A Litter Free World

Every day in the UK over 2 million items of litter are dropped on our beaches, fields, towns and roadsides, spoiling our landscape, harming our wildlife and threatening our planet.

Clearing up the litter dropped in the streets and green spaces in England alone is costing the UK taxpayer £1 billion a year. This is money that shouldn’t really need to be spent, and money which could be much better spent on public services. £1 billion would fund 38,644 social care workers or pay the running costs of 4,400 libraries. Alternatively, it would enable the NHS to pay for 33,200 nurses or 26,900 paramedics or allow the fire brigade to fund 31,990 extra firefighters each year.

As we know, the earth is a big place to keep clean. But a recent app developed by TED Resident Jeff Kirschner has created a community that’s crowdsource-cleaning the planet – Litterarti, an app for users to identify, collect and geotag the world’s litter. After tracking trash in more than 100 countries, Kirschner hopes to use the data he’s collected to work with brands and organisations to stop litter before it reaches the ground.

The most commonly tagged items so far have been plastic, cigarettes, paper, cans and bottle caps. But we’re doing well – the UK is currently the third most active country in the world on the app, having collected 22,425 bits of rubbish from our streets! We want to make it all the way to the top of the rankings, and think we can do so with you help.

Join the community identifying, mapping, and collecting the world’s litter. Download the Litterati app.

Plastic Bottle Recycling: The Truth

It is estimated that an average of 35.8 million plastic bottles are used EVERY DAY in the UK, but only 19.8 million are recycled each day.

This means that approximately 16 million plastic bottles a day are not making their way into the recycling bin, but instead end up in landfill sites or in our oceans.

Plastic bottles are usually made of PET or HDPE:

  • PET has some important characteristics such its strength, thermo-stability, gas barrier properties and transparency. It is also lightweight, shatter-resistant and recyclable. PET is widely used for mineral water, carbonated beverage, juice, alcoholic beverage and cooking oil.
  • HDPE plastics make up the heavier containers that many of our everyday goods are stored in as it has properties of stiffness, strength and toughness. It is widely used in the UK for fresh milk bottles, shampoo and detergent bottles.

Both PET & HDEP plastic bottles are recyclable, so there’s no reason these shouldn’t be heading straight to the recycling bin – or better still, being reused! Making a small change like using a refillable bottle might not seem heroic, but your actions can help make a huge difference.

Sky Ocean Rescue have some really great tips for reducing the amount of plastic you use. Are you up for the plastic challenge? Visit https://skyoceanrescue.com/plastic-challenge/

The one with GD, Spring Clean Cymru & 450 Bags of Litter…

Volunteers and members of our team cleaned up 450 bags of litter from the banks of the River Usk last month!

We came together on Saturday, March 25, to clean up rubbish from around the Transporter Bridge as part of the Spring Clean Cymru campaign run by Keep Wales Tidy.

Most the litter was plastic which had been left on the banks of the river by the tides and could be dangerous to wildlife both on land and in the water at the Site of Specific Scientific Interest. We take our corporate social responsibility commitment seriously – so weren’t best pleased about this! We were delighted to take part in the campaign; the day was a great success and we were pleased to make a difference to our local area.

Newport project officer with Keep Wales Tidy Steve Chamberlain said: “It’s vital that we all do our bit to care for our local environment and this event has been a perfect example of what local communities can achieve when they work together.

Most of the rubbish was plastic and we saved all of that from re-entering our oceans.

Julie, our Operations Manager, explained “It’s a beautiful area on the riverbank that is now cleaned up so that the local community can enjoy it. Well done to everyone involved.

All in a day’s work Julie!

Trash to Treasure: Upcycling Courtesy of GD Environmental & Art Students at Coleg Y Cymoedd!

For the second year running we donated a skip full of scrap to the art students at Coleg Y Cymoedd, who turned raw materials into a broad range of creations as part of their upcycling projects.

Jeremy Spencer, a 3D Lecturer in Art & Design at Coleg Y Cymoedd, visited our Newport site for a grand tour and discussion with site manager, Jason Andrews, to determine which materials would be suitable for the art class. Jeremy explained, “The donated recycled materials form the raw ingredients that our students creatively ‘upcycle’ into objects of value both functionally and aesthetically.

Once the materials had been chosen, we gathered the team and worked together to fill a skip and get it delivered it to the students.

The results were incredible! Upcycled products ranged from sculptures made from reclaimed pallets to functional furniture.

We caught up with Megan Barker, an Art and Design student at Coleg Y Cymoedd, who told us about her upcycling experience: “I haven’t always been a maker. Despite this I have translated my creativity into making, wanting to embrace all of the splinters and hot glue burns that come with it! Although I’ve adapted, being confronted with the task of producing a piece from recyclables was challenging, however diving into the skip and stumbling upon hidden treasures was inspiring, thinking about the potential for each piece of someone else’s old belonging.

