Britain’s crowning glory – tons of cheap plastic coronation souvenirs 
set to hit landfill

Britain’s disposable society to strike again with single-use party favours

Saturday May 6 th is the big day as King Charles III is crowned at Westminster Abbey, and the party is
expected to last until at least Monday, with one of three bank holidays that month.

And there’s one group of people not looking forward to the aftermath at all – those hardworking
teams from the UK’s waste and recycling companies charged with clearing up after the celebrations.

UK waste collection company says the worst part is going to be separating the recyclable
rubbish from the stuff going to landfill and warns there may be record amounts of the latter.

“Every bank holiday brings a spike in waste,” says spokesperson Mark Hall, “But we think we
might be up to our necks in plastic waste come the Tuesday after the party.”

“It’ll be like Christmas and Easter rolled into one”

The coronation will be, for most of us, a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and it is a very good excuse
for everybody to have a good time away from – well – everything else.

The bad news for the British economy is that every bank holiday costs the nation approximately £3.9
billion* in lost productivity.

The good news, however, is that each holiday gives small businesses such as shops, pubs and
restaurants a modest boost to profits of around £250, while people spend approximately £500m on
leisure activities.

And suffice to say that as well as the boozing, barbecues and endless coronation quiches, there is
going to be astonishing levels of rubbish to go with it.

“It’s going to be the street party to end all parties,” says’s Mark Hall, “and the big problem is
going to be a complete collapse of recycling across households and businesses.

“Nobody thinks about recycling during a celebration, so everything is going to end up in the same bin
bag; and that’s going to end up in landfill. What a waste.”

Christmas produces about 688,000 tonnes of waste but thinks the coronation will be, Christmas and Easter rolled into one.

“Rolled into one, put in big plastic sacks, and dumped in a hole in the ground at your town or city’s
landfill facility,” says Hall. “Three-quarters of a million tonnes? Not out of the question in today’s
disposable society.”

And that’s before we consider the cheap coronation souvenirs.

All the cheap plastic rubbish you can carry

“All that plastic bunting, those Charles and Camilla face masks, cheap imported crowns, the whole
nine yards,” says Mark Hall. “And the sad fact is that it’s all going to end up in the bin.”

If last year’s Platinum Jubilee is anything to go by, there’ll be no end of trashy souvenirs that won’t
make it past the first car boot sale, or the first charity bag to come through the front door.

There are whole lists of these things on the internet – Queen and Corgi car air fresheners, Platinum
Jubilee leggings, and no end of tat embossed with the unfortunate words “platty joobs” – and it’s
highly doubtful whether much of this rubbish has either survived or been sensibly recycled.

“Thank the stars that ‘corribobs’ hasn’t caught on,” says Hall, “but the fact remains that a lot of
souvenirs and bunting at the cheap end of the market will prove to be a tremendous waste of

As a country, we should be doing better, Divert says.

But with the coronation and its long weekend being an enormous hit of the UK economy, the tens of
thousands of tonnes of extra waste to be dealt with, and the possibility and the horror of the gift of
Charlie and Camilla boxer shorts, is it all worth it?

“Of course it is,” says Mark, “We need the burst of national pride, and we need a party. Get out
there and enjoy yourselves.

“But remember to separate your recyclables, in the name of the King.”

* Based on £2.9bn per bank holiday calculated by the Centre for Economics and Business Research in
2012, adjusted for inflation

Let’s turn the Earth green this St Patrick’s Day

Raise a pint of Guinness and enjoy the luck of the Irish!

No matter how Irish you are, or how far from Ireland you live, get your Guinness at the ready, as St Patrick’s Day is upon us on the 17th March.

But is our much-loved Irish holiday causing an environmental hangover, as well as leaving you with a banging headache and a mountain of waste to deal with on the 18th?

Waste collection experts Divert aren’t happy about the heap of rubbish we leave behind every year as we celebrate the luck of the Irish, with bins overflowing with empty tins and single-use fancy dress items clogging up our landfill sites.

Spokes-leprechaun Mark Hall says: “Everyone and anyone will suddenly claim to be of Irish descent and want to join in on the shindigs – but is all the rubbish worth it just to celebrate one day of the year?

