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  • Burning Waste? Don’t Make These Mistakes

    Burning rubbish might seem like a quick, easy way to get rid of waste. But, as with most things, it’s not quite that simple. Burning the wrong kind of waste can be damaging to your health, the environment – and it could land you fines.

    What Household Waste is Safe to Burn?

    ✅ Solid wood items
    ✅ Timber
    ✅ Dry leaves

    Solid wood, dry leaves and timber are all safe to burn. MDF, chipboard and composite particle boards that behave and look like wood should never be burned, and neither should any furniture made from those materials. That’s because the bonding agents used to glue all the particles or layers together becomes a toxic vapour when burned, which can severely impact health if inhaled.

    Paper’s okay to burn (as long as it isn’t the glossy, magazine type) but you can recycle or even compost paper, which is much easier and better for the environment. And that’s about it – it’s safe to burn solid wood and printed, non-glossy paper. Everything else is restricted.

    Restrictions and Regulations

    As the government puts it, you can legally build and light a bonfire on your property, as long as it doesn’t harm or pollute. Household waste is not allowed to be burned, and if your bonfires become a nuisance, then the law will be brought into action.

    To be safe, always make sure NEVER to burn:

    ❌ General household waste
    ❌ Plasterboard or other DIY waste
    ❌ Plywood, particle or chip boards
    ❌ Electronics or plastic items

    Burning harmful waste can produce thick, opaque and seriously harmful smoke – and if this is allowed to drift over traffic, it could cause an accident. There are heavy fines in place if you allow this to happen. Plastics and electronics burn with acrid, toxic smoke and should never be added to a fire – these must be responsibly disposed of at a recycling centre.

    When to Hire a Skip or Tipper

    Burning isn’t actually a very good way to deal with waste, and should only be done if there’s no way to reuse, recycle or recover it. Burning waste for energy – like for barbecues, kindling or in a wood burner – is slightly better, but not everyone has the kind of waste that would lend itself to those jobs (or the need for dirty heat).

    Instead of burning, dispose of your waste with McCarthy. We can collect most waste types in a convenient way that fits your needs.

    If you live in a densely packed area, where burning could cause a nuisance or risk to traffic, then you could hire a skip or use our man with a van service. In cases where you need bulky waste taken away quickly, without permits or taking up space on your property, hire a man with a van – for longer jobs, hire a skip.

    We recycle 95% of the waste we collect – so you can be sure your waste won’t be waste for long.

    Want to know more? Call us today on 01666 505800.

    7 Things You Didn’t Know About Cardboard Recycling

    Thanks to recycling schemes taking hold all over the UK, cardboard recycling takes place in just about every home. Now that it’s easier than ever before, more people are doing their bit for a sustainable planet.

    Having just celebrated the festive season and to show our appreciation for the wonderful material that makes gift boxes, Amazon packages and Christmas crackers possible, here are some of our favourite cardboard recycling facts.

    A Billion Christmas Cards and Counting

    Back in 2004, 744 million Christmas cards were sent in the UK. In 2016, it was estimated that a billion christmas cards were sold (not including from online retailers). If all of those cards were recycled, it could have saved 333,000 trees.

    Corrugated Cardboard is the Most Recycled Packaging

    84% of all corrugated cardboard is recycled in the UK – that adds up to about 2 million tonnes of the stuff saved from landfill every year! That only counts corrugated card specifically – not other types of card stock which have a significantly lower recycle rate.

    Luckily, corrugated card is one of the most widely used packaging materials in the world, so the chances are the next box you get will be made of recycled materials – and then go on to become something else.

    You Can’t Recycle Card Forever

    After a few passes through the recycling process, paper and card fibres are too short to retain a structure and they wear out. The card recycling process can’t go on forever, which is why we still need to grow and fell trees. But it can reduce wastefulness, conserve energy and cut back on polluting chemicals. And since it’s made from wood pulp, it’s biodegradable anyway – so it’ll still have its uses.

    Pizza Boxes Don’t Get Recycled

    There’s surely no greater treat than a hot, cheesy pizza delivered to your front door. Just the thought of tucking into a slice of pizza is enough to make anyone change their dinner plans. But popping a used pizza box in your cardboard recycling is actually doing more harm than good.

    Why? Well, all the grease from the cheese and toppings on the pizza filters down into the cardboard, making it extremely difficult to clean and reprocess. The fibres lose integrity and can’t be bound back together. And if the grease runs onto other cardboard items, it can ruin a whole binful!

    It doesn’t mean you have to waste the box completely. Instead, tear sections off your pizza box for makeshift cardboard plates. It’ll save on washing up, which helps reduce emissions and water usage – and it’s always nice to have a break from the dishes once in a while!

    7 Million Tonnes of Cardboard is Wasted to Landfill Yearly

    12.5 million tonnes of paper and cardboard are used annually in the UK. If you factor in our current UK-wide recycling rate of 45%, we’re committing 7 million tonnes of that to landfill every year – that’s even heavier than the Great Pyramid of Giza.

    Recycled Cardboard can Build a House

    Peter Ryan from Melbourne, Australia, built a working house almost entirely out of cardboard.

    Cardboard is Easier to Recycle than it is to Make

    Cardboard is one of the most efficient materials to recycle. Making cardboard from scratch requires not only trees for wood, but also various industrial chemicals and vast amounts of energy.

