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Waste Through Business

Scott Kinnear

Scott Kinnear

New Member
Hello to all in the forum


I thought I would do a post on Waste and Recycling, seeing as I have some experience on the subject, both in my role as a waste op and as a self-employed gardener/landscaper.


I started up my small garden landscape business in April 2012, as confidence grew - I was taking on bigger projects. I bought myself a trailer for my car, for both carrying equipment and taking rubbish to the skips.

However, In January/February 2013, I saw a post somewhere about a guy driving back to his yard with a panel of broken larch lap fencing in his pickup truck. A van followed the guy into his yard, who turned out to be the Environment Protection Authority, they asked the guy if he had a waste transfer licence, which he didn't, he was fined £5000 and his vehicle seized, and his customer was fined £2000 for allowing someone to take waste away who were not licensed. Seeing this post had me think I better apply for a waste transfer licence, I did, and it cost £163 for 3 years from SEPA, which is pretty good. From getting my Waste Transfer Licence, I then had to look at the costs for taking to the tip, to my knowledge, A trailers load was between £40-£50 over the weighbridge. A lot of money to add on to someone for 2 or 3 bags of garden waste. I was on a Landscaping forum and someone said they offered their customers 3 options, Tradesman would bag it up and customer can take it to the tip themselves or take the waste away but would have to put the cost at weighbridge onto the customer, or if it was a lot of waste they could hire a skip.


This brings me on to my role as a Waste Operative and covering many functions within that role. One of which is to go and clear up fly tipping. It is disgraceful what people dump at the side of country roads, there is no excuse for it, step up and take responsibility. I went to pick up a whole unfitted kitchen down a dual carriageway embankment, I could not understand how someone could find the time to unload so much materials and not get noticed. continuing from that, I cannot help but feel that Local Authorities are making it harder for small businesses to get rid of waste, instead of making it easier, to prevent the need for fly tipping and people cutting corners.


I would love to find out people’s thoughts or experiences on waste removal and/or recycling.
 

Attachments

MarkB

MarkB

New Member
Staff member
This is typical of many local authorites - licences for this, licences for that. Have a think about what businesses acutally get for these licences - nothing! They are simply a way of increasing revenues at the expense of all business and introducing costs which need to be passed on to customers. In my view this is all very short sighted on the side of local authorities - they are encouraging people to flytip and then it costs them a fortune if they need to clear it up themselves.

Why do businessess need to pay to get rid of rubbish for their customers? We have massive refuse centres which often cost millions to build - why not encourage, rather than discourage, people and businesses to use the? At least that way local authorities/tax payers will get some value for money.
 
Scott Kinnear

Scott Kinnear

New Member
Hi Mark

Being on both sides of the fence work-wise, as a small business owner - I think the whole business of waste is mind-boggling and daunting, I think it can be made easier, I am a big fan of Lean5S, Six Sigma and Continuous Improvement processes, I think the local authorities waste and recycling can work much more efficiently. I think there needs to be a better system across the board

I think the best way forward is for Local Authorities, SEPA, Trading Standards to collaborate and set up a fair and equal system.

As a Waste Operative - The cost of opening up a new landfill cell is 100's of 1000's of pounds. heavy plant to operate on the site and staff to man it, that is where a lot of the income goes to, if you think of a bin lorry, it takes up to 15 tonnes of waste. the current charge for 1 tonne of waste is around £86. One lorry emptying at Landfill at 15t x £86 = £1290, 5 days a week £6450. Local authorities have a fleet of Lorries picking up waste every day. As a business and taking stuff to the tip, I think certain waste could be little cost or free, if everybody was to get on-board a fair and honest system, it can be a win-win for all.

The Councils do have to bring in money though and Its part of running the economy, they must bring in money for workers, services and equipment etc. I think in some areas they are doing themselves out of money.

With China now refusing to take anymore waste for recycling, I think the government (Once they get Brexit out the way) will start coming down hard on waste and recycling. I work on a recycling team, and what people put in their recycling bin is ridiculous. Most bins have description labels of what goes in recycling, and people still get it wrong, we found a Rabbit alive in one of the bins, if we had not checked it, it would have been in the back of the lorry. shocking.
 
selfemployed

selfemployed

New Member
Sometimes it depends what press sites/newspapers you read as to the impression the general public gets about councils and waste management. You have given us a very interesting insight and all of you points are balanced and fair. It looks to me that there is potential for new businesses in the area of waste, especially if we end up processing more and more of our waste in the UK, but at the moment maybe the start up costs are too high for many?

