10 shocking facts about waste


The UK waste industry faces greater challenges each year as the population grows. We’re producing more and more waste but we’re also striving to manage the processes in better ways to limit the impact on our environment. Read on to discover 10 shocking waste facts that will blow your mind…

1. Each person in the UK throws away their own body weight in rubbish every seven weeks on average. The UK produces more than 100 million tonnes of waste every year – a tonne equates to the equivalent weight of a small car, so that’s a lot of waste! In other words, the waste we produce would fill the Albert Hall in London in less than two hours!

2. Waste causes greenhouse gas emissions. Biodegradable items in landfill rot and decompose. This produces methane, which contributes to global warming. This is why TJ are strong supporters of diverting waste from landfill, opting for other options wherever possible.

Energy can be recovered from waste, mainly through incineration of refuse derived fuel (RDF) and this is something that TJ is involved in. The use of energy recovery from RDF increased by 375% between 2014 and 2016 in the UK, making it an increasingly popular alternative to landfill.

3. Each year we produce around 3% more waste than the year before; if we carry on at this rate, we will double the amount of waste we produce every 25 years.

4. Globally, a million plastic bottles are purchased per minute and most of this plastic ends up in the ocean. Last year, TJ formed a partnership with local non-profit community interest company The Final Straw Solent, whose work revolves around highlighting the impact of plastic pollution on our environment, local seas and wider oceans.

TJ feels strongly about this issue and supports efforts to improve the situation however they can. The Final Straw Solent has a big metal fish structure called Nellie, that acts as a recycling bin for plastic bottles and is positioned in various places around the county, usually to encourage recycling during events. When Nellie was recently in Winchester city centre and full of waste, TJ stepped in and emptied her for free after others refused to help.

5. The average UK family throws away 6 trees’ worth of paper per year; paper and card make up about a fifth of the typical household dustbin. Whilst two-thirds of paper is recycled making it one of the main materials recycled in the UK, we could still do better – always make sure you recycle all your paper and card!

6. We throw away around 50 million tonnes of electrical waste globally every year. That’s nearly 4 million double decker buses worth of old computer equipment, TVs, stereos and kitchen appliances, stretching to the moon more than 3 times over! The WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) directive encourages the collection, treatment, recycling and recovery of waste electrical and electronic equipment. TJ offers a WEEE collection and recycling service as part of their commercial waste management offering and will ensure that your WEEE goes to the right place.

7. Each Christmas, as much as 83 square kilometres of wrapping paper ends up in UK bins when much of it could have been recycled instead. Read our blog Go green this Christmas to find out how you can be more environmentally aware at Christmas time.

8. It is not known how long glass takes to break down, but it is so long that glass made in the Middle East over 3,000 years ago can still be found today. Glass milk bottles are used an average of 13 times before recycling. In 2003, the recycling of glass saved enough energy to launch ten space shuttle missions! Read our blog on the history and future of recycling to find out more.

9. Empty aluminium cans are worth 6 to 20 times more than any other used packaging material. There are more than 30 million pounds’ worth of empty aluminium drinks cans in the UK just waiting to be collected, cashed in and recycled. As a nation, we get through 5 billion drinks cans every year; each one could be recycled back into a new can, saving large amounts of energy, raw materials and waste.

10. It is estimated that up to 80% of the contents of our dustbins could be recycled or composted. TJ recycles up to 100% of the waste that comes through their doors. Their extensive knowledge of a range of recycling centres in and outside of Hampshire helps make all this recycling possible. TJ’s recycling efforts have led to an excess of 250,000 tonnes of waste being diverted from landfill through recycling routes.

TJ’s waste services

Commercial waste management

if your business needs to address their waste management processes, TJ can help! We can provide you with total site waste management, partial site waste management, a Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP) or even waste management for events.

All businesses have a legal responsibility under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and other related legislation to safely contain and legally dispose of any waste produced from your business. If you employ TJ to manage the disposal of your organisation’s waste, please note that we can deal with general waste, recycling, confidential waste and WEEE.

Grab hire

TJ’s grab vehicles make light work of waste removal. They can take a variety of waste streams, including builder’s waste, inert spoil, concrete, bricks, asphalt and green waste. TJ has 6 and 8-wheel grab vehicles, which are suitable for different amounts of waste. Our 6-wheel grabs are particularly useful at sites with low walls and fencing surround them as they can reach over, removing the need to move the waste manually.

Skip hire

For your domestic or trade project, choose from our range of skip size options, which range from 2-yard up to 12-yard, plus 17 or 35-yard containers for commercial use. You’ll find guidance on which size you’re likely to need on our individual skip pages. We can deliver your chosen skip as quickly as the next working day if you wish and you can keep the skip for up to 14 days. Collection date can be arranged at time of booking or you can let us know when you’re done, whatever suits you best.

Find out more about our grab hire, skip hire and commercial waste management services and get in touch if you want to know more!