“Maybe the best way to turn the town green this year is to go for the greener and more sustainable options by choosing to reuse and recycle during these festivities.”

Pints of pointless garbage

Over the years, St Patrick’s Day has become a commercial success with dressing up and drinking at the forefront as we celebrate Irish heritage.

Hazel from Dorchester says – “I’m a quarter Irish but it’s all the excuse I need to go to town every year, neck a few pints of Guinness, and pester the DJ all night to play a bit of B*Witched”.

Partiers certainly love a pint of Guinness to celebrate the beloved patron saint of Ireland, with over 13 million pints of the Irish stout being consumed on March 17th – enough to fill 3 Olympic sized swimming pools.

Aside from tins, a lot of this will come in plastic cups and bottles with approximately over 13,500 tonnes being disposed of during the festivities.

And for those who like a cheeky cigarette when they drink, over 1 billion butts are reportedly thrown on the ground, instead of disposed of in bins. 

Dublin City Council conducts a colossal clean up mission, costing a small fortune to hire staff to collect over 20 tonnes of rubbish in the heart of the city during the course of the day.

In other words, a lot of stuff gets littered unnecessarily.

Hall – “If you’re going to get the tins in this Paddy’s Day, don’t forget to put the empties in your kerbside recycling bin for collection – and the same goes for your glass and plastic bottles too.

“And don’t be a bad leprechaun, make sure you’re disposing of your rubbish correctly and it’s not thrown haphazardly on the ground.”

Dressing head-to-toe in green attire has become part of the festivities on St. Patrick’s Day, with 80% of those celebrating planning to don the colour for the occasion.

This year, consumers are set to spend more than ever before for the big day, including on their fancy dress. Britons spend around £2.7 billion on single use outfits a year, including fast-fashion fancy dress items for St Patrick’s Day such as giant green hats, fake leprechaun beards, wigs, and deely-bopper headbands.

But the problem is that most of these items will only be used once before being chucked in the bin. waste expert Hall says: “A lot of fancy dress costumes are made from polyester, which is cheap to make but a nightmare to recycle as they are made using oil and mixed in with other materials. This means if you throw them away, they can be sat rotting in a landfill for decades.

“Why not keep it simple with a classic green novelty shirt that you bring out every March, or just a few accessories such as a silly hat or bowtie that you store away until the following year.”

There are also plenty of great fancy dress shops up and down the country that you can hire outfits from if you’re looking to switch up your St. Paddy’s style every year. And at the very least, if you’re finished with an item you can always donate it to charity instead of lobbing it in the bin.

So this year, maybe instead of focusing all the attention on the Chicago River being dyed green (they use 23kg of dye, fact fans), we should think about how our actions on this merry occasion can leave a lasting green impact on our plane

World Book Day: From Pulped Fiction to greener reading

Please stop throwing your old Dan Browns and Fifty Shades in the bin

Whether you’re a fan of a thriller, a sucker for romance, or just like to stick to the facts – there is a book for everyone to get stuck into this World Book Day – but have you ever stopped to think just how sustainable the book in your hands is?

With two in five Britons reading for pleasure weekly, bibliophiles may have to change how they consume their media of choice to help save the planet says one waste and recycling company.

UK waste collection company have read up on the facts to find out how we can make this hobby less wasteful on the environment after discovering that the book industry is on-track to cut down 3.4 billion trees, an area four times the size of Wales.

Mark Hall, spokesman for waste experts, says: “The sad fact is that physical books create a significant environmental impact, from the deforestation they take to be made, to the endless heaps of Dan Browns that end up unnecessarily at landfills.”

“We need to reconsider how we can enjoy this simple pleasure in ways that can be better for the environment, while also still being able to get lost in the pages of a good book.”

Paper or digital?

Technology has created more ways for us to consume media than ever before – so reading your favourite book has come a long way from borrowing dog-eared copies from your local library.

People can now get their fix of fact or fiction in a whole range of ways from e-books to audio books, by easily downloading books to read and listen to on the go.

But just how many people are switching from flicking through the pages to these new digital options? Divert conducted a poll over 1,000 people and found that only 25% of readers are likely to use an e-book such as a kindle to read, and less than 10% would listen to an audio book.

