How to Reduce Waste This Christmas

Christmas is the time where we all gather with our loved ones to celebrate, with gifts, food, and festivities. It’s often a time for indulgence and luxury – however, with this extravagance often comes a lot of waste which ends up in landfill.

However, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy Christmas also vastly reduce the waste and rubbish that’s produced by the celebrations. Our tips can help you to reduce waste this Christmas. 

Reduce Food Waste

You’ll likely enjoy many fantastic meals around Christmas – but did you know, around two million turkeys and 17 million Brussel sprouts are thrown away every year at Christmas? Many people buy more food than they need in fear of running out over the festive period with family visiting, but this just inevitably creates more waste.

The solution is to plan your meals carefully and only buy what you need. If you have leftovers, make sure you plan to use them, with turkey sandwiches or Boxing Day turkey curry. You can also make various soups and sauces from vegetable leftovers. If you’re not able to use your leftovers straight away, you can freeze them, or put them on the compost heap. When you buy food, you should aim to purchase groceries with minimal plastic packaging. And always make sure to take your reusable bags with you to the shops!

Reduce Waste from Christmas Cards

It’s estimated that around one billion Christmas cards will be thrown away once the festivities are over. Instead of sending a physical card to your loved ones, you could send an e-card instead. You could make a donation to charity with the money you save buying and posting Christmas cards, and you could encourage your friends and family to do the same.

If you do receive any cards, you should recycle them where possible. Not every card will be recyclable, as cards that have glitter on them aren’t suitable for recycling. You could reuse these for Christmas arts and crafts, maybe by making decorations for next year.

Reduce Waste from Christmas Gifts

Part of the joy of Christmas is buying gifts for your loved ones and seeing the look on their faces when they open just what they always wanted. However, it’s estimated that shoppers spend around £700 million each year on gifts that are unwanted, with these items going to waste.

Don’t be afraid to regift items that you may have previously received but don’t use – your Auntie might love that slow cooker that you’ve never used. You should also look around charity shops instead of buying brand new items. A good alternative to buying a present that might go to waste is to buy experience gifts instead, like bungee jumping or a meal out at a nice restaurant.

Reduce Waste from Christmas Wrapping

Wrapping up your Christmas presents with beautiful wrapping paper and ribbons is all part of the Christmas experience. However, much of the standard wrapping paper that’s used for gifts contain plastics and isn’t recyclable – so it all ends up in the landfill.

Many shops are now offering recyclable wrapping paper, made from brown paper, and you can even get recyclable sellotape. You can decorate brown paper packages with some natural winter foliage, foraged from your local woodland for an extra Christmas flourish. Alternatively, you can buy reusable fabric wrapping which you can use again and again every Christmas.

 

Away With It knows how important it is to reduce waste that goes to landfill. That’s why we reuse and recycle 80% of the rubbish we collect, either taking it to the relevant recycling centre or donate useable items to charity.

Contact us for waste removal services in Essex and London, including house clearance, garden waste removal, and commercial waste removal.

End of Tenancy Checklist for Tenants

Moving is often a complicated process and for tenants moving out of rented property, there are even more steps that need to be taken. Our below checklist can help tenants to move out and make sure everything has been taken care of.

Find Your Documents

When you know you’ll be moving out of your rented accommodation, the first thing you should do is locate your documents. You should find and read your tenancy agreement and the inventory that would have been given to you at the beginning of your tenancy.

The tenancy agreement will state how much notice you’ll have to give, which is usually at least one month. If you’re in a fixed-term tenancy and you’re ending it early, the agreement will set out what steps need to be taken to do this.

The inventory will describe the condition of the property when you moved in, so you’ll know how you’ll have to leave it when you move out. 

Notify the Landlord and Utilities

The first person you’ll have to notify when you move out of rented accommodation is the landlord. This is especially important if you are in a fixed-term tenancy that you are ending early, as you may need to negotiate the terms to end the tenancy.

Once you have confirmed with your landlord, you will then need to notify the utility providers, like electric, water, and gas. They will need to know the date you will be moving out and some providers may need meter readings given on this end date. You’ll also need to inform the council that you won’t be paying council tax for that property after your moving date.

