Keeping Our Capital Tidy During the Six Nations

It’s that time of year again. Six Nations rugby is finally back and Wales kicked off their campaign with a bang against Scotland in front of a delighted home crowd.

Hundreds of thousands of fans arrived in Cardiff on the opening day of the tournament and it was a brilliant weekend full of celebration that showcased our fantastic Capital.

Picture of Welsh flag.

But the opening weekend of the Six Nations also represented a massive match day challenge and that was how to tackle all the rubbish.

It’s easy to get caught up in the match day atmosphere and forget about the huge clean-up operation that takes place after a game in the capital, but don’t!

Here are a few simple ways you can help keep Cardiff clean during the rest of the Six Nations and help us keep our Capital tidy.

1. Stick to one pint…cup

Plenty of pints will be drunk out of plastic cups during match day, but rather than get a fresh cup every drink, try sticking to just one and recycle your cups if possible.

If you can’t find a recycle bin to put your cup in, leave it at the bar, but don’t drop it in the streets.

2. Don’t drop your litter

There are more than enough waste bins provided across Cardiff for anything that can’t be recycled such as some food packaging and wrappers.

Please don’t dump your rubbish on the streets. It leaves a bad impression on everyone.

Not only will people have to clean up your waste, but, if you’re caught littering by a waste enforcement officer, you will receive a Fixed Penalty Notice of £80 (Cardiff Gov).

3. Gum be gone

Chewing gum belongs in the trash bin. It isn’t bio-degradable, which means it won’t naturally decompose and will remain as a tough-to-clean eyesore on our pavements and roads.

4. No if’s, no butts

Don’t forget to use appropriate ash bins to dispose of your cigarette ends, there are plenty of them around Cardiff city for you to use.

If after the 6 Nations games, you find yourself surrounded by waste that could and should be recycled, contact the GD team and we can answer any questions you may have.

Give us a call on 01633 277 755 for specialist advice.

Simple Ways to Cut Down Your Waste & Save Money During Lent

February marks the start of Lent, a Christian tradition which begins on Ash Wednesday (14th February), and finishes on Holy Saturday (29th March).

The season is focused on giving something up for forty days, and more often than not, people use Lent to give up on indulgences that they often take for granted.

That inspired us to think of a few items you could give up during Lent that could not only help improve the environment but also save you money!

Cut down on plastic packaging

One area we could all work on improving is cutting down the amount of plastic packaging we use. Not only is it easy to do but it can make a massive difference to our environment. During Lent, could you:

  • Carry reusable shopping bags?
  • Quit bottled water, carry a multi-use bottle and refill with tap water throughout the day?
  • Avoid buying pre-packaged fruit and vegetables when you carry out your weekly grocery shop?

Multiple water bottles lined up next to each other.

Stop wasting much food

According to the Food Standards Agency, the UK throws away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from its homes every year! That’s roughly £470 of food waste per household.

Use Lent to switch up your grocery shop:

  • Create a meal planner before you go shopping, not only will this help you stop buying those food items you never end up eating, but it could save you lots of money throughout the year
  • Store your food properly to prevent it going to waste
  • Recycle some of your food waste by creating your very own compost! It’s great for your garden and a wonderful way to turn your food waste into something good for the environment

By making even small changes to your grocery shop, you could make big changes to how much money you save and how much food you waste.

Reduce the amount of water you waste

Have you ever considered how much water you could be wasting in your household? Why not use Lent as an opportunity to use a little less water and save a lot more on your water bills!

  • Take shorter showers
  • If you’re going to use dishwasher, make sure it’s full
  • Only put a clothes wash on if you’ve got a full load to clean

A shower head with running water.

Making small changes to your life, even for forty days can make a huge impact to the environment – and once you’ve cut certain things out of your life, you can learn to cut them for good!

If you would like more information on the recycling services we offer, please get in touch on 01633 277 755

4 Items You Can Recycle At Your Office

Waste Paper

Have you ever thought about how much paper we use in day to day life? According to research by ORS, “the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year”.

To put that into context, that’s an average of four boxes of paper per year, each box costing around £10, which means roughly £40 of paper is used every year by people working in offices across the UK.

If you think that statistic is high, consider the fact that on average, 6800 of the original 10,000 sheets used are wasted – and often, aren’t recycled properly.

That’s two-thirds of paper being wasted per person, per year.

Or, more simply £6.80 of paper waste for every £10 spent.

So, how can we stop this?

  1. Firstly, ensure your office has correctly labelled recycling bins – clear instruction never goes amiss.
  2. Each time you receive an email, consider if it really is necessary to print.
  3. Try printing double-sided where possible – especially when printing large documents.
  4. Go digital. If you’re in a small meeting, with only a few people present, provide your reports on tablets or around a laptop.