The generosity shown by GD Environmental Services in their donation of the recycled materials is extremely helpful to us budding artists as it gives us the opportunity to broaden our creative minds. I am very thankful for the donation and love that my sculptural pieces carry a story beyond the aesthetics.

Jeremy added, “A visionary company like GD Environmental Services shares our course’s values of sustainability and ensuring recycled resources are made the most of. I very much hope to continue and develop our relationship in the future with their kind support.

We certainly hope so too, a great job all round!

GD Environmental Wins Huntsman Corporation Contract

GD Environmental, Wales’ leading indigenous waste management company has been chosen as the dedicated waste management service provider for Huntsman Corporation in Llanelli, a specialist producer of amines, used in pharmaceuticals, coatings, resins, gas treating and for the prevention of corrosion.

In a bid to improve Huntsman Corporation’s recycling efficiency and reduce their environmental impact, the contract will see GD Environmental supply a series of containers for a selection of materials including wood, metal, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), general waste, cable and batteries. Alongside these containers will be two 1,100 litre wheelie bins for Dry Mixed Recyclables (DMR).

The Huntsman Corporation and GD Environmental’s facilities are based within close proximity to each other in Llanelli, making GD ideally placed to process and deal with all the Huntsman Corporation’s waste streams.

Commenting on the contact win, Oliver Hazel, Chief Executive of GD Environmental said: “I am delighted that Huntsman Corporation has chosen us to become their dedicated waste management service provider.

We provide a tailored and dedicated service to all our customers and this contract is reward for our continuous effort to improve our services and meet the waste needs of our customers whatever they may be. We are also pleased to be able to assist another business that is based in Llanelli and look forward to working with Huntsman Corporation for the foreseeable future.

CEO’s Vision for the Future

Oliver Hazell, chief executive of waste management company GD Environmental, tells Karl West how he plans to double turnover, lead the South Wales market and expand beyond it.

Oliver Hazell held the cold pint glass to his mouth as the mobile phone on the bar in front of him began to buzz. It was January 2015, and the young oil and gas engineer was in Dubai, enjoying a post-work drink with a friend from the UK who was in town. The call was from an old family friend who informed Hazell that GD Environmental, the waste management company based in Newport, was up for sale.

Hazell, now chief executive of GD Environmental, is from Newport, and knew the business had a good reputation under its previous owner, James Norvill.
I got in touch to register our interest,” says the 27-year-old. “It all happened really quickly. Within a few months, I had given my notice in Dubai and left.

Along with his father, Mark Hazell, and investor Ian Lynass, former chief executive of BIS Industries, the Australian mining and metals group, they snapped up the rubbish collector and scrap recycler. Hazell senior and Lynass are both directors of GD, which provides waste collection and recycling services for commercial and domestic customers, including skip hire, blocked drains and asbestos disposal. It has 95 full-time employees and 30 to 40 agency staff, working on six sites across South Wales.

We were on site to have a look around the business by May or June and we took over GD in October 2015,” Hazell says.

The move back to South Wales may not have been planned, but Hazell says he would probably have returned home at some point: “In the grand scheme I wanted to be in charge of my own destiny. It wasn’t an urge to come back, although I thought I might come back to Wales eventually.

The young executive has taken a firm grip since returning to Newport. Under his guidance, GD has bought Fred Lloyd & Sons, a scrap metal business in Pontypool. It has also invested in new picking lines, a plastics recycling operation and has put more trucks on the road.

GD’s turnover rose 27 per cent in the first year following the takeover, and Hazell reckons it is on course to double turnover in the two years since the buyout. “It was already a great business and we’ve put some horse-power behind it,” he says. “We’ve just focused on improving the service we can offer to our customers.

Part of the growth has been down to a focus on bigger and longer contracts with factories and local councils. Hazell aims to attract trade with the breadth of GD’s offering, spanning wet and dry waste, scrap and hazardous materials disposal.

Commercial customers, particularly, like one company dealing with all their waste,” he says. “We do everything a national operator does, and customers have the added benefit of being able to pick up the phone and deal with me.

GD has an even spread of business between domestic and commercial customers. But the commercial arm is growing more quickly. Hazell believes going after bigger deals with councils and large industrial players could reap handsome rewards for GD. “There are a lot of new tenders coming out at the moment and we’d like to get into some of these longer term contracts,” he says.

Half time show, round 2: WAL v IRE

Following the success of our last halftime show, we decided it would be a great idea to take over the Principality Stadium once again, this time during the Wales versus Ireland game.

Repeating the same concept as the previous challenge, we pitted a husband and wife against one another to see who wears the trousers. The wife, Emma Phillips, was armoured in the Irish green and the husband, Matt Phillips, in the red of the Welsh.

