Monthly Archives: April 2018

Is There An Afterlife For Chewing Gum?

You may have been told as a child not to chew gum, due to the harmful effects of its sugar  your teeth. However, we now know that chewing gum damages more than just your teeth; gum is actually the second most common type of litter found in the streets, besides cigarettes, and UK councils spend an estimated £50m every year cleaning up gum litter. In fact, the UK Parliament has even considered imposing taxes on chewing gum companies if they fail to take more action to combat the litter problem.
But what if there was a way to recycle used chewing gum so that it can be put to new use, the way we do for paper and plastics? This is exactly what Anna Bullus, who has spent several years researching recycling initiatives, hopes to achieve. By analyzing the chemical base of chewing gum, Bullus has discovered that this substance is actually a polymer compound, which is a type of synthetic rubber used in items such as bicycle wheel tubes. This means that even used chewing gum has the potential to be re-purposed into something useful.

However, the real challenge is persuading people to donate their used gum instead of just tossing it on the street. To tackle this challenge, Bullus came up with the unique idea called Gumdrop. As part of her plan, bright pink, bubble-shaped bins are placed in the streets for the purpose of disposing of chewed gum in a clean and sanitary manner. The Gumdrop bins are designed to be hung at head-level for easier access and visibility and are actually made of recycled chewing gum. Any gum collected in the bins will be sent for recycling.

The initiative has already met with some success. The Gumdrop bins were rolled out at various locations including Heathrow Airport, Great Western Railway and the University of Winchester, leading to thousands of pounds in savings due to less clean up needed and a noticeable change in the amount of gum litter.

Bullus also set out to find industrial partners who would be willing to recycle the old gum and was able to reach an agreement with a recycling plant in Worcester, where the plant collects the bins and sorts out any unwanted materials, such as paper and wrappers. The gum is then ground up into pieces and then mixed with other recycled plastic polymers. The recycled mixture is sent to Amber Valley, a plastic moulding specialist in Leicester, who injects the mixture into moulding machines where it is heated and ejected as a paste, which can be moulded into new objects.

So far, Gumdrops has received positive feedback from some major companies, including Wrigley’s, one of the world’s largest gum manufacturers. Wrigley’s has provided financial backing to Gumdrops and is also providing the project with surplus materials from its factory in Plymouth to aid in this new recycling endeavour.

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What items can’t I put in a skip?

When you are renovating your home, you’re going to need to have a clear out and get rid of all the stuff you’ve been hoarding for years. It’s important to be ruthless and get rid of anything you don’t want anymore. And that means making use of a skip in order to dump your unwanted belongings.

Skips are incredibly useful for things like old furniture, wood, metal, and the like, but you also have to understand the best way of using them. This means recognising that there are certain items you can’t put in a skip. You might have thought you can get away with putting anything in your skip, but this is far from the truth of the matter. These are some of the items you can’t put in a skip when you’re having a renovation:


Just imagine back in the day when we weren’t aware of the inherent health risks of asbestos! These days we know that it can cause cancer, and all kinds of other health problems. So, whatever work you’re doing, if you come across any asbestos, you have to be sure not to put asbestos in the skip. You need to make sure you deal with in the correct fashion, and that means contacting the relevant people to come and remove the asbestos as soon as possible.

Gas Bottles and Cylinders

Gas bottles and cylinders also have to be properly taken care of, otherwise they are a major health risk. Imagine if they fell into the wrong hands, or they came into contact with fire – the damage and carnage could be catastrophic. This is why these kinds of items are also not allowed in skips, and should be dealt with in correctly. You might consider taking them to the local tip, where there are usually facilities for disposing of gas canisters.

Toxic Waste

Toxic waste is not something that you can or should just throw in the skip. It can be hazardous to the environment, and to people who might come into contact with it. That’s why the procedure for disposing of this kind of waste is a little different to regular waste. Toxic waste is not something you should ever be putting in the skip – it can be dangerous, so you mustn’t simply throw it away. Come up with alternative means of disposing of toxic waste, and make sure you save the skip for other things.

There are a fair few other things you can’t put in a skip, and these include; batteries, air conditioning units, mattresses, paint, and medical waste. All of these things can have an adverse effect on the surrounding area, not to mention posing health risks as well – so you need to come up with other ways of disposing of these materials aside from using a skip.