Update Your Address

Once you have your new accommodation arranged, you should update any organisation that holds your personal details with your new address. This will include your bank, doctors, employer, insurance companies, the DVLA, the HMRC, and friends and family.

You might also want to set up a post redirection through Royal Mail, so any mail that gets sent to your old address will be automatically forwarded to your new address.

Remove Your Belongings

You will need to make sure all your belongings are removed from the property before your end of tenancy date. If your landlord has to remove anything that belongs to you or isn’t in the inventory, you may lose some or all of your deposit. You will have to make sure every room and cupboard is cleared, including the loft, garden shed, and garage if your property has them.

If you have been living somewhere for a long time, it can be easy for items to accumulate. It may be that you have a lot of things that you don’t want to bring with you to your new property. You could find it helpful to hire a professional waste removal company like Away With It to assist with house clearance or garage clearance. We can make your move hassle-free, by removing any items that can’t be left in the property and disposing of them or recycling them. We can get rid of a single item or multiple loads, so no matter what you have left in your rented home, we can make sure it’s taken away. We’ll even sweep up when we’re done, so you’ll have less cleaning to do for your end-of-tenancy.

Clean and Repairs

Once the property is empty, you can start on the repairs and deep cleaning. Depending on your inventory, you may need to go around the rooms and make minor repairs, like filling in holes in the wall where you’ve put picture hooks or painting a wall back to its original colour. The number of repairs and decoration amendments you’ll need to make will depend on what consent you had from your landlord when you did any decorating, and what the terms of the tenancy agreement are. 

You’ll also have to deep clean the property before you leave. Cleaning is a common reason that deposits are disputed at the end of tenancies, so you’ll want to ensure a thorough job is done. You do not have to hire a professional cleaning company to do this, but you might find it beneficial as they will likely have experience with end of tenancy cleaning, so will know exactly what needs to be done. If you do hire a cleaning company, make sure to keep any receipts. Some letting agencies may have a cleaning company that they can recommend, which can help to save deposit disputes. However, you will not have to use their recommended company if you prefer not to.

Final Inspection

You should always attend the final inspection and check-out inventory, which usually happens a few days before your end of tenancy date. The landlord or letting agent will walk around the property and check the condition matches the check-in inventory. If anything looks to be wrong, you may have to discuss this with your landlord or letting agent, or you may lose some of your deposit if a repair or removal needs to be done.

You should also take your own photos once your items have been removed, any repairs have been completed, and the deep cleaning has been done. You can then use these as evidence if there are any deposit disputes.

Lock Up and Return Keys

On your final day of the tenancy, you should make sure all the doors and windows are locked when you leave, including the back door, the shed, and the garage if there is one. You should leave any instruction manuals for appliances that are being left are in an obvious place for the next tenant to find. You should then return the keys to the landlord or letting agent, as instructed in your end of tenancy terms.  

Update Rental Standing Order

The last thing you’ll need to do when you end a tenancy is to update your bank when the final rent payment has been sent from your account. You will usually have the rent on a continuous standing order, which means that the payment will continue to send unless you cancel it yourself.

 

If you’re moving out of your property and need help to remove unwanted items, Away With It can help. We provide Romford house clearance, Ilford house clearance, and waste removal services all across Essex and the surrounding areas. Contact us to talk to our expert waste removal team members about how we can help with your house clearance.  

5 Top Tips for Downsizing Your Home

There are many reasons you might be downsizing your home. You might just need less space, or you might want to save money. Downsizing your home can be a great way of reducing the time and cost that goes into bigger properties. If you don’t need lots of space, living in a smaller home can also be much less stressful when you have less to deal with.

Whatever your reason for downsizing, we’ve found some top tips to effectively declutter before you downsize, so you’ll be ready for your move.

Start Decluttering in Plenty of Time

Decluttering your home can be overwhelming, so you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to work through it at a pace that you’re comfortable with. You’ll want to start at least three months before you’re due to move, but you can never really start too early! Ideally, you’ll have the majority of the decluttering done before the last month prior to your move, so you can focus on the admin that comes with moving knowing that the decluttering has been dealt with.

It might be helpful to start thinking about the bigger pieces of furniture, like beds and sofas, first. This way, if you come across any delays then you won’t have to waste money moving these bigger items to your new property.