This is significantly less than those who still prefer a physical copy of a book, with 75% of readers still choosing paperback and hardback books as their preferred way to read.

Sophia from Leeds says – “I find carrying my kindle to work is a lot easier that bringing an actual book, and I find the downloads are often cheaper too. The battery lasts for ages, and it’s like having the whole library in my pocket.”

Meanwhile Maz from Swansea disagrees – “I think I’m just as addicted to buying books as I am reading them, it’s all about having a good look around a bookshop and the smell of the pages!”

Divert’s Mark Hall says “The digital revolution is seeping its way into the book world, but it seems that people still love the feel of turning the page and holding a physical book.”

“But if you prefer the aesthetics of cultivating a beautiful book collection, there are lots of ways to build the bookshelf of your dreams in a way that is better for the planet – and your pocket – while still being able to show off just how well read you are.”

Preloved page-turners

An excellent way to get the kick of collecting physical books is to shop for preloved copies from charity and second-hand book shops.

Books are one of the most donated items to charity shops up and down the UK. And it’s not just multiple copies of Fifty Shades of Grey you’ll find, they often have a wide range spanning from the classics, all the way to recent releases and even comic books.

“Most of the time the books haven’t even been opened, so you can snap up the latest must-read in mint condition, for a fraction of the price,” says Hall.

Once you’ve read your nearly-new book, you can always re-donate it again to make room for new reading material, or you can organise book swaps with friends and family.

If you find that your battered old books are beyond the point of no return, it is possible to recycle them, but this process isn’t as straightforward as you might think.

Hall: “The glue that is used to bind the pages of books together is the biggest problem here, and the spine has to be guillotined off at the recycling centre.”

Because it’s so labour intensive, most kerbside collections won’t take books in your recycling bins, so it’s always better to try to reuse and donate them as much as possible.

“There are plenty of ways we can continue to enjoy reading without the needless binning of good books. I for one am planning to do my bit by passing on my well-loved Mills and Boon books to a local charity shop and downloading the rest of the collection on my Kindle.”

Slow down Fashion Week – Fast fashion is so last season

Why your next fashion bargain should be recycled

Fashion Week is here – and eagle-eyed fashionistas will be closely paying attention to new trends and the styles of tomorrow.

But according to one waste and recycling company which sits on the cutting edge of fashion, the age of cheap fast fashion in the shops is coming to an end.

That’s being replaced by a new era of preloved clothing, says, with consumers changing their habits away from the high street and online fast-fashion retailers.

“Fast fashion means tonnes of lower quality goods going straight from wardrobe to the rubbish tip,” says spokesperson Mark Hall, “it’s the most tremendous waste of time, money and resources.”

Instead, he says, people are turning to quality goods being sold online on Facebook Marketplace, Ebay and Vinted. “Why throw it out when you can make money on it?” he says.

The end of fast fashion?

Fast fashion specialises in regular changes to clothing lines, often with cheaply made garments and lower price tags, to keep consumers decked out in the latest wears without costing a small fortune.

But this all comes at an environmental cost, with the industry producing more CO2 emissions a minute than driving a car around the world six times.

And if that hasn’t shocked you, here are some more unsustainable facts about the fashion industry:

It takes over 2,700 litres of water to produce just a single t-shirt.
The textile industry uses around 93 billion cubic metres of water a year – enough to fill 37 million Olympic swimming pools.
Only 12% of clothing materials get recycled.
On average, every person in the UK throws 3.1kg of textiles away each year – making the UK the fourth highest in Europe.
UK waste specialists know only too well the side effects of fast fashion, with heaps of clothes ending up in landfill each year and instead of being correctly recycled.

Company spokesman Mark Hall “360,000 tonnes of decent clothing a year ends up in the dump here in the UK, mostly because fashion trends move so quickly, and once people are done with something they chuck it.”

And fast fashion being what it is, many people think the garments are too low quality to give to a charity shop.

But fortunately, a new poll conducted by found that over 60% of 1,000 people asked were happy to buy preloved items of clothing, which mirrors other consumer polls saying that the second-hand clothing market is looking to overtake the fast fashion movement by the end of the decade.

