Hydro and Solar Water wheel collects river rubbish for recycling

A brilliant, yet simple invention is keeping the harbour in Baltimore USA cleaner than ever before by slowly hoovering up any trash that strays into its path.

The inventors of the solar and water powered device, Daniel Chase and John Kellett, say their aim is to eventually put themselves out of business. Daniel says:

"Ultimately though, our aim is to put the water wheel out of business, We know that it's an end-of-pipe solution, it's great because it's immediate and innovative but the real solution is that people need to change their behaviour".

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Environment: Wall Lizard spotters needed in East Sussex

Wall Lizard spotters needed in Sussex

Have you seen a critter like the one in the picture above? If so, university researchers want to hear from you.

The wall lizard (Latin name - Podarcis muralis) is a type of lizard that's already common in Europe and parts of North America.

For better or worse, the population has now begun to increase in the south of the UK as well. The wall lizard is easy to spot as it can grow up to about 20cm in length and, as the name suggests, can often be seen basking on walls and rocks during sunny, summer days in Sussex.

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New Skip Hire Apps to make booking even easier

As technology marches on, it's important to stay up to date with the latest tools the internet can offer us. To this end, we're rolling out a couple of apps to make it even easier and more convenient to use our skip and RoRo hire service.  We now have an app for both Apple and Android users.

Get our skip App  Get our skip App

The apps allow you to book a skip and also provide information about how much it will cost for each size of skip from our smallest 2 yarders right up to our 16 yard skips.

You'll also be able to read our FAQs, get more information about skip permits or enquire about our caged lorry rubbish clearance service.

Skip hire app for Apple and Android devices

Book Review of Touch The Earth by Julian Lennon

Touch The Earth Book By Julian LennonJulian Lennon creates children’s book highlighting ecological issues around the world.

Julian Lennon, the son of legendary Beatles band member John Lennon, has co-written and released the first of a planned trilogy of children’s books highlighting the damage that pollution is causing to our planet.

Julian is a keen environmentalist, a talented musician, a writer and a photographer and his new book creates an entertaining, interactive and easy way of approaching environmental issues affecting people all around the world.

As anyone who shares time with children will know, this combination is a great way for them to learn.

Touch the Earth is a beautifully illustrated book, bringing together an interactive story of the problems facing the planet due to pollution, and most importantly shows children solutions to those problems.

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Greatest sights in Britain - Seven Sisters, Eastbourne

Seven Sisters Eastbourne

As Eastbourne is one the areas where we provide our skip hire and rubbish clearance service, we thought we'd mention a recent bit of local news about the iconic Seven Sisters chalk cliffs. The well known local landmark has popped back on the radar again by managing to make it into a poll of the top 20 most stunning views in the UK.

As you'd imagine, the cliffs share their prestigious rating with some of Britain's (and indeed the world's) most well know landmarks such as Stonehenge, Loch Ness and Snowdonia.

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Germany pays people to use electricity

Electricity power lines

Although we missed reporting this story when it broke last year, it's still worth a mention today due to its implications for the future of the world's energy consumption.

Despite 40% of the country's electricity being generated by burning fossil fuels, Germany hit the headlines back in 2016 when it emerged that, for a short time, some consumers were actually PAID to use electricity.

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Scotland sets new records for renewable, wind turbine energy

Scotland's wind turbines set new records

Wind turbines can be a bit like Marmite - People either tend to love them or hate them. Whether you're in favour of more electricity being produced by them or not, one thing is clear; they're a clean source of renewable energy.

Back in December of last year, Scotland’s wind turbines generated more electricity than the entire country used for four consecutive days. Wind powered turbines provided a record amount of energy over the Christmas period between the 23rd of December and Boxing Day included. Not only that, the total amount of wind energy produced on Christmas Eve alone set a new record with more than 74,000MWh produced, which was enough to power over 6 million homes.

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Can my TV be powered by banana skins?

Banana skins can be used to create electricity

The UK produces around 7.3 millions tonnes of food waste each year.

What most of us are not aware of is that around 240 thousand tonnes of this is made up of banana skins - That's over 3% of all food waste in total.

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Indonesia - Bali's plastic rubbish problem

This guest post has been submitted by Daniel Brooks who is currently in Bali whilst filming a fly on the wall documentary for UK Television. It highlights the huge problem of plastic waste not just in Bali, but throughout Indonesia.

