How does recycling work?

Recycling has been a mainstream habit for hundreds of years. The idea of taking something used and re-purposing it or giving it new life in our eco-systems is now commonplace.

From the old ‘rag and bone’ men to trendy second-hand clothing stores and futuristic bridges made from old plastic – recycling is as important for society as ever.

But how does recycling actually work?

Let’s look the plastic recycling process step by step:

Step 1:

Look out for your local recycling solution. Either a local facility or your own home bins. Your plastics will be collected by a recycling lorry to go to a facility.

Step 2:

Your plastic is sorted via a single stream system, which gathers all recyclable items together and is sorted to separate the different materials, such as glass, paper, metals, and plastic materials. This is generally automated, but may have some manual help along the way for quality control.

Since there are so many types of plastics used in Wales, all plastic materials going through sorting must be sorted by type, like PET. Not all plastic can be recycled so some of this might be transferred to another business or to landfill.

Step 3:

Plastic recyclables that have been sorted then go to an area of the recycling facility where it will be ground up into small flakes. These are then washed to get rid of any remaining gunk, packaging or labels.

Once the plastic is clean, it’s then melted into pellets that can be on-sold to create new products! Examples of things that can be made from these plastic pellets are carpets, floor tiles, motor oil, other bottles, pipes, buckets and other household goods.

With such a wide spectrum of waste management services, GD Environmental has the resources and tools to manage the waste requirements of any home or business, including modern recycling needs you can trust. We’re proudly Welsh and understand that pristine environments matter.

WAL v ENG half time show

Wales versus England. One of the most anticipated games of the RBS Six Nations, a clash of titans that was always destined to produce top-quality entertainment. With such a long history, you would struggle to compare the natural rivalry to anything else.

The Principality Stadium was transformed into an amphitheatre where both teams battled for the honour and pride of being the victors. Battle commenced by both nations passionately singing their national anthems with the English singing “God save the Queen” and the Welsh belting out “Mae hen wlad fy nhadau”.

The first half did not disappoint with both teams coming out the gates at full speed and not holding anything in reserve. When both teams went back to their changing rooms at half time Wales had the lead at 13 points to 8.

Whilst the players discussed tactics for the second half, we were tasked with entertaining the masses during the half time show. To do this, we picked one Welshman and one Englishman to compete against each other.

In order to find the victor, we placed 4 different bins and skips on the pitch, 2 wheelie bins worth one point, 1 skip worth two points and another skip worth three points. Each participant was given three opportunities to kick or throw three balls into the bins and skips to score as many points as possible. By the end of the third and final round, it was neck and neck between the two.

To settle the score, both participants were given a ball each and we told to grubber kick the ball and the closest to the try line would win. Unlike the final score of 16 – 21 to England, our Welshman, Jamie Williams was the victor having got his ball to land closest to the try line.

How Does Waste Disposal Affect the Earth?

Improper waste disposal can cause serious issues to the environment. As such, waste management and the safe disposal of waste have massive and far-reaching consequences for the environment and are of vital importance.

Non-biodegradable waste and gas production

Across the UK a great deal of waste is buried on landfill sites. These are essentially holes in the ground, which are filled with waste. They are often old quarry sites, but sometimes need to be specially dug. Some of the waste disposed in such sites will eventually rot away, decomposing and being reabsorbed into the earth. A lot of it, however, is not biodegradable and will never rot away. In addition, the decomposition process can produce some fairly noxious smells, as well as methane gas. This is an explosive gas and contributes to global warming. In addition to this, the leachate that is produced during the decomposition process can cause pollution, and poorly managed landfill sites can cause litter and attract vermin.

Other environmental issues

The incineration of waste, while avoiding the issues of landfills, can cause other hazardous environmental issues instead. Plastic generally produces toxins, like dioxins as it is burning. The gases generated by incineration can pollute the air, and can contribute to the effects that cause acid raid. In addition, the incinerators generate ash which frequently contains heavy metals, as well as other toxins.

What can be done?

That being said, if done safely and responsibly, the burning of waste can generate clean energy, which can be used instead of fossil fuels. This not only provides a viable alternative to placing waste in landfills, it actively aids the environment by furnishing a renewable energy source.

Throwing rubbish away is essentially a waste of resources, and potentially very damaging to the environment. Proper waste disposal ensures that as much as possible is recycled, protecting the environment and saving resources. As little as possible should be sent to landfills, which are very damaging to the environment. It it vital to make sure anything left over is disposed of in a manner that has the least environmental impact possible – such as safely burning the waste.

Are you looking for safe and environmentally friendly waste disposal in Wales? Here at GD Environmental we provide a total waste management solution. Get it touch today, we’re here to help…

What scrap metal can be recycled?

