search

What Happens to Skip Waste?

What Happens to Skip Waste?
02/10/2018

Rubbish skips are designed to make waste disposal as convenient as possible. Since most of us cannot transport large amounts without professional help, it’s no wonder that over 17 million skips are hired every year in the UK for domestic use alone.

What happens to general waste from skips really depends on the company that you hire your waste skip from. Most skip companies have drivers who take skip waste to a waste transfer station for temporary deposition before they are taken for incineration, to a landfill, a hazardous waste facility or for recycling. Some companies however will take skip rubbish straight to a landfill site, a practise known as fly tipping.

It’s no secret that landfill sites have a detrimental effect on the environment, which is why ethical waste disposal is so important. With the UK being the 3rd highest contributor to landfills across Europe, maybe it’s time we start considering whether there might be better ways to dispose of our waste.

Waste transfer station sorting process Different types of waste can be disposed in different ways, which is why it is all taken to a waste transfer station where it can be sorted into categories. The sorting process of a transfer centre will vary from place to place depending on their budget, facilities and ethics. The basic process however involves the skip waste being collected by drivers and brought to the waste transfer station, where it is tipped into a larger pile. This pile then has to be sorted into different waste streams, which is done in a variety of ways.

First of all, larger items have to be removed for separate disposal. The remaining pile might then be sorted through labour intensive methods such as hand picking operations or by highly mechanised and more complex processes. Mechanised sorting might include equipment such as trammels (rotating mesh screens that different sizes of debris can fall through), blowers to blow light waste into a separate area and magnets to extract metals.

This sorting process is crucial because it helps to determine what will happen to the waste and whether it will be reused. Most often, the more thorough the separation process at the transfer station, the more waste can be recycled or reused.

What happens to sorted skip waste? The things you dispose of in your rubbish skip are often more useful than you might realise. After being sorted at the waste transfer station, certain materials still have value elsewhere:

  1. Garden waste and cuttings can be sent on to specialist facilities to create compost that can be used in garden and landscaping projects.

  2. Building materials such as bricks, concrete and glass might be recovered and crushed to create a material that can be used as a sub-base material in future building projects.

  3. Scrap metal is in high demand across the world, so will be separated into different metal types so it can be recycled and turned into new items, or transported to countries such as China, India and Brazil.

  4. Old electrical goods and computers can also be recycled.

  5. Some waste can also be converted into energy (WtE) that will generate electricity or heat.

Once the skip rubbish has been sorted at the transfer station, it will be collected by other companies or haulage operators. If your waste cannot be reused and has to be disposed of straight away, it will be collected to go to landfill or to be incinerated. If your waste can be reused, it will be taken on to a specialist facility that can develop the materials for further use.

Why ethical waste disposal is so important In Europe, we use 16 tonnes of material per person every year, and 6 tonnes of this becomes waste. The amount of waste that ends up being dumped in landfills is problematic because of the damage the decomposition gases cause to the environment. It also takes such a huge amount of time for rubbish to decompose; plastic items for example can take as long as 1000 years to decompose in landfills, glass that ends up in landfills instead of being recycled can take millions of years to decompose and paper takes 2-6 weeks to completely decompose. And because decomposition is such a slow process, we are rapidly running out of space for landfills.

In the UK over the past couple of decades, there have been significant changes to how we deal with our waste. Some of this change is due to new laws in the EU and within the UK implemented to maximise the amount that we are recycling. The EU has steadily increased landfill tax to encourage councils to recycle more waste as well as introducing other regulations on waste disposal. And it’s been having an effect. In 2009, 90% of our rubbish went to landfill which has since lowered to less than 50%.

Despite these improvements, less than half of the waste in the UK is recycled and we are the 3rd worst offender for waste going to landfill across Europe. Considering the environmental risks and lack of space caused by landfill use, it is essential that we begin to consider finding more ethical ways of disposing of our waste.

For more information on  What Happens to Skip Waste?  talk to  Mainland Aggregates Ltd

Enquiry Form



More News

HOW TO PLAN A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN WEDDING

HOW TO PLAN A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN WEDDING

A garden is the perfect wedding venue, whether you use your own garden, the garden of a close friend or even your local park. With an outdoor venue, y...

Read More
9 Ways To Pimp Your Patio

9 Ways To Pimp Your Patio

A paved patio area in your back garden provides the perfect space in which to enjoy your garden, indulge in some al fresco dining, entertain guests, o...

Read More
The Best Gardening & Landscaping Blogs of 2017

The Best Gardening & Landscaping Blogs of 2017

Getting to grips with gardening and landscape gardening takes time. It’s a lengthy process that many describe as a labour of love. And if you want to ...

Read More

Read More

Read More

List your business

Would you like to register your company on one of the UK's largest and most effective Trade websites?

Are you looking for a reliable and consistent source of enquiries from your industry sector? Would you like to see why Find the Needle clients come back year after year to use our service? If so then feel free to register using the link 'here'.

Register
Office Address: