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- Our Eco-Friendly Guide to Responsible Waste Disposal
In a world striving for sustainability and environmental consciousness, waste disposal has taken centre stage as a critical issue. How we manage and dispose of waste can have far-reaching effects on our planet, from local ecosystems to global climate change. In this blog post, we'll delve into the importance of responsible waste disposal and provide practical tips for making eco-friendly choices. Understanding the Impact: Why Responsible Waste Disposal Matters Preventing Pollution: Improper waste disposal, such as dumping hazardous materials in landfills or water bodies, can lead to soil, air, and water pollution. These pollutants pose serious health risks to humans, animals, and plants alike. Conserving Resources: When waste is disposed of irresponsibly, valuable resources go to waste as well. Many materials in our trash can be recycled or repurposed, reducing the need for new raw materials and energy-intensive production processes. Mitigating Climate Change: Organic waste, when left to decompose in landfills, releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas. By opting for composting or proper disposal methods, we can significantly reduce methane emissions and contribute to fighting climate change. Practical Tips for Responsible Waste Disposal Reduce: The first step in responsible waste disposal is to minimize waste generation. Be mindful of your consumption habits – buy only what you need, avoid single-use items, and opt for products with minimal packaging. Reuse: Before tossing items away, consider if they can be repurposed. Repurposing containers, donating usable items, or participating in community swap events can extend the lifespan of products and reduce waste. Recycle: Learn the recycling guidelines in your area and sort your waste accordingly. Common recyclables include paper, cardboard, glass, plastics, and certain metals. Proper recycling reduces the demand for virgin materials and conserves energy. Compost: Organic waste like food scraps and yard trimmings can be turned into nutrient-rich compost. Composting reduces the volume of waste sent to landfills and enriches soil for gardening. Dispose of Hazardous Waste Safely: Items like batteries, electronics, and chemicals require special disposal methods to prevent environmental contamination—research local hazardous waste collection sites or events. Choose Sustainable Products: Opt for products made from recycled materials and support companies that prioritize sustainability. Look for products with minimal packaging or packaging that's easily recyclable. Educate and Advocate: Spread awareness about responsible waste disposal in your community. Advocate for better waste management practices and support initiatives aimed at reducing waste on a larger scale. Embracing a Brighter Future Through Responsible Waste Disposal Our choices today shape the world we pass on to future generations. We can significantly reduce our ecological footprint and contribute to a healthier planet by adopting responsible waste disposal practices. Remember, it's not just about discarding waste; it's about making informed decisions that reflect our commitment to a more sustainable and harmonious world. If you would like to know more about how we can deal with your waste or organise a site clearance for you, feel free to reach out to our friendly and experienced team at Creative Waste Solutions Ltd via phone call or email by clicking here.
- Our Top 5 Ways To Improve Our Green Footprint
Improving your green footprint means taking steps to reduce your environmental impact and promote sustainability. Here are the top five ways to achieve this: Reduce Energy Consumption: Energy consumption is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. To reduce your carbon footprint, focus on energy efficiency in your home or workplace. Use energy-efficient appliances and LED lighting, and unplug electronic devices when not in use. Consider using renewable energy sources like solar or wind power if possible. Promote Sustainable Transportation: Transportation is another major source of emissions. Opt for eco-friendly transportation methods like walking, cycling, carpooling, or using public transportation. If feasible, consider investing in an electric vehicle (EV) to reduce your carbon emissions from personal transportation. Minimize Water Usage: Water is a precious resource, and reducing its usage can have a positive impact on the environment. Fix any leaks promptly, use water-saving appliances and fixtures, and practice water conservation habits, such as turning off the tap while brushing your teeth or taking shorter showers. Adopt Sustainable Eating Habits: The food we consume can have a significant environmental impact. Aim to include more plant-based meals in your diet as plant-based foods generally have a lower carbon footprint compared to animal-based products. Additionally, buy locally sourced and organic products to support sustainable farming practices. Waste Reduction and Recycling: Minimize waste by reusing items, reducing single-use plastics, and recycling materials whenever possible. Be mindful of your consumption habits and choose products with minimal packaging. Compost organic waste to reduce landfill contributions and create nutrient-rich soil. By implementing these five practices into your daily life, you can contribute to a greener and more sustainable future for our planet. Remember that every small effort counts, and collectively, these actions can make a significant positive impact on the environment. Creative Waste Solutions Ltd are always looking at ways to implement new technologies and strategies to improve your business' operation in the greenest way possible! We are a waste management business based in Wicken near Milton Keynes and operate throughout the UK. If you'd like to find out more about us and what we have to offer head to www.cwsltd.com
- Vapes: How to dispose of them and the dangers of disposing of them incorrectly