Printer Cartridges

Another big source of office waste is printer cartridges.

It’s estimated that 65 million ink and toner cartridges are sold in the UK every year and that 85% of them are simply discarded or sent to landfill; where it can take up to 1,000 years for them to fully decompose.

Throwing them away in the trash also adds unnecessary toxins and pollutants into the local environment.

How can you recycle a printer cartridge?  

  1. You can donate them. There are lots of charities asking for donation of ink cartridges.
  2. Invest in some refillable ink cartridges.
  3. Some supermarkets have specific areas where you can recycle ink cartridges along with batteries and light bulbs.
  4. Some ink cartridge manufacturers ask for used cartridges to be returned for a discount to be provided on future orders.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

Whilst sat at your desk, have a think about the electrical goods in the room:

IT equipment; computers and laptops, keyboards, telephones, mobile phones, maybe a TV screen? There are electrical appliances to consider too: kettles, mini-fridges, lights, headphones and more. The list can go on. Have you ever considered what happens to your electrical waste when you purchase new models?

The United Nations University carried out a study, that concluded 43 million tons of electronic waste alone, was generated in 2016.

The Telegraph states that in context, “On average, each Briton throws away between 20 and 25kg of e-waste each year”. Most of this waste ends up as landfill, putting both people and animals at risk of harm.

How Can You Safely Dispose WEEE?

  1. AT GD, we operate safe waste transfer stations that are licensed to accept and process both hazardous and non-hazardous waste. Here we recycle 98% of all waste processed.
  2. Don’t buy new tech just for the sake of it. Yes, we all want the newest phones, laptops and desktops, but ask yourself if it’s necessary. If so, research how to safely dispose of your used models!

Pens

When your pen runs out of ink, you throw it in the bin. It makes sense, right? But when you look a bit closer, that leads to a huge amount of waste that could instead be recycled! The market leader in the stationery industry, BIC pen manufacturers, sells 8.76 billion items each year.

Even though BIC proudly state that ‘The BIC Cristal® ballpoint pen that writes for more than 1.2 miles (2 km)’, once they’re finished they’re likely to be thrown out, instead of recycled. That’s a lot of plastic to end up as landfill.

Let’s recycle pens properly:

  1. Collect all broken/unusable pens and send them in bulk to recyclers.
  2. Or, buy biodegradable eco-friendly writing utensils.

Conclusion

Recycling in the office is a simple and effective solution for disposing waste, and it can save companies a considerable amount of money in doing so.

If you have any questions regarding recycling in your office, or if you would like more information on the services we can offer, please get in touch on 01633 277 755

Powering 2018 With Recycling Innovations

Towards the end of 2017, viewers in the UK watching David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II were shocked to discover the damaging impact of human waste on our planet.

Let’s roll into the New Year with change. 2018 brings a new year for people to think globally, take action, and take a step in the right direction towards a greener future.

Here are some ingenious ideas which have recently come to light and could make a real difference to our environment.

Turning Coffee Ground to Biofuel

One entrepreneur has found a unique use for coffee bean waste. Bio-bean’s founder, Arthur Kay, was inspired to look at the process of collection and use of coffee grounds, due to the sheer amount of waste that is accumulated annually, a shocking 200,000 tonnes each year, in London alone.

A picture of coffee grounds, which are now being used to help create bio-fuel.

The Bio-Bean factory recycles 50,000 tonnes of waste coffee grounds each year, by mixing with oils and fats to create a bio-component. This is then combined with a mineral diesel, creating the final product; coffee-derived B20 biofuel.

This is not only a fantastic recycling opportunity, but also a way to generate new energy.

Recycling Plastic Bags to Petrol

Researchers, at the University in Illinois, have found an innovative way to reuse plastic bags, slightly different from the usual method of keeping them stored in a cupboard or drawer!

By heating the plastic to melting point and combining with hydrogen atoms, they have been able to create liquid hydrocarbon fuel (petrol) in order to power cars.

Plastic is largely made from polyethene (a fossil fuel), which is such a durable product that it can remain unchanged on earth for hundreds of years. As shown on Blue Planet II, this can cause huge damage to ecological environments. So, finding new ways to reduce plastic bag waste can only be a good thing.

This latest innovation is not only reducing the amount of plastic sent to landfill and saving the oceans, but also helping power our vehicles.

Creating A Solid Foundation with Plastic Bricks

Some plastics are incredibly strong and an Architect graduate from New York has found a new way to granulate plastic bags and mix them with concrete to form bio-bricks.

A picture of a large 'ByBlock', an eco-friendly building block created using plastic.
A large ‘ByBlock’, created by company ByFushion (http://www.byfusion.com/byblocks/)

 

In Sussex, they have similarly started a scheme to use recycled plastic bottles, turning them into bricks for construction. It only takes around 20 bottles to create one brick.

