Mobile Skip

The Future of the Skip

The trusted waste skip has been in use in mass since the ’60s and little has changed. They still look the same, still collected by the same types of vehicles, and still made from the same heavy steel.

So What’s New?

Well since then we have made more use of the larger Roll on Off containers, using a different type of vehicle to lift them on and off-site and capable of carrying a larger volume of waste that is pretty much all that has changed.

Although more has been made of the man and van collections in recent years. The flexibility of the man and van service has seen a huge rise in this service across the UK and further afield. Some large man and van businesses have developed regionally to provide quick and efficient service for those in need of a rapid collection of waste. These man and van services come with the added benefit of the labour to pick up and load the waste too so for those who don’t or can’t load this has been a great benefit.

These collections have been more reliable and efficient than traditional skip collections, the problem of booking, waiting for your skip to arrive, the loading, and then the generally poor service received by skip users continues to plague the skip user.

While service levels in the skip industry continue to fall new service entries like the man and van service will continue to grow.

What’s Next for the Skip?

Well, I’m sure the man and van collections will continue to grow with their high service levels, more competitive services and near-immediate collections skips seem to still be the ‘go-to’ for many looking to dispose of waste. There are alternatives, they are just not widely available yet. In other parts of the world, mobile tipping enclosed skips are being widely used.

In Australia for instance these mobile ‘skips’ are seen all across the country, even DIY stores offer them to their customers. Users can tow them themselves, fill them and arrange for them to be picked up as and when they are full.

These mobile skips are proving to fill the gap between the inefficient skips and the man and van collections. A cost-effective alternative, delivered at a dedicated time and collected exactly when needed the UK could see these ‘funky’ looking containers in the very short future.

What do These Mobile Skips Look Like?

We won’t know exactly as they are not currently in use here in the UK however above is an image of the ones seen every day in Australia so they should look something like this.

We will keep you in the picture with regular posts and as we hear of anyone starting to roll these out we will be sure to tell you .

Recycling Summary 2020

2020 Recycling Market Summary

Where do we start…..

Well in the recycling world I can summarise a few key points that business consumers will find interesting.

Overall, there has been strong demand for packaging grades such as cardboard and paper. Pretty much every consumer in the UK has contributed to this increase in demand, quite simply we are spending more money shopping online than we have before. Each of those deliveries requires packaging, boxes, cushioning, wrapping and often another cardboard box to be sure we get our goods safe and sound. More of us are discovering the convenience of online shopping through necessity and while most of the UK remains in a state of lockdown the demand looks to continue, maybe our buying habits will change forever?

Exporting our recycling has always been a staple of the UK’s recycling market. Forming a pivotal position for many UK recyclers and brokers the export route has typically provided the industry with a good dependable disposal route. However, high shipping costs and a lack of empty shipping containers has narrowed options for many UK exporters.  Combining this with countries like China who stopped accepting waste paper during 2020 the market has shifted yet again.

The recycled plastics markets have suffered from an end of shipping of plastic grades to non-OECD countries as part of Basel convention.

We saw a spike in demand for tissue at the start of Q2 2020, due to a significant increase in the demand for toilet tissue, wipes, and hand towels. This created a rapid increase in paper prices for grades like office and printing papers. Although this price hike was short-lived as the demand from mills fell due to a reduction in the export market for their products.

Those obligated under the Packaging Waste Regulations saw one of the largest increases in history for their Plastic obligation. Many industry commentators pointed to fraud playing a crucial part in the hike as the production of recycled plastics and the generation of PRN’s were out of balance. A fall in prices at the end of 2020 did little to help those forced to pay the extremely high rates for half of the year.

Lockdown has also affected the newsprint and printed paper market with generation down considerably. Printers of holiday brochures, new goods sellers, car manufacturers, and other mainstream traditional print manufacturers have felt a brutal drop in demand as businesses remain closed and buyers shift to online resources over traditional print.