The plastic, nicotine, and lithium-based batteries present in nearly all disposable vapes present environmental problems, as the batteries have been found to start fires in waste disposal centres and pollute the environment. Vapes, also known as e-cigarettes or electronic cigarettes, can be dangerous when improperly disposed of as waste due to several factors: Battery Hazards: Vapes are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which can be hazardous if not disposed of properly. When disposed of in regular waste, these batteries can leak, overheat, or catch fire, leading to environmental pollution and potential harm to waste workers. Toxic Chemicals: Vape liquids and cartridges contain various chemicals, including nicotine, propylene glycol, and flavourings. Improper disposal can result in these chemicals leaching into the soil and water, posing a threat to the environment and wildlife. Recycling Challenges: Vapes and their components are often made from a mix of materials like plastic, metal, and glass. Properly recycling these devices can be challenging and may not be available in all areas, leading to them ending up in landfills or being incinerated. Environmental Impact: Electronic waste (e-waste), which includes vapes, contributes significantly to the growing global waste problem. The improper disposal of vapes adds to electronic waste, which can be challenging to manage and has adverse environmental effects. To mitigate these dangers, it is crucial to dispose of vapes and other electronic devices correctly. If possible, consider recycling them at designated e-waste recycling facilities, where they can be safely dismantled, and their components can be properly reused or disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. Additionally, some manufacturers or retailers may offer take-back programs for used vapes, making it easier for consumers to dispose of them responsibly. Always check with local recycling programs or waste disposal facilities for guidance on proper disposal methods. Are you looking to get waste cleared and feeling unsure of how to dispose of it? The team at Creative Waste Solutions LTD are here to help. With over 50 years of waste experience combined, there's very little we haven't seen and dealt with and we'd love to hear from you. Please contact us to get your waste clearance started and bring a new lease of life into your business saving you both money and time!
- UN gets closer to a treaty looking at ending plastic pollution by 2040
Both the environmental groups and the plastics industry groups have hailed the results of talks in Paris on work towards a global treaty on plastics pollution. Representatives of 169 governments led by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) have decided that a first draft of what is intended to become an international legally binding treaty on plastic pollution - including in the marine environment - will be presented to a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, in November. “Plastic has been the default option in design for too long. It is time to redesign products to use less plastic, particularly unnecessary and problematic plastics, to redesign product packaging and shipping to use less plastic, to redesign systems and products for reuse and recyclability and to redesign the broader system for justice.” UNEP is intended to complete work on the treaty by the end of 2024. Trade body Plastics Europe’s managing director Virginia Janssens said: “Finding a way to end plastic pollution by 2040 requires urgent and ambitious action." The Team at Creative Waste Solutions completely agree that it's a very ambitious project but totally necessary given the impact plastic has had on our oceans let alone the rest of our planet. “To accelerate circularity, we need to create market pull for circular plastics, the rapid global expansion of collection, sorting and recycling, and to create a financing system to support the massive investments required.” Janssens said it would be difficult to negotiate such an ambitious agreement but welcomed “the positive spirit in which the discussions have been held, and the collective desire to establish a common vision for the transformation of the plastics system”. She urged UNEP to avoid “rushed negotiations and decisions that grab headlines through politically attractive but scientifically and economically counterproductive measures”. We couldn't agree more. If we are going to commit to it we need to do it properly and together. Plastics Europe supports what it called a holistic approach built on sustainable plastic production, diversification of feedstock and reduction of dependence on fossil feeds. This is great to see! It said the final agreement should tackle “problematic and unnecessary plastic applications locally through a science-based methodology” but avoid a one-size-fits-all approach when local solutions would be needed. Environment group WWF said it “strongly welcomes the tangible progress made in the talks” and noted the vast majority of governments had actively called for an ambitious global treaty with specific and comprehensive binding rules across the plastic life cycle. It said this should include global bans on high-risk plastic products and polymers, reducing production and consumption, promotion of reuse and recycling and the responsible management of plastic waste. Marco Lambertini, WWF special envoy, said: “After a week of negotiations, the world is one step closer to the unmissable opportunity of a global treaty to end the plastic pollution crisis. Recycling Association chief executive Paul Sanderson said: “We have to recognise that plastics play a valuable role in our society, but we also need to increase their recyclability. I’m encouraged that UN Environment Programme executive director Inger Andersen recognised this when she said that we need to redesign systems and products for reuse and recyclability. Creative Waste Solutions are looking forward to seeing the treaty and especially how others in and out of the waste industry react to it. It's great to see things moving forward and we hope it will further highlight the importance of ensuring plastics are recycled as efficiently as possible for the future.
