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Food Recycling & Composting Tips

For years now, food waste in the UK has been hitting crisis levels. With two for one and multi-buy offers so common amongst supermarkets, this should come as no surprise. It’s thought that around 7 million tonnes of food is thrown away by households in the UK every year – most of which could have been eaten. And this is hurting our pockets, too: the average family throws away around £700 of food shopping.

From an environmental perspective, there are other issues. Namely, most of the UK’s food waste ends up in landfill site where it rots and releases methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas.

To help our readers combat this, David Brown Skip Hire are here to provide some food recycling and home composting tips.

Food that you can still use

There are myriad factors which contribute to food waste, some of which are much easier to prevent than others. For example, much of the food that we throw away on a daily basis needn’t be thrown away at all – it’s still perfectly fine to eat. Here are some tips to ensure that you can maximise the lifespan of food:

  • Freeze it – if your food is too close to either its use by or best before date and you don’t think you’ll have time to eat it, just freeze it. It’s not called ‘nature’s pause button’ for nothing – it extends the lifespan of your food indefinitely.
  • Best before dates – don’t obsess about them, they’re just guidelines. Millions of people across the UK throw away items of food which are perfectly edible for this very reason.
  • Be creative – one of the reasons why food ends up in the bin is because of a lack of imagination. If your chillies have been around a while, why not put them in oil and make chilli oil? Or throw your wilted spinach leaves in a stir fry?

Food that you can no longer use

If you find yourself in a scenario where you still have leftovers, or perhaps you’re going off on holiday, there are other ways to avoid waste. The app OLIO allows locals to share food with each other and local shops which would otherwise go to waste, meaning you have a first port of call before simply throwing your food away.

Home composting tips

If you have a garden and the wherewithal, home composting can be an excellent way to recycle food waste. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Compost box – to start, you’ll need a compost box. Wood is the most common material, but plastic works, too.
  • What can’t I compost? – you cannot compost meat, fish, dairy products or any cooked food – this must be disposed of some other way.
  • Manure – straw-filled horse manure is an excellent quick-to-rot active material which can be added to compost, helping to speed the process up

If there are foods that you simply need to get rid of, there are plenty of ways to do so. For example, here at David Brown Skip Hire, we accept food waste to be recycled in our skips. It’s worth noting that the pricing of this will depend on what other materials are in there with the food. It’s always worth alerting us of what will be going in the skip when you order it.

If you’re looking for a food recycling solution, David Brown Skip Hire can help. We are proud to provide an expert skip hire service to customers throughout Harlow, Epping, Bishop’s Stortford and the surrounding areas. We also offer recycling services for all householdcommercial and industrial waste, so for more information on any of these services, our skip hire, or for any other enquiry, get in touch with our friendly team of experts today and we’ll be happy to help with any queries you may have.

How plastic affects the environment – and how you can help

Cheap to produce, relatively durable and easily shaped into all manner of products, plastic is ubiquitous across the planet. Since the 1950s, humans have produced over 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic, much of which has ended up in landfills across the globe, or strewn across the natural environment. Further, the amount of plastic produced in the first decade of this century will approach the total produced in the entire last century – a scary thought.

In this article, the team at David Brown are going to look at just what all of the plastic is doing to the environment.

Plastic and our oceans

Over eight million tonnes of plastic enters our oceans every year and, by 2050, it is estimated that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, and 99% of all seabirds on the planet will have consumed some plastic. If these statistics don’t scare you, then this one will: it’s thought that the sea contains around 51 trillion microplastic particles, a figure which surpasses the number of stars in our galaxy 500 times over.

What does this mean for sea life?

Plastic isn’t just an eyesore, it’s toxic and can disrupt essential hormones. On top of this, even when plastic isn’t dangerous, it can act like a magnet for a range of other pollutants which can be found around the ocean.

One of the most immediately recognisable problems which plastic has had on our oceans relates to the creatures that live there. To turtles, plastic bags floating around in the water look like jellyfish, and to seagulls, plastic floating around on the surface looks like a potential meal. It should come as no surprise that these animals have no way of digesting this poisonous substance and, as such, marine plastic is known to cause harm to over 600 species of aquatic life.

How can I contribute to the reduction of plastic pollution?

