Moving Towards a Circular Economy

Circular economy is the alternative to the today’s linear ‘make, use, dispose’ economy which aims to keep resources in use for as long as possible. Today’s economy is built on a fast turnover principle, with the release of new products, mainly technology, we are quick to upgrade and dispose our old ones. This leads to a staggering inefficiency in the way we manage the earth’s resources, with increased pollution, loss of ecosystems and substantial decrease in value with each product disposed.

How does it work?

Circular economy is divided into two cycles, Biological, and Technical. The Biological Cycle aims to build capital with waste instead of reducing it through rethinking and redesigning products and packaging to create safe and compostable materials that encourage growth. The technical cycle aims to rethink ways we can cycle valuable metals, polymers, & alloys to maintain qualities beyond shelf life. Combining the two cycles creates a circular economy where, instead of disposing of your old products, you can return them to the manufacturers, where tech materials can be recycled to create more, whilst the biological materials can be used to increase agricultural value.

The Benefits

There are many benefits that come with operating under a circular economy, such as:

  • The reduction of waste
  • Helping to reduce the environmental impacts of production and consumption within the UK
  • Creating to create a more competitive UK economy
  • Driving greater resource productivity
  • Companies will have a secure supply of resources they need to produce
  • Consumers will be protected from price hikes caused by scarce resources

Just how dangerous is Asbestos?

What exactly is Asbestos?

Asbestos was used extensively as a building material in Great Britain from the 1950s through to the mid-1980s. Although some of this material has been removed over the years, there are many thousands of tonnes of asbestos still present in buildings today.

Why is it dangerous?

No amount of asbestos is considered safe. Products that contain greater than 1 percent of asbestos minerals are considered to be asbestos-containing. The more asbestos you are exposed to, the more likely you are to get an asbestos disease. Asbestosis and lung cancer are dose-related diseases.

How dangerous is Asbestos?

  • Asbestos still kills around 5000 workers each year, this is more than the number of people killed on the road.
  • Around 20 tradesman die each week as a result of past exposure
  • However, asbestos is not just a problem of the past. It can be present today in any building built or refurbished before the year 2000.

GD Environmental is licenced by the Environmental Agency to accept all forms of cement-bonded and fibrous asbestos. We can provide approved drivers, licensed to collect and transport all types of asbestos and hazardous waste, and professionally operates one of the few asbestos transfer stations in Wales and the West Country.

In the event of an emergency, GD Environmental is able to provide an efficient asbestos removal service to any location across the UK. This quick turnaround is to reduce the impact of any fly-tipped asbestos on both the public’s health and the environment.

If you would like any more information regarding Asbestos or its removal, give us a call on 01633 277 755.

The Importance of Drain Cleaning

If you keep finding yourself in the same place – with another clogged drain – it might be time to solve the problem for good and get your drain properly cleaned.

But what’s the point in cleaning my drains if they’re just going to get dirty again?

Clogged drains are a common problem for households, a joy that comes hand in hand with indoor plumbing. The more debris that accumulates in the drain over time, the more likely it is that the drain will eventually block completely.

What’s causing my drain to clog?

There are a number of materials and factors that are responsible for clogging up your drain, including a build-up of sludge and debris that accumulates over time. Sludge is usually comprised of a mixture of fats, oils, grease or soaps, dirt, silt, leaves, hair, food and other household waste that has been allowed to build up within your home’s drain lines.

Once an obstruction occurs and is not removed, it tends to grab onto other bits of debris, causing the blockage to worsen over time This can result in bad smells, a collapsed sewer pipe or flooding.

How we clean your drains

Drain jetting is the approach we use to clean drain and sewer pipes. The high-pressure pump can extend much further down a drain than a drain rod will, making it an extremely effective method which blasts at the obstruction, removing all of the materials and debris safely and without damage to the main line pipes.

In addition to this, we safely remove all of the unwanted stone, sludge and waste water, making sure to clean your drains to a standard that will deter future drainage problems.

What if it doesn’t unblock?

It is very unlikely that the drain jetting and clearance service we deliver will not unblock your drain. However, if there is something there that is causing a problem, we are able to carry out a CCTV inspection to allow us to visually inspect the cause.

What Is Hazardous Waste?

Waste is generally considered hazardous if it (or the material/substances it contains) is harmful and poses a substantial threat to human health or the environment.

To ensure that hazardous waste is safely and responsibly disposed of, there are several regulations that need to be complied with. Organisations that produce over 500kg of hazardous waste must register with the Environment Agency in Wales.

There are also many household products that are considered hazardous and must comply with regulations of separation from normal waste to ensure safe disposal.

A chemical waste may be classified as hazardous if it exhibits one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Ignitability – waste that is flammable and can sustain combustion
  • Corrosivity – waste that can readily corrode or dissolve materials that it meets
  • Reactivity – waste that can readily explode or undergo violent reactions
  • Toxicity – waste that can cause physiological damage if ingested or inhaled

What Can Be Considered Hazardous Waste?