    Making new cardboard products from used cardboard cuts out the need for trees and the majority of the chemical treatment process. Because so much energy is conserved by recycling, cardboard takes far less effort to recycle than it does to make from scratch.

    Talk to McCarthy About Bulk Recycling

    McCarthy does recycling with a difference. With over 20 years of waste management experience, we’re here to deliver you a professional and environmentally-friendly service.

    Our fully licensed recycling plant in Wantage, Oxfordshire, is equipped with the latest technology. Our experienced, dedicated team has helped us reach a recycling rate of 95% – and we continue to improve.

    To see what difference we can make to you, give us a call on 01235 760555 or contact us.

    Household Carpet Recycling: The Dos and Don’ts

    An estimated 400,000 tonnes of carpet is consigned to landfill every year. That’s more than the mass of the Empire State Building in New York City. With such a huge amount of landfill being devoted to carpet waste, isn’t it time we reduced the impact that carpet disposal has on the planet?

    The good news is that things are looking better already; carpet recycling rates are at an all-time high. Now that reusing, repurposing and recycling carpet is becoming more common, how can you make sure you’re doing it right?

    What Kind of Carpet can be Recycled?

    The truth is, any carpet can be reused or recycled. Both wool and synthetic carpet types are recycled by McCarthy and turned into a variety of new things – including surfaces for equestrian events and animal bedding.

    Some carpets can be separated into backing and yarn. Synthetic carpet made with petrochemical plastics can be turned into injection moulded plastic products and unbacked woolen carpet makes an excellent insulator and an effective soil enrichment medium when shredded – due to its high nitrogen content.

    Carpet tiles, for example, are extremely tough and hard wearing, which makes them ripe for reuse. After cleaning and matching, they can be sold on at a fraction of the price of new carpet tiles, with a long life ahead of them.

    Carpet Recycling Dos and Don’ts

    Let’s start with a don’t, because this one is common: Don’t try to chop up or shred old carpet into tiny pieces yourself. Although it may seem like a good, space-saving idea, it hinders the sorting process (which splits out carpets by woolen and synthetic types) and can make recycling impossible.

    At McCarthy, carpet is sorted and baled by its type before being processed, so you can save effort and time by leaving it intact.

    If you’ve got carpet to dispose of skip hire is a good option! McCarthy skips are available in a range of sizes, perfect for any DIY renovation or redecorating jobs you’ve got on – including laying new carpets!

    McCarthy Recycling

    McCarthy does waste management with a difference. With over 20 years of skip hire and waste management experience, we’re here to deliver you a professional and environmentally-friendly service.

    Our fully licenced recycling plant in Wantage, Oxfordshire, is equipped with the latest technology. Our experienced, dedicated team has helped us reach a recycle rate of 95% – and we continue to improve.

    To see what difference we can make to you, give us a call on 01235 760555 or contact us for a skip hire quote.

    Simple Guide to Skip Sizes

    Skip Hire

    Need to get rid of some rubbish? Hiring a skip may be the most convenient and cost-effective option for your needs. Once you’ve ordered your skip, it will be delivered and picked up by your skip hire company. Depending on the job in hand, you will need to order a suitable skip size for your individual requirements.

    Skip Sizes – Which One?

    Knowing which size skip to order that will fully accommodate your needs is an important decision as purchasing the wrong size can inconvenience you and could even hold up your project if you are unable to get rid of waste.

    So, after accurately assessing how much rubbish you’re likely to have – you’ll have a better idea of which size skip you’ll need, from McCarthy’s extensive range of affordable rubbish disposal units.

    But, if you’re not sure as to what size you’ll need – here’s our recommendation:

    • For small households, domestic or DIY jobs: A mini or a small skip would suit here. The mini skip is 4 foot long and three foot wide. The small skip or 4yd skip is slightly larger than the mini, at 6 x 4.3 ft.
    • For larger household or commercial ‘builders’ jobs, a medium, (6yd) skip, and large (8yd or 10yd) skip would be the best option as they are suitable for heavier, bulkier waste. The 6yd skips are available as open, enclosed and drop end skips. Large skips measure up at 12 x 5.6ft, perfect for slightly larger jobs.
    • For big, industrial jobs a RO/RO container should be the choice here. These are available in 20, 35 and 40 yard options. To find out more about waste containers, click here.

    How Many Bags?

    The container that holds the most refuse bags is the RO/RO waste container, with a maximum of 400 refuse bags. The smallest skip, the Mini, holds 25 bin bags of waste.

    The small, the 4yd, holds 15 more than the mini, at 40 refuse bags maximum – perfect for a small clearance. The medium skip, or 6yd, holds 65 bags of bulky ‘builders waste’ and the large skips, either 8yd or 10yd, hold a total of up to 85 bags of rubbish.

    Contact McCarthy Skip Hire

    At McCarthy, we pride ourselves by connecting users with affordable skip hire, whenever it may be needed. We currently service a wide variety of areas in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire and surrounding areas, offering our professional, environmentally friendly services – whether it be for a single skip or a fully integrated waste disposal program.

    Need a skip? Get a free quote here. For any other information, please get in contact on 01235 764831 or email