Office recycling tips

Offices are pretty un-environmentally friendly places. Think about all the electricity being used and paper going to waste. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact it’s relatively easy to put some recycling practices to use in an office environment and lower your carbon footprint.

That’s what we’re going to look at here; our top recycling tips for the office.

Make your supplies last longer – If a pen has run out of ink, it’s run out of ink. Nothing you can do about it, right? Wrong. The way you use certain office supplies is going to alter their lifespan. For example, the ink in your printer may be saying its low, but this is probably not the case. They aren’t particularly accurate when it comes to reading how much ink is left, so it could be telling you to throw it away, when there’s in fact another week left in it!

Take your own lunch – Okay, okay – perhaps you don’t have time to make your dinner first thing in the morning. But you do have time to make it the night before, so no excuses.

Taking your own lunch in a reusable container means there’s a lot less wasted packaging going in the bin. Think about it – when you head out and buy your dinner from the shop there’s the drinks bottle, the sandwich wrapper, the crisp packet, and it all ends up in the bin!

Not to mention the fact that taking your own dinners is going to work out cheaper!

The commute – No, this isn’t strictly in the office, but it’s still a work related thing negatively impacting the environment. The commute’s usually a stressful thing, especially if you’re driving in. So make life easier on yourself and the environment and try alternative ways to travel to work. Could you walk it? Is it possible to ride a bike in?

If not, is there public transport you can use? And at the very least, why not carpool it with other people you work with. Less people on the road means less fuels used.

Cut out the paper use – In a busy office environment, there’s always sheets paper flying out of a printer, or changing hands. But does it have to be that way? We live in a technological age where, really, paper isn’t a complete necessity. It obviously has its uses, but don’t you agree that most offices could probably cut there usage in half simply by emailing important documents, presentations, and excel sheets?

Make sure that you recycle the paper that you do use too. It really does have a positive impact.

So there you have it – four really simple ways to be a more environmentally friendly worker and office. It isn’t that hard to do, see?

2 years in and this restaurant still hasn’t taken out the rubbish

When you visit a restaurant you want it to be as clean as a whistle, right? And you’d expect them to take the rubbish out several times a day otherwise they’d have some serious problems with vermin.

Not something a restaurant needs.

Well we’re going to tell you about a restaurant that hasn’t taken out the rubbish in 2 years.

It’s called Sandwich Me In and it was opened in Chicago with an aim to one of the first of its kind.

A “zero waste” restaurant.

In the 2 years that it’s been open Sandwich Me In has produced the same amount of waste an average restaurant generates in one hour. And the majority of that waste isn’t even a product of the restaurant; it’s customers bringing plastic coffee cups or water bottles in.

How is it done?

Well, simply put the restaurant is run completely on sustainable energy. The food arrives from local farms with minimal packaging, and pretty much everything, from the scraps of food left by customers with eyes bigger than their bellies to the frying oil left over from cooking up the grub is reused or repurposed.

The owner Justin Vraney runs his home in the same way he runs his restaurant. The ‘green’ way.

It isn’t an easy task though. Running a restaurant that produces next to nothing in terms of waste obviously comes with its own challenges. In fact, in the first 6 months that the doors of the restaurant were open he ran the whole thing solo to keep labour costs to a minimum. The restaurant hasn’t made much profit either.

But that’s okay says Vraney: “For me it’s not a money issue. I’m looking at this more widespread.”

Plus, the restaurant doesn’t cost much to run because everything is re-used.

Maybe we should all look to the restaurant and the man and look at how we can keep our waste output to a minimum!

Let us know how you get on.

4 things to do before renovating

Renovating a room can give the space a whole new lease of life. It could be just what your home needs. But renovation isn’t a small task. It takes planning, prep and organisation.

To help you get it right first time we’ve put together a list of 4 things you should do before starting your renovation project.

Budget – Your budget is the most important factor. It’s going to dictate exactly what you can do and exactly what you can’t. So before you do anything else make sure you understand the kind of money you have to play with.