Examples of hazardous waste include aerosols, batteries e.g. lead acid batteries, chemical waste e.g. brake fluid or print toner, consumer electronics, computers, televisions, fuel, fluorescent lights, oils e.g. car engine oil and pesticides.

We offer hazardous waste disposal. For more information and a list of what our disposal team services operate with, click here or call us on 01633 277 755.

Tackling Food Waste Issues

What Is Food Waste?

Food waste refers to food that is suitable for human consumption, yet is deliberately discarded. Food waste is a current worldwide epidemic, with environmental, economic and moral imperatives to tack the issue.

Despite numerous efforts to reduce food waste over the years, in the UK alone, as many as 8.4 million families experienced difficulty in putting food on the table in 2015.

Meanwhile, approximately 7.3 million tonnes (equating to £13 billion) worth of food was wasted and sent to landfills. Of this food sent to landfill, 4.4m tonnes were regarded as avoidable, whilst the rest consisted of inconsumable food such as egg shells, bones and fruit peelings.

Environmental Impact

When food waste ends up in landfills, its decomposition produces a large amount of methane – a greenhouse gas that is significantly more potent than carbon dioxide. Excess amounts of greenhouse gases absorb infrared radiation, resulting in an increase in the temperature of the earth’s atmosphere – contributing to global warming and climate change.

What Can Be Done?

Food waste changes have to be made at every stage of the process. In Wales, improvements have been made through the introduction of waste food caddy bins. Homes in Wales have shown to be wasting around 10% less than the national average and one of the reasons for this is due to the separate food waste collection.

By manually separating food waste from other every day waste, people have become more aware of exactly how much food they are throwing away.

Consequently, statistics have shown that food wasted from households in Wales was down by 12% between 2009 and 2015, and is currently now approximately 10% lower than the rest of the UK.

Despite positive results in Wales, there are still significant changes that need to be implemented to further tackle this issue.

What Can I Do?

Here are 6 simple changes you can make to reduce food waste:

  1. Know the difference between sell by and use by dates!

The use by date on food packaging refers to the safety of the food – that is, food can be eaten (and in some instances, frozen) up until the use by date.

Best before dates refer to the quality of the food. Food is still safe for consumption after this date, although a reduction in quality might occur.

Many people make the mistake of confusing the sell by and use by dates. As a result, a lot of food is wasted when it’s still edible!

  1. Plan your meals ahead

By creating a shopping list and planning weekly meals, you are only inclined to buy what is necessary for those meals which can help reduce the amount of food wasted at the end of the week.

  1. Keep on top of what your fridge contains!

By having a clutter-free fridge, you reduce the likelihood of forgetting about food that has been pushed to the back and allowing it to go off. Additionally, by checking what your fridge contains before going to the supermarket reduces the likelihood of you buying something that you already have.

  1. Freeze it

Using containers and storing left over food is a great way to cut down on food waste, with the advantage of having a meal that you can simply defrost for later in the week!

  1. Make use of food banks

If you know you’re not going to consume food before it goes off, take it to your local food bank and help feed those that are hungry.

  1. Make use of apps

There are numerous apps out at the moment that can help you to make changes and reduce your food waste. One example is an app called ‘Handpick’ that helps you to plan meals around the ingredients that are already stored in your cupboards!

GD Environmental provides a local and sustainable solution for your packaged and unpackaged food waste. For more information, call us on 01633 277755.

Eco-friendly Microbeads Made From Cellulose

You’ve heard the bad news about microbeads, right?

These tiny pieces of plastic are often used as exfoliants in a range of personal care and cosmetic products such as face scrubs and toothpastes, and concern has mounted over the impact these microbeads (which are designed to wash down the drain but are too small to filter out during wastewater treatment) could be having on marine wildlife. Some microbeads are visible to the naked eye, but others are as tiny as one micrometre! Conservationists have warned that they can affect fish growth and persist in the guts of mussels and fish that mistake them for food.

According to the UK parliament’s environmental audit committee, a single shower can result in 100,000 plastic particles being washed down the drain, so the UK government has acted and made plans to ban them by the end of this year.

The good news is that Scientists and engineers from University of Bath’s Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies have developed biodegradable cellulose microbeads from a sustainable source which could be used as a replacement. The beads are made from cellulose, (the material that forms the tough fibres found in wood and plants) which is not only from a renewable source, but also biodegrades into harmless sugars.

Scientists say these microbeads are robust enough to remain stable in a body wash, but can be broken down by organisms at the sewage treatment works, or in the environment over a short period of time.

This shows there are great alternatives to plastics out there and we hope to find many more of them in coming years.

Rising Stars of Welsh Business

Here are this year’s 25 Rising Stars of Welsh business – ambitious, entrepreneurial and driven to create.

They told Insider about their plans for the year ahead, inspiration, best decisions and life ambitions.

Below is GD Environmental’s CEO, Oliver Hazell’s profile from the article

Oliver Hazell (27)

Chief executive, GD Environmental

Hazell stepped up from the role of operations director to run Newport commercial and domestic waste handler GD Environmental this year. GD has grown quickly since his family took part in buying it in 2005.