- Hazardous construction & demolition wood RPS to end as stats say ‘less than 1%’ is hazardous
The Wood Recyclers Association has welcomed the Environment Agency’s decision to withdraw the regulatory position statement (RPS) relating to hazardous waste wood from the construction and demolition industry later this year. The Environment Agency is set to remove regulatory position statement (RPS) 250 on 1st September, meaning producers will need to identify ‘amber’ waste wood items before sending them on to recyclers. The decision was confirmed at the WRA’s spring meeting by the EA’s senior advisor for site-based regulation Howard Leberman, who the association said had lauded its work on the issue. Julia Turner, WRA executive director, said: “We are delighted that the work we carried out has provided clarity that the majority of waste wood is non-hazardous.” So, what is hazardous waste wood? Hazardous or treated waste wood is defined as any wood that has been preserved, varnished, coated, painted or exposed to chemicals detrimental to the environment. Less than 1% of C&D wood in the UK is hazardous The move will mean recyclers avoid the cost and potential stigma of becoming hazardous waste sites due to a small number of items, which the association described as a “huge fear for the market” and could have caused some firms to cease trading. The WRA has partnered with regulators during the past five years to narrow down the list of hazardous wood as part of its Waste Wood Classification Project. After September, only a small number of items from pre-2007 buildings will automatically be classified as hazardous. The Wood Recyclers' Association has more than 100 members and we are pleased to announce that Creative Waste Solutions have joined them! The WRA was formed in 2001 by a small group of wood recyclers who wanted to raise standards in the industry and ensure its needs continued to be recognised and met by those in power. The members represent over 90% of UK wood recyclers. The WRA act on behalf of the members to provide a voice for the sector at the highest levels, working closely with the Environment Agency, DEFRA and other trade associations and recycling bodies to advise on issues affecting our industry, including legislation. The members include wood recyclers and reprocessors, panel board mills, renewable energy suppliers, technology manufacturers, consultancies and specialist insurance and health & safety companies. “While we still have a number of items to test, end-user testing of C&D material has indicated a hazardous content of less than 1%, representing a tiny proportion (0.08%) of UK total waste wood arisings, at around 4,000 tonnes,” We are proud to have recently become a member of the WRA and in partnership and cooperation we want to offer support and aid in: - Influence environmental legislation - Promote the sector to policymakers - Assist members to understand changing market conditions and regulation - Raise industry standards - Develop wood sector bespoke and flexible solutions - Provide a forum for the exchange of non-competitive information - Proactively engage with other trade associations in the UK and Europe We experience numerous benefits to membership both socially and professionally. The regular meeting forums will provide great networking opportunities and enable us to interact with colleagues within the industry to share learning and build stronger working relationships. If you would like to know more about the WRA, check out their members and learn more about wood recycling take a look at their website here
- LGA warns textiles and carpets could fall under POPs rules
The Local Government Association has published its response to Defra’s discussion on potential changes to the persistent organic pollutants (POPs) regulations. The LGA has warned that it wants more 'reassurance' that the amendments will not hit textiles. Between 2 March and 27 April 2023 discussions were had and this came on the back of recent additions to the UN’s Stockholm Convention on POPs which the UK, as a party to the Convention, must implement nationally. “Textiles and carpets could fall under POPs rules” Defra asked about amending its regulations to add or update various POPs limits and adding new chemicals. This includes perfluorohexane sulfonate, often used in stain-resistant fabrics and Perfluorooctanoic acid, used in textiles and non-stick kitchen items. While Defra said the recycling of textiles waste “should not be disrupted”, the LGA warned