Activities to Help Kids Learn About Sustainability and the Environment

Activities to Help Kids Learn About Sustainability and the Environment

The summer holidays are fast approaching – we know, they spent enough time at home last year, but at least over the holidays, you don’t have to homeschool.

With fun on the brain, and panicking parents wondering how on earth they’ll keep the kids entertained for six weeks, we’ve listed a range of activities to help inspire your children to learn more about our environment. 

Our children will inherit this earth, as guardians of a greener future, it’s our duty to give them the knowledge and tools to make the most sustainable decisions. 

Bookmark our blog, share it with your partner or friends, and take note of these activities which will make your small ones see adventure the every day. 

Get Growing 

Many of us have the luxury of a garden at home, but few attempt to grow our own fruits and vegetables. 

The more we can eat homegrown food, the better, as we don’t have to travel for produce, or buy produce from other countries, which also impacts our carbon footprint. 

According to the latest data from the United Nations, food production is responsible for one-quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. 

Grab some seeds from your local gardening shop and get the children in on the action of creating new plant beds and planting the seeds. 

They will love tending to the plants and enjoying the fruits of their labour once everything has grown. Who knows, it may even encourage them to finally eat their greens! 

Transform Recycling into Crafts 

Art Attack was how we all learned to transform Fairy Liquid bottles into rockets, and Weetabix boxes into castles. It was inspirational for a generation, but that same creative flair can still be harnessed now. 

Using recycled items for crafts is a wonderful way to give your kids some creative time, and help them to understand more about the materials that cannot be recycled. 

Going even further, you could also use old clothes for making costumes. Another great way to give them a second life. 

Forest School 

Many local areas now host forest schools where older children can go for a few days a week to learn about the importance of forests, how to live in them and respect the wildlife that lives there. 

Some forest schools provide camping trips, while others are just weekly classes. Search locally to discover if you’ve got a forest school and how they run. 

If you want your child to experience more of the great outdoors and have a deeper respect for the natural environment, signing them up to forest school could help in all of these ways. 

Photo Scrapbook

Many children love playing photographer, so why not encourage their natural curiosity and creativity and go on a photo scrapbook adventure. 

Provide them with a camera, whether it’s an old phone or an old fashioned polaroid, and then go out on walks to see what you can find together. 

When you get home, print out their pictures and add them to a scrapbook. You can even take it a step further by helping them to use the computer to learn more about the plants or wildlife that you found. 

Bike Adventure 

According to data from 2019, there is a steep decline in children picking up bike riding. 

Bike riding is not only a more sustainable form of transport but also a life skill that can support children in many areas of their development. 

Learning to ride a bike this summer should be on your bucket list. 

If your child is already confident on a bike, now’s the perfect time to book out lots of outdoor adventures. 

Studies prove, that the more time we spend outside, the better for our mental wellbeing, but also that when children enjoy their natural environment, they are more conscious of maintaining it. 

Litter Pick Walk

Litter is still a problem that tarnishes our earth and damages the local wildlife, but we can turn it around. 

Litter picking used to be something you would get forced to do at school, but now more people are treating it as an environmental hobby, litter picking during runs and walks. 

Get your children in on the cleanup, and whether you’re walking somewhere or just out for a family walk, make it a challenge to see who can collect the most. 

Build Animal Shelters 

As the destruction of many natural habitats continues, more animals are finding themselves without a home. 

If you have a garden, you can support this environmental challenge by creating safe havens for birds and other animals in your backyard. 

Children love the idea of seeing more animals in their own space, and you can even go so far as to film the activity and show them in the morning. Who doesn’t love watching a hedgehog find a new home? 

There are many places you can purchase kits from or free tutorials on YouTube. 

Creating Hedgehog hotels, birdhouses, and even bug islands. 

All of these creatures and critters make a big impact on our environment, and the more we educate our children about their care, the more they will thrive and continue to help us create a better world. 

AJ Grab Hire

Head Office:
Langdale Farm
Cambridge Road

Opening times

Mon – Fri 9am – 5.30pm
Sat 9am – 12pm

T: 01763 233493

The Importance of Ethical Waste Removal

The Importance of Ethical Waste Removal

You may think that hiring a waste remover is just part and parcel of doing a good, clean job. But there is far more to waste removal than meets the eye. 