Plan for the year

To continue growth and develop in the Welsh market, while improving internal processes to drive recycling rates within our yeards, and become part of the new Welsh forum to enable us to address the government.

Business inspiration

Richard Branson, particularly his views on looking after staff, and not having to be an expert in all areas.

Best decision

Working in Dubai gave me the chance to learn and experience life in other cultures.

Life ambition

To create a company that can drive change, instil good values and a culture that local communities can be proud of

Car Scrappage: All You Need To Know

A sad day dawns when the cost of fixing your car turns out to be more than it is actually worth, at which point it may be time to take a deep breath and say ‘goodbye old friend’ to your pride and joy.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. If your car is rare or an appreciating classic then it’s certainly wise to keep hold of it! If not, you can bring it to us to take care of.

Scrapping your car is straightforward, but if you don’t follow the process correctly you could find yourself on a one-way street to a fine – we’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen.

All you need to do is let us know about the car via this contact form and we will contact you with a quotation. Don’t worry about the make, model, age or condition of your car, we will accept any vehicle. If the vehicle has no wheels, no MOT or tax, we can arrange collection from you!

We will also need photographic ID (in the form of photo driving licence or a passport), along with a recent utility bill/official document that is less than three months old. We’ll also need your V5 document, this will enable us to contact the DVLA on your behalf to let them know of your vehicle’s destruction.

As an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF), we are committed to the responsible management of all vehicles that arrive at our site. Once everything is agreed, we will safely scrap your vehicle and give you a ‘certificate of destruction’ within 7 days if you’ve scrapped a car, light van or 3-wheeled motor vehicle.

Any payment will be in the form of a non-transferable cheque.

If you’re interested in our car scrappage service and would like to find out more, or contact us on 01495 762611.

A Question of Waste: Tackling Sport’s Waste Problem

The Champions League final in Cardiff a few weeks ago was phenomenal, bringing approximately 170,000 fans into the Welsh capital city, but it got us thinking…

Along with the excitement and anticipation surrounding these superb events comes a serious waste issue.

We’ve considered just a few ways that businesses and organisations can take measures to reduce and manage sport’s waste performance…

Limit Food Waste

When you look at the footprints of sporting events, food is a significant part of the impact” said Ronan Leyden, head of sustainable places at Bioregional, who spent four years on site in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics advising on sustainable construction and waste management planning.

Tackling food waste is vital to improving sporting event’s environmental performance. This means taking steps from the very beginning to reduce waste production – for example, portion control and looking at menu design throughout the city whilst events take place.

Forward-Thinking

Often, there is a large element of ‘tidying up’ after sporting events have occurred. From cleaners within the stadiums to city authorities beyond the walls, the tidy up is on a large scale, with most waste heading straight to landfill. By reducing branding on items from the initial design phase, merchandise and signage can be recycled for future events.

Strategic Placement

Placing trash and recycling bins strategically, and pairing them when feasible. All bins should be clearly located, well-marked and easy to use.

Working Together

Managing sport’s waste problem needs the support and involvement of many organisations. By hiring local co-operatives, for instance, to oversee elements of waste management planning and talk to spectators (where appropriate) about the importance of recycling, we’d be taking steps in the right direction.

If you’re looking for complete management solutions, we’d love to talk. Call us on 01633277755 or fill out our contact form

Goodbye Garbage

It’s hard to visit a landfill site without being struck by the craziness of taking very valuable minerals and resources out of the ground, using a lot of energy, turning them into short life products and then just dumping them back into the ground.

“It’s an absolutely monumental waste of energy and resources. As someone from the fashion industry might say, it’s just so last century.” (Michael Pawlyn, The Guardian, November 21st 2005)

Some packaging is necessary in our modern industrialised food chain, but so much packaging we use is unnecessary…

It’s unnecessarily expensive – you pay for your overpriced, over packaged item then pay through your council tax for them to dispose of your rubbish & recycling.

It’s unnecessarily wasteful – Its production, storage, transport and disposal.

It’s unnecessarily polluting – Landfill and incineration are the two mains ways of dealing with un-recyclable packaging waste. Both are major pollutants for people and the environment as they leach out toxins and release greenhouse gases.

And recycling isn’t always the answer. Some products are too complex to recycle as the facilities don’t exist, or aren’t cost effective. Whilst recycling more is huge step, it’s not the only solution – we need to find new ways of reducing the amount of packaging we’re using.

Packaging-free shopping isn’t a new thing. Our grandparents went to local grocery stores, the markets or farmers – where flour was sold from giant barrels and fruit from wooden crates. But today, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of waste and are striving to shop more sustainably.

‘Unpacked’ are the first UK supermarket to be packaging free, inviting customers to bring their own containers to refill. This model is being used by similar businesses around the world and their services are needed more than ever, given the environmental challenges we face as a global community.

We only hope to see more packaging-free shops on the horizon!