Tag Archives: metals

How to recycle household waste metal

(Last modified: December 6th, 2019)

At metals4U, we are passionate about recycling, while TV programmes like Blue Planet have also helped to highlight the devastation caused by single-use materials.

metas4U recycle household metal blog

But while much of our focus is on reducing the use and waste of plastic in our day-to-day lives, statistics released by the trade board, European Aluminium show that the UK falls below the current Eurpoean average for aluminum recycling.

Metal is a material that is endlessly recyclable – aluminum drinks cans can be on sale as another can in just 60 days – so it’s crucial we each play our own part in recycling our waste metal.

To highlight the issue, we analysed the latest YouGov data to find the UK areas which are the best and worst for recycling household waste metal.

The results help illustrate where education and information on metal recycling is required.

The worst offending UK areas for not recycling metal waste (percentage of residents who rarely recycle or never recycle)

  1. Kensington and Chelsea – 47%
  2. Dumfries and Galloway – 45%
  3. Inverclyde – 45%
  4. Southampton – 37%
  5. Brent – 35%
  6. Greenwich – 35%
  7. Tendring – 34%
  8. Rushmoor – 34%
  9. Perth and Kinross – 34%
  10. Barking and Dagehnham – 32%

The top ten best recyclers (percentage of residents who recycle all or almost all metal waste)

  1. Burnley – 94%
  2. Tandbridge – 88%
  3. Rossendale – 87%
  4. Isle of Anglesey – 87%
  5. Denbridgeshire – 85%
  6. Gwynedd – 84%
  7. Monmouthshire – 84%
  8. Ryedale – 82%
  9. Mole Valley – 82%
  10. Derbyshire Dales – 81%

Can I recycle my household metal?

There are several myths surrounding the recycling of household metal waste.

The reality is that most household metals can be recycled.

And as with all household waste, it’s important to rinse metal before recycling it to ensure it does not contaminate other recycled waste.

Which household metals can I recycle?

The metals below can be recycled easily in your regular recycle bin.

  • Drink cans
  • Food tins (push the tin lid inside the tin)
  • Chocolate/sweet tins
  • Aluminium foil (scrunch the foil together to form a ball)
  • Aluminum food trays and tubes (remove any plastic caps)
  • Aerosol cans (remove the plastic cap)

The following household metals CANNOT be recycled in home recycling collections

  • Laminated food pouches (pet food, baby puree pouches that spring back when you scrunch the pouch)
  • Crisp packets and chocolate/sweet wrappers
  • Household appliances that contain metal (white goods, kettles, irons)
  • Kitchen utensils and metal pots and pans
  • Metal containers for chemicals

Where can I recycle household metal?

Metals that can be recycled with regular home collections can be placed in your usual recycling bins.

Some metals that aren’t currently collected by your local council may be able to be collected by third-party collectors, such as TerraCycle.

Recycle Now has a great guide on where and how to recycle most every-day objects.

Do you know your periodic table metals?

(Last modified: November 20th, 2019)

We tested the nation to see if they knew their periodic table metals and whether they could match them to the correct symbols, and the results showed that more than a quarter couldn’t get them right.

Only 3% of 2,002 people tested got every question correct, while more than a quarter couldn’t guess a single periodic symbol for a metal.

periodic table, metals4U blog

People were also stumped by our fake metals, which we hid among the answers.

The fakes included Vibranium, from Marvel’s Black Panther movie, and Carbonadium and Omnium, both from X-Men.

Since so many have been left baffled, we have created a quiz featuring GCSE level questions. Will you fare any better?

 

 

Real or Fake: Seven questions you should ask before buying jewellery.

(Last modified: September 26th, 2019)

real or fake metals4U blog

Whether treating yourself or splashing out on a gift for a friend or loved one, buying jewellery can be far from a simple process, especially when there’s a lot of money changing hands.

If you’re making a significant investment in an item, it’s important to guard against being ripped off.

Here are seven questions you should ask yourself before purchasing an expensive piece of jewellery.

 

How much is it? 

real or fake metals4U blog

There’s an old saying that suggests if something seems too good to be true then it probably is.

Before you enter a shop to make a purchase, do a little research.

How much are other places charging for the item you’re after? If the price you’re quoted is significantly lower than the figures you’ve seen previously then there should be a reasonable explanation.

The jewellery industry isn’t known for offering huge discounts, so be cautious next time you think you’ve spotted a bargain.

 

Who’s the seller?

These days, all kinds of shops stock jewellery and there’s no hard and fast rule to suggest which types of stockists are reputable and which aren’t.

But it’s worth researching the business before you make a purchase.

How long have they been trading? What do other customers say about them? Do they belong to any official organisations?

Be especially wary of buying jewellery from individuals on social media or online auction websites.

It’s easier to return an item you’re dissatisfied with to a shop or website than to an individual on Facebook, who could very easily disappear without a trace.

If you are buying from somebody online, make sure you check their reviews and always insist on real photographs of the item you’re buying – not stock images or snaps from a catalogue.

 

Can you return it?

real or fake metals4U blog

Some shops operate a ‘no returns’ policy and these places are very much best avoided when purchasing expensive jewellery.

Many jewellers offer up to a month for returns, which allows you to change your mind, and gives you time to check the authenticity of anything you buy.

