How to Recycle the ‘Unrecyclable’

How to Recycle the ‘Unrecyclable’

From home renovations to large scale commercial refits, at AJ Grab Hire we’ve come into contact with every kind of waste you can imagine. 

With many years under our belt with supporting both small projects and large firms, we know that managing waste removal can be overwhelming – especially when there is waste you don’t actually know what to do with. 

While at AJ Grab Hire we can remove green waste, timber, rubble, muck and rubbish, there are some waste items that we’re not allowed to touch, and need special handling due to the sensitivity of the substance or materials. 

We’ve listed below the items we can’t remove, and provided guidance and advice on what to do if you do need these materials removed from your site.


Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibre that was heavily used in the construction industry during the 1990s. 

Before anyone knew the dangers and risks associated with asbestos it was used as insulation in buildings, sprayed onto walls, and even used in flooring and roofing products. 

Asbestos is now banned in the UK, but some buildings constructed before the year 2000 may still have asbestos. 

Those working in the construction industry will be all too aware of the major risks linked to asbestos, and the word often strikes fear into many construction workers who have seen first hand the damage it can do.

Asbestos once inhaled can embed itself in the human lungs and cause a variety of health problems. Unfortunately, Asbestos related diseases are usually fatal, and still today in the UK more than 5,000 people die from Asbestos related health problems. 

If you discover Asbestos in a building or property that you are working on, it is classed as hazardous material. 

You should not touch the Asbestos or try to remove it yourself, and instead contact your local authorities to let them know that Asbestos has been discovered. Your local authority will then provide you with details to a specialist who will come and remove it. 

Asbestos cannot be put into a skip or recycled. 

Any poor handling of asbestos puts people at risk of developing asbestos-related diseases. 

There is currently no cure for asbestos related diseases, therefore there are fines and strict regulations around the handling of the material.


It may be rare that you come into contact with tyres on your project, but these products can throw a spanner in the works if you do not know how to remove it consciously. After all, you don’t just want to throw it in with all the other waste. 

Tyres can be recycled, and are now made into many other products including road materials, and even rubber crumb on artificial sports pitches. 

You can either take tyres to your local mechanic centre where they collect tyres, or if you have a large number of them, you can hire a tyre recycling specialist to come and collect them.

Gas Canisters 

Large gas canisters may appear in derelict buildings where they were once used as fuel. 

Should you discover any gas canisters in a building or property that you are renovating you will be pleased to know that these can easily be recycled and should not be placed into landfill. 

If you know the supplier of the gas canister, they will accept them back, and often collect them so that they can be reused. 

However if you are not aware of the supplier or brand of gas canister, it is best advised to contact your local authority who will be able to provide you with information on their recycling. Most local authorities accept them at Household recycling centres, but it is best to check your own local authority as the rules change by county. 

Toxic Chemicals 

Hazardous and toxic chemicals cause major issues on construction sites, as once detected they can put delays in the development plan.

Toxic of hazardous waste is identified as a material that will cause significant harm to human health or the environment. 

Toxic chemicals for example must be sorted and stored differently to general waste, as there is a heightened focus on safety and security. 

When any hazardous or toxic waste is found on a site you must notify your local authority, and hire specialists in the removal of toxic waste, as there are specific permits and methods which must be followed. 

A certified waste remover should provide you with the full details of where your toxic waste will be disposed of. This is certainly one instance where you must have an accredited waste remover as the consequences of rogue waste removal in toxic waste are severe, threatening both life and the environment. 

On the removal of hazardous waste from any premises you will be given a consignment note which must be completed to accompany the toxic waste. 

A consignment note acts as a paper or electronic receipt for movements of hazardous waste. They are colour-coded and divided into three parts.

  1. Producer’s/holder’s/consignor’s copy (white).
  2. Carrier’s copy (yellow).
  3. Consignee’s copy (pink).


As you can see, aside from some products, almost anything you find onsite can be recycled. 

While at AJ Grab Hire we do not handle toxic or hazardous waste, we can help with all your other waste requirements that aren’t quite as dangerous. 