Get Clear Measurements of Your New Home

You’ll need to have a clear idea of how big each room is in your new home, so you know exactly what furniture will fit in it. Inspect the floorplan and, if possible, take your own measurements if you have an opportunity to walk around before you move in officially. This way you’ll know whether your current sofa, bed, or dining table will fit in the new place, or whether you’ll need to purchase something new.

If you find that you have to buy new furniture to fit in the new rooms, you might find it beneficial to wait until you’ve moved in, if possible. This will save any mistakes with sizes, as you’ll know precisely what space you have and what will fit.

Work Through Room by Room

Break down your decluttering so you can just take one room at a time. Decluttering a whole house is overwhelming, so this can help to make it less intimidating. It can help to make a schedule for when you will take on each room, but you shouldn’t worry too much if you don’t stick to this too rigidly.

You might find that some rooms take longer than others. If you have a lot of clothes, you might need some time to sort through them to only bring the items that you’ll want to wear again. If you have a lot of kitchen and cooking items, you might find it takes a bit more time to work out what you can fit in the new kitchen and what you could probably do without.

It can be helpful to make an inventory of all your belongings before you start packing. This can help to clearly see what you have, what will need to be moved with you, and what you need to get rid of.

Set Your Rules for Unwanted Items

Once you know what items you’ll be keeping and what you no longer need, you’ll want to work out what you can do with the unwanted items. The options you have will be:

  • Donate/sell
  • Pass on to loved ones
  • Trash/recycle

If you have pieces of furniture or other items that are still in good working order, but just aren’t what you need anymore, you can donate them to charity or sell them to someone else. If you have sentimental items that you don’t want to keep yourself, you could ask your loved ones if they want to keep hold of them instead.

Sometimes you’ll have items that hold no sentimental value and won’t be of use to anyone else. In this instance, you’ll want to put them in the rubbish or have them recycled. If you have particularly large items or a lot of items that need to be trashed, it might be easier to hire house clearance professionals to help you.

At Away With It, we offer house clearance in Essex and the surrounding areas, making your house decluttering easy and hassle-free. We can take all types of junk from all types of property and can help to clear away one item or a whole household’s worth. We also recycle 80% of the waste that we remove, through donating the items or taking it to the right licences recycling centre.

Think About Your New Lifestyle

When you’re deciding what you want and need in your new property, you shouldn’t just think about the space you’ll have. You should also think about your new lifestyle and what you’ll want from your new home. It may be that you have items that will fit but that you actually don’t use anymore. Or it may be that you have some items that can be replaced with a more practical and useful alternative.

As you declutter your home, you should think about why you’re downsizing and what your goals are for your new home. If you’re looking to spend less time maintaining your new home, get rid of items that require more maintenance. If you want more space, find alternative items that have multiple uses, and get rid of those items that only have one purpose. When you have a clear idea of what you want from your life in your new home, you’ll be able to easily decide what needs to go and what can stay.

 

If you’re downsizing your home or just wanting to declutter your current home so you have more space, Away With It can help. We offer Essex house clearance and house clearance across the surrounding areas. We’re fully licensed and insured waste carriers, offering a professional service in Essex and across London. Contact us to speak to our friendly and knowledgeable team about how we can help with your house clearance today.

7 DIY Projects for the Weekend

Whatever the weather, a free weekend is the perfect time to tackle some of those tasks around the house that you might have been putting off.

Below are some easy DIY projects that you can get finished over the weekend. Remember that preparation is key, so plan out what you’ll need and get to the shops early to avoid the rush!

Improve the Kerb Appeal

If the weather stays dry, use the opportunity to smarten up your front garden or entrance way. Remove any weeds from your driveway and path, mow the lawn and tidy up any flower beds or hanging baskets.

You could even paint your door a fresh new colour. Make sure to prime and sand your door first, before applying a couple of coats. It’s a simple and effective way of smartening up the entrance of your home.

Clean Up the Garden

After a summer of kids playing in the garden and al fresco dining, your garden might be looking a bit worse for wear. Use the weekend to give it a good going over, trimming bushes and tidying flower beds. Sweep up any leaves that have begun to fall, to get ahead of the autumn deluge.