Would you consider buying second-hand clothing?
Yes – 62%
No – 11%
I could be persuaded – 27%

Hall says: “Second-hand clothing is nothing new, older generations grew up wearing hand-me-downs from friends and family, and current movements such as clothes swapping are gaining popularity on social media.

“So it’s no surprise to see that people are willing to give older garments a second life. And there are plenty of reasons why now more than ever people are making the switch. People are trying to make eco-friendly decisions, so they’re turning to charity shops and second-hand sellers to cut down their own impact on the planet and reduce carbon footprints.”

“And right now with the cost of living crisis, buying clothes in charity shops is not just a trend but a necessity for those looking to style new outfits in a pinch. And online gives people the chance of making a few pounds on their old clothes.”

But for those garments that have well and truly had it, all Divert asks is for you to look to your local recycling centres and make sure the textiles are correctly disposed of. This way they can be broken back down into their natural fibres and can be remade into new materials.

Hall: “Instead of constantly creating more and more new things, we need to be making the most of what we already have, right down to the bare bones of it. The more we can do this, the less waste we will make, and the better the environment for us all”.

But for the more ethically conscious fans of Fashion Week, make sure you check out the Oxfam show, which will feature a mix of “second-hand designer items, vintage finds and some pre-loved high street clothes”.

National Cheese Lovers Day: How to stop your cheese going off

A solution so simple, we actually feel a bit stupid saying it out loud

The most important day of the year for cheese-lovers poses a question for anybody who appreciates the popular dairy product: “Do you know where your cheese is?”

Far too often, says one waste and recycling company, the answer is “going mouldy in your fridge”.

And for – the waste company that hates waste – the amount of cheese wasted by the British public is a scandal of national proportions.

“We, as a nation, throw thousands of tonnes of cheese in the bin every year,” says Divert spokesperson Mark Hall. “And it’s ironic that National Cheese Lovers Day is the annual peak for cheese wastage.”

So how can we show our love for the greatness that is the varied world of cheese? It’s simple: Remember to eat it.

The sordid truth about bad cheese

According to recent surveys by the government’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign, as well as one of our fellow waste companies, people in the UK waste hundreds of tonnes of cheese every day, largely because it has been left to go mouldy or dry out.

“And the peak time for this is the second half of January,” says Divert’s Mark Hall, “That’s when people remember they bought a Christmas cheese board selection in December, and only become aware of it when it begins to stink their fridge out.”

That’s when the British nation collectively turns up their nose at bad cheese, and throws around 2,000 tonnes of the stuff in the bin. Ironically, that time coincides with National Cheese Lovers Day, which is nothing to be proud of.

“These cheeses died for nothing!” roars Mark, “And it didn’t have to be that way.”

The sad truth is that people tend to buy fancy cheeses without trying them, find out it’s not to their taste, and then forget about it.

Coupled with the fact that most people don’t know how to store their cheese correctly, then it’s not long before they dry out or go mouldy.

Save the cheeses!

Cheese dates back to a period before human history, so nobody really knows how it came about. But in those thousands of years (with only the last 100 or so given the benefit of electric fridges) humanity has learned a thing or two about storage.

And the number one way to prevent your cheese from going off is “Remember to eat it”.

“I actually feel a bit daft having to say this,” says Divert’s Mark Hall. “The best way to prevent food wastage is not to waste food. Primarily, by putting it in your face. Astonishing, really.”

We’ve even created a handy flow diagram to illustrate this jaw-dropping food-based tip, which can be separately applied to foods which are not cheese.

You might be astonished to learn that the concept of “eating cheese” is not confined only to having it in a sandwich, or with a nice pickle and crackers.

The world is your cheesy oyster when it comes to cheese-based recipes, and you don’t need to be Jamie Oliver to turn out un pièce de résistance en fromage (“A masterpiece in cheese”). Easy recipes include:

• Cheesy mashed potatoes
• Exotic macaroni cheese with the remnants of your Christmas cheeseboard
• And the classic: Cheese on toast

If, for some reason which escapes us, you are not in the mood to eat your cheese, then its life can be extended by proper cheese storage.

Most people get this horribly wrong by simply wrapping it in clingfilm, but this is Route One to early cheese spoilage and the recycling bin.