Rising prices for recycled paper have fallen largely on deaf ears as offices remain closed, homeworking forming a day-to-day staple for those who remain at work and large swathes of the UK workforce on the government’s furlough scheme affecting the generation of office paper for recycling.

We nearly went a whole article without mentioning it but, now we mention it, Brexit. Brexit has created confusion across the shipping transport and haulage sectors, compounded with the huge delays seen across UK ports the cost of doing business with the rest of Europe has in one way or another increased. The delays we have seen on most of our televisions and news articles have shown how difficult things have actually been for exporters, not just via road but deep-sea shipping, although less documented it has also seen widespread disruption.

Really 2020 has shown us how much of an impact many small changes have when they come together at the same time.

Gas ring

The energy market is the lowest its been in over 10 years

We’re trying to focus on some positivity during these tough trading conditions, and there is a blue flame of hope for those gas using businesses. The Coronavirus pandemic has already made a huge impact on the gas market, resulting in the lowest wholesale prices in over 10 years. Of course, this is providing the LNG supply stays high and the market remains free from any sharp spikes in demand. You can read more about how the Coronavirus is making an impact on the gas market here.

You read that right, the cost of gas is at the lowest its been for over 10 years! Renew your contract now and start saving. It doesn’t matter if your contract isn’t up for renewal yet, we can look at contracts up to 4 years in advance. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of the extremely cheap prices. And as we’re currently in lockdown, you have more spare time now than ever before, use that time to look into your contract and get some good out of the Coronavirus. So when this is over and you can get back to normal, you can be assured that you will be saving money by renewing with us.

We’ve even made it super easy for you to find out how much you can save, all you have to do is use our comparison site, which you can access by clicking here.
We are here to help you in any possible way we can during these uncertain times. You can speak to a helpful and friendly member of our team for any help and advice.

   

Flame UK are key workers

Amid the ever-developing Coronavirus situation and following Boris Johnson’s announcement on the Monday 23rd March 2020, Flame UK reassure you that we are all taking responsible actions during this time to support our key working industry. As the waste sector is included in the ‘key worker’ status, this means us here at Flame UK are classed as key workers.

The health of our partners, customers and our team members is our highest priority. As a business, we are closely following the government guidelines, as well as following the advice of Public Health England and the World Health Organisation by introducing a variety of measures to minimise the impact to public health. Please see our continuity statement for more information.

Recycling and waste sector employees have been granted ‘key worker’ status by the government during the crisis, meaning they will continue to provide you with your usual service. If you would like your services to be paused, please let us know by calling 0115 896 5460.

Why will we continue?

Collecting material is key for our future markets. We must continue to produce packaging for vital medical supplies and food, meaning we must continue to collect and convert materials in the most environmentally safe and economical way during such uncertain times.

If your business operation has been affected by the most recent government announcement, please contact our team as we are available and ready to help you and your business.

 

   

Flame UK Coronavirus Business Continuity Statement

Situated within a key working industry, our priority is to ensure all our customers continue to receive a high-quality service with minimal disruption, and to take practical measures to keep our employees, customers and the wider community safe. We are closely monitoring the potential impact of COVID-19 on our business operations and supply chains.  We continue to monitor advice issued by the UK Government via Public Health England (“PHE”), the Department of Health and Social Care (“DHSC”) and the current recommendations from the World Health Organisation (“WHO”).