If you are cleaning out your shed, garage or industrial property and don’t know what to do with your metals, here are a few tips on which scrap metals can be recycled.

Almost any item which is 50% metal can be recycled. Recycled metals are soldered down to create secondary metals, meaning that new products can be made. There are no main differences between primary metals made from raw materials and secondary recycled metals, therefore selling off your old metals is highly beneficial to you and the environment.

Scrap metals are either ferrous or nonferrous.

Ferrous metals include:

  • Steel
  • Cast Iron
  • Household appliances (e.g dishwashers, microwaves, irons, ovens, fridges and freezers)
  • Vehicles (e.g cars, lorries and trucks)
  • Steel doors
  • Hardware (screws, nails, and nuts and bolts)
  • Railway tracks.

Non-ferrous metals include:

  • Copper (wiring)
  • Brass (taps and ornaments)
  • Lead roofing
  • Radiators
  • Lead batteries from vehicles
  • Aluminium (pots and pans).

Non-ferrous metals are hardly ever scrapped for recycling due to their worth, therefore are not part of the environmental crisis as disposable ferrous materials are. Recycling scrap metal means that new steel can be created without losing its primary properties and is used again for both industrial and domestic purposes.

Scrap metals can be collected from individuals, manufacturers, businesses and the government to re-use for the production of new items. Experts suggest that for every tonne of steel which is recycled, 1000 pounds of coal, 2500 pounds of iron ore and 40 pounds of limestone are saved. Protecting our rare raw materials is more crucial than ever, as they are dwindling away before our very eyes.

How can you do your bit?

If you would like to recycle your scrap metal, why not get in contact with us? We are scrap metal specialists based in Wales and we can buy your scrap metal from you. We also sell a range of recyclable commodities for low prices. If you would like to find out more, please contact us on 01633 277 755 or info@gd-environmental.co.uk.

How recycling helps the community

From environmentally friendly dry waste disposal through to plastic recycling, adopting a ‘green’ approach to waste management does more than just save the planet – it also has benefits for local communities in Wales.

Encouraging others

Welsh community recycling programmes raise awareness about waste recycling and encourage people to do it more diligently. This has a knock-on effect. Local schemes can start small, but as families become more interested in recycling and the environmental benefits, they tend to end up doing more to help the planet – whether that’s buying a composter, ensuring that they recycle all plastics and cardboards, reducing waste at home or finding ways to reuse items rather than automatically buying replacements.

Business opportunities

GD Environmental is one example of a ‘green’ waste management service that is helping Welsh communities to manage their waste in a more environmentally friendly way, reducing landfill and finding ways to extract energy from rubbish, such as with waste transfer stations, combined heat and power plants. Recycling brings plenty of business opportunities and the chance to create new, skilled jobs to local communities, as new life is extracted from materials which would once have simply disappeared off to landfill. From creative local start-ups that take unwanted supermarket food and divert it away from landfill to make local preserves, to entrepreneurs who take restaurant oil waste and convert it into biofuel, and even through to local craftspeople who use tipped furniture to ‘up-cycle’, restore and sell, there are opportunities for ‘green’ entrepreneurs everywhere!

Local community investment

Community waste recycling also leads to other opportunities in green energy micro-production. For example, combined heat and power plants burn rubbish and use it to power turbines that generate electricity for local use. Communities can also invest in local schemes and micro-energy schemes such as solar PV and wind turbines, in order to be energy self-sufficient, reduce greenhouse gases and obtain a financial return.

Educating the next generation

Crucially, recycling and adopting green and visible initiatives at a community level helps to educate the next generation in environmental issues and encourages their innovation and creativity to discover new solutions to tackle our waste in Wales.

Understanding plastic recycling symbols

The little symbols that relate to recycling and are found on product packaging can look like a foreign language at first, but deciphering those symbols can help you make better recycling decisions.

In regards to plastic, these symbols are a triangle formed of arrows with the numbers 1-7 inside and letters beneath relating to the type of resin used to form the product. If you’ve ever wondered what the plastic symbols mean or are struggling to understand the differences between them, then read on for a short guide:

PET 1

This is the symbol you are likely to see on most plastic bottles or fruit punnets. It means the product is made from polyethylene terephthalate. These types of plastics are nearly always collected by local councils through domestic recycling.

HDPE 2

These products are formed of high-density polyethylene. This is seen on domestic packaging such as shampoo bottles and is widely collected by local councils through household recycling schemes. 

PVC 3

Items with this symbol contain polyvinyl chloride and include things like toys and drain pipes. These are not routinely collected by local councils. Households or business with large amounts of this waste item may need to use a specialist recycling service.