You’ll need to consider how much it’s going to cost for those little jobs too. Will a wall need re-plastering? Does something require a complete re-wiring? Take your time finding quotes for the various jobs that need completing. If you get it wrong the whole project could be jeopardised.

Gut it – It’s likely that the room is already furnished, so before any sort of renovation takes place you’re going to have to turn it back to a blank canvass.

This’ll require a complete clear out of everything in there. Hire a skip so that you have somewhere to throw all the rubbish that you aren’t going to need. Here at A Plus Skip Hire we can recycle the rubbish you leave in the tip, so your renovation will be environmentally friendly too.

And remember, if there’s anything else you don’t want, give it to charity. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Book your contractors – Now you have that blank canvass it’s time to get to work. Book all the people you’re going to need in. That could be an electrician, plumber, plasterer or painter – whoever you need, book them in so that you know exactly when they’re coming.

Planning permission – It’s important that the renovation you’re making is legal. If you’re doing work on the exterior of the building or it’s a listed property then make sure that you obtain planning permission. Otherwise you could end up in hot water with the council.

6 things you should be recycling

Think you’re a green warrior? King of recycling? The most environmentally friendly person in town?

Guess again.

Here are 6 things you aren’t recycling but should be!

Batteries – The TV remote dies, you buy new batteries and the old ones end up at the bottom of your bin. Next time, hold onto them. You can take batteries down to your local skip to be recycled or even at your supermarket.

Oh, and buy rechargeable batteries next time.

Envelopes – Nearly everyone throws envelopes straight into the bin. They can’t be recycled because of the gum on the flap.

True, but it isn’t difficult to remove this gum and then put the rest of the envelope in your paper recycling bin.

Light bulbs – The next time your light bulb goes don’t throw it away. Put it in a box and then when you head down to the tip, take it with you. They can be recycled with your other electrical waste!

Glass containers – Recycling one glass container can save enough energy to light a bulb for up to four hours. It generates 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution. So don’t throw that glass coke bottle out!

Computers – If you’re on the hunt for a new computer, then consider sending your old one off to a school, retirement home or friend. There’s always somewhere that needs one, and just because you’re done with yours doesn’t mean someone else can’t use it!

Steel cans – Steel can be recycled over and over again without compromising quality. So if you have any steel products (like auto parts or appliances) then recycling them is always a better option than just throwing them on the tip.

Garden waste – If you take pride in your garden and give it an overhaul once every few months, I’d bet that you generate a lot of waste. But what do you do with that waste?

Well, recycle it. You can contact us here at A Plus Skip Hire to help you. We’ll provide you with a suitable skip to hold your garden waste, and then we’ll get rid of it in a safe way for you.

It couldn’t be easier.

How to recycle your old computer in 3 easy steps

Technology races forward at a rapid pace and as a consumer it can be hard to keep up. You buy a computer and then 2 months down the line it’s old hat. It can’t compete with the latest and greatest. But that’s okay; you don’t need the latest and greatest.

So you make do with your machine for a few years. But you know that at some point it’ll be time to get your hands on a new machine. But what are you going to do with your old computer?

It’s best to recycle it.

Why recycle?

Before we look into how to recycle your old machine, let’s ask why.

One study in 2010 showed that even when we try to recycle our computers the right way, most components end up in places like Nigeria or India where they aren’t recycled well. It’s called ‘dirty’ recycling and it involves bathing computers in acid to obtain the gold components.

Here’s how to recycle your computer the clean way.

#1 – Wipe it

A lot of people either trust a recycling company to wipe their personal documents from the computer or they just leave them on there. This isn’t such a smart move. We entrust our computer to hold a lot of personal information, and it isn’t stuff you’d want a stranger to get their hands on.

First up, back anything you want to keep up on a hard drive. Completely override your hard drive and reinstall the operating system to make sure that you’ve disposed of any personal details still on the computer.

