in Chequers Lane, Dagenham.
Mr Tamplin was handed a personal fine of £45,000 and must also pay £30,789 in prosecution costs. He will be jailed for 9 months if he fails to pay the fine within 3 months.
Manns Waste Management was fined £50,000 for its involvement in the fly-tipping and its permit breaches. The firm was also ordered to pay £18,648 in costs.
Emma Viner, from EA’s enforcement team, commented: “The operation of illegal waste sites pose significant risk to our environment, local communities and undermines legitimate business. The Environment Agency will not hesitate to take tough enforcement action where serious breaches of environmental legislation are identified.”
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Farmers top the list, with office workers at the bottom of the pile
The best workers in the country for recycling their rubbish are farmers, it’s been revealed – and they’re so good at it, they should be paid by the government to show the rest of us how it’s done.
That’s the finding of a British waste and recycling company which surveyed various sectors across the UK economy to see which group produced the highest percentage of recyclable waste compared to waste sent to landfill or incineration.
York-based BusinessWaste.co.uk found that sectors such as factories and farms, whose profits depend on reusing and recycling as much as possible came out on top, while office workers came bottom.
“Office workers generally aren’t aware of the cost implications of throwing everything into their desk-side bin,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, “And in a large organisation that can soon add up to literally tonnes of rubbish.”
BusinessWaste.co.uk looked a tallies from its own operators to find out which areas of the UK economy recycled the best and found:
Britain’s top commercial recyclers:
3. Pubs & restaurants
5. Hospitals and clinics
Britain’s worst commercial recyclers:
1. Office-based businesses
2. Night clubs
3. Takeaway food establishments
“Why are famers go good at recycling?” Hall asks. “The answer is simple – they’ve been doing it for centuries, and they have a waste-not-want-not ethic that has survived down the years.
“From small family-run farms to giant agri-businesses, it’s the same – everything is collected, assessed and re-used where possible.
“Only the absolute detritus is thrown away, and then only with reluctance,” says the BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson.
BusinessWaste.co.uk say factory owners and operators have the same sort of ethic, but for entirely different reasons.
“Every tonne of unrecyclable waste they produce costs them money to get rid of,” says Hall. “Industry has gone to great lengths to find alternative uses for its waste, often selling it on to another sector that finds it useful for their own products.”
Waste rubber and glass going on to be constituent ingredients of low-noise road surfaces is a fantastic example of this cooperation between industrial sectors, Business Waste says.
Offices, on the other hand, have little incentive to boost their recycling waste, and many simply can’t be bothered – or simply don’t have the time in a pressured environment – to move from their desks to find the bin for their empty drink can.
And that’s why farmers should be employed by the Department of the Environment (DEFRA) as recycling ‘champions’ to pass on their knowledge to the slackers and refuseniks at the bottom of the survey.
“They’ve got generations of knowledge that could and should be passed on to others,” says Hall, “And because it results in everybody saving money and resources, it’s a scheme that will easily pay for itself in the long run.
“And the sight of a farmer telling a nightclub owner how to improve their business margins is something I dearly want to see.”
Charities losing out as criminals leave their own bins in town centres
Local and national charities are being cheated out of income by an ambitious criminal who has started leaving fake clothes banks in towns and cities.
Fresh from scams involving convincing-looking plastic charity bags being pushed through people’s doors, the fraudsters are now thinking big, a national waste and recycling company says.
According to BusinessWaste.co.uk, it’s got to the point where local authorities are impounding dishonestly-placed “charity” bins which only exist to make crooks richer.
“The people are a blight on decent society,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, “They prey on people’s charitable instincts just for personal profit.”
BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours program highlighted the difficulty that local charities face against dishonest traders who steal donations of clothing from literally under their noses – with Manchester City Council telling the BBC that they had identified at least two recycling bins in the city with no markings.