  • Say no to straws: One of the easiest ways to keep plastic out of landfill is to start refusing plastic straws. If you don’t like the idea, then consider buying a metal reusable one.
  • Reusable shopping bags: 1 million plastic bags are used every single minute – but it takes a single plastic bag over 1,000 years to degrade. Purchase some reusable ones and keep using them!
  • Quit chewing gum: Produced from polyvinyl acetate, chewing gum is essentially plastic. It’s also an eyesore which is stuck to so many of our streets. Our advice: skip the chewing gum – and it’s plastic packaging.
  • Use a reputable skip hire company for home improvement projects: Whether it’s plastic or any other acceptable material, we aim to recycle all of the waste you dispose of in our skips, so you can rest assured you’re not damaging the environment.

If you’re worried about recycling your plastic, we can help. Here at David Brown Skip Hire, we are proud to provide an expert skip hire service to customers throughout Harlow, Epping, Bishop’s Stortford and the surrounding areas. We also offer recycling services for all householdcommercial and industrial waste, so for more information on any of these services, our skip hire, or for any other enquiry, get in touch with our friendly team of experts today and we’ll be happy to help with any queries you may have.

How to dispose of electronics, phones and gadgets

Mobile phones, laptops, tablets – if your beloved electronic device has bitten the dust, don’t simply throw it away. Electronic waste, or WEEE items, contain harmful substances, such as toxic metals and chemicals which can cause serious issues if disposed of incorrectly.

Instead, they require careful treatment and specialist disposal. In this article we’ll cover how not to throw away your past-it gadgets, and instead guide you on the legal and safe ways in which to lay your electronics to rest.

Can I put electronics in a skip?

Skips are safe, convenient choices for disposing of a diverse range of waste. However, electronic waste cannot be legally disposed of in a skip. Fortunately, there are several other routes you can go down to easily rid yourselves of electrical waste in a legally-compliant, environmentally-conscious manner.

How to Dispose of Electronics, Phones and Gadgets?

Recycle It: Waste-free, green-living is big news at the moment, and this influence extends to electronic items too. Recycling is the most common, and responsible, way to dispose of your gadgets whilst giving them a second lease of life. You may now be wondering; how do I recycle my electrical item?

The WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) governs how countries should approach recycling electronic items, with the aim being to avoid wasteful and harmful disposal. The good news is that almost all electrical items with a plug, charger or battery can be recycled at recycling centres across the country; a quick internet search should reveal your local options.

Alternatively, some manufacturers offer their own recycling schemes, and going down this path could potentially reward you with perks or discounts in the future.

Donate It: Whether your device still works or not, there may be willing volunteers to take them off your hands. This could be as simple as gifting it to a family member or friend. It may also be worth checking with charities or NGOs to see if they run second-hand electronic schemes which will help your device make a difference to someone’s life.

Sell It: If you want to make some extra cash off the back of your old electronics, the capacity to do so is at your fingertips. Websites such as eBay and Gumtree have made flogging your second-hand goods a simple process that anybody with a computer can accomplish.

A final note: Whichever method you choose, always remember to remove any personal data or details from your electronic devices before disposing of them.

Here at David Brown Skip Hire, we’re dedicated to easy and responsible waste disposal. We arrange permits and offer fast delivery and collection of all our skips, and are proud to be Environment Agency approved. So, for reliable and flexible skip hire across Essex and Hertfordshire, get in touch with our helpful team today.

How To Properly Load A Skip – with infographic!

Whether you’re renovating your home or clearing out your commercial premises, make the most of your hired skip by learning how to load it with safety and space-saving in mind. In this simple guide, we’ll show you some helpful tips on how to properly load a skip to make the most of your hired vessel, and how to adhere to regulations.

You can also download this skip loading guide as an infographic!


Hire the Right Size Skip

Always be realistic with the size of skip you require. It can be tempting to go for a cheaper, smaller skip, but underestimation will not save you money in the long run if you have to hire out a second skip to fit all your waste into. Our skip sizes guide can help you decide the size of skip you need.


Health & Safety

Don’t put your health at risk when loading a skip, and always follow best practices for correct lifting and carrying, such as not bending your back when lifting and keeping the load close to your waist. More tips can be found online.


Check for Forbidden Materials

Legally, there are certain items that are forbidden from skips, including asbestos, hazardous chemicals, flammable items, batteries, and more.


Move the Waste Closer

If possible, before the skip is delivered try to position the waste close to the intended location of the skip. This will make skip loading faster and more efficient.


Don’t Overfill

Overfilling a skip is an illegal practice, and one that could land you with a fine if discovered. Consequently most skip hire companies will not be able to collect skips that are overflowing above the top lip of the container.


Consider Weight

Any flat materials should go into the skip first to provide a platform. After that comes heavier, bulkier items, finishing with lighter items on top. This way, you’ll be able to fit more into the restricted space.


