You might be surprised to know that the idea of recycling and waste removal has been around for nearly 1000 years. The earliest account of recycling was found in Japan, in 1031, where they were able to find a way to recycle paper and then sell it again in shops. From then, all the way up to the present day, waste removal and recycling has become more and more important, not just for our country but for the world. There are many documentaries out there worth watching on how we need to be more ‘green’. Although we would like to think of England as an eco-friendly country, new government figures published actually show that our recycling rates have dropped in a year from 44.8% to 43.9%. Let’s face it, none of us are perfect, but there are things we can do to help boost our recycling rates and be more efficient when it comes to waste removal, the first being; knowing more about segregation at source.
Segregation at source for waste removal
The term ‘segregation at source’ simply means segregating your waste at home into the correct containers. Although this is something we would all like to think we do, there are some very surprising facts about UK waste removal that would disagree;
- The average typical family throw away around 40KG of plastic each year that could have been recycled.
- It is estimated that 50% of the ‘rubbish’ in our household bins could be recycled.
- 83 kilometres of wrapping paper is thrown away each Christmas in the UK, enough to wrap up the whole of Guernsey and more.
Most people would agree that the main problem is the actual will to segregate wet waste from the dry waste. Although it isn’t the most glamorous of jobs you can do at home it is one of the most important. With the landfill tax constantly increasing each year and the state of the current climate, it’s never been more important to keep your waste separate and recycled when possible. There are many large advantages to segregation, such as; better health and hygiene conditions for people, much less waste odour, improvements for the environment and waste processing is more efficient.
Here are a few things you can do at home that can help with the segregation of waste –
- Avoid using supermarket plastic bags as the biodegradation of these are an issue.
- Try to only use biodegradable bin bags.
- Have clear, colour coded bins to make it quick and easy to know what to put where.
- Contact your local council to ensure you have the right amount of bins as you might be due a new one.
Food waste removal
The U.K throws away a huge £13bn worth of food every year which could have been eaten, which adds up to a whopping 4.4 million tonnes of waste. You might think that the majority of that waste would be restaurants but according to data from www.wrap.org.uk this is not true –
Amounts of food waste arising in the UK by sector (total post-farm-gate = ca.10 Mt)*
As you can see the average household is actually the biggest culprit of food waste, but the good news is that it can also make the biggest change. By checking what we are throwing away a little more we can all help to massively reduce this amount and live in a less wasteful environment. But we are just one small nation, 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted globally each year. That is enough to build a mountain two miles across and almost 8,000 feet high. A staggeringly high amount, but one that we can all help to reduce one day.
WEEE waste removal
WEEE stands for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment and is a directive that is there to ensure all electronic devices are disposed of correctly. A large 25% of all the electrical equipment we throw away in this country can still function and be re-used. With such a high percentage of electrical items wasted, it’s important to make sure what you are throwing away is recyclable and actually broken beyond repair. Every year an estimated 2 million tonnes of WEEE items are discarded by both households and companies in the U.K, so when you are segregating your waste it might be worth just double checking the electronics you are throwing away, there is a good chance they could still work.
Effects of waste on land
We all know that waste can have a negative effect on land but what we might not realise is just how catastrophic the consequences can be. Humans, animals, soil and our water supply can all be affected by contaminated land. This can then lead to problems in the respiratory system, skin and even cause various kinds of cancer for both humans and animals. Pollution is one of the world’s biggest killers, affecting more than 100 million people worldwide, but we can help to drastically decrease this huge number. By simply knowing how to efficiently deal with our waste removal we can all make a positive impact on the environment and help to make the world a much healthier place to live.
Waste removal with Enterprise Skip Hire
Here, at Enterprise Skip Hire, we pride ourselves on being able to recycle 97% of the waste we gather from our clients. We have our own freehold transfer station, approved by the Buckinghamshire County Council and licensed by the Environment Agency, which we use to recycle all of the waste we can. We are utterly committed to our task of being as green as possible, helping to make our surrounding area and country as environmentally healthy as possible.