that it would like more reassurance on this, warning of “significant consequences for councils”. The association said: “Defra’s consultation paper sets out a conveyor belt of additions and restrictions to the list of chemicals classed as POPs. Everyday items such as carpets, non-stick pans, paints and textiles will come into the scope of the POPs regulations. This will have significant consequences for councils in their capacity as collection and disposal authorities for household waste.” Funding The LGA also warned that the amendments to the POPs regulations will have cost implications for councils. Sending material containing POPs to specialised disposal routes will cost more than standard routes for household wastes. “Councils need clarity on how these costs will be met. Any addition or change to the list of POPs should be treated as an additional burden on councils and properly funded,” - LGA The LGA also said that given the growing number of chemicals registered as POPs and the “scale of the challenge” in finding safe disposal routes, Defra and the Environment Agency must involve the LGA “at an early stage” and work with local government on a structured implementation plan. This should be based on a “realistic view of costs and capacity”. The LGA then called for a new relationship with Defra and the Environment Agency on the management of POPs in household waste. This could end up taking the form of a jointly developed long-term strategy for managing POPs in household waste. POPs The Environment Agency first announced in August 2022 that soft furnishings potentially contaminated with POPs, including any mixed loads containing these items, must be incinerated (see our page on everything POPs here). If you have any questions or queries about a solution for your waste or anything you've read today please give us a call and chat with us Mon-Fri at 01908 733226 or email our experienced and dedicated team using firstname.lastname@example.org
- Top 10 Ways To Go Green In 2023 & Beyond
Get inspired and do your bit with these simple steps towards an eco-friendly lifestyle: 1. Shut off and unplug electronics when you are not using them - Just because your computer is asleep and your coffee maker isn't brewing away, doesn't mean they aren't still sucking up energy! It's good for the environment and it's also good for your energy bill... 2. Try to switch to Eco-friendly cleaning products in your home - Many household cleaners contain chemicals that are not only harmful to the environment but our own health too. You can make your own cleaner using water and ingredients like tea tree oil, vinegar, or baking soda. 3. Save paper and money by switching out your paper towels and magic erasers for reusable, and/or biodegradable cleaning cloths - For example, bamboo cleaning towels are durable enough to handle tough scrubbing, and most can be washed and reused up to 100 times, crazy! As they are made from sustainable and renewable sources, they leave minimal or no imprint on the earth at the end of the product life cycle. 4. Purchase reusable shopping bags, and keep a few in your car at all times - You can even get affordable insulated bags to keep your perishables safe on the drive home too. 5. Take your own mug to the coffee shop - A lot of coffee shops will give you a discount for bringing your own cup. 6. Avoid 'wish-cycling' - Putting the wrong items in your home recycling bin can contaminate recycling and lead to more waste going to landfill or incineration. Take care to understand the recycling labels, don't recycling mixed material packaging and research what items your local council accepts. 7. Get the junk out of your trunk (literally!) - Extra weight in your car decreases fuel efficiency by a surprising amount and over days and months, it'll cost you as well as the environment. 8. Support Green Businesses - You can trust their products, services, and industrial processes to be good for you and the environment. Trust us, we are one of them 😊 9. Turn down the thermostat - Put on an extra jumper, or hoodie or use a blanket before you go to turn on (or up) the heat, and turn your thermostat down (or off) at night and when you aren't home. 10. Donate to and shop at your local charity store - Look into and use neighbourhood groups and smart phone apps to buy, sell, trade, and giveaway items that can be re-used. OUR BONUS TIPS: Always turn off the lights when you leave a room, turn down the thermostat and avoid single-use plastics!
- Are UK MRF’s about to POP?!