Instead, put it, in its own wrapper, if possible, inside a sealed container in your fridge. That way it won’t dry out, and is less likely to go mouldy.

Praying to Saint Lucius, patron saint of cheeses and cheese-makers (feast day: 12th July), may also bring results, depending on your level of belief.

“Follow these simple steps, and National Cheese Lovers Day can be every day of the year,” says Mark Hall.

How to eat cheese

Half of people planning to give friends and family cash toward their bills this year

Have yourself an energy-saving little Christmas

Half of people planning to give friends and family cash toward their bills this year

Christmas 2022 looks like it’s going to be a frugal affair as millions of Britons feel the strain of rising utility bills and food prices.

And one UK waste company has found that up to half of people are planning to give at least one person in their immediate circle of family and friends cash toward paying their fuel bills.

UK waste collection company also found that millions are planning to rein in their Christmas celebrations this year, simply because an all-the-trimmings Yuletide is going to be far too expensive for many household budgets.

“From smaller presents to ditching the turkey roast, it’s going to be a money-saving Christmas,” says spokesperson Mark Hall.

“And the thing that struck us the most is the sheer number of people who tell us that they want to help those who are going to be choosing between heating their homes and having a hot meal.”

The gift of energy

There’s no hiding the fact that millions of families are struggling to pay the bills this year after unprecedented rises to the cost of living. Christmas looks like it’s going to be one with the thermostat turned right down.

And in a survey of 1600 households, 48% said they were already planning to give money to others at Christmas to help them with their bills through the festive season.

“Over and over again we heard the same stories of Christmas cut-backs, and the willingness to share the burden,” says Divert’s Mark Hall. For example:

Alex from York told us: “My mortgage payments have trebled in the last 12 months and there’s no denying I’m feeling the crunch. But there are others who are far worse than me, so for Christmas both of my grown-up children are going to be getting their electricity bills on me for a while.”
Lucy from Leeds said: “I’m going to be slipping fifty pounds in tenners through the letterbox of my elderly neighbour. She’s really struggling, and too proud to ask despite always complaining about her house being cold.”
John in Sheffield: “No turkey this year, no huge tree, no massive presents. But we’re going to give cash to the local food bank inside half a dozen anonymous Christmas cards so people can at least afford a hot meal – I don’t care what they spend it on, everybody deserves a bit of joy.”’s Mark Hall: “That’s the kind of thing that we as a responsible company in the community want to encourage. It even softened my hardened heart, to be honest.”

 ‘I don’t want to cause a fuss, but…’

The news that people are willing to share what little they have spare comes after a previous Divert survey earlier this year showed that some 93% of senior citizens would refuse financial help from relatives to help them cover their bills.

“This is a fine example of good old British stubbornness of not wanting to cause a fuss for others while you suffer in silence,” says Hall. “And often they’re the people who actually need it the most.”

That being the case, you still have multiple options, say Divert.

Give them the money anyway – direct into their bank account or onto their utility bill balance if you know the details!
Give to a charity that will help them, and people in the same straits – a food bank, charities working to alleviate poverty, local groups offering Christmas meals for the lonely etc.
Get out and do some volunteering. It’s like giving a present to your local community.
And notices the first tentative steps toward utility gift cards, a concept the company called for earlier this year.

“One renewable energy company – Ripple Energy – is offering gift cards, but the recipient has to be one of their customers,” says Hall. “It’s a start, but the big companies need to catch on.

“But they’re probably worried that it might not be a great PR move. We think it’s a great PR move.”

With Christmas looking like it’s going to be somewhat smaller than usual, Divert says that the impetus should be on sharing with others less fortunate than you.

“After all, isn’t that what Christmas is all about?” says Mark. “And with half the country already planning to just that, we’re already on our way.”

Millions of pounds of expired Covid PPE heading to the tip

Playing it safe, or another rubbish waste of money?

Expired protective gear worth millions of pounds purchased to fight the Covid-19 pandemic is now heading for the rubbish tip.

One UK waste and recycling company says they have received multiple enquiries to help dispose of huge quantities of PPE safely, including tons of alcohol-based hand sanitiser which could pose a fire risk., say that they’ve been contacted by hospitals, GP surgeries, large companies, and the suppliers themselves to deal with a mountain of unused and unusable masks, hand sanitisers and protective wear.