Give your outdoor furniture a clean so it’s ready to be put away when winter comes. You could also use this opportunity to treat your furniture so it’s winter-ready if you’re unable to cover it or put it away. If you can get hold of a jet wash, you could also clean the patio or decking.

If you need garden waste removal, Away With It are insured and licensed professional waste experts and can quicky and efficiently remove any rubbish from your garden.

Upcycle Some Furniture

If you have some old furniture that’s seen better days, you might be able to revamp it into something fresh. You could paint a coffee table, or use vinyl wrap to jazz it up. A simple sanding and colour change can bring new life into something you thought was past its best.

You could even upcycle an old chest of drawers into a planter for your garden. This tutorial can show you how.

If you have furniture that you no longer need and you aren’t able to upcycle, it may be time to get rid of it. Away With It provides Essex house clearance services in the Essex the London areas, and we can remove one item or a whole household’s worth – no job is too big or too small!

Clean out the Garage

You might have spent the year gradually filling up your garage with items to “sort out later”. Now is the time to finally organise your garage properly and get rid of anything you don’t use or need.

Away With It offer a fast and convenient garage clearance service, so we can take away all of the items you no longer want taking up space in your garage. We even provide an eco-friendly waste recycling service, with 95% of the waste we collect being reused or recycled.

Touch Up the Paintwork

You probably have little bits of scuffed and marked paintwork around the house. Giving them a touch up can really refresh a room. Skirting boards and door frames can especially show wear and tear and you’ll be surprised how much a coat of paint can really brighten up a room.

If you fancy a bigger job than just touch ups, you could pick one room to repaint completely, to really give it a facelift. Lighter shades will help to make a room feel bigger, and bold colours can make a room quite striking.

Put Up Shelves

If you’re struggling for storage in a room, putting up shelves can be a great solution. You can free up surface space quickly and easily with shelves and arranging them stylishly will help to bring the room together.

Pick a colour to complement the furniture you already have, or you can even paint your shelves the same colour as your walls.

Hang Some Photos

With so many photos on our phones, it can be easy to forget to get any printed and put up. Use the weekend to go through your photos and find the best ones to print and hang.

Find the right frames to match your room and try to get your frames in the same colour for a sleek look. Photos can be a great way to overhaul a hallway or stairway, where the walls are usually left bare.

 

If you’re taking on a DIY project this weekend, Away With It can help with your waste removal. Whether you’re clearing the house, garage, or garden, we can cater for any type of property to remove your waste safely and effectively. Contact us today for a quote.

How to Live a Zero Waste Lifestyle

In the most recent study, it was estimated that UK households generated around 26 million tonnes of waste in 2019, 54% of which went to landfill sites. This waste contributes to the pollution of the air and water, affecting the eco-system and impacting climate change. A lot of waste ends up in the ocean, with plastic waste threatening marine life and, as a result, our health too.

There are easy steps we can all take to reduce the amount of rubbish we produce. Whilst living a zero waste lifestyle doesn’t happen immediately, changing some of your habits now can make a real difference.

Writer and activist Bea Johnson put forward the below five principles of living a zero waste lifestyle:

  • Refuse what you don’t need
  • Reduce what you do use
  • Reuse what you can
  • Recycle where possible
  • Rot what’s left

By implementing these five principles, you can start working towards living more sustainably. Below are some habits that you can change today for a zero waste lifestyle.

Food Shopping

When you go shopping, make sure to take reusable bags. If you already have a stash of plastic bags in the house, make sure to take them with you when you next go shopping. If you don’t already have bags you can use, you can buy reusable fabric bags – try to make sure they’re from a sustainable source.

Lots of food will be wrapped in plastic. Where possible, buy loose fruit and veg and use a reusable produce bag, rather than buying pre-packaged food. If it’s available to you, use the deli, fishmonger and butchers to buy your produce, or shop at a local farmers’ market.

Clothes

You will have probably already heard about the damage fast-fashion is doing to the environment, as well as the human impact. Do your research before you purchase and buy clothes from companies that have extensive sustainability policies.