While every person and business will in some way shape or form produce waste, it’s how we manage this waste that plays a major role in our impact on the environment, and also on the reputation, we uphold as a business. 

Well-managed waste removal is not only a legal requirement, but it’s also an ethical necessity if you are to ensure that your business operates in a way that brings no harm to others. 

As registered waste carriers we take pride in taking action in limiting the waste that goes into landfill, and promoting the best practice of waste removal so that people and the planet are not affected by the waste of others. 

Both projects big and small create waste, but each of us has a responsibility to fully understand why ethical waste removal is so important and take the appropriate steps to limit the waste we inevitably produce. 

Your choice of hiring a waste remover goes far beyond just keeping your site clean and tidy. In this feature, we hope to highlight why your choice makes a bigger impact than you may realise. 

Environmental Protection 

When waste is not managed properly it can contaminate your local environment. 

As well as polluting water sources and killing off plants and animals, there have been severe occasions where illegally dumped waste has also come in contact with people. 

Asbestos is one toxic product that can be timely and expensive to remove from site. As a highly dangerous substance, it has the potential to cause serious medical conditions. When this is removed and dumped illegally, it can cause havoc for the surrounding wildlife, and put people at risk.

As well as trade waste, we are all well aware of the environmental issues that face us as a species. It’s hard not to find a news story on a daily basis that doesn’t provide more data on plastic pollution.  

While the global impact can make it feel like we’re in a losing battle; the true change happens at a local and regional level. 

If you can ensure that you are using a registered waste remover, so that your waste doesn’t end up in a country lane somewhere, and it meets the appropriate recycling process, you are playing your part in reducing the environmental impact of waste. 


We regularly report on the rise of fly-tipping here in the UK, and it’s a crisis that is being increased by people who are not doing the necessary checks with their waste remover. 

Both commercial and domestic projects are at risk from rogue waste removers. Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall prey to such criminals as many can operate under false pretences; looking very authentic in their appearance when in fact they do not have the experience or the training to properly remove waste. 

Many unfortunate customers have been conned by waste removers leaving them at risk of huge fines, and the embarrassment of polluting the local area. 

Fly-tippers play into the emotions of their prey. Providing a quick, easy and ‘cheap’ way to remove rubbish. To many, it appears that all will be well until the police arrive. 

It’s not just the risk of huge fines that should stop you in your tracks but the ethics of this poor waste management. 

As registered waste removers, we work tirelessly with a network of recycling partners to ensure the waste entering landfill is minimised. The same networks are not present in rogue traders who are trying to make some quick cash and do not care where your waste ends up. 

Company Reputation 

As a business, you have a social responsibility to not cause harm, and this relates again to both people and the planet. 

Your actions and behaviours have a ripple effect, and while some of these you may not know right now, there are always areas of your business where you can see the impact and make a direct change. 

As consumers and trade professionals we are becoming increasingly aware of the attitudes company’s have around the treatment of people and the environment; and now more than ever we make our choices based on the ethics of these businesses. 

It’s not uncommon to hear of boycotts, marches or social outings of brands and businesses who do not lead with ethics at the heart of their operations. 

To not be ethically active when it comes to waste removal, not only leaves you open for huge fines and even prison sentences; but also leaves you at risk from people turning against your business and actively seeking to disrupt it. 

There is an increasing demand for ethical waste removal from everyone in the world, both as individuals and as businesses. 

The one choice you can make as a trade professional is to only choose a registered and licensed waste remover.

Contact AJ Grab hire today to get a quote for your next project.

AJ Grab Hire

Head Office:
Langdale Farm
Cambridge Road

Opening times

Mon – Fri 9am – 5.30pm
Sat 9am – 12pm

T: 01763 233493

The Innovations Created from Waste Emerging in 2021

The Innovations Created from Waste Emerging in 2021

When you’re creating waste, you never really think about where it goes. However at AJ Grab Hire, we not only know where it needs to go, but we’re passionate about making sure that some of that waste gets a second life.

While many people just see waste, as waste; the reality is, waste is a resource that can be transformed into a number of bi-products. From the timber to the concrete, you genuinely never know what it could be used for and transformed into to support another project.