“It’s certainly enterprising, but the bottom line is that they are taking money away from the needy,” says Hall, “And apart from trying to catch the crooks in the act of picking up their bin, there’s very little the authorities can do to apprehend them.”
The newly discovered fake bin con follows the tried-and-tested scam of fake charity bag collections, as well as stealing legitimate charity bags left out on doorsteps
“People are bombarded with charity bags, and it’s sometimes difficult to tell which are real and which are fake,” says Business Waste’s Mark Hall. “Legitimate charities are finding their names on fake clothes bags when they’re not even collecting in the area.”
And what happens to the dishonestly collected items?
The gangs will sort through “donations” and sell the best on the internet.
Other items are driven to Eastern Europe, where there is a boom in British-style clothing to be fed in local stores. None of the profits are returned to UK charities.
The rest, however, creates a problem, says BusinessWaste.co.uk.
“These items – to put it mildly – are rubbish,” says Hall, “And these are not the kind of people who are going to pay trade rates at the local rubbish tip.”
Instead, the criminal gangs will double up on their dishonesty by fly-tipping their unwanted clothes, shoes and other items.
“They’ve got no social conscience, and they don’t care that the likes of you and I have to pay for the clean-up out of our Council Tax,” Hall says.
But with so many people trying to make a quick pound by fleecing charities, there are still sure-fire ways of making sure that you’re giving to the good guys.
“Fill those charity bags that come through your door,” says Hall, “and then take them to your nearest charity shop, who will likely welcome you with open arms.
“They don’t even care if your bag has another charity’s name on!”
What many people don’t know is that clothes, textiles, and shoes charity shops can’t sell are collected and taken away for genuine recycling. That way, even your most “useless” of gifts still raises funds.
BusinessWaste.co.uk ‘s Mark Hall advises people to keep an eye open for fake collectors and to report them to local trading standards.
“That way, we can get these criminals off the streets, and restore trust in a system that they’re trying to con.”
Pay-as-you-throw schemes would reduce waste production and increase recycling, according to the report
The Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and Sustainable Resource Management (ACR+) has published a report claiming that pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) waste schemes would increase recycling rates and help reduce the amount of waste produced each year.
The report, titled ‘Cross-analysis of ‘Pay-As-You-Throw’ schemes in selected EU municipalities’, discusses the financial and environmental benefits and potential negatives of introducing pay-as-you-throw waste systems in European municipalities.
The study focuses on PAYT systems in seven European cities in Sweden, Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands.
According to the report, nations across the globe are not doing enough to tackle the increase in product consumption and waste production, caused by emerging economies, recovering economies and a global population growth.
The report states that: “Connecting consumption with environmental impact will make up a critical part of addressing this challenge, and PAYT offers a potential piece of this puzzle by giving citizens an incentive to reduce waste.”
The possibility of a PAYT system has been discussed by the UK government. Such a scheme would see residents charged for municipal waste disposal based on the amount they produce.
However, Defra resources minister, Rory Stewart, said the implementation of a PAYT system in the UK would receive too much public objection to be successful.
The report itself also addressed the potential problems of a PAYT scheme. It states that a ‘one fit for all’ would not work as “no municipality is the same”.
It also adds that local authorities would have to implement more frequent collections and also be prepared to educate residents on waste reduction and recycling, however, this would not completely reduce the risk of increased fly-tipping incidents.
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Return of the long-dead tradition is well overdue a comeback to increase recycling rates
One of Britain’s favorite childhood memories is long overdue a comeback in a bid to increase national recycling rates.
Paying a deposit on a glass bottle, which is then refunded when returned to a participating retailer, effectively died out in the UK with the advent of the disposable plastic bottle, but Britain’s fastest-growing waste management and recycling company says now is the time to bring it back.
According to York-based BusinessWaste.co.uk, figures from the United States – where bottle deposits are still widespread – show that the higher the deposit, the more likely a bottle is returned intact.
“We often look at the past with rose-tinted glasses,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, “but the bottle deposit was something that really did work.”