There are many advantages to using this method: not only does this reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, but it is also cheaper to manufacture, has better insulation and noise prevention properties in comparison to concrete.

What an efficient and necessary solution to plastic waste!

Conclusion

These brilliant ideas will contribute to saving this beautiful planet we live on. Sometimes all it takes is an idea to make a real change to the world.

If you find yourself surrounded by waste that could and should be recycled, contact the GD team and we can answer any questions you may have.

Give us a call on 01633 277 755 for specialist advice.

‘Tis The Season To Recycle!

Christmas is truly the most wonderful time of the year. We are surrounded by presents, food and most importantly, family and friends.

However, Christmas is also an extremely wasteful time of year.

We spend hundreds of pounds on food and drink, only to throw large amounts away. The average household throws away 30% more at Christmas than throughout the rest of the year.

On average, an unbelievable 226,800 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away each year.

This year why not help our environment by recycling your wrapping paper? It can be reprocessed back into packaging, extending its lifespan for years to follow.

Around 1 billion Christmas cards are thrown away each year.

The majority of Christmas cards are paper-based and can be recycled, along with their envelopes. Some may believe that Christmas cards are an out of date notion. However, they are still widely used and will probably hang around for many years to come.

TIP: Create your own cards from recycled paper, fabrics and other items you might otherwise throw away.

A whopping 6 million Christmas trees are disposed of, every year.

Artificial Christmas trees are far more environmentally friendly, as they can be packed away and reused again each year. Alternatively, purchase a real tree with a healthy root ball and you can re-plant and reuse it again the following year – now that is a green Christmas.

Merry Christmas from all at GD and a Happy New Year!

If you have any queries or require specialist advice, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01633 277 755.

Blue Planet II – Small Changes Make A Difference

Packaging is an essential resource used for protecting produce and providing information for consumers. Once packaging has served its purpose and disposed of, most people don’t give it another thought. However, given the topical problem of too much plastic in our oceans, very much brought to light in the second edition of David Attenborough’s Blue Planet, it’s important we take responsibility and look at ways to reduce and recycle packaging.

Blue Planet II took a deeper look into the amount of plastic in our oceans, highlighting that every year, around 8 million metric tons of plastic waste enters the ocean, where it can prove fatal to marine life.

Dolphin caught in plastic waste
Original image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jedimentat/7576773812

 

If Blue Planet II has inspired you to help our oceans, we can help shed light on how small changes you make, really can make a difference to the bigger picture.

Here are some tips that we have for reducing, reusing and recycling packaging:

Reduce

Choosing to purchase products with less packaging, such as loose fruit and vegetables rather than pre-packed, will play a vital role in the reduction of waste produced.

TIP: Replace your general waste bin with a smaller container, as well as ensuring there are additional containers for recyclables. This will encourage segregation and correct disposal of waste.

Reuse

Alternatively, look to re-use your packaging. For example, plastic and cardboard boxes can be used as storage for a number of household items; including food tins, toys, clothing and shoes.

How much money do we waste in purchasing new carrier bags each time we go shopping? Re-use will not only save us money but will benefit the environment.

TIP: Keep a store of plastic bags in the boot or glove box of your car, so that they are to hand whenever you decide to go shopping.

Recycle

Making wiser choices when shopping can also help: Choose products with packaging which can be easily recycled. Simple changes such as this can have a big impact on the amount of waste you are recycling, rather than throwing away.

If you have any questions regarding recycling, please get in touch on 01633 277 755

Why Plastic Recycling is more important than ever!

Have you ever thought about just how much plastic we use on a daily basis? If you think about your morning alone: your plastic toothbrush you used to brush your teeth, the plastic bottle of milk used for your cup of tea this morning, your cards in your purse/wallet… the list is endless.

Plastic makes up our day-to-day lives and has been incredibly advancing in modern technology. However, plastic is increasingly becoming a big problem for the environment as most plastics aren’t biodegradable, which means it is not capable of decomposing (fast) naturally. As a result, plastic can be around for years at a time and pose a threat for living animals and creatures, which is particularly prominent in the oceans where species are going extinct.

It is crucial to dispose of waste properly, however, when it comes to plastic recycling, some people are left unsure of what the best solution is.

At GD Environmental, we are knowledgeable in this field and ensure that we recycle plastic appropriately as well as efficiently. Our passion is resourcing waste, and we recycle plastics to be used again in the manufacturing industry.

Did you know that we reprocess 5 different types of Polymer?

  • PP Plastics (polypropylene plastics)
  • LDPE (low density polyethylene)
  • HDPE (high density polyethylene)
  • PVC (Polyvinyl chloride plastic)
  • UPV (Unplasticized Poly Vinyl Chloride)

If you are looking for a plastic reprocessing service and would like more information on this service, please contact us on 01633 277 755.