The best way to shop sustainably is to buy second-hand and vintage clothes, as these items are already in the waste stream. You should avoid shopping online if possible – clothes will often be delivered in a lot of plastic packaging. Shopping locally will also reduce the carbon footprint of your clothes’ journey.

Don’t just throw out your clothes if they have a small rip or tear. Clothes that might be damaged can often easily be fixed. This can greatly extend the lifespan of your item and mean you don’t need to buy something new.

In the Kitchen

An easy way to reduce food waste is to compost what you can. If you don’t have a garden, you can get an indoor compost system. Some local authorities will pick up food waste as they do with other household waste and recycling. If not, you might have a place in the area that you can drop your compost off at, who can make use of it.

Rather than buying plastic food containers to store your leftovers, look for stainless steel or glass. Think about what you might already have in the kitchen – if you have bought food in glass jars, you can wash and reuse the container once the contents have been used. Plan your meals in advance and make sure to use up your leftovers so they don’t go to waste.

You can also purchase reusable silicone bags rather than single-use food bags and reusable waxed fabric food wrap to use instead of cling film or foil. Make sure to use up what you already have in the cupboards before buying something new.

In the Bathroom

If you can, buy your toiletries, like shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel, in bulk. You can get glass containers to decant bigger bottles into, so they’re still handy and accessible. Alternatively, you can now buy a lot of toiletries in bar format. This massively reduces the plastic waste, sometimes eliminating it completely, depending on where you buy it. 

Many personal care products are made of plastic. However, there are usually more sustainable alternatives available. You can get a bamboo toothbrush to replace your plastic one. You can also get stainless steel safety razors instead of plastic. Many companies will also organise recycling of razor heads, so they don’t end up in landfill. 

On the Go

If you’re leaving the house, make sure to always take a reusable coffee cup, bamboo cutlery, a metal straw, reusable water bottle and reusable bags. This way you’ll be prepared for any eventuality and should be able to avoid having to use anything that will go straight in the bin when you’re out and about.

Prepare your food where you can before you go out. If you want or need to buy food when you’re out, look for establishments which sell food in sustainable, recyclable, or compostable packaging.

 

Away With It knows how important it is to live sustainably. That’s why we reuse or recycle, on average, 95% of the waste that we collect. Good quality items are donated to charity and the rest is disposed of in the most environmentally friendly manner possible. Contact us today to get a quote for our eco-friendly waste recycling service.

5 Top Tips for Downsizing Your Office

When office workers started working from home during lockdown we saw how productivity could continue outside of the workplace. Now, as flexible and remote working become more popular, 45% of businesses do not expect all their employees to be located in the office at the same time and 37% of senior decision-makers plan to relocate to a smaller commercial space to accommodate this new way of working. Downsizing can cut costs associated with larger office space, whilst also maintaining a central hub for employees to use together.

Ask your employees what they need

A good place to start when downsizing your office is to ask your employees what they need from a workspace. Your team may prefer an open-plan office for ease of collaboration. Some employees may prefer private office spaces so they can concentrate better or make phonecalls that they don’t want overheard. If your team need both, you can achieve this by utilising meeting rooms and breakout rooms as private spaces for individuals to use when needed.

You should also think about how many employees you will want in the office at one time. Some people will prefer to carry on remote working some of the time and others will be keen to return to the office full time. Speak to your employees to find out their preferences and make a plan that works best for your buisness and your team. 

Find the right location

Moving office could be a great opportunity to find a better location for your workplace. You could find that you no longer need to be located in a city centre, as less people are coming in every day. So, you can move to a more rural location where costs may be lower. Alternatively, you could move closer to a transport hub to reduce the commute for your employees so they can maintain the improved work-life balance they found during the pandemic. You can also consider if your new office will be accessible by bike, for the employees who might still want to avoid public transport.

Make your workspace more efficient

Now is the time to really consider how much space each employee needs. There could be many ways that you could use space more efficiently so you can properly downsize your office.

You could currently be using desks that are too large – if an individual is just using two thin monitors and a keyboard, they probably don’t need a very deep desk. You could also use desks that are easy to move around and space out or group together, so you can adapt the workspace to what you need at the time.