Plastic rubbish in Bali

Daniel's Story

Myself, my wife Deborah and our three children, Oliver 9, Hazel nearly 5, and Heather Blue nearly 2 have moved to Bali for an experimental six month period to see if we want to live in south east Asia. A UK TV crew are following our story and have given us a camera to film as we go for a new documentary series about families going to live more sustainable lives in the wild.

We arrived during a spell of the very worst weather Bali has seen in years. The most rain I have EVER experienced in all my worldly adventures! Torrential rain, gales, electrical storms, floods and landslides! What had we gotten ourselves into?! This was not what we had imagined.

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How to reduce food waste... by drinking beer

Who'd have thought that you can help save the planet just by having a few beers? Well, as odd as that sounds, it's actually true.

A UK brewer is now producing a refreshing ale called Toast and, as the name implies, it's made from surplus bread that would otherwise have been thrown in the bin.

In the UK, bread is by far the most 'chucked-away' food. An astonishing 44% of all bread made never even reaches our mouths - That's not too far away from almost half of it that's baked every single day.

All round bright spark and entrepreneur Tristram Stuart decided to do something about this mountain of discarded bread by founding the first bread to beer ale. His aim is to reduce global food waste by turning as much bread as he can get his hands on into a tasty craft beer.

Tristram says:

"We aim to put ourselves out of business. The day there’s no waste bread is the day Toast Pale Ale can no longer exist."

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The history and origin of the Rag and Bone Man

A Parisian rag and bone man in 1899Many of today's younger generation have never heard the term 'rag-and-bone man' as these enigmatic figures have largely all but disappeared from our modern streets. 

It was extremely common back in the 1970s to hear a rag and bone man calling to householders as he travelled slowly down our roads, shouting 'old lumber', 'rag-and-bone' or something similar. As some will also no doubt remember, the profession even spawned a hit TV show in the 1970s in the guise of Steptoe and Son.

What's a rag-and-bone man?

If you're new to the term, a rag and bone man (sometimes referred to as a 'totter') was a person who either travelled by horse (or pony) and cart or in a van at a snail's pace down every neighbourhood street, looking to collect a wide range of materials to sell for a profit.

On hearing their call, residents with items they thought the rag and bone man might want would go outside into the street and stop them. The rag and bone man would then tell them if he wanted to take their scrap or not.

History of the rag and bone man

Whilst scavenging for anything of value is by no means a new idea (we've been doing it since the dawn of time), the term - or variations of it, seems to have been commonly used in the early to mid-1800s.

Rag and bone men would travel through city streets on foot, usually carrying a large bag over their shoulder. They rarely had any form of transport and were generally very poor people trying to eke out a living from collecting anything that they thought might have a resale value such as old rags, cloth, bones and metal.

They were typically referred to by names such as bone grubbers, bone pickers or rag gatherers.

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Vertical Forests - Garden trees planted on tower blocks

Vertical forest - tree planted in high-rise flats and officesImproving quality of life and providing wildlife habitats in urban areas.

Green open spaces in cities help improve the quality of life for human residents and also provide habitats for many different species of wildlife. Trees and plants produce oxygen and remove pollutants from our atmosphere.

Unfortunately, space in modern cities is at a premium and while everyone agrees that it is more pleasant and healthy, both physically and mentally, to live amongst green spaces there is not much incentive to build urban parks and conservation areas as they are not profitable.

Italian architect Stefano Boeri is leading the way with an innovative solution: Vertical Forests.

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Adidas trainers made from plastic recycled from the ocean

It has been widely reported that our oceans are becoming more polluted with plastic waste.

This discarded plastic causes the deaths and injuries of hundreds of thousands of marine animals each year. Animals become entangled in old beer can holders or plastic bags and smaller pieces of plastic are eaten by marine life who can't differentiate it from their natural food supply.

It's not only the solid waste that causes harm to marine life; plastic pollution does further damage as it degrades in the ocean releasing toxic chemicals causing contamination to the water.

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Envigreen - The edible 'plastic' carrier bag that isn't plastic

Following our recent story accompanied by the saddening picture of a deer holding a plastic carrier bag in its mouth, this story is far more upbeat and has a happier ending.

Indian-born inventor and entrepreneur Ashwath Hegde has spent 4 years developing a new type of carrier bag that looks remarkably similar to the plastic bags commonly found in our supermarkets today. But....there's one major difference; the EnviGreen bag doesn't contain any plastic whatsoever.

Inspired by a ban on the manufacture and sale of plastic bags in his hometown of Mangalore, he says: “The Mangalore City Corporation implemented a ban on the manufacture, sale, and distribution of plastic bags in the year 2012. But the decision was taken without preparations for alternatives.

People were concerned about how they would carry products from the market now. Everyone cannot afford a bag worth 5 rupees or 15 rupees to carry a kilogram of sugar. I decided to come up with alternatives after hearing about these problems in my hometown.”

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Deer highlights plastic bag problem

This saddening story has appeared recently in a New Delhi newspaper highlighting (once again) the blasé attitude many of us have concerning our use of plastic products.

The deer in question is a resident at Deer Park, a wildlife enclosure located in South Delhi. According to the article, the bag in its mouth contained food that was thrown by a well meaning visitor into the enclosure.

Rather than taking the food out of the bag and throwing the contents to the deer, they simply threw the whole lot in.

Now, none of us at Expert Skip Hire are rocket scientists, but we do know that deer can't get any nutritional value from plastic bags!

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Lidl to donate 2 million meals to local charities

Lidl teams up with NeighbourlyThe supermarket giant has recently announced a new food redistribution programme across all of their stores in England, Scotland and Wales.

It's estimated that the new food surplus initiative could provide the equivalent of 2 million meals for those that really need it the most.

Despite only being the 8th biggest supermarket chain in the UK, this move raises the bar for how the nation's supermarkets deal with unsold food. Unlike France, there is no legal requirement for British supermarkets to donate waste food to charity, although a growing number of politicians are calling for the UK to adopt a similar law.

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Britain comes top of the Food League; but it's not all good news

The good news is that Britain has been crowned the top of a particular league.

The bad news is... the league is for the amount of food wasted by countries in Europe.

According to a new international food ranking system we throw away around 130kg of food each year per person, slightly less than twice the weight of the average British adult (which is approx. 76kg according to 2010 stats).

Some slightly better news is that we don't fare quite as bad (although still badly) when the statistics are applied globally. Out of a total of 25 countries, we were the 6th worst offender.

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How to take part in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch in East Sussex

blue tit rspbIf you live in East Sussex, the RSPB wants your help.

It'll only take an hour of your time and will provide valuable data for the RSPB's nationwide study.

The Big Garden Birdwatch first took place back in 1979 and since then, the RSPB have been conducting the survey every year to see what birds are becoming more common in our gardens, and which ones are on the decline.

Sara Humphrey from the RSPB says:

“The 2016 results for East Sussex showed a significant rise in smaller birds such as great tits and goldfinches using our gardens to find food. Despite this boost in numbers many other of our garden favourites are struggling”.

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Sweden runs out of rubbish and has to import it instead

power station

Although Sweden is often known for its quirky IKEA furniture, a lesser known fact concerns a rather odd problem the country has faced recently - It's run out of trash.

The woefully high levels of waste we in the UK send to landfill puts us to shame compared to the Swedes; only 1% of their waste is sent to landfill whereas in the UK, the figure is somewhere in the region of 45%.

We can't be entirely certain of the exact figure as, unlike Sweden, the UK doesn't have a coherent nationwide policy when it comes to recycling.

Each local authority is left to their own devices as to what their recycling policy is.

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Could edible, non-plastic drinking water bottles be on the way?

Every spring, the Reykjavik Design Festival in Iceland is awash with catchy new designs and ideas.

The festival presents ideas and innovations from a broad range of industries including architecture, food design, fashion and furniture.

Project are submitted by both local designers and globally known international designers alike.

A local student submitted one particular project this year that could sow the seeds for future developments in plastic water bottle production techniques.

Ari Jonsson, a student at the Iceland Academy of the Arts, says he read about the huge amounts of disposable plastic being thrown away each day, and felt compelled to try and develop a replacement that was far more environmentally sound.

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Plastic Roads - Future Innovations for our highways?

A Dutch company is at the cutting edge of a project that could see roads of the future made entirely from plastic.

The idea of using plastic in the construction of roads isn't new. Earlier this year, we wrote about how India had adopted the idea of mixing recycled plastic with traditional road building materials to make more durable highways, whilst dramatically cutting down on the amount of plastic sent to landfill at the same time.

KWS, the Netherlands based company behind the concept, claims that there are several key advantages to using plastic instead of tarmac for the roads of our future.

Key Benefits

1. One of the more obvious benefits from a recycling point of view is that the roads could in theory be made entirely from recycled plastic. Considering the amount of plastic bottles and containers thrown away each day around the world, that's a real biggy as far as benefits go!

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