As advocates for a circular economy where waste can be reused, we’re always fascinated by the innovations and inventions that are coming through which show us time and time again that waste is never wasted.

LEGO Moving to Reduce Plastic Pollution

Who doesn’t love a bit of LEGO? – But what’s making us love them, even more, is their recent announcement that LEGO Group will now be attempting to make all their bricks from recycled plastic.

LEGO has always been passionate about sustainability, and since 2018 have been using sugarcane to produce their infamous bricks.

However, in June 2021 LEGO officially announced a prototype brick that is made entirely from recycled plastic. The aim is to make all LEGO bricks sustainable by 2030.

LEGO released a glimpse of the first brick made from PET plastic, which is created from discarded plastic bottles. A 1-litre plastic bottle can currently make 10 LEGO bricks.

It is estimated that LEGO will spend a year testing the new recycled bricks before the team officially launches them into their well-known sets.


A Recycled Brick Made from Construction Waste 

From toy bricks to construction bricks, it seems innovation is well underway in the construction sector thanks to an invention that uses construction waste.

K-Brig is made of over 90% recycled demolition and construction waste materials and has now been awarded £1 million in funding by Zero Waste Scotland to begin commercial production.

The idea of the recycled material brick was conceived by Professor Gabriela Medero from Heriot-Watt University, following more than a decade of research on creating products from recycled construction waste.

K-Briq aims to create more than two million bricks per year and deliver the equivalent of 924 low carbon homes over five years.
Unlike traditional bricks, K-Briq produces a tenth of the CO2 emissions and requires less than a tenth of the energy in its manufacturing.

This may well be the slow demise of the traditional brick.

Rainbow Recycled Benches for the NHS

A set of Rainbow benches were created from recycled plastic for NHS hospitals. 

The idea began in North Devon, where the beaches were commissioned for North Devon Hospital to thank the NHS staff for everything they have done and continue to do. 

TDP the builders of the benches engraved “Thankful for our many pots of gold”, across the back of each one to raise a smile to anyone visiting the hospital and taking a seat. 

The hope is that many more hospitals will be able to have rainbow benches at their sites for many years to come. 

The New Serpentine Pavilion

You would never expect to see waste as part of an architect’s plans for one of the most affluent areas of London, but Kensington Gardens has just gained a circular economy pavilion.

The New Serpentine Pavilion built by 31-year old architect Sumayya Vally is made almost entirely out of waste materials. Including waste from marble production, reclaimed steel, and cork used in winemaking.

Commissioned by Serpentine Galleries, the build aimed to be carbon negative. Therefore to produce and construct it, Valley primarily uses recycled or repurposed materials for its construction.

With a variety of innovations pushing the boundaries of what we know as waste no sector isn’t considering sustainability and thinking about how it’s impacting the wider environment.
As we continue to understand more about the need for change, we’re excited to see what other inventions will emerge this year.

Contact AJ Grab Hire to discuss your grab hire and recycling needs.

AJ Grab Hire

Head Office:
Langdale Farm
Cambridge Road

Opening times

Mon – Fri 9am – 5.30pm
Sat 9am – 12pm

T: 01763 233493

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. Call 01763 233493


AJ Grab Hire

Head Office:
Langdale Farm
Cambridge Road

Opening times

Mon – Fri 9am – 5.30pm
Sat 9am – 12pm

T: 01763 233493

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

Opening times

Mon – Fri 9am – 5.30pm
Sat 9am – 12pm

T: 01763 233493

Fly-tipping On the Rise and Causing Regional Crisis

Fly-tipping On the Rise and Causing Regional Crisis

In June 2020 the government confirmed there was a ‘fly-tipping crisis’ spreading across the UK causing mountains of rubbish to be dumped in streets, lay-bys, local parks and even in people’s back gardens. 

Last year, The Countryside Alliance reported a 300% rise in fly-tipping in some areas as local authorities closed recycling centres during the covid-19 pandemic. 

But as the UK has been in and out of lockdowns, and with various tier systems implemented, it appears that the rise in fly-tipping has continued in strength as we enter 2021.

Local authorities have struggled to maintain basic services and have been put under a huge amount of strain over the past year, which has meant the fight against fly-tipping has been mostly left to campaigners and members of the public. 