Currently the impact on day to day operations is increasing, we continue to operate business as usual but with the following additional precautions and planning in place:

  • We have provided information to all employees in relation to hygiene and the importance of regular and thorough hand washing and use of hand sanitisers. Hand sanitisers have been distributed throughout the business and are readily accessible throughout our building. Advice from PHE has been circulated to all employees regarding good hygiene and precautions to take should you develop the symptoms.
  • Additionally, we are monitoring and recording employee travel plans with anyone returning from Category 1 high risk areas being advised to self-isolate and contact NHS services for further advice. Those returning from Category 2 areas are advised to self-isolate in the event they develop symptoms and contact NHS services.  This advice will be updated in line with government guidance.
  • We are ensuring employees work from home until further advice is issued by the government and the current restrictions are lifted.
  • Non-essential travel and meetings will be postponed or carried out remotely (skype etc).
  • Drivers will no longer obtain signatures via pda, to reduce person to person contact. Signed tickets may not be available during this time.
  • As part of the UK’S key workers amid the Covid 19 crisis, we are working closely with our partners and are doing everything we can to ensure that your Recycling and Waste Collections will continue as normal. We will endeavour to update you as soon as possible if there are any changes and ask that if your business is effected by the Governments closure advice, please do let us know. We will also continue to support Keyworkers nationally, with any additional requirements that may arise during this period.

The evolving situation is being closely monitored on an ongoing basis here at Flame UK and we will implement and distribute the appropriate advice and protocols recommended by the UK Government where applicable.  This includes amending our Continuity Plan on an ongoing basis to reflect the business needs and those of our customers should the impact become more severe.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or require further details.

Thank you for your help and cooperation at this time.

Pam Knight

Managing Director

   

Image of litter in bin

School Waste: Where does it all go?

It’s estimated that on average 4.2 million tonnes of good food produced by schools is wasted each year. That isn’t including any other types of waste, which we’re going to discuss in this blog. If you’d like to find out more about where food waste goes head over to our blog Food Waste: What happens when it’s collected. Schools produce such a wide variety of waste types, and we’re going to look into all of them.

Paper and Card

Paper and card can both be recycled (as long as it doesn’t have any sort of glitter, foil etc on that you would usually find with Christmas or Birthday cards, so make sure you try to pull any off before recycling). When they have been collected, they’re taken to a recycling plant where they get separated by type and grade. It then gets washed with soapy water to remove ink, plastic film, staples and glue. This then is put into a large holder and mixed with water to create “slurry” and by adding different materials, different paper products can be created from newspaper to cardboard. The slurry then gets spread into large thin sheets using large rollers. Once the paper is dry it is ready to be cut and sent back to shops. However, the paper is made up of long fibres meaning, each time it is recycled, those fibres are shortened so, therefore, paper cannot be recycled indefinitely.

Plastic Waste

Some plastics can also be recycled, once collected it gets taken to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and plastics are sorted into polymer types, because not all plastic items are made from the same form of plastic, some are also mixed. Once the materials have been separated they get transported to reprocessing facilities to be recycled by plastic-type. The plastic will either be shredded into flakes or melt-processed to form pellets, which can then be moulded into new products such as water bottles.

Unfortunately, a lot of UK plastic recycling is exported abroad due to the labour cost and infrastructure in the UK waste industry, and while some of it is still recycled into new products it’s hard to track exactly what happens to it once it has left our borders.

Garden Waste

Garden waste gets taken to a composting site where it then gets turned into a nutritious soil conditioner. Once it arrives at the composting site any material that isn’t compostable gets removed, usually by hand, and the remaining waste is shredded, and then left to decompose. The last part of the recycling process is to screen the compost to remove any remaining contaminants and grade the material for various end uses. This process can take between 8 and 16 weeks.

Another process that is available is in-vessel composting, this is the same however is under pressure and microbes are added to the material to speed the process up.

General Waste

General waste is waste which can’t be recycled such as non-recyclable plastics, polythene, some packaging, etc. 10 years ago, This waste would have been disposed of in landfill sites but with the advances in technology and space in the landfills decreasing rapidly, it means that there are different ways that we can deal with general waste, such as recovering energy from waste. Non-recyclable products are taken to an incinerator which burns the waste and collects the gasses, the gasses produced are then treated and converted into Gas and Electric that powers your home/business.