Break Down Items

Just like when you dispose of household waste in the bin, break down or crush any items you can. For example, flatten cardboard boxes and disassemble any furniture to aid space-conservation.


Load Smartly

Should you fill your skip too quickly from careless loading, you will find yourself having to hire out a second vessel. Save yourself money by loading your skip smartly, and fit pieces together like a puzzle, being sure to fill in all gaps.

Here at David Brown, we offer premier skip hire and recycling services to homeowners and businesses alike. Our specialists can offer a range of skip sizes, and are also happy to give some friendly advice on how to load your skip. Get in touch today to find out more about our services.

Rule Changes at Essex Recycling Centres – What Does It Mean for You?

October 2016 saw the arrival of new rules and regulations for recycling centres in Essex, impacting local businesses and residents. It is now a criminal offence for commercial, DIY and construction waste to be deposited at certain centres, with a further restriction on the types of vehicles that are allowed access. Read on for further details of these changes, and to explore the possible alternatives for you and your business.

What are the new Recycling Centre rules?

  • Commercial waste from businesses has been banned at many centres. Business waste is classified as any waste produced from ‘man-in-a-van’ schemes, shops, tradesmen, mobile businesses, and landlords.
  • Though household waste is still accepted, DIY and construction waste has been prohibited, even when produced by a domestic property. DIY materials include: soil, ceramics, fitted kitchen and bathroom units, plasterboard, uPVC doors and windows.
  • Vehicle restrictions have also been put in place. Anybody arriving at the recycling centre in a van, truck, or pickup truck will be turned away.
  • Whilst some centres in Essex have put total bans in place including Waltham Abbey, Chigwell, Mountnessing and others, some centres have only partial restrictions on the regularity and amount of waste permitted. Harlow and Ongar centres, for example, limit customers to just three wheelbarrow loads of soil, plasterboard and hardcore within 28 days, and have strict limitations on uPVC fixtures, ceramic toilets and kitchen fittings. Contact your local recycling centre to find out how they have been affected.

Anyone found breaking these rules may face a considerable fine of up to £50,000.Why have these new rules been made?

Historically, Council recycling centres are mainly intended for homeowners to deposit their household waste. However, many businesses have begun using these sites to avoid paying waste disposal costs. This has resulted in taxpayers paying higher disposal costs for this Council-run service, along with experiencing longer queues to enter the sites, thereby reducing the convenience and efficiency of the process.

The ban has come into force to prevent commercial businesses disposing their waste, and therefore preventing the congestion they cause. This will hopefully lead to smoother operation of recycling centres, allowing the focus to be shifted back to providing a service for homeowners.

Problems with the rule changesThere are fears that these restrictions will further contribute to the already increasing fly-tipping problem in Essex. Recently, a local landlord complained to the Council because the rules restricted his ability to dispose of garden waste from his multiple properties. He stated that he is worried that these new rules will lead landlords down the path of fly-tipping. Indeed, since the rules were put in place, it could be argued that they have already influenced the rise in illegal dumping cases throughout the Essex county. For a more in-depth exploration of this, see our article on the subject: Fly-tipping in Essex.

What’s the solution?

It’s more simple than you think to deal with waste from your business. Skips are a low cost option to manage and store waste, and also offer the convenience of delivery and collection to and from your Essex premises. With a huge range of skip sizes available, there’s an option perfect for every project, from small-scale refurbishments to large-scale construction ventures. Skip hire companies, such as David Brown, can arrange permits for you to make the process easy.

Have you been affected by the recycling centre changes? For affordable and reliable waste management solutions in Essex, look no further than David Brown. We are Environment Agency-approved, qualified to deal with different quantities and types of waste, including commercial, household and industrial. Call us today for a first-rate service or simply to get some friendly advice.

Fly-Tipping in Essex: The recent rise of incidents

For the third year in a row, cases of national fly-tipping have increased significantly, with the BBC News stating that a case of fly-tipping is reported 107 times every hour. According to DEFRA, councils across England have reported 936,090 cases of fly-tipping in the year of 2015-2016, costing a rough total of £49.8 million a year to clear up.

Essex has faced particular problems with fly-tipping, to the point where rubbish has frequently been found blocking roads and scattered across farmers’ fields on an industrial scale. Cases have also been reported across Harlow of citizens dumping their waste on footpaths, roads, and communal stairwells.