ClearWaste, an app that allows the public to report fly-tipping, shows nearly 4,000 examples of fly-tipping in England alone. People have also taken to social media sites to also try and raise awareness and encourage people to speak out. 

Fly-tipping is not only unnecessary, but it also causes harm to the environment, wildlife and in some rare circumstances people’s homes. 

Regions Raise Their Concerns 

Reports across local regions have been showing just how far and wide the extent of the fly-tipping problem truly is, with local newspapers regularly reporting on the cost incurred by councils and the damage being done in the areas. 

In February 2021 West Lothian Council confirmed that it had spent £50,000 of taxpayers money on clearing fly-tipped rubbish. The council’s team reportedly collected nearly 73 tonnes of waste between October 2020 and December 2020. 

Havering Council reports that fly-tipping costs the council approximately £1m each year. Havering is regularly in the top 10 of London boroughs carrying out enforcement action against fly-tippers. 

According to the latest figures from Basildon council, more than 4,300 fines have been handed out to fly-tippers over the past year. 

In Grantham, three tonnes of concrete and construction waste were dumped by the canal in early February causing rubbish to contaminate the water.

Reports from Ely Cambridgeshire, saw local villagers confront the council due to a large amount of fly-tipped rubbish dumped in the area. Numerous residents reported it to East Cambridgeshire Council but in the end, residents took it upon themselves to remove it. 

Milton Keynes reported 4,304 fly-tipping incidents between April and December last year, with a monthly average of nearly 500 piles of rubbish a month being dumped. 

It seems no matter where you are in the UK, fly-tipping is becoming a serious problem, costing councils money and damaging the local landscape. 

Landfill Tax Increase 

Unfortunately, the rise in fly-tipping may be no closer to an end due to the consistent increase in UK landfill tax. 

Landfill tax has increased by 700% over the past 16 years up to 2014, and many believe this has largely contributed to the reduced use of landfill sites and the increase in fly-tipping. 

The National Audit Office believes that the rise in landfill tax contributed to a 65% fall in waste going to landfill, and spoke out on the fact telling reporters, “the move has incentivised more illegal disposal of waste.” 

A full report on the landfill tax created by The National Audit urges the government to do more when it comes to environmental taxes, as at present there is little evidence between the tax and how it supports environmental issues such as fly-tipping. 

Taking Action 

One thing that is apparent from the current fly-tipping problem sweeping across the UK is the number of local communities who are taking action. 

Litter-pickers and social media pages dedicated to reporting local fly-tipping have dramatically increased over the past year, as more locals look to combat the problem with their community spirit. 

One litter-picking group in Sunderland has tripled in members during the lockdown period as people take to the streets to keep it clean and report on any large amounts of waste. 

Rogue Waste Removers 

As well as taking local action, more people must become aware of rogue traders who are operating under false pretences. 

Unfortunately, if you’re not aware of what to ask or what to look out for, you can believe the people you’re paying are going to remove your waste responsibly; only to then discover that yourself and the rogue trader can be fined. 

There are many harrowing stories of people being conned by rogue traders, who in the end take peoples money and dump their rubbish. 

One report from London found a man fell victim to a scam waste collector in November 2020. He was overcharged by more than £1,000, only to later find the waste had been dumped in his neighbours garden. He was left to clear up the rubbish himself and never saw his money again. 

As the UK government website states, paying someone who fly-tips rubbish harms the environment, undermines accredited traders, and carries a criminal charge. 

To avoid further UK fly-tipping and to keep yourself safe against rogue waste removers ensure to follow these guidelines; 

  • Always check that the waste remover has a website with reviews and testimonials from customers. 
  • Check that they are registered with the Environment Agency and Local Council 
  • Under UK law all waste removal businesses have a legal obligation to keep a Duty of Care Certificate or Waste Transfer Note that documents every load of waste that leaves the premises. Your waste removal company should provide you with this free of charge. 
  • Check that the trader carries a Waste Carriers Licence 

As a licensed waste remover, At AJ Grab Hire we work on commercial and domestic projects, and can support you in removing any waste in a responsible and ethical way.

AJ Grab Hire

Head Office:
Langdale Farm
Cambridge Road

Opening times

Mon – Fri 9am – 5.30pm
Sat 9am – 12pm

T: 01763 233493


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