“Some people might say it’s an enormous waste of public money,” says spokesperson Mark Hall, “but the truth is a little bit more complicated than that.”

What’s going on then?

It’s quite simple – the people in charge of manufacturing and distributing Covid-19 PPE ordered far too much, and much of it is now past its use-by date. The only option is to bin it all, says Divert’s Mark Hall.

The last two winters have seen big spikes in the number of Covid cases and deaths. However, this hasn’t materialised (so far) this year, largely due to the fact that over 93% of eligible people in England have had at least one vaccine, and vulnerable people are still taking precautions.

There are still significant numbers of cases, but the numbers are far lower than previous years. So PPE is still needed, but not so much.

“It’s all a matter of predicting risk,” says Mark Hall, “They planned for the worst, and thankfully the worst – another big outbreak – hasn’t happened.”

While many will see this as an enormous waste of money and resources – and in some senses it’s true – there would have been (literally) Questions in the House if it was needed and not immediately available, workplace health and safety experts told us.

The scale of the problem is enormous, though. provided some examples of customer waste collection enquires that they’ve received in the past week alone:

900 pallets of hand sanitiser
At least 250,000 face masks
Pallets of protective clothing such as disposable aprons etc

Hall commented, “This is happening up and down the whole country, and it’s mind-blowing”.

What can you do about it?

The good news is that unused face masks can be recycled, but it’s not a simple process. This is especially the case if they contain metal that helps them keep their shape and protect the user with a good air seal.

Metals, fibres and plastics that go into medical-quality masks can all be recycled, but it’s labour intensive if you’re faced with quarter of a million of them.

The question of unused hand sanitiser is more difficult. Our advice to consumers has always been that small quantities of unused sanitiser are fine to be flushed down the drain and the plastic bottle recycled.

But a pallet of sanitiser contains something like 500 litres (110 gallons) of 70% alcohol-based liquid. It’s a massive fire risk, and too hazardous to be just tipped away. As one commentator puts it, “once it’s in the sewers and vapourised, one spark will blow the manhole covers sky high”.

“That’s why it’s got to be classed as hazardous waste and treated accordingly,” says Hall.

That means specialist treatments need to be used to convert ethyl and isopropyl alcohol into something less harmful. In the case of hand sanitiser, it can be recovered safely into alcohol which can be used as a fuel. This also helps to mitigate the cost of disposal.

“Nothing is entirely straightforward in the world of waste and recycling,” says Divert’s Mark Hall, “and that’s because – quite rightly – you can’t just bury anything that looks a bit difficult to deal with.”

Any further questions?

Question: Can’t it be used for things that aren’t Covid-19 related?

Answer: Yes, and a lot of it was. But there was still far too much to use.

Question: Can’t it just be given to a developing country?

Answer: No, because that would just shift the risk of infection elsewhere. Also, it would be insulting.

Question: Can you deal with this enormous quantity of expired PPE in our stores?

Answer: Why yes. Yes, we can.

Half of men don’t use a public toilet hand dryer

The ritual ‘rubbing your hands on your trouser legs’ still rules in the gents

More than half of British men don’t use electric hand dryers in public toilets and would wipe their hands on their trouser legs even if paper towels are provided.

Those are the frankly weird findings of a waste and recycling company looking into the tonnes of paper towel waste that goes to landfill every year.

According to Yorkshire-based, it turns out that men are habitually greener (if not more hygienic) in public toilets by drying their hands on something that is essentially recyclable – their own trousers.

“We wanted to find out how to save paper towels, and also slash electricity used by super-fast dryers,” said spokesman Mark Hall, “but we found out something about male toilet habits we just had to share.”

“Interestingly, women are the complete opposite,” says Mark. “They’ve good higher standards, obviously”.