Earlier this year, a cleaning company in Epping was fined a hefty sum of £5,000 after being found guilty of fly-tipping. It was thought that the error was made when the company had given the waste to a ‘man with a van’ scheme without checking if they had a waste disposal licence. Business owners are now being encouraged to review the credentials of any independent waste removal companies to prevent their waste being illegally dumped and facing the consequences.

Councils deal with fly-tipping by responding to reports, visiting the location to collect evidence, and pursuing lines of enquiry. If discovered, those responsible will be prosecuted and fined or imprisoned. Though even when prosecuted, some of the accused are neglecting to address the consequences of their actions; one case reported in Harlow of prosecuted fly-tippers failing to pay their fines, which totalled over £1,300.

Why do people fly-tip?

Several reasons have been put forward to try and make sense of why people engage in fly-tipping.

  • Avoiding financial responsibilities, such as waste disposal costs and landfill tax, is thought to be the main reason. Sums are usually calculated by taking into account the weight and type of the material, which may explain why it’s often bulkier materials that are abandoned.
  • It is thought that the recent changes to rules at Essex recycling centres may have worsened the problem, with many centres no longer accepting DIY waste such as soil, dismantled kitchens/bathrooms, doors, windows, ceramics, and plasterboard, and many no longer admitting certain vehicles onto the premises. Some Essex centres will accept these materials, but be imposing new restrictions on the amount that can be disposed of. To find out more about this, read our full article: Changes to Essex recycling centres.

Problems caused by fly-tipping

  • Blockage: There have been occasions of dumped rubbish blocking roads, pathways, and preventing people from accessing buildings. This inconveniences local people, but can also hinder the emergency services who are attending urgent calls.
  • Asbestos/hazardous waste: There have been occasions when fly-tipped waste has contained highly dangerous substances, such as asbestos, toxic waste and hazardous chemicals; these all have the potential to be harmful to humans, water sources, soil health, and the welfare of wildlife.
  • Council costs: Clearing away illegally deposited rubbish is a costly business, resulting in millions of extra pounds of taxpayers’ money being redirected to cover these expenses. By this logic, fly-tipping does not save the instigators any money, as their own Council tax rates will be covering these increased costs.
  • Environmental damage: Certain dumped materials, such as plastic bags, are not easily degradable due to their inorganic composition, resulting in slow decomposition. Fly-tipped waste can also attract wildlife that bring diseases with them.

What’s the solution?  

Skip hire is an excellent waste management solution for both homeowners and business managers alike, and companies such as David Brown Skip Hire can help with this.

Benefits include:

  • Containing your waste in one place
  • Convenience of being located on or close to your premises
  • Easy deposition and collection of the vessel by the skip hire company
  • Skip permits organised on your behalf
  • Range of skip sizes available

Don’t fall foul to fly-tipping: take advantage of the simple resolution of skip hire by contacting the team at David Brown today. Serving a wide area of Essex and Hertfordshire, the specialists at David Brown can provide a local, reliable service of both domestic and commercial skips for any customer. We aim to make rental as simple as possible, managing a range of waste types and using our 30 years of experience to deliver an expert service. Get in touch today to talk to one of our friendly advisers or to book your skip.

How to reduce waste in the workplace

Running a business incorporates a lot of responsibility, and ensuring you run your company in an environmentally-friendly way is one of them. Here we’ve created an infographic of some methods of reducing waste in the workplace, in order to keep your commercial waste down.

David Brown Skip Hire are proud to provide first-class skip hire service for all of our customers. We are committed to working in a professional, environmentally-friendly way, providing customer satisfaction every time. For more information, get in touch with us today.

Download this guide as a PDF

Moving House? Hire a Skip!

Moving house: one of life’s most exciting and stressful experiences. With a seemingly insurmountable checklist of jobs and tasks that need completing before you even step foot in your new home, it can be easy to fall victim to a convoluted, drawn-out process that saps all energy and enthusiasm out of you. However, there are a few steps you can take to make the move smoother for all involved, and one of those is the hiring of a skip.

Skips help organisation

While a skip is not exactly the symbol of organisation in itself, often filled with a wide variety of items, utilising one for your unwanted possessions can be incredibly helpful. It is common that a lot of people discover they have much more unwanted household items than they thought, which can result in many piles of junk.With a skip, this is no longer a problem.

Skips are time-saving compared to the tip

If you have bags and bags of things to throw away, then it means taking several trips to the tip to dispose of it all. With a skip, these repeated journeys are eliminated. Not only is this convenient for you, it is also helpful to the environment, and saves you money on fuel costs.

Skips are cost-effective

Using a skip for things that you want to move to your new home can save you money – as it is all housed in one container, it means you won’t need as big a removal truck or van, and you won’t need to keep going back and forth between your old and new homes.