Contact our team today to get a quote. 


AJ Grab Hire

Head Office:
Langdale Farm
Cambridge Road

Top Locations

Saffron Walden
Bury St Edmunds


Opening times

Mon – Fri 9am – 5.30pm
Sat 9am – 12pm

T: 01763 233493
M: 07931 142198

The Five Ways Grab Hire is Keeping Your Site Safe

The Five Ways Grab Hire is Keeping Your Site Safe

We may now have a roadmap out of the UK lockdown, but site safety still remains paramount as we await for the vaccination roll out and ensure that the spread of covid-19 finally stalls.  Construction work across the UK has continued during many of the UK lockdowns, as both essential works have needed to be carried out, and the government has leant on the continuation of the sector to help keep the economy going. 

Site safety has been hugely stepped up from the usual health and safety checks as companies have been consistently testing key works to help prevent any covid-19 infections.  If you’re working towards creating a safer site, both now and post-covid we’ve listed how making a small change to grab hire can support you on this journey. 

1) A Clear Site

Social distancing has been one of the biggest changes to help sites to resist the spread of covid-19. And while it’s not always easy to distance yourself on a site with the many intricate pieces of work that needs doing between team members, there are ways you can limit the need for unnecessary contact. 

One way in which grab hire is supporting a safe site is by creating more space on-site with the removal of waste.  Waste can take up large areas of a site which could instead be used for solo work.  By having a regular grab hire lorry collect waste and disposed of materials, you can maintain a clear site that provides extra space for distancing. 

2) Workflow 

During the UK lockdowns, it’s been essential for sites to limit the number of people on site. However, productivity has still had to remain high to meet deadlines and keep the work flowing. 

To support workflow, our grab hire lorries can schedule regular waste removals to ensure that work doesn’t stop due to a messy or disorganised site.  When waste starts to get in the way, work can slow down and disrupt the productivity of the site. 

3) Reducing Hazards

Large amounts of waste on a site cause a health and safety hazard in normal circumstances let alone during the UK lockdowns.  As waste can quickly pile up, or get blown around the site with bad weather, it then increases the risk of someone tripping or slipping on waste. 

When an accident occurs it both stalls workflow and means that interpersonal contact needs to be undertaken to support the person who is injured. During the pandemic, this then increases the spread of covid-19 as people have to come in close contact.  Regular removal of waste with a grab hire lorry ensures that all hazards are removed from the site. 

4) Public Access

If you are working on a site within the public environment your site mustn’t disrupt or cause harm to the surrounding public.  While you may consider a skip for your waste management on a public site, this can become a hazard as it can sit there for weeks.

A skip can also be difficult to manoeuvre in a public space that has limited or restricted access.   Instead, a grab hire lorry can collect rubbish and waste from hard to reach spaces, and be done within 30 minutes. This helps to limit any build-up of rubbish in a public environment and ensure that the site has extra space to continue work. 

5) Limiting Unnecessary Labour 

As we’ve already mentioned, at present many sites are limiting their team size to manage and control the potential spread of covid-19. This means that many sites can really do without unnecessary labour.  When many sites hire a skip this can cause extra labour, as someone has to manage what’s entering the skip, be in charge of filling it, and helping the collection of the skip.

In reality, a skip takes up a lot of unnecessary manpower.  However, with a grab hire lorry, such as our team at AJ Grab Hire, we come and collect your waste from the site and our team manages the whole process. The only thing you need to do is show us where the waste has been placed.  As we all continue to make sites safer and keep projects running on time, it’s worth considering which elements on your site can be enhanced to increase safety and productivity.  Contact our team at AJ Grab Hire today for a quote. 

AJ Grab Hire

Head Office: Langdale Farm Cambridge Road Melbourn Hertfordshire SG8 6EY

Top Locations

Cambridge Royston Newmarket Saffron Walden Harlow Haverhill Ely Bury St Edmunds


Opening times

Mon – Fri 9am – 5.30pm Sat 9am – 12pm T: 01763 233493 M: 07931 142198