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Have a happy green new year

By Amanda McCaw on Monday 18th December, 2017
Little changes can make big differences. For those who want to do a bit more for the environment, we've put together some top ideas that you can introduce each month of the year. Most have a spin-off benefit for you in the short term too - so much more fun than giving up chocolate! January Cut your fuel bills and reduce your use of fossil fuels. Replace old light bulbs with energy saving bulbs, and encourage all members of the family to turn off lights when they leave a room. Draught-proof doors and windows, don't heat unused rooms, keep doors closed, draw curtains at dusk, favour another jumper over turning the thermostat up! February Reduce your meat consumption. It takes around three times as much energy to produce meat protein than vegetable protein, and this places a strain on the environment. Experiment with meat-free cooking a few times a week, you'll be helping the planet, and saving money too. March Reduce your carbon footprint. As the days start to get a bit longer, consider cutting down on the mileage you do in the car by walking or cycling when possible. You'll reduce air pollution, save money and burn more calories. Win, win, win! April Buy local. Cut down on food miles by buying local produce, using local shops, farm shops and farmers markets. May Grow your own veg. Nothing tastes quite as good as something you've grown yourself, and picked just before cooking. Our carbon footprint can be reduced by saving on transportation and packaging of food. If you have limited garden space, a couple of big pots will produce a gratifying amount of produce, especially if you choose something that takes up vertical space such as runner beans. June Consider ways to use less water - saving money and energy. Don't leave taps running when you're not using the water (e.g. when cleaning teeth!); only use your washing machine and dishwasher when you have a full load; fix dripping taps; get a water butt for your garden and use collected rainwater for watering plants; take a shorter shower. July Wage a war on plastic. Re-use bags, or use fabric bags for shopping expeditions; have a re-useable container for drinks on the go; make a conscious decision to avoid buying products that use excessive plastic packaging; choose paper or cardboard packaging over plastic packaging where possible; make sure you recycle every scrap of plastic possible - it takes 500 years to decompose. August Use the power of the sunshine. Tumble dryers use vast quantities of energy. Use a clothes line outside, or a folding drying rack inside, and save money. On a warm summers day your clothes will dry faster, and you'll notice the difference on your electricity bill. September Streamline your recycling strategy. Make it easy for yourself by having different bins inside that correlate to the recycling bins outside. Gather items such as old clothing, batteries and broken electrical items, and make one useful trip to a recycling centre when you're going in that direction. October Buy less stuff! We've become used to low cost products that aren't expected to last. Choose products carefully, avoiding buying things that won't be used often, or won't last long. Where clothes are concerned go for quality over quantity. November Address the food issue. Cut down on food waste by planning meals more carefully, shopping locally more often so produce doesn't go bad before you get round to eating it; experiment with recipes that use leftovers; take unwanted food to food banks or recycling baskets in shops; if you are left with food waste that simply can't be used, make sure you compost it, or put it out in the green bin. December Dreaming of a green Christmas? Use LED decorative lights (or candlelight); send e-cards, recycle all the Christmas cards you receive; use recycled wrapping paper; go natural with your decorations; buy friends and relatives bed socks and woolly jumpers so they can save on their fuel bills. Happy Christmas, and a very happy environmentally friendly 2018. The Streetwise Team