Dryer vs towel vs trousers: Let battle commence asked hundreds of men and women which method they used to dry their hands after using a workplace or public toilet. The results were very much split along gender lines:


Hand dryer 14%

Towels 20%

Wipe hands on clothing 52%

Don’t know/don’t care 14%


Hand dryer 44%

Towels 40%

Wipe hands on clothing 5%

Don’t know/don’t care 11%

Asked why they don’t use the electric hand dryer or paper towels, men offered a variety of excuses:

“There’s always a queue, it’s far easier to wipe and walk” Tom H, London

“They’re unhygienic, blowing Covid germs all over the place” Andrew H, West Yorkshire

“They’re far too noisy these days, I can’t stand them” Colin B, York

“They never get your hands dry anyway. Why waste your time standing there?” Ben B, Swindon

“I’ll use paper towels if they’re there, otherwise it’s the trouser legs” Mike G, Nottingham

Additionally, a significant number of men (10% of the don’t know/don’t care) column say they don’t wash their hands at all after using the toilet. That figure was only 2% among woman.

As one man told us: “I only bother if I wee on them, which isn’t often. My aim’s really good”. Tony H, Ilkley

But on the other hand, one woman said: “Hygiene is important, especially in the pandemic. Washing and drying your hands is vital and we can’t afford to let our standards drop”.

What’s the take-home from this (apart from toilet germs)?

What started as an earnest investigation into the wasted resources involved in the art of handwashing became an eye-opening voyage of discovery into male toilet habits.

“We don’t as a rule hang around toilets asking pointed questions, but our industry is all about trying to cut down on paper waste that goes to landfill,” says spokesperson Mark Hall. “Sometimes you just end up with totally unexpected results.”

Here’s why we were asking: According to one hand dryer manufacturer, the average paper towel dispenser in a public toilet gets through about 80,000 paper towels a year, weighing 160kg. All of this goes to landfill.

And while giant steps are being made to decrease the power and noise levels from electric hand dryers, there are still tens of thousands out there drawing massive amounts of power for a 20 second drying cycle.

“That almost seems to sell the idea of wiping your hands on your trousers,” says’s Mark Hall.

But with dryers becoming more energy efficient, faster and far less noisy, it stands to reason that the age of the soggy paper towel is coming to an end.

And for the men of the UK, at least, that means the end of the wipe-and-walk of shame.

You might want to skip this bit

Our survey didn’t go exactly to plan, and we cannot finish without revealing what one truck driver told us after revealing he was one of the few who users paper towels all the time:

“I have seen with my own eyes an elderly gentleman drying his willy with a hand dryer at a motorway service station,” said this Knight of the Road, “It is something I shall take to my grave.” Mark T Addingham

Divert launches gutter cleaning service

Divert adds new gutter cleaning services to its offering, alongside core rubbish removal and recycling services.

York-based waste collection and recycling company Divert have branched out to start offering professional and local gutter cleaning for homes and businesses around Yorkshire. Investment, recruitment, and training in the use of state-of-the-art skyVac® gutter vacuums means we can now offer safe, efficient, and cost-effective gutter cleaning.

Strong growth since forming in early 2021 saw Divert add to our team and distinctive fleet of purple vans earlier in 2022. Following on from that success, now feels like the right time to introduce the further addition of gutter cleaning services to our roster.

Why clean gutters?

Gutter cleaning and rubbish removal go hand-in-hand – as with both services our expert team get rid of unwanted waste from residential and commercial properties. While some people might try to clear their own gutters, we use state-of-the-art equipment for fast, effective, and economical results.

Clean gutters are important on any type of building. They ensure the smooth flow of rainwater and proper drainage. Leaves, twigs, and debris can naturally build up in roof gutters and cause blockages.

These clogs prevent effective drainage and may lead to standing water accumulating in the gutters, which adds unexpected weight and pressure. This can cause water to overflow, leaks, and damage to the property. Our gutter cleaning services help protect against such risks.

Market-leading gutter cleaning systems

At Divert, our team are trained in and use the innovative skyVac® gutter vacuums to clean the gutters of any home or business. They use these high-reach vacuums from the ground to clean your gutters safely and effectively.

There’s no need for ladders, scaffolding, or cherry pickers that take time, cost money, and may damage guttering if leant against it. And once all the dirt and debris is sucked up into the vacuum below, we’ll remove and dispose of it properly – just like we do with our other waste removal services.