Metals

Waste metal is segregated down into types and is sent to a furnace to get melted down into ingots, a mass of metal shaped suitably for further processing, and can be sent to manufacturers and production companies. These ingots can be shaped and moulded into a variety of products, one of the most common uses for recycled metals is packaging such as cans or even computer components.

Glass

Once glass waste has been collected and taken to be reprocessed it gets crushed, and contaminants are removed at this stage. The glass then gets melted in a furnace and moulded or blown into new bottles or jars. Glass is 100% recyclable and can be endlessly reprocessed with no loss of quality.

We can provide services for any of these waste types and will work with you to find the best sustainable solution for you.

 

   

Gas Cylinder

Empty Gas Cylinders: What to do with them?

Liquefied Petroleum Gas and Industrial Gas cylinders are the property of the company named on the cylinder. If you receive gas cylinders to your site then they can be returned. You can contact us to arrange for UKLPG and BCGA members’ reusable cylinders to be collected.

What do you need to do?

The cylinders need to be stored securely and safely in an appropriate cage, and in an area that is safe for vehicles to park and the operator to load. The area should have hard standing, no build-up of slurry or mud and no overhead working taking place during collection.

Get in touch with us today and we will arrange for the relevant company or authorised agent to collect their cylinders.

 

   

Waste disposal costs are rising – here’s why

The waste industry in the UK is having a difficult time, global markets have driven recycling revenues down, tax increases and levies threaten disposal routes, and the uncertainty of the market post-Brexit has all added to an already struggling market.

It has been well publicised how the world’s doors have closed to UK exported waste and recyclable materials, being at the forefront of sustainable solutions has been harder to keep up with than ever for UK businesses over the past 12 months.

Many businesses have been exposed to cost increases for the disposal and handling of its waste, as well as tumbling recycling rebates. In some areas of the UK, businesses have reportedly had no option but to pay for the disposal of their cardboard and paper recycling.

Government Taxes over the past 10 years have increased the strain on disposal costs, and a serious shortfall of infrastructure capacity of UK based waste to energy facilities are being blamed. The UK government are licensing more power plants than ever before, but ultimately, is it too little, too late? I guess we will have to find out.

The changing situation in the UK and the EU

A large percentage of the UK’s 32 million-plus tonnes of waste produced each year is sent for recovery through energy from waste plants. The UK has a small number of plants however, plants in Northern Europe are used to process waste into energy. Some countries in Northern Europe have now implemented additional taxes for plants turning waste into energy, these incineration taxes have impacted on UK disposal routes gate fees.

Cardboard and Paper

Recycling rates for the UK’s cardboard and paper have dropped by as much as 70% in 2019, as demand for our recycled material dried up, without new licenses being issued and recyclers opening their doors to the UK product, we can expect yet more reductions. Some parts of the UK have already seen rebates totally dry up, and some businesses are being charged for the removal of cardboard. Specification for recyclable cardboard has also increased during the last 12 months, putting pressure on recycling facilities to improve the grades of material they accept and process.

Helpful articles for you

We have done our research and put together a list of the articles we think will be the most helpful to you:

Cost of rubbish disposal to rise £1bn as landfill taxes increase

Landfill Tax: increase in rates

Dutch RDF import tax could see waste cost hike

Sweden introduces energy from waste tax on refuse derived fuel (RDF)

Dutch senate backs ‘RDF tax’ but court case looms

Sweden confirms EfW tax from April 2020

Quality push remains in falling cardboard market

Working through the worst of times (for cardboard recycling)

 

   

 

 

Brexit – How will it affect our waste charges?

The UK produces around 400 million tons of waste from domestic and commercial facilities every year. For every ton of household rubbish, commercial, industrial and construction businesses produce a further six. Currently, a large proportion of our non-recyclable waste is exported to EU countries. With the UK being set to leave the EU on 31st January 2020, it’s left us thinking…how will it affect our waste?

What are we predicting?