Think about how many printers you actually need for your team. As we utilise technology more and more, you may find your need for printing reduces. The same can be said for all those filing cabinets – do you need to store hard copies of documents, or can you implement an electronic document filing system? This will reduce the amount of floor space you need just for storing documents. Read our guide to reduce office waste for more tips to reduce paper usage.

Remember safety precautions

Regulations around social distancing and sanitisation are still fluctuating so it’s best to be prepared for all possibilities. You will also find that your employees will have different personal preferences to how much they want to keep social distancing. So, it’s good to not completely condense your desks, so you can allow for individuals to spread out if needed. 

As people continue to remote work, you might not need desks for 100% of your employees 100% of the time. You can still allow for social distancing measures in a smaller space by having desks set up for less than the full capacity team.

Get rid of what you don’t need

After a lot of time in one location, all sorts of assorted office junk can pile up. Downsizing is a great opportunity to finally have a proper clear out so your new office can be a productive working environment.

Away With It can help with your office clearance to remove your old equipment, furniture and rubbish. We can properly remove confidential paperwork that you no longer need and also safely dispose of your electrical equipment, like computers, printers and fax machines.  With our help, you can start fresh in your new place and with the knowledge that all your space is being used efficiently.

How to Get Rid of Japanese Knotweed

Japanese knotweed was originally brought to Britain as an ornamental garden plant but has since been classified as an invasive non-native species. It is now seen as one of the most difficult weeds to deal with. The plant is tightly regulated with legislation in place to keep it controlled. It can cause a huge problem for homeowners and gardeners, but with our guide you can properly remove it from your garden.

How to identify Japanese Knotweed

Japanese knotweed is a perennial weed, meaning it will lie dormant over the winter but regrow every summer. It grows in bamboo-like canes, with purple spots. Light green, heart-shaped leaves about 14cm long grow from the stems. These are then followed by creamy-white flowers in late summer or early autumn.

It’s important to identify your plant correctly. Japanese knotweed can be similar in appearance to other plants, such as Russian vine and Himalayan honeysuckle. Some of these other plants can be difficult to deal with but aren’t as invasive and won’t need as robust methods for removal.

What’s the problem with Japanese Knotweed?

Japanese knotweed can sprout from very small sections, growing rapidly and spreading relentlessly. The roots can grow to 1m deep making it very difficult to excavate.

The plant can grow through cracks in brickwork and pipes and can even damage roads. It’s important to control Japanese knotweed as soon as possible as it can even damage the foundations of your home. Homeowners are legally obliged to disclose if Japanese knotweed is present on the property when selling their home. It can seriously affect the value and can impact whether a buyer is able to get a mortgage. So, it’s important to get it properly removed if you are planning on selling you home.

Whilst it’s not illegal to have Japanese knotweed in your garden, it is an offence to allow it to grow in the wild – whether through fly-tipping or letting the plant escape the limits of your property. The plant can cause problems in your garden as it will out-compete all nearby plants. It’s especially important to not let it grow in the wild as it can harm the natural ecosystem. If you notice that Japanese knotweed has been dumped illegally in the wild, you should contact The Environment Agency.

How to remove Japanese knotweed from your garden

If you have a small, manageable clump of knotweed, it may be possible to control the plant yourself. It usually takes around three to four seasons to properly remove Japanese Knotweed without professional help. If you have a large batch of Japanese knotweed, you may prefer to use a professional contractor. They may be able to eliminate the weed in one to two seasons.

If you want to manage the weed yourself, you’ll start by cutting down the canes. The weed will not be able to regrow from cut canes, so cut as many as you can, as close to the ground as possible. Remove the cut pieces but note that you can’t put these in compost or any household or garden waste bins. Japanese knotweed is classed as ‘controlled waste’, so you will either have to burn it or take it to a licensed landfill. A garden waste professional will be able to assist with this.

The most effective way to then eradicate Japanese knotweed is to use a glyphosate-based weedkiller as soon as you’ve cut the canes. Make sure to only apply this to the weeds, as the chemicals will damage any vegetation it touches. Then wait seven days before attempting to pull the weeds – this allows time for the weedkiller to penetrate to the roots. After seven days, you can remove as much of the plant that’s left as possible, taking care to dig out the roots with a pitchfork if they aren’t too deep. Again, remember to dispose of the plant properly and not in your household bins.