Each skyVac® gutter vacuum has a camera on the end, so our team can see inside your gutters and ensure they remove every bit of dirt. Plus, they can use the camera to take photos before and after the gutter cleaning to show you the results.

Where do Divert offer gutter cleaning?

Currently we provide gutter cleaning services for homes and businesses in the same areas where we collect your waste across Yorkshire. These include four main towns and cities across the White Rose County:

  • York
  • Leeds
  • Harrogate
  • Bradford

How can I arrange gutter cleaning?

Interested in gutter cleaning for your home or business? Contact us online for a fast and free quote.

Or if you want to know more about the world of gutter cleaning and services we provide, please call us.

DEATH FROM ABOVE: War declared between bin men and monster seagulls

Winged hooligans bring misery to the heroes who empty our bins

A new front has opened in the war between mankind and vicious flying fury – the seagulls are after our refuse collectors, and they’re bigger and angrier than before.

Refuse collectors all over the country say that the avian criminals are bolder than ever in their attempts to get their beaks into tasty rubbish, to the point that they’ll physically attack any poor human that stands in their way.

And one national waste and recycling company, – says the problem is only getting worse, and has the pictures to prove it.

“It’s like a scene out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie,” says spokesperson Mark Hall, “The one with all the birds”.

While seagulls and rubbish dumps go together in a love-hate relationship like Han and Leia in Star Wars, Hall explains, “these new super-angry seagulls are becoming a total birdemic, with our teams being forced to run for their lives”.

Birdemic: What’s going on?

When Eric Cantona famously made his bizarre ‘seagulls follow the trawler’ speech, he was wrong in every way. Seagulls, as we all know, follow the bin lorry, and the feathered fiends seem to be getting more vicious every day.

Barely a day goes by without the beady eyes of the airborne hooligans settling upon one of our team emptying a bin or unloading the truck, without them swooping in for the kill, squawking like a demented car alarm.

Whether they’re protecting their young, looking for tasty treats among the refuse, or that they simply hate humans, it looks like increasing numbers of urban gulls are fighting for every scrap of food they can find, and they won’t let waste collectors stand in their way.

And one thing is certain among veterans of the waste industry- these monsters are more numerous and far larger than the scrawny specimens of the past.

“It’s like they came from an Evil Scientist’s lab”, says Divert’s Mark Hall, “but we know that the birds are eating better, getting more confident, and know they’re getting the better of us.”

“God help us all if these monsters start organising themselves.”

“It was like a nightmare become real,” says refuse operator Dariusz of one of his several bird-based ordeals, “they came out of nowhere and just went for me, all beaks and claws.

“I had to run for the truck cab to save myself,” he said, “there were already two other guys in there doing the same.”

It’s even worse by the coast where, emboldened by the easy pickings left by careless tourists, the winged ASBO candidates have declared war on people tasked with taking their food supply away – the vulnerable, and some would say innocent, refuse operative.

“Empty a seafront bin?” says refuse collector Mark Taylor of Addingham, “not without full protective gear. I’m ex-Forces and nothing terrifies me more than those flying gits.”

What can be done?

The rise of the urban gull and their evil human-hating ways comes directly from human activity.

High-rise buildings mean that they can lay their eggs and raise their brood out of the reach of natural predators like foxes. More seagulls surviving means less food to go around, and that has turned them into vicious pecking machines with a liking for extreme violence in their search for sustenance.

That makes bins, rubbish dumps, and recycling centres a natural target for feathered death from above, and the one thing between them and their target are our day-glo clad heroes, armed with nothing but a broom and their wits.

People feeding the gulls, either in city centres or the seafront, only encourage them to associate human activity with food, to the point that they will swoop in and steal it out of your hand.

And it’s a psychological battle, as it’s very much frowned upon to actually hurt or kill a gull, so it’s more about deterrence than resorting to violence to end this bewildering war.

Mark Hall of say: “That means homeowners, landlords and businesses should make their rooftops unwelcoming for gulls so that numbers might gradually decline.

“Food waste should be well wrapped to prevent the birds getting a whiff of your half-eaten kebab.”

“But most of all – Tourists and city folk: PLEASE Stop feeding the gulls. We’ve seen enough pecking injuries in the refuse industry to last a lifetime.”

seagulls attack bin men