How to dispose of aerosols safely

Aerosol cans are made up of approximately 60% tinplated steel and 40% aluminium, both of which are recyclable metals. With an estimated 600 million aerosols being used in the UK each year, aerosols are evidently a big opportunity in the recycling world!

Since aerosols contain liquid or gas, which are pressurised with a propellant, they need to be disposed of correctly as their contents are dangerous under certain conditions, such as in heat or in a compact garbage truck, and run the risk of exploding. As such, precautions need to be taken when disposing of aerosol cans. For this reason, many people are unsure of the appropriate ways to dispose of aerosol cans.

Here are a few tips for disposing of aerosols safely:

1. Before throwing your aerosol can straight into the rubbish bin, take the time to ensure that it is completely empty.

If it is completely empty, your aerosol can may go into the normal recycling for cans/tins.

Aerosol cans that are either partially or completely full need to be separated from your other recyclables and general waste as they are considered hazardous waste. Most councils collect aerosols via household collection, otherwise, they can be taken to your local recycling facility and put into the correct banks.

2. Do not modify the aerosol can in any way – e.g. do not pierce, crush or flatten the aerosol, as this may increase the risk of it exploding.

If there are any detachable or loose parts to the aerosol, such as a plastic lid, remove them and dispose of these separately within the appropriate recycling.

If you have any queries regarding the safe disposal of aerosols or have any other general questions regarding waste disposal, contact our specialist team for advice.

Why You Should Never Throw Away Your Old Electronic Devices

As the electronic technology market develops, people are fast to ditch their old electronic devices for the latest model. But what happens to all the old devices?

The fastest growing waste stream in the UK, electronic waste, also known as WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment), is estimated to add up to around 2 million tonnes a year.

Many people don’t realise that old electronic devices should never be placed in your general waste bin when they reach the end of their working life. This is because electrical equipment often contains several hazardous substances that impact the environment and human health.

A strong example is flat panel displays, which contain significant amounts of mercury. Many other electronic products contain lead, arsenic, and flame retardants that when dumped in a landfill, can contaminate the ground, water, and air.

When you consider the bulk amounts of e-waste generated by businesses who are upgrading their computer systems and other business electronics, combined with generic households, then you can imagine the impact those toxins are having on our planet and health.

Here’s a list of e-waste culprits, some of which may have never crossed your mind:

  • Electric toothbrushes
  • Microwave ovens
  • Televisions (CRTs, LCDs, Plasmas)
  • Computer Monitors
  • Computer Peripherals (mice, keyboards, etc.)
  • Laptops/Netbooks/Tablets
  • Printers
  • Copiers
  • Fax Machines
  • Televisions (CRTs, LCDs, Plasmas)
  • Portable Electronic Equipment (MP3 Players, PDAs, etc.)
  • Telephones
  • Cell Phones
  • Answering machines
  • Cameras
  • VCRs
  • DVD/CD Players
  • Stereo Equipment
  • Speakers
  • Scanners
  • Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) devices

So, what do you do with your old electronic devices?

You recycle them of course!

Be aware that UK businesses that produce hazardous waste are legally responsible for the safe removal and disposal.

Whether it’s for domestic or commercial purposes, at GD Environmental we have the capacity to accept Hazardous and Non-Hazardous electronic waste, which is handled by our specialist WEEE division for recycling.

Call our team to find out how we can help you recycle your electronic waste on 01633 277 755.

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle!

We recycle over 96% of all collected waste

We currently recycle over 96% of all collected dry waste at our Newport and Llanelli recycling and transfer stations, forging our reputation as one of the most efficient waste-sorting company in Wales.

5 Eco-friendly tips for your office:

  1. Buy a nice mug for your morning ‘cuppa and reuse and you can avoid any waste.
  2. Make sure the office doesn’t just have recycling bins for paper, but also for plastic and metal.
  3. Buy re-manufactured ink and toner cartridges.
  4. Recycle old newspapers laying around the office.
  5. Look for the recycled option in all the products you buy. It’s not just paper that is recycled.

We have developed specialist teams and innovative equipment which effectively treat and dispose of waste, helping make local communities a safer and healthier place to live and work.

As well as collecting and transporting waste on behalf of our clients, we also welcome direct use of the recycling and transfer station facility. The station has efficient two-way vehicle access, assuring minimum waiting time for customers who transport waste onto our site for processing.

As part of the service, GD Environmental can provide you with an interactive reporting facility that delivers a comprehensive waste break down, including how much of your waste has been diverted from landfill to recycling.

If you would like more information, or to discuss your waste management requirements, please call us on 01633 277 755.