Unlike last time, where an extra round was needed to find the victor, there was a clear winner. Victory went to Emma having scored the most points, meaning she won bragging rights over her husband. This was, once again, the opposite result of the game where Wales were triumphant over Ireland with a score of 22 – 9.

Wow… what can we say! An amazing evening, we’re so grateful to everyone at GD Environmental, it was as good if not better than our wedding day… Thank you!: Matt Phillips

GD Environmental gives a helping hand to tackle litter

Members of the Bynea Forum and a group of locals were becoming increasingly concerned about the growing amount of litter and fly tipping that was starting to build up in the area, especially Heol-Y-Bwlch which is the main road leading to our premises.

The group had already started going out on a regular basis to do litter picks collecting lighter rubbish such as, drinks cans, plastic bottles and food wrappers that had built up in the area.

Eileen Bartlett approached us to discuss her concerns about the amount of litter and fly tipping that was starting to appear in the area. She had an idea of working with us and our neighbours, Quantum, to tackle the heavier rubbish that had accumulated there that the volunteers could not clear on their own.

Obviously, we were more than happy to provide a helping hand. We decided to provide the group of volunteers with a skip for collection of the litter. This enabled the team to clear site much quicker than normal.

As well as the skip, we also sent members of our team to assist the group with clearing the litter. Lee Anson, Site Manager, joined the volunteers along with Paul Williams, Driver, and Curtis Francis, Yard Supervisor, to help fill the skip and clear the rubbish.

Once we had cleared everything that could be lifted manually, there was still heavy and filthy waste and rubbish that the group could not have lifted manually so we then got one of the boys to go back to the yard to get something to deal with the remaining waste. That’s when one of our JCB’s came roaring down the road and lifted the remaining waste with ease into the skip, clearing the area completely.

Following the joint effort between the volunteers, our neighbours and ourselves, we have invited pupils from both Casllwchwr and Bynea primary schools to have a tour of our premises. This will give them an insight into what happens to our rubbish. Hopefully inspiring them to look after the environment even more in the future.

What exactly is a CCTV Drain survey?

CCTV drain surveys are a well-established way of locating and assessing drainage problems, the causes of which are not clearly visible to the naked eye or from surface level.

Imagine, during a walk in the country, you were standing at the entrance to a live rabbit burrow idly wondering what was happening underground inside all the many passages and tunnels. Well, a CCTV survey could show you!

Our surveys can be required to delve into a wide range of different locations and scenarios, from culverts and gullies to ventilation and heating systems; we are also able to conduct work in a range of environments from mines and tunnels to oil pipe lines and wells.

When dealing specifically with drains or manholes, our award-winning team work to discover the causes, and then to assess and discuss possible solutions, for blockage problems or worrying leaks, for our many commercial customers. The fact that each of our CCTV drain surveys is fully recorded and provided on back-up DVDs is of particular value to many clients, perhaps when dealing with insurance situations.

The proven effective CCTV survey equipment we use, whether our push rod system or remote crawler investigative units, can safely penetrate deep into a drainage system without causing the substantial damage that alternative inspections, such as those needing excavation work, will almost inevitably cause.

If you believe you may have a drainage problem, it’s always better to take action quickly, as many situations become much more problematical over time. Our experienced team work across South Wales, and you can contact us on 01633 277 755 in Newport, 01554 773 324 in Llanelli or 01495 762 611 in Pontypool.

What can go in a skip?

If you are looking to hire a skip for your domestic or business construction work, it is always best to know what you can dispose of safely and legally before hiring one.

A skip is probably one the easiest ways to get rid of waste as it only has to be collected once. We would be happy to assist with our skip hiring service if you are located in South Wales.

What can go in a skip?

For legal reasons, there are rules and regulations about what can be thrown into a skip. The items that can’t be put in can often be picked up separately via other collections. The reason behind the separation of different waste is to protect the environment, however many people unfortunately don’t follow these regulations when disposing of their waste. Suitable items you can put in your skip include:

Household items such as – wood, tiles, plaster, furniture, paper and cardboard, garden waste and clothes.

Heavy materials such as – bricks, concrete, metals, pottery and clay, rubble and stones.

What can’t go in a skip?

Items which can’t be thrown into a skip are often known as hazardous; those which may cause harm to the environment or damage the health of individuals. These updates came in March 2011 and have become set in stone waste regulations.

Items which can’t be thrown into a skip include asbestos, gas cylinders, animal waste, explosives, batteries, oil of any kind, chemicals, paint and glue, televisions, laptops, phones, electrical equipment, lighting and tyres.

Although hazardous items are not permitted to be thrown away in a skip, GD Environmental offer a total waste management service, so can assist you in the disposal of both hazardous and non hazardous waste.

If you would like to hire a skip from us, please contact us. We offer a range of services including total waste management, drain unblocking, self-tipping as well as skip hire. We are a Welsh based company and offer our services to Newport, Llanelli, and Pontypool.