Skip hiring tips

When choosing and using a skip, there are a few things that you should keep in mind in order to make the most out of your choice.

  • Ensure that the skip is large enough for your needs – for household and garden waste, a skip measuring 4 cubic yards can hold around 16 bin bags.
  • For larger items, from furniture to appliances, you will obviously need a larger skip. A 16 cubic yard skip provides ample space for bulky items. Take a look at our skip sizes guide.
  • Always shred any documents that may contain sensitive or valuable information before you dispose of them.
  • Ensure that you use the services of a company who are committed to recycling and making the most out of your unwanted items.

At David Brown Skip Hire, we are proud to provide a comprehensive range of high-quality skips for all your waste disposal needs. If you would like to know more, please feel free to get in touch with us today and we’ll be more than happy to help.

How to get the most out of hiring your skip

When hiring a skip, it is important to know how to get the best use possible out of it so you do not need to hire another one and incur unnecessary costs. Here, we run through some of the simple things you can do to ensure that you get the most out of your skip when you hire one.

Pick the right size skip to hire

It goes without saying that there is little merit in hiring a skip that is simply too small to fulfill your needs. Instead, make sure you are realistic in your calculations when choosing which size of skip to hire. Make sure you get a skip that is big enough for you to rid your property of all the waste you want to throw away so you do not have to hire another one shortly after.

Load lighter debris into your skip first

By placing lighter debris into your skip first, you will create a more space efficient process. Small items can be compacted down when larger ones are placed on top of them, creating more room for a larger quantity of waste and debris to fit into the single skip.

Break up larger items

Not only should you place larger items on top of smaller debris in the skip, but you should also try to break up the larger goods to make more room within your skip. By cutting up these items, you will create more available space in the skip before it reaches its fill limit. We have more tips for safely and effectively loading a skip, take a look!

Do not overfill your skip

There is never an excuse for overfilling your skip, and indeed skip companies’ collection drivers may well refuse to to collect the skip. Not only this, but prior to collection, the skip could pose a serious threat to health and safety if it is overflowing with heavy objects that could knock into or fall on passers by. Instead, make sure you keep the waste within the skip below the fill limit rather than running the risk of being stuck with your full skip and it not getting collected.

With all of these considerations in mind, it is important to have a clear picture in your mind of exactly what you intend to place into the skip you intend to hire. By planning what you wish to place into it, you will not only be able to pick the right size of skip, but you will have an idea of what order you can place your waste into the skip in, making for a space-saving, efficient process.

Here at David Brown Skip Hire, we are proud to provide an expert skip hire service to customers throughout Harlow, Epping, Bishop’s Stortford and the surrounding areas. We also offer recycling services for all household, commercial and industrial waste, so for more information on any of these services, our skip hire, or for any other enquiry, get in touch with our friendly team of experts today and we’ll be happy to help with any queries you may have.

The dangers of rubbish and waste mounting up

Households produce large amounts of waste on a daily basis, and it is no surprise that this waste can quickly mount up, leading to dangerous amounts of rubbish forming unsightly, unhygienic collections. Here, we run through some of the more apparent dangers of rubbish and waste mounting up at any premises.


Rubbish building up can attract a range of pests including vermin and insects, all of which can spread infection and make for an extremely unpleasant environment within your outdoors area.

Fire hazard

A lot of household waste is flammable, so by simply letting it pile up in your garden or outdoors space, you run the risk of creating a serious fire hazard at your property.


When large amounts of waste are collected in one area, due to both the nature of the waste and the large numbers of pest and vermin, piles of waste really are a breeding ground for harmful bacteria which can spread into a wider area in your property’s outside space.

Unsightly and smelly

Some of the more superficial aspects, the unsightly appearance and unpleasant smell of rubbish piles are also valid reasons for removing rubbish piles before they grow too large and take over your space.

If you are experiencing a waste pile-up at your property, why not hire a skip in which you can dispose of all your rubbish and have it taken away, freeing up your space and giving you total peace of mind. Skips are quick and easy to hire without costing the earth, and can provide a simple solution to your waste disposal problems.

Here at David Brown Skip Hire, we are proud to provide an expert skip hire service to customers throughout Harlow, Epping, Bishop’s Stortford and the surrounding areas. We also offer recycling services for all household, commercial and industrial waste, so for any more information on these services, our skip hire, or for any other enquiry, get in touch with our friendly team of experts today and we’ll be happy to help with any queries you may have.

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