In the post-war period, children could make themselves a reasonable fortune by scouring their local area for empty bottles, which they’d then take back to the shop to receive a few pence each.
“It was killed off by plastic bottles, but that came with a legacy of millions of tonnes of waste in hedgerows and kerbs filled with bottles,” says Hall. “It’s time to end this epidemic of wastefulness.”
It’s something that worked very well back then, and can work again now, Business Waste says, and the reasons are simple:
• Recycling glass keeps production costs down for drinks manufacturers and bottlers, as it’s far cheaper to make bottles from used glass than it is to make new from raw materials
• Recycling glass is also greener than using plastic bottles as there are few waste products
• Human nature means that people are more likely to recycle if there is a reward
“The furore over the 5p charge for supermarket carrier bags so how worked up we get as a nation get about very small sums of money,” Hall says.
“We can turn this negative energy into a positive by rewarding customers for returning recyclables.”
BusinessWaste.co.uk says that in the United States, where container deposits are widespread, there’s a 70% return rate when it’s set at 5 cents, rising to a 97% success rate in Michigan where it’s set at 10 cents. In states where there’s no deposit scheme, recycling rates are only 33%.
“If the state of Michigan can achieve a 97% return rate with only a modest bottle deposit, then so can Britain,” BusinessWaste.co.uk ‘s Mark Hall says. “We expect that a scheme set at 10p per bottle will be a roaring success in the UK.
“Not only that, it’ll encourage a new wave of school-age entrepreneurs to get up and set about collecting as many bottles as they can,” he says.
There might even be a modern twist on the idea, BusinessWaste.co.uk suggests.
The burden of paying out return rewards could be switched away from shopkeepers, and could instead be paid onto a loyalty card account which can be “cashed out” at any time.
The reward would naturally be the same as the deposit paid, but it virtually guarantees continued custom and gives a good reason to continue returning used containers.
“Sometimes the old ways really are the best ways, and it’s time we reconsidered container deposit legislation in the UK,” Hall says.
“It’s great for recycling rates, it’s great for British industry, but best of all – it’s great for kids’ pocket money.“
Call to redistribute tens of thousands of publications to sick and needy
Every week, tens of thousands of unsold comics and magazines are returned from shops to retailers, who send them to be pulped, it’s been revealed.
Instead of this destruction, one national waste and recycling company suggests that they are redistributed at cost to hospitals and charities where they can be enjoyed.
According to the BusinessWaste.co.uk, there’s a particular problem with comics for children which have free gifts attached to the front cover, meaning they are often sent to be burned or buried in landfill.
“It’s an extraordinary waste,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk, spokesperson Mark Hall, “Because there are thousands of kids who’d appreciate those comics and gifts.”
BusinessWaste.co.uk, says that all of these unsold publications are perfectly saleable.
“While some of these are retained for the back issue market, huge numbers are simply destroyed within days of being replaced on the shelves by the next edition,” Hall says. “And with recycling figures stalling, it defies logic.”
Instead, Hall suggests, there should be an approved list of hospital children’s wards, nurseries, Sure Start centres and other organisations for young people which could receive a limited number of unsold comics and magazines for the enjoyment of patients and pupils.
Opportunity for charities
“It wouldn’t be a freebie,” Hall says, “The magazines could be bought back from the wholesalers at a price to cover their costs, and could even be funded by charitable donations.”
With the help of children’s charities – and this seems an excellent project for BBC Children in Need to become involved in – the gift of reading and play could easily be passed onto young people who need it the most, Business Waste proposes.
A straw poll carried out by BusinessWaste.co.uk, found firm backing for the idea among the British public:
• 94% said they’d support a charity-driven scheme
• 6% said they would not
“The nay-sayers have a valid point in that it might hit sales from the newsstands,” says Hall, “And that’s why we say such a scheme would be limited in scope to make sure that doesn’t happen.