The introduction of the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP’s) legislation on 1st January 2023 has been met with frustration from most of the industry. From what we've seen and heard at CWS, the updated guidance has not been met with much enthusiasm from the waste management sector. Waste carriers are required to put in place separation and pre-treatment systems for POPs contaminated wastes by no later than December 2024. How has this affected the industry? Whilst the legislation appears to be straightforward, and most people agree that legislation is needed to control pollution, it feels like the UK waste industry has not been given adequate time to prepare for the operational and process changes required to be compliant. Recycling waste containing POPs You must not recycle or reuse any waste that contains POPs. The POPs must be destroyed. This means you cannot: turn the waste into a product for reuse remove materials or components containing POPs for reuse Sorting and storing POPs waste safely and securely You must take all reasonable steps to avoid mixing POPs waste with other waste during storage, collection and treatment. If you do mix, you must manage the whole load as POPs waste. You must destroy the POPs even if the mixing has diluted the POPs to below the concentration limit. Recovering waste containing POPs You can recover waste containing POPs where the recovery process destroys the POP. For example, incineration with energy recovery. The costs involved One of the challenges is around costs and gate fee pricing in the UK, prices are varying from £170-£350 per tonne (lower for processed to higher for un-processed) and we believe that the higher costs are unsustainable. Prices are being driven by incinerators leading to a regional fluctuation and it could take several months before we see a levelling out/consistency in pricing. A survey of Larac members found that two-thirds expected compliance to increase costs, while 55% felt they would be unable to comply by the deadline. Before such waste can be treated at EFW facilities it requires shredding for operational and compliance reasons. The shredders already in operation across the UK are unlikely to comply with the new regulations set out by the EA, as it is difficult to guarantee that contaminated POPs waste and non-contaminated waste would be able to be kept separate. This would result in the requirement for additional shredding facilities – which of course need additional investment and development. The shredders alone cost around £500,000, not cheap. How can CWS assist and help out? The Creative Waste Solutions team have procured trusted POPs disposal sites that offer a cost-effective and economical solution throughout the UK. We are also developing a HUB and spoke model for unprocessed POPs waste. We have sourced temporary storage for both processed and unprocessed POPs that are ready for incineration. If you'd like to know more or you're looking for help with your POPs waste please give us a call or contact us using the link below and our team will be more than happy to help! https://www.cwsltd.com/contact
- The fly-tipping statistics have been published, but are the results positive?
The latest official fly-tipping statistics have been released today by Defra, and on the face of it – there’s some encouraging news! With overall incidents down 4% against last year’s high, including a 9% reduction in household waste incidents and a 5% reduction in fly-tipping on the national highway’s - this could be the start of a downward trend. Figure 1: Total number of fly-tipping incidents in England, 2015/16 to 2021/22 “local authorities in England dealt with 1.09 million fly-tipping incidents, a decrease of 4% from the 1.14 million reported in 2020/21.” Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fly-tipping-in-england/fly-tipping-statistics-for-england-2021-to-2022 The data suggests that one reason could be the highest ever fixed penalty notices issued in a single 12-month period: 507,000 enforcements (up 11% on last year). In addition, the number of court fines issued also “nearly tripled” against 2020/21 This is a very encouraging sign that local authorities have stepped up investigations to ensure fly-tipping criminals are penalised for their crimes. “The number of fixed penalty notices issued was 91,000 in 2021/22, an increase of 58% from 57,700 in 2020/21. This is the second most common action after investigations and accounted for 18% of all actions in 2021/22.” Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fly-tipping-in-england/fly-tipping-statistics-for-england-2021-to-2022 Despite this positive outlook, there are still major causes for concern. Inconsistencies in reporting; the data includes levels of inconsistencies across locals authorities with the report stating “many local authorities have changed the way they capture and report fly-tips over the past few years, so the changes over time should still be interpreted with some care”, whilst in the main, data trends have been used to legislate for these inconsistencies, the major challenge is that the data does not include the vast majority of fly-tipping incidents that occur on private land. These incidents can be far larger in size and scale causing significant cost and operational downtime for businesses across the UK. Understanding this impact is crucial, to be sure that the place for illegal fly tipping has not simply ‘moved’ from local authority managed areas to private land owners. The number of incidents is still far too many; 1.09 million incidents is still the second highest number of incidents recorded in a single year since 2009-10, with the highest since that period being last year which included Covid-19 restrictions and lockdown. I would have hoped that such a strong period of increased penalty notices and court fines would have had a bigger impact, potentially that will be demonstrated in the 2022-2023 figures as the data set includes incidents recorded up until March 2022. POP’s! Given the recent implementation of POP’s (Persistent Organic pollutants) guidance and the landfill ban from January 2023, it remains to be seen how much impact this will have on fly-tipping incidents in the future. The full impact may not be understood until the EA implements enforcements (expected to be from August 23), and despite local authorities stating they have not seen an immediate increase in fly-tipping, it will take some time for restrictions to impact on local authority HWRC’s and the general public. It is my hope that the increase of fixed penalties and court fines continue and that this contributes to a higher rate in reduction of fly tipping, it is also positive to see that despite some councils initially refusing to take sofas and soft furnishings containing POP’s, they have now re-opened their doors. As ever, the challenge with data is that it takes time to build up, therefore the commercial sector should adopt digital technology to develop consistent incident reporting of their own to ensure we have the full picture of this waste crime activity so that we can implement appropriate measures to eradicate it. For now local authorities, the EA and private/commercial land owners have to deal with the fall-out, a messy, challenging and expensive job that costs the tax-payer in excess of 10 million pounds a year!