You can download software from the web that’ll help you re-write your drive – just make sure you have a look around for a good one.

#2 – Pass it on

The best way to get rid of a computer is to simply pass it on to someone who could actually make use of it. Schools, retirement homes, a friend – they’re a much better choice than sending it off to be stripped down. The process of breaking the machine apart is energy intensive.

#3 – Recycle with a reputable service

If you’ve tried to find somewhere to pass the computer on to, but had no joy then you’ll need to turn to recycling it. Most electronic recycling companies use different methods to dispose of the machine so take time to research and learn about how each deal with the computer’s they take on board. The computer manufacturer itself may have a recycling service, so get in touch with them.

Recycling your old computer correctly isn’t difficult and it means you’re helping in just one more way to save the environment.

5 things you should never put in a skip

Some people assume they can throw what they like into a skip regardless of how dangerous or toxic the products are. We’re happy to take away general waste at Aplus skips but there are some restrictions we put in place for rubbish removal, so think carefully before you throw items away, here are some goods to watch out for.

  1. Batteries – Think carefully before you throw products that could damage the environment into a skip. Top of the list is car batteries, they have lead in them and need to be disposed of carefully. There are special areas at your local waste recycling centre for car batteries, please don’t toss them in a skip.
  2. Paints – Paint tins (full or empty) are another item we can’t take in a skip. Some of them are lead-based, they contain chemicals and like pesticides, bleaches and household cleaners, they need to be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. Leave paints and other environmentally damaging items out of the skip, get rid of waste responsibly.
  3. Televisions – Old television sets, computer monitors and LCD screens contain various parts that need to be recycled or disposed of carefully. Again, your local household recycling centre has a special section for broken, old and unwanted televisions, take them there instead of throwing them in a skip.
  4. Fridges – Freezers and fridges contain chemicals and gases that are harmful if they are disturbed, you can’t throw a fridge a freezer or a fridge-freezer onto a skip, it’s not safe and we can’t take it away.
  5. Recyclable goods – Stop and think before you throw items into a skip, could they be recycled or reused in some way? Old clothes, mobile phones, bottles, tins and plastic are good examples; this is waste that’s treatable, it can either be reused or recycled and made into other products.

Be careful what you throw into a skip

It’s tempting to get carried when you hire a skip, especially if you are clearing out a house and have a large amount of waste to get rid of. Sadly the criminal element of society see a skip as rich pickings, not only do they help themselves to unwanted furniture and other usable items, they steal personal data and use the details to clone your identity.

We always advise our customers to dispose of their private mail responsibly, a skip isn’t the place for personal data. These are some of the letters that should never find their way into a skip, they should be shredded and placed in a bin inside your home.

  • Bank statements – Would you be happy for a stranger to read through your bank statement, perusing the activity in your account? That would be horrible right? Unbelievably people throw bank statements into household refuse bins, some are happy to toss them into skips. Even if you tear the statements up criminals can still piece them together, don’t let this happen, skip-surfers love a challenge.
  • Credit card statements – The same applies for credit card statements too, throw them in a skip and criminals have access to your private information, they can clone the data and use it to make fraudulent purchases online. You won’t know about any suspicious activity on the account until you get your next statement or your card gets refused in a store.
  • Pre-approved credit card offers – Be careful with ‘speculative’ credit card offers as well. If you get junk mail from credit card companies with your details on, dispose of them sensibly and you’ll be wise to skip thieves.
  • Wage slips – Throw wage slips into a skip and thieves know how much you earn, where you work and they have access to your national insurance number as well. This is like striking gold for identity fraudsters, they love these kind of details and it makes their work so much easier.

The simply way to prevent thieves from stealing your identity is to dispose of sensitive data sensibly, save a skip for general waste instead!

Fun uses for skips

Skips are skips right? You hire them, load them with waste then have them taken away. Suppose we told you there are other uses for skips though, say you could turn a skip into something else, how much fun would that be?