“Shops and publishers have businesses to run, after all!”
One nurse told BusinessWaste.co.uk,: “You should see the books and comics that we have for the children – they’re falling apart at the seams, and I think even prisoners get a better deal. We rely on what parents bring in, but it’s depressing to see kids’ get bored because they have so little to read and do.
“A regular supply of recent comics and magazines would be brilliant,” she said.
There may even be scope to extend the idea to old people’s homes and hospital wards, where decent reading material is at a premium.
“It’s about improving people’s quality of life by keeping their brains active,” says Mark Hall.
Many doctors’ and dentists’ surgeries now use subscription schemes to keep their waiting rooms interesting with up-to-date magazines, and BusinessWaste.co.uk, says extending a charity scheme to the older generation would be careful not to tread on the toes of this expanding business model.
The aim, Hall says, is to stop magazines and comics going to waste by giving them to the people who need them most, but can’t usually get access to them.
“As a waste company we positively hate seeing perfectly good items destroyed,” he says, “And that’s why we want to see kids and comics reunited.
“It’ll be good for the environment, and it will be great for young imaginations, too.”
Alupro research finds that the UK’s 2015 recycling rate for aluminium is seven per cent higher than thought
Research carried out by the environmental consultancy firm, Resource Future, on behalf of the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) has found that the UK recycled 55 per cent of its aluminium waste in 2015, which is seven per cent higher than the initial figure.
The Alupro study discovered that more than 10,000 tonnes of aluminium recycling went unaccounted for when the 2015 aluminium recycling rate was calculated.
According to the initial figures, 48 per cent of aluminium packaging waste was recycled in 2015 and 60 per cent of used aluminium cans was also recycled. The combined recycling rate from these two figures means that the UK had already achieved the 49 per cent aluminium recycling target which had been set for 2015.
The research by Alupro found that more than 10,000 tonnes of aluminium recycling had gone unreported through the packaging recycling note (PRN) system. This means that the UK recycled 86,200 tonnes of aluminium in 2015, as opposed to the original figure of 76,027 tonnes.
Alupro used the EU’s methodology system (as set out in the European Commission’s new Circular Economy package) for calculating recycling rates. The executive director of Alupro, Rick Hindley, commented: “It is vital that the measurement system we use in the UK for calculating recycling performance is aligned to the methodology used throughout Europe.”
The study suggests that 55 per cent of the aluminium waste produced in the UK in 2015 was recycled. In addition, 69 per cent of aluminium cans were recycled, rather than the initial 60 per cent figure.
Mr Hindley added: “Our research clearly demonstrates the need to encourage more reprocessors to become accredited to ensure that the PRN system provides an accurate record of recycling performance.”
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Waste businesses vie for electronic goods to release a small fortune in precious metals
There’s a new buzzword in the waste and recycling industry, and it’s “urban mining” – the act of reclaiming electronic goods to cash in on the precious metals inside.
With commodity prices still at high levels as investors turn away from diving oil prices, recycled gold and silver inside discarded electricals suddenly make sound financial sense, Britain’s fastest growing waste company says.
According to York-based BusinessWaste.co.uk, a standard laptop could contain up to £25 worth of gold at current prices, while high-end desktop machines could contain even more.
“Recycling companies are now seeing the contents of the WEEE bin as a quick win,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, “And they’ll take these goods away from their previous owners for free because – with the right tools and expertise – they represent a superb return on investment.”
And it’s not just obsolete electronics being cleared off the desks and warehouse shelves of companies who no longer need them. The habit of throwing tonne upon tonne of electronic goods into landfill mean our hills are – quite literally – full of gold.
“The high-end electronics industry relies on gold, silver and other precious and rare-earth metals to supply ever-faster and ever more reliable devices,” says Hall. “And it’s far cheaper to recycle these metals than it is to mine it from ore.
“And with prices at high levels, it has suddenly become all the more urgent to find precious metals the cheapest way possible – and that’s from obsolete equipment.”