A load of old rubbish

By Amanda McCaw on Tuesday 28th November, 2017
Our planet has limited resources; but much of our waste is actually a resource. Nearly 50% of our waste in the UK is recycled, but we can still do more. Over 10m tonnes of waste are landfilled in the UK every year, and more goes overseas. Landfill is the worst-case scenario for waste - here's how, and why, we can and should make sure as little as possible of our household waste goes down this harmful route. What can we recycle? Cans, paper, cardboard, glass and plastic can all be recycled to produce raw material. They have value, and will have a new life. The cleaner they are when they are put into the recycling, the better it is, and the more value they have. Purity is key to efficient recycling, so the more we can clean and separate, the more our waste isn't rubbish at all.
  • 70% less energy is required to recycle paper compared with making it from raw materials
  • Aluminium cans can be recycled and ready to use in just 6 weeks
  • £36m worth of aluminium is thrown away each year
  • Glass is 100% recyclable and can be used again and again, but glass that ends up in landfill will never decompose
  • Recycled paper produces 73% less air pollution than if it was made from raw materials. It takes 24 trees to make 1 tonne of newspaper
  • 275,000 tonnes of plastic are used each year in the UK, that's about 15 million bottles per day. Plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose
The most difficult material to recycle is plastic. Many products have different types of plastic in the same product, some have plastic film, some have metal, but specialist recycling plants can deal with these products by removing the variation and preparing it for re-manufacture. Trickier to recycle are Tetrapaks, and products where plastic is combined with cardboard. What happens to the dreaded black bin? The contents of our black bins should contain only waste that can't be recycled. There are two main destinations for non-recyclable waste - landfill or incineration. Landfill requires large quantities of space, and is associated with problems such as the production of leachate which pollutes groundwater, and the production of methane, a greenhouse gas. The alternative is incineration, but this comes with a complicated set of problems and is no way ideal. Keeping the contents of our black bins to an absolute minimum by ensuring everything that can be recycled is sent to the correct place is an effective way of protecting the planet and our environment. How we can help you help: Streetwise Environmental in conjunction with Rushcliffe Borough Council encourages recycling throughout the borough.
  • We provide approximately 66 colour segregated glass bins which are available at a range of sites across the borough including one located at the end of the drive way at Abbey Road Depot which residents are able to access.
  • We provide textile bins at approximately 30 sites across the borough
  • Tetrapaks can't be included with the normal paper recycling as it contains aluminium and polyethylene. That's why we provide around 30 Tetrapak recycling sites around the Borough. Rushcliffe Borough Council offer kerbside collections using the 'Blue Bin' for paper, card, food and drink cans, plastic tubs, pots, and bottles; and 'Green Bin' for green waste including grass cuttings, hedge clippings, weeds, leaves and bark.
What are Streetwise doing to look after the environment? We have an environmental policy which we adhere to at all times. We recognise the effect of our operations on the environment and the influence it can have on the community through our actions. We undertake to promote an environment compatible with healthy, balanced life styles where the whole community plays its part in environmental protection and improvement. We carry this out by:
  • Ensuring our operations meet or exceed all statutory environmental requirements.
  • Encouraging others in the community to reduce their negative impact on the environment through information, education and publicity - we provide the recycling centres and encourage residents to recycle their waste properly in the bins provide by Rushcliffe Borough Council.
  • Identifying areas of concern and seeking improvements by introducing new machinery, better working practises and working with other interested parties.
  • Carrying out periodic reviews of its own policies and actions and seeking continual improvement.
  • Striving to provide, the highest quality and most efficient services possible as appropriate.
When carrying out quote collections for residents, we recycle as much as possible. Our bays within the depot ensures that everything that can be recycled is recycled. Our tree team chip all green waste and create chippings which we can donate to local parish councils for their parks and open spaces. We also compost waste on our allotment where possible and use this to feed the plants in our allotment. Last year, together with RBC, we collected 2,300 tonnes of glass and 116 tonnes of paper and Further information about recycling facilities in Rushcliffe Borough Council can be found here. Happy recycling The Streetwise Team

Time to hibernate...

By Amanda McCaw on Friday 20th October, 2017
The evenings are drawing in, the leaves have changed colour and started to fall, and there's an autumnal nip in the air. While there's still some gentle weather, there are some jobs to be done outside before we tuck in for the winter.
  • Pick a dry period to give your lawn a last mow and aerate to avoid water-logging;
  • Continue to keep your lawn edged to make maintenance easier and keep it looking neat;
  • Keep dead-heading anything that's still flowering, especially roses;
  • Cut back perennials that have died down;
  • Collect seeds for sowing next year;
  • Clean bird baths and feeders, and reinvest in plenty of nuts and seeds;
  • Clear up fallen leaves regularly from the lawn;
  • Create compost bins for cleared leaves and plant material;
  • Clear your gutters of accumulated debris to avoid water ingress;
  • Insulate pipes and taps to avoid freezing;
  • Get your gutters cleared and insulate pipes and taps to avoid freezing;
  • Repair gates and fences and give them a coat of wood preservative;
  • Remove accumulated debris from patios and drives;
  • Clean outdoor furniture and put it away or cover it up;
  • Protect your pots by grouping them together in a sheltered spot;
  • Clear out your shed and garage and clean up your tools so they're all ready for next season
  • Install water butts to collect rain water;
  • Plant winter bedding as early as possible.
Some jobs can just seem too difficult, or may need specialist skills or machinery and kit. If you need help with your outdoor jobs, you can give us a call. We have a great team with all the skills and equipment to get your garden and outside into good shape for the winter. We offer a wide range of services including: Fencing: we can repair or replace broken or damaged areas of fencing, repair or replace gates, and give your wooden structures a new coat of wood preservative or paint. Gutter clearance: Our team use a powerful wet and dry vacuum system with in-built camera system. No scaffolding or ladders are required which makes the job beautifully straightforward and eliminates health and safety risks. Garden maintenance: We can give your garden a final tidy, so when spring arrives it's ready for the party. Jobs we can help with include leaf clearance, lawn aeration to avoid waterlogging, final mowing, winter planting and general tidying. Tree and hedge works: Our expert tree team is on hand to prune, pollard, manage and train your existing trees, fell unwanted trees or hedges, and remove stumps. Clearance: Have a big tidy of your shed and garage and clean up your tools so they're ready for next season. We'll come and take away anything from single items to large quantities of unwanted items. Call us for a quote. Do give us a call to discuss your requirements. No job is too large or small, and we're trustworthy, reliable, adaptive and responsive. We're environmentally aware and we put our customers at the heart of everything we do. We offer competitive rates and a free, no-obligation quotation.
  • We carry out an on-site risk assessment for all contracts to ensure safety for staff and customers
  • We operate under a quality assurance scheme having attained ISO9001, and have Public Liability Insurance. Products Liability Insurance and Employer's Liability Insurance, all to £10m
Contact us for a free, no-obligation quote on 0115 914 8408 / streetwise@streetwiseenvironmental.co.uk Happy gardening The Streetwise Team