LDPE 4

This is generally seen on plastic carrier bags and means the product is made from low-density polyethylene. Some of these items need to be taken to a local tip or removed by a local recycling service, while plastic bags can simply be returned to supermarkets.

PP 5

This stands for low-density polyethylene and although it may be a symbol seen on common household items such as margarine pots, it’s not widely collected by councils.

PS 6

Items such as polystyrene cups fall into this category, which again require specialist recycling services.

Other 7

Many other items such as those that are made from acrylic nylon or polycarbonate fall into this category, as do mixed plastic items. Businesses with a lot of waste in this category will need to enlist a local recycling firm to dispose of it. 

Companies or households that are based in Wales and need a local recycling service to deal with certain plastics can enlist our help at GD Environmental.

5 Ways to Make Money From Your Scrap Metal

If you’re looking for a fast and easy way to make some extra cash, selling scrap metal is a good choice. Any appliance, object, or machine can be scrap metal even if it is damaged or no longer functional, it still contains valuable metal. Most scrap yards and recycling facilities will pay you good money for scrap metal.

Here are five ways as to how scrap metal can make you some cash.

#1 Household items

Many defunct household items can be sold for scrap. Ordinary, everyday items such as  broken Christmas tree lights contain valuable copper components, while toasters contain copper wiring and usually have a steel body. If they are made from recyclable metal (most industrial metals can be recycled) you can sell them for scrap. Not only this, often you will make more money for them as scrap than you would selling them as used items – especially if they’re broken!

Pro tip: Remove non-metal components like plastic casings and you will get more money.

#2 Major appliances

Large household appliances like washing machines, refrigerators, and freezers contain large amounts of valuable metal that can be sold as scrap. If you have broken items, or simply old items you want to replace, as with smaller household items they will be worth more for their scrap metal than they will be as used or broken appliances.

Pro tip: Don’t forget the copper elements in the power cords!

#3 Scavenge roadside items

How many times have you driven past an old kitchen range languishing in a ditch or random items that have been abandoned in streets and alleyways because they’re too large to transport to a tip? These items can easily be scavenged and raided for scrap metal. Even items that are rusty and have been crushed will still contain the metal elements you want to sell.

Pro tip: Never take anything from private property, or items that are behind gates or fences – that is trespassing and theft!

#4 Auto parts

Old auto parts can also be salvaged and sold as scrap. Car parts that no longer work are very valuable as they are usually made almost exclusively from metal. There are often different types of metal within parts, so take them to pieces and sell the different metals separately – you will get more money.

Pro tip: Don’t forget about the nuts, bolts, screws, and fasteners – they look small but soon add up!

#5 Old plumbing

Fixtures and electrical parts from your plumbing are a wealth of valuable metal. You can sell old drains, faucets, pipes, and the wiring that goes with them at scrap yards.

Pro tip: You don’t need to clean them prior to selling.

Are you looking for a scrap metal specialist based in Wales? Look no further – if you have scrap metal to sell or old items you need collecting, we’re happy to help. Contact the team at GD Environmental today.

How to scrap your car in three simple steps

It can be a sad day when your car finally comes to the end of the road (quite literally). For most, the next step is to scrap it, but how do you go about getting the best deal?

Around two million cars are scrapped in the UK every year, which means that when it comes to scrapping your car, you sadly won’t get a huge amount of money for it. After all, scrapping really is the last resort.

So, unless you’re willing to break your car apart and sell the parts yourself, scrapping is your easiest option. So how do you go about doing this?

1. Check Online

GD Environmental offers a competitive rate and are responsible organisation who will act as your agent when it comes to scrapping cars. Many car manufacturers have partnered with us to provide you with a safe way to recycle your car and still comply with EU regulations.

However, don’t expect to fetch a substantial sum for your vehicle. Factors like global recycled steel prices will affect the value of your scrap car, so much so that you may only be offered a basic fee for collection of the vehicle.

2. Recycle the right way

EU regulations require 95% of scrap cars to be recycled, but not all recycling plants have the correct facilities. Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATFs), including those run by GD Environmental, are the only places legally permitted to dispose of scrap cars.

From there, the car can be broken down into its constituent parts, including hazardous parts such as motor oil and battery acid, which can then be recycled securely. Many of these centres offer a collection service, which is especially handy if your car is no longer roadworthy.

3. It’s your job to notify the DVLA

Though you may have relinquished your car to an ATF, your responsibility doesn’t actually end there. It is up to you to ensure the V5C document is filled out correctly and exchanged for a Certification of Destruction (CoD). Once you’ve sent this off to the DVLA, you are no longer responsible for the car and may even be eligible for a return of any unpaid road tax!

If it’s time to scrap your car, contact us today for the easiest solution.