Cutting and treating the weed just once will not kill it completely. You should then mow over the plants every week to attempt to weaken the Japanese knotweed. You’’ll then need to continue to apply the glyphosate-based weedkiller twice a year, in late spring and early autumn. The regrowth of the knotweed will look quite different to the normal plant, but it is essential that this is continuously treated.

Make sure to follow the instructions of your weedkiller carefully to minimise risks to yourself, pets and wildlife.

Five Great Ways to Reduce Your Office Waste

As we evolve, so does the conscious notion of sustainability and our effort to help the environment. Society is becoming more aware of the damage we have caused to our atmosphere through pollution, plastics, and other unnecessary waste. Over the last ten years, the phrase ‘eco-friendly’ has revolutionised the way we live our day to day lives as we continue to learn about how we can protect the planet. With the global population predicted to skyrocket over the next 50 years, people have to make an effort to reduce the amount of waste created and increase the number of goods that can be recycled.
Now that the idea of a ‘green’ way of living as entered into everyday conversation, you may be wondering how you can make your mark and improve your environmental record. Doing your part at home is excellent, but how is your office tackling the situation? Working together in the workplace to reduce office waste is crucial for the decrease in unnecessary wastage. Below Away With It outlines five great ways to reduce your office waste.

1. Print Smarter

Endless paper trails and record-keeping define the way businesses used to operate. However, with the increased role of technology in the past 20 years, having a digital document storage system is much more effective for your business and significantly reduces the amount of waste you are creating. If printing is needed, make sure your co-workers set their printing defaults to print double-sided. This will reduce paper costs and waste by 50 percent.

2. Reusable Bottles

Rather than your employees and co-workers buying plastic water bottles, supply your office with reusable water bottles. Not only will this reduce plastic waste in the office, but it is also a gift to your employees. The simplest gift of appreciation can make employees feel valued, as well as knowing that the company is working towards a green environment.

3. Offer Rewards for Recycling

Encouraging employees to get into a habit of recycling can be hard. Creating a recycling incentive program for employees makes recycling fun and at the forefront of employees’ minds. Setting targets within the business for employees is a rule of thumb, why not set goals for recycling within the office to create more of incentive to recycle. Return on investment will offset the costs of the incentive scheme due to the potential savings through recycling.

4. Create an Upcycle Station

Introducing an upcycle station in the office for unwanted office furniture, supplies, mobile phones, computers, file folders, staplers, etc. If an employee needs anything for work that could potentially be upcycled, you can direct them towards the upcycle station before ordering the required item. Most of the time, old office supplies can be upcycled and used by existing employees. Not only will this reduce office waste, but it is also cost-effective for the business.

5. E-Sign Contracts

Rather than using paper contracts for any deals and agreements, promote the use of e-sign contracts. Not only will this reduce office waste and save paper, but it also means you can keep all your legal documents in one place on your shared digital system. E-sign documents are also useful in the current coronavirus pandemic, due to the restrictions of face-to-face meetings, e-sign contracts give businesses an easy way to get contracts signed quickly and efficiently.

Reducing your office waste is the first step to becoming more of an environmentally friendly and sustainable business. By using the above tips, you can start to regard your company as having a ‘go green’ value, which is an attractive value in companies within the current climate. Away With It are here to help you with all of your office clearance needs if you have any questions please contact us.

Chairs and household clutter

The Experts Guide to What You Can and Can’t Put in a Skip

Whether you’re moving house, just having a clear out or disposing of garden waste, hiring a skip is often the easiest and most affordable way to remove large quantities of rubbish from your home.  

Skip hire is convenient and flexible and there are a range of skip sizes that you can have delivered to your location. Once you’re done the skip will be taken away by the skip hire company and taken to landfill.  

Sounds simple, right? It is but it’s important to understand that not everything can be put in a skip. There are limitations to what can be disposed of in a skip because some waste can be hazardous to the environment.  

Your skip provider will generally provide you with a list of things which cannot be put in the skip but we advise you check out our guide below before requesting your skip hire quote.  

 

What can you put in a skip?

The good news is that most of the things you probably want to dispose of will be in this list.