This is exactly what design graduate Oliver Bishop-Young did as part of an art project. He took heavy-duty skips and totally revamped the interior creating something quite remarkable in the process.

Here are just some of his designs….

  • Swimming pool skip – It’s nice to take a dip on a warm summer’s day, would you take the plunge in a skip though? Oliver lined a skip, filled it with water and even made steps so you could enter the makeshift pool without any problems. Okay, it’s a small skip-come-pool but would that bother you if the weather was cracking the flags outside?
  • Table tennis skip – Where’s the best place to play ping pong? In a skip of course! Another one of Oliver’s amazing creations was to turn into a skip into a leisure feature, he fitted a table tennis table inside! Great for practice and if you get bored with the game or haven’t got the talent to compete, just get the skip collected and have the table towed away.
  • Lounge skip – Want to turn a skip into a homely setting? Just add carpet, a chair, a makeshift table and a telly and you create the image of a cosy lounge. Oliver even added a radiator for special effect but that kind of defeats the object when you consider the skip is open to the elements anyway.
  • Skateboard skip -   Build a half-pipe in a skip and you have the ideal place to practice all your boarding moves.  Thanks to the inspiration of Oliver a skip became something rather special, he created a place to practice in piece without having to visit a packed skate park.

Features to make your skip safe

Hire one of our skips at A Plus and you won’t have to worry about safety, we adhere to all rules and regulations and make sure your skip is safe even if you are leaving it out on the road. There are various ways to make a skip stand out when it’s placed on a public highway, we suggest the following to prevent motorists careering into the back of a skip.

  • Reflective markings – It’s hard to spot a skip at night, especially if you drive along the road in the dark when it’s raining outside. One way to make them more visible is to fit reflective strips at the ends of the skip, this makes them stand out when vehicles are approaching. Check to see if the skip you hire has reflective markings in place, it could prevent an accident outside your property.
  • Safety lights – Add a few night-time safety lamps hung from the edges of skips to help them become more visible. Switch the lights on when it starts to go dark and turn them off again in the morning.  LED skip lights with built-in daylight sensors are good, you can attach them to the side of skips and they flash around 80 times per minute.
  • Traffic cones – Mark out the skip using traffic cones, provide a clear warning for approaching traffic during the day and at night, use cones to clearly define the territory.
  • Contact details – One other thing all our skips have at A Plus is clear contact details so you or members of the public can contact us if there are any problems with the skip on site. There shouldn’t be any issues but it’s handy and safer to have the name and contact number of the skip hire company on the container, you never know, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

What you should be thinking before you hire a skip

We’re ready, willing and able to provide you with a great range of affordable skips at A Plus, just pick up the phone and speak to one of our team members, we’re here to make life easier for you.

Hiring a skip is a speedy way to get rid of waste, just plan a little before you hire a skip and consider the following criteria.

How big a skip do you need?

There are different sizes of skips to suit all requirements we stock mini (2 yd), midi (4 yd), standard (6 yd) and maxi skips (8 yd) for domestic waste removal plus 14 cu, 20 tonne and 40 cu skips that are capable of removing a massive amount of waste. The smaller the skip the cheaper it tends to be, if you need help choosing a skip size please feel free to ask for advice.

Will you require a permit?

This depends on where you want to place the skip. If the skip is going to be filled on private land, your garden or driveway you won’t require a permit. If the skip is being placed on a public road there’s a good chance you’ll require a permit, again, we can give you all the advice you need.

Can we get access to your property?

Our drivers are good but they can’t squeeze down narrow lanes that aren’t designed for over-sized vehicles. Think about the access route to your property, can the skip lorry reach it without any problems, the driver will require clear access on the day.

How long do you want the skip for?  

Our standard hire periods are for 4 days in total, consider how long the project you are completing is going to take. Some people fill their skips on the same day, others like to take their time and gradually fill them over a longer period. Try to optimise your time if you can to reduce the chances of having to hire another skip.