We know that incineration costs tend to move in line with landfill costs, and we don’t know for sure what will happen, but it’s expected that once we leave the EU there will be taxes or levies put in place when exporting waste to the EU. Some waste management companies are already starting to put in a price increase just in case this happens. Some Northern European countries have already applied additional Taxes on Energy From Waste plants, applying yet more pressure on disposal costs.

How can we help? 

We will get to know your operation, your objectives, and environmental policies and discuss potential solutions. We will discuss areas to the greatest effect so that a positive outcome is more influential. The solutions will always be sustainable aspects and ensure the business operates in a cradle to cradle manor.

Case Study

We’ve been able to provide alternative solutions for one of our customers who had a Roll On Roll Off for their general waste that was being emptied three times a week before we were able to provide a more sustainable solution. What did we do? We took out bulk sacks, polythene, and wood waste so that this material can be recycled. With bulk sacks and polythene being collected together and waste wood separately, they now empty once in 9 weeks.

Get in touch with us by clicking the button below for your free no-obligation quote to find out how you can save, and be more sustainable.

(source for statistics https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/where-does-all-our-rubbish-go-465773.html)

 

   

Inside Care Home Waste

If you follow us on social media, you may already be aware of who Dove Cottage Day Hospice is. If you don’t, then Dove Cottage Day Hospice offers high-quality palliative daycare to those with life-limiting illnesses. Flame UK has been supporting Dove Cottage by encouraging businesses and schools to collect plastic bottle tops which they send to be recycled and in return, get money.

We asked Jenny Hendry at Dove Cottage what kind of waste they produce inside their hospice, here is what she had to say:

“We have all sorts of waste to deal with at the hospice, some of which will be familiar to the regular homeowner, but also other types that present different challenges.

The bulk of our waste is the regular kind, which we split into general waste and recycling. There are separate bins in different rooms around the hospice, with signs on those in the common areas explaining what can and cannot be recycled. These bins then get emptied regularly and put into large outdoor receptacles.

The facilities that we have for our regular waste are generally okay, although we can struggle for space when we’ve hosted an event, and the bins are too full. This then has a knock-on effect as we must find somewhere to store any overflow until we have a collection. As with any organisation, you don’t want too much waste hanging around! The other thing we need to stay on top of, as an environmentally responsible organisation, is ensuring we’re recycling everything we can.

With a lot of volunteers on our books, some 250, this can sometimes mean the waste needs to be checked and sorted to ensure that everything is in the right bins, especially when things change or it’s not immediately obvious what can and cannot be recycled.

Our other type of waste, which is more specific to a care environment, is contaminated waste. This is put in yellow and black striped bags, known as ‘tiger bags’. All such waste must be disposed of correctly, which is why we need to have a clear bagging system and a storeroom for the bagged, contaminated waste. Only certain people from our nursing or cleaning team handle the contaminated waste so we can make sure everything is done correctly; we also need to ensure everyone who’s in contact with the contaminated waste wears the correct protective clothing. The hospice is a relatively big space, and we need to manage the waste efficiently and safely in and around the building. The contaminated waste then gets placed in our normal outside black bins, with the onus being on the binmen to ensure it’s correctly separated from other types.

As a hospice and a care environment, our challenge is to make sure we are always handling waste in both a safe and environmentally responsible manner.”

Our support structure and account management is very communication focused. We can provide larger waste bins, or skips on a temporary basis, increase waste bin collections frequencies, or event-specific waste services. Identifying opportunities to recycle is extremely important, and all of our customers, where possible in the country will receive zero waste to landfill options.  Some waste material must go to landfill, but limiting this is essential to the environment.  Energy from waste is our preferred method of treating non-recyclable materials. A customer that generates large volumes of waste can benefit from waste compaction, or baling of card and polythene.  This has two main benefits; reduced cost from haulage and transportation, and reduced CO2 to the atmosphere, making your site more efficient.

Flame UK can offer any advice and services to the care industry, contact us on 0115 896 5460 to discuss your waste.