What happens to skip waste?

What happens to skip waste depends on the company from which you hire your skip. Ethical waste disposal is essential to us, and we are proud to recycle 98% of all the waste we receive.

What happens to skip waste depends on the company from which you hire your skip. Ethical waste disposal is essential to us, and we are proud to recycle 98% of all the waste we receive.

The UK is the third highest contributor to landfills across Europe. In Europe, we use 16 tonnes of material per person annually, and 6 tonnes of this becomes waste. 

We all know that landfill sites hugely affect the environment, releasing harmful decomposition gases, not to mention the length of time that some items can take to decompose. Plastics, for instance, can take as long as 1,000 years to decompose in a landfill. Because the decomposition process is such a slow process for many materials, we are rapidly running out of space for landfills. But also, tragically, many of the items that are sent to landfills can be easily recycled.

Landfill tax in the UK continues to rise every year, and right now, in 2022, landfill tax is priced at £98.60 per tonne. No one wants to pay that to get rid of waste, and that's where waste recycling comes in.

How much waste is produced in the UK?

2018 was the last full calendar year in which Defra has data on all waste generated in the UK. During 2018 the UK generated 222.2 million tonnes of waste in total, with England accounting for 84% of this.

The sources of these 222 million tonnes were as follows:

  • 20% was commercial and industrial (C&I)
  • 62% was construction, demolition and excavation (CD&E)
  • 12% was from households
  • 6% remaining came from other sources

Of these 222 million tonnes of waste:

  • 49% was recycled or otherwise recovered
  • 23% was sent to landfill
  • 12% was treated and released into bodies of water
  • 7% was used for backfilling (recycled aggregate etc.)
  • 4% was incinerated to generate energy-from waste 
  • 3% was incinerated without energy recovery

There have been significant changes in the way the UK deals with waste over the last few decades which has helped to maximise the amount of waste that we are recycling. The Environment Protection Act 1990 is the legislation that governs waste disposal, amongst other environmental considerations. It states that you have a ‘duty of care’ for the waste you produce, including

  • Ensuring waste collection providers used are licensed
  • Containing it within your control as much as possible
  • Storing it safely and securely
  • Preventing it from causing any damage to the environment or people
  • Having a waste transfer note if you plan to pass the waste on to another company

Recycling skip hire

Skips are designed to make waste disposal as convenient as possible. There are over 17 million skips hired annually in the UK for domestic use alone, which is no wonder, as most people cannot transport large amounts without professional help.

Different types of waste can be disposed of in different ways. At Blackpole Recycling, we have a process for sorting skip waste into categories. This thorough sorting process is crucial because it helps to determine what will happen to the waste and where it will go next. 

What happens to sorted skip waste? 

At our depot, skip waste is sorted both mechanically and by hand. Then each type of material is processed for recycling in the following ways:  

  • Items of value 
    Any items of value that can be reused are removed and sent to an appropriate facility to be reused.
  • Paper and cardboard
    Transferred to companies to shred and recycle into new products such as cardboard, paperboard, paper towels, tissues and printing or writing paper.
  • Scrap metal
    Metal is sorted into metal types and transferred to specialist facilities to be recycled and turned into new products. Metal doesn’t lose strength when it has been recycled, so it can effectively be used over and over again.
  • Wood
    Wood waste is shredded at our depot and then transferred to power stations to convert it to energy (WtE) that will generate heat or electricity. Shredded wood provides continuous flow material that is needed for stable and efficient combustion.
  • Plastics
    Mixed plastics are transferred to facilities that sort them into different polymer types. Each type is then shredded, washed and melted to go on to be used in the creation of new plastic products. 
  • Glass
    Glass material is transferred to a facility that crushes, washes and melts it into new products such as bottles and jars. Another material that can be endlessly recycled with no loss of quality. 
  • Electrical goods
    Many old electrical appliances, such as old computers and appliances, can be recycled or refurbished.
  • Building materials
    Stone, bricks, concrete and rubble are removed and crushed to create 6F2; a recycled aggregate that can be used as a sub-base material in new building projects. 
  • Textiles
    Fabrics are transferred to specialist textile facilities to be graded and sorted into different categories and materials. 
  • Garden waste
    Cuttings, branches, grass and plants are sent to specialist facilities to be composted and used for new garden and landscaping projects.

The small amount of general waste that remains is incinerated for waste to energy.

With growing environmental concerns, ethical waste recycling is becoming more and more important to people. Selecting a company that disposes of your waste appropriately and ethically ensures you are not adding to growing landfill piles. If you need skip hire in Worcester our team is always happy to discuss your requirements and our processes further.  

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