While maybe not in the area of waste, I tend to feel that councils could be run more efficiently and tax payers should get a better return. We live in a world today where governments increase tax free income tax bands then hit us with increased council taxes and insurance premium taxes (as one example) so in reality the cost of living continues to go up and up.
 
Scott Kinnear

Scott Kinnear

New Member
Thanks for your input selfemployed

There are many areas they local authorities can improve on, the decision-makers wont take on suggestions, they think they know better, it is easier to say no than to be open to better ways of working. as the saying goes - If you do what you have always done, You will get what you have always had, and never progress.
 
MarkB

MarkB

New Member
Staff member
True @Scott Kinnear

In their mind there is no point reinventing the wheel which is running "perfectly" from where they sit, away from the hustle and bustle of free markets and normal business pressures (they obviously have pressure but a different kind to free market business people). However, from the outside looking in the "wheel" has a puncture and is dragging along the floor, in need of assistance.
 
Scott Kinnear

Scott Kinnear

New Member
Further to this post feed, I was flicking through Twitter last night, and came across a tweet directed to SEPA, Someone in Fort William reported two drums of emulsion type paint flytipped and left next to a river or loch, they said after calling SEPA to report it, the response was its not a SEPA issue unless it goes into the water.

I put a response to it saying I thought prevention was better than cure...?

I also added that, while they are campaigning about flytipping, why are local authorities making it harder to take waste to the skips, why not look at making it easier? Dundee Council have stopped Joe public going in with his trailer, Angus Council have cut the hours on opening times on recycle centres, and also have stopped Joe Public drive in with a trailer, they do allow a wee box on wheels, you might fit 2 maybe 3 bags of garden rubbish in it

SEPA didnt respond to my tweet

Thats where integrity and credibility fall down with these organisations, They - A. Don't believe they have to answer you, B. They don't believe in their own campaigns its all just a process and are just going through the motions, they have to show up for their shift so they need to be looking like they are doing something, when they are put on the spot to deal with a direct enquiry, they palm you off with excuses.

How many times do you read in the papers about someone getting caught for flytipping, I don't think I ever have, and yet you see it everywhere. Things lying at the side of the road in the countryside.

Make it easier to get rid of waste not harder. When people find things overwhelming they try to avoid that situation, in this case, they look for somewhere quiet and dump there rubbish, then that local authority has to do the clean up.

I'd love to get all these organisations in a room or hall along with tradesmen and small businesses, and try and find a solution for everyone. A win-win.
 
selfemployed

selfemployed

New Member
You always get the feeling they are looking down on us all from their ivory towers with distain - at the end of the day, we as tax payers pay their wages, they arent doing us a favour they are doing a service we pay heavily for. While the politicians often talk of falling headline tax rates it is the indirect taxes which make up any short fall and much much more. As my friend once said, the whole system is based on perpetual economic growth which is a flawed arguement in the first place!

I could write about my many run ins with the council but I would be here forever and it would not do my blood pressure any good!
 
Businessman

Businessman

New Member
I'll tell you a funnier one than that Scott...

Our bins weren't being emptied, and I had black bags to get rid of. Can't just put them outside because it's open country to the back here and we've foxes, badgers you name it running around. Didn't want to put them I the back of my own 'main' car, so decided to use a stickered-up runabout we keep for buzzing in and out to meetings in town.

"NO COMMERCIAL VEHICLES" - barked the village idiot as I opened the tailgate of said mighty beast and disgorged the vast amount of rubbish (2 black bags) from it... I ignored him.... "NO COMMERCIAL VEHICLES" be barked again "IF YOU PUT THAT RUBBISH IN THE SKIP, I'LL HAVE YOU DONE FOR FLYTIPPING"!

I politely pointed out that, as the vehicle in question was registered and insured in my name, and I am a council-tax paying resident dumping domestic waste, I was perfectly in my rights. I then produced my press card and pointed out that if he was determined to go down that route, I'd be equally delighted to make him the subject of yet another face-egging expose in the papers!

Oh! - The 'commercial vehicle' he was objecting so much to? - A Smart Car!
 
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