What’s in an old laptop?
• Some 320 tons of gold and 7,500 tons of silver are used in the global production of personal computers every year
• It’s cheaper to recover previously refined precious metals that it is to prospect, mine and process “new” gold from the ground
• According to the Dell Computer company, the circuit boards inside a laptop can contain about £25 worth of gold
• A mobile phone can contain £3-4 worth of gold, and a tablet computer around £10
• Older computers will contain more precious metals, meaning some company storerooms could represent a treasure trove
Effective urban mining means increased margins for the waste and recycling industry, and that results in more competition between companies to uncover waste from large companies who are replacing their technology.
“At any given moment, a large blue chip company or public service organisation in the United Kingdom is undergoing a technology refresh programme,” Hall explains. “They usually retain their old equipment for data integrity reasons, but will soon wish to dispose of it safely and with all due respect to confidentiality.”
That’s when a responsible waste management company becomes involved. They’ll come under contract to make sure that sensitive equipment is thoroughly destroyed, while trying to maximise their return from recovering metals and plastics from the gear they’re “mining”, Business Waste says.
“It’s a smart balancing act,” says Hall. “Verifiable destruction combined with the smart recovery of precious metals can now be achieved by companies with the right expertise and right equipment, and it’s these urban miners who are going to profit from British industry’s continuing need for up-to-date equipment and readily-available raw materials.”
That’s going to mean deals with local authorities, waste handlers and all kinds of businesses and public sector organisations to have their unwanted electronics diverted away from the rubbish tip, BusinessWaste.co.uk says. “It’s recycling by another name, only with much higher stakes,” says Hall.
There are also moves to address the millions of items underground at landfill tips, but this is a more complex process that comes with its own risks and safety issues.
“But it’s entirely possible that urban mining means just that – digging down for old reusable goods. Britain’s rubbish tips are full of precious metals, just waiting to be unlocked,” says BusinessWaste.co.uk s Mark Hall.
With the average office computer having a service life of around five years, hundreds of thousands of processors containing vital metals enter the waste and recycling system every year, BusinessWaste.co.uk says. It’s only now that we’re realising how important it is to capture as many as possible to save the UK economy a small fortune in gold.
“British industry has the expertise to unlock this money,” says Hall. “We’ve got the tools – let’s get on with it.”
Germany is the top recycling nation
A new highly-detailed data report produced by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development shows the municipal recycling rates for its member countries.
The report shows the good, the average and the ugly; from the current leader, Germany, topping the table with a 65% recycling rate; to the USA, which is lagging behind many European countries, with a 35% recycling rate; and then to the struggling Turkey, which recycled a pitiful 1% of the nation’s municipal rubbish in 2013.
Here is a list of the top OECD nations that are leading the recycling race. (The results were collated by OECD and reflect the municipal waste that was recycled and composted in 2013):
- Germany (65%)
- South Korea (59%)
- Slovenia (58%)
- Austria (58%)
- Belgium (55%)
- Switzerland (51%)
- Sweden (50%)
- Netherlands (50%)
12. United Kingdom (43%)
In contrast, the following is a list of the OECD nations that are currently at the bottom of the recycling pile:
- Turkey (1%)
- Chile (1%)
- Mexico (5%)
- Slovakia (11%)
- Japan (19%)
- Greece (19%)
- Israel (19%)
- Czech Republic (24%)
According to Forbes, a report produced by Eurostat claims that Germany sent just 63.8million tonnes out of 353million tonnes of municipal waste to landfill in 2012 and just 11 million tonnes went to the incinerators. The remainder was either recycled or used for energy recovery.
There is a suggestion that Germany’s recycling success is partly due to its plastic bottle and aluminium can deposit system. One can often see unemployed/homeless people rooting around inside bins for any discarded bottles and cans. However, such systems are also used in Canada, where the recycling rate is just 24%.
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