Skips can be filled with a variety of items such as:  

  • Soil and rubble
  • Tiles and bricks
  • Wood
  • Plastics
  • Cardboard and paper
  • Textiles
  • Clothing items
  • Furniture
  • Astro Turf, carpet, underlay and rubber matting
  • General garden waste
  • Baths, sinks and toilets
  • General household junk (books, toys, garden tools)
  • Metal items (bikes, beds etc.)

 

What can’t you put in a skip?

There are certain items that are restricted because they are considered hazardous. These should be disposed of appropriately at your local council run Household Waste Recycling Centre. 

The following items can NOT be put in a skip: 

  • Asbestos
  • Gas cylinders
  • Medical and chemical waste
  • Fuel
  • Tyres

If what you want to dispose of doesn’t feature on either of these lists, it’s best to contact a skip hire company ahead of booking to ensure that your needs can be catered to.  

 

How much can you put in a skip?

There are weight limits when it comes to skip hire but the restrictions are rarely an issue. The limits depend on the size of the skip you choose and the skip company providing the service.  

The restriction that you should be more aware of is the height. Most skips have the expressions ‘Level Loads only’ written on the side of the skip. meaning you should not fill your skip above the height of its sides.  

If you exceed this height the skip lorry driver can refuse to collect the skip or ask you to empty out the additional items before taking it. Overloaded skips are dangerous to transport and therefore the height restrictions should be taken seriously.  

Away With It provide professional and cost-effective skip hire in Essex with efficient and timely delivery and collection.  

If you have any other questions about skip hire, don’t hesitate to get in touch

 

Man weeding his garden

How to Keep Yourself Busy in The Garden During Lockdown

We may have to stay home for the foreseeable future but with all the lovely weather we’ve been having over the past few weeks it means there’s no better time to make the most of your garden.

This is the perfect opportunity to get green-fingered and enjoy your outside space but where to start?

Here are a few ways you can get the most out of your garden during the Coronavirus lockdown:

Start a vegetable garden

With an abundance of free time, why not keep yourself busy by starting that vegetable garden you’ve always wanted. Build yourself a raised bed that will make growing vegetables much easier, then fill it with topsoil and then all that’s left to do it start planting.

Have a clear-out

If your garden is looking overgrown from the winter months or is cluttered with stuff, Spring couldn’t be a better time to clear your garden ready for the summer. Grab your wheelbarrow and rake and turn your garden jungle into a lush green oasis.

If you need any assistance with garden waste removal, get in touch.

Renovate your lawn

Spring is the best season to give your lawn a refresh and with plenty of time on your hands you can renew and re-seed your lawn and have it looking the best it’s ever looked.

Once you’ve weeded the lawn, it’s time to prepare the soil mix in soil conditioner such as manure or seaweed and controlled-release fertilizer in order to stimulate root system development. Then you can sow the lawn, pack the soil and water it.

It’s vital that during the first few weeks the lawn is watered well. If you correctly sow your lawn, then you’ll have beautiful looking grass in no time.

Trimming, pruning and weeding

Make your garden picture perfect by pruning your roses and shrubs that have finished their winter-blooming and weeding those unwanted plants.

This is the ideal time to carry out weeding as with lots of free time you can carry out the weeding by hand which means you can avoid using chemicals and herbicides, also the soft moist soil makes them easy to pull out.

Create a wildlife oasis

If you want to attract more wildlife to your garden then a pond is one of the best ways to do that. It creates the perfect habitat for birds, amphibians, mammals and aquatic insects. Don’t get us wrong it’s not an easy task, it will require a lot of labour-intensive work but the result will be worth it.

There are plenty of online retailers that sell pond plants and pond liner so you should be able to source everything you need.

Give the greenhouse a clean

This is something we all put off, there just never seems to be a good time to do it. Well, perhaps it’s now. Grab your scrubbing brush and hosepipe and give that greenhouse a good clean. Not only will this pass some time and tick a chore off the list but it will also bring more light to the seedlings growing inside and remove harmful pests and pathogens.

There are oodles of ways to keep yourself occupied in the garden so if you’re feeling bored grab your shears and get to work.

Not sure what to do with your garden waste? Check out our garden clearance services.