You may find that what you purchased wasn’t what you were expecting, so clarifying with the seller that you are able to bring it back, should you wish, is important.

All good jewellers will offer you the opportunity to return an item.

Can you spot the relevant hallmarks?

real or fake metals4U blog

The Hallmarking Act dictates that all jewellery sold in the UK must carry hallmarking symbols that identify it as either gold, silver, palladium or platinum.

Hallmarks verify the metal purity of items and help you better understand the overall quality of what you’re buying.

So, before you head out to buy an item, learn the hallmark that relates to what you want, so you know what to look out for.

Also, be wary of fake hallmarks and pay close attention to fonts, layouts and spelling.

 

What’s the build quality like?

real or fake metals4U blog

There are several ways to tell if an item of jewellery is of a low build quality.

Check the links of bracelets and necklaces for pinch points as this is a sign of poor construction. Chain links should be smooth and solid.

All stones in jewellery should be properly mounted, not just glued, though imperfections on the stone itself do not necessarily indicate poor quality.

Gemstones and diamonds are formed naturally, so don’t be alarmed if you spot the odd fleck or narrow angle.

If the stone seems overly smooth, it can sometimes indicate that it’s been created using a mixture of glass and plastic.

 

What paperwork comes with it?

real or fake metals4U blog

All jewellery containing diamonds should come with a certificate of authenticity, ratified by a body like the GIA, IGA or EGL.

Be sure to ask for this if it isn’t provided straight away – and if the seller is unable to produce a certificate then it’s probably a sign that something’s amiss.

You should also request information about the manufacturer and enquire about cleaning instructions.

A good jeweller will have this information to hand and the documentation will be of a high quality.

 

Have you consulted somebody you trust?

real or fake metals4U blog

If you’re lucky, you may already know and trust the seller, but often you are entering into a significant transaction with somebody you’ve never met, so don’t be afraid to get a second opinion.

Bring along a close friend or relative and get their view on any items you are considering.

As it isn’t their money, they’re in a better position to either provide validation that you’re doing the right thing – or convince you that you need to think again!

 

Can you tell the difference between real and fake jewellery?

Take our visual test: 

 

 

The regional trends behind metal theft

(Last modified: August 6th, 2019)

New research conducted by metals4U uncovered some of the key trends and stats relating to the issue of metal theft across England and Wales.

The study showed that 16,552 incidents of metal theft were recorded across England and Wales in 2018, up 25% on the previous year’s figure.

Five sub-regions experienced increases of more than 100%, including Dorset, which has seen metal theft soar by a whopping 287% between 2017 and 2018.

As part of the campaign, metals4U examined the trends behind metal theft on a broader geographical level, while revealing how trends have reversed over the course of the last five years.

The introduction of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act in 2013 enforced a ban on cash sales and required dealers to obtain licences.

This helped bring about a decline in metal thefts, though this has been followed during the last two years by a worrying increase.

Between 2014 and 2015, every region in England saw incidents of metal theft decrease, as well as in Wales, which enjoyed a 45% drop.

That decline continued the following year, with the East of England, London and the South West all seeing drops of more than 50%.

But the pace of improvement slowed significantly between 2016 and 2017 as many of the regions saw their figures start to level out.

While Yorkshire and the Humber saw a drop of 41%, and London enjoyed a decrease of 59%, other regions, like the North East (-4%) and the East of England (-5%), saw the number of recorded incidents stabilise.

Fast-forward 12 months and several regions have seen overall increases for the first time in five years.

The North East (16%), Yorkshire and the Humber (51%), East Midlands (41%), West Midlands (36%), East of England (26%), South East (19%) and South West (69%) all saw rises.

Just three regions saw figures drop between 2017 and 2018 – North West (-3%), Wales (-5%) and London (-21%).

It is these trends that are the basis behind metals4U founder Paul McFadyen’s calls for the government to work harder to enforce the Scrap Metal Dealers Act that had been so effective following its launch.

He said: “The Scrap Metal Dealers Act introduced six years ago did have an immediate impact on tackling the issue, and saw figures plummet, but the recent spike is perhaps a reflection that its effectiveness is diminishing.

“Every year, metal theft causes misery to thousands of individuals, who see vital train services cancelled, and to business owners, whose livelihoods are being threatened by forced closures or expensive repair-work.

“So, we’re calling on the government to allocate more resources to tackling the issue on a regional level, and we’re encouraging members of the public to do their bit by following Network Rail’s advice and reporting all suspicious behaviour.”

 

 

 

 

Case Study: Arcadia at Glastonbury Festival

(Last modified: February 11th, 2019)

The British music festival season may now be over for this year but the 5th October sees the return of the annual Glastonbury ticket sale for next year’s event.

73688Last year over a million people applied for 150,000 tickets which sold out in record-breaking time. Dolly Parton, Kasabian and Metallica all took to the Pyramid Stage during the summer and it would be no surprise to see a greater demand for the event in 2015.

For those who haven’t witnessed Glastonbury Festival first-hand, one of the most spectacular aspects of the site is the area hosted by Arcadia. The Bristol-based company combine sculpture, lighting, special effects, music and pyrotechnics to create of the most extraordinary audio-visual experiences you will ever witness.

Created using welded metals from recycled military hardware, some of the world’s biggest DJ’s have played the spider-like stage and Metals4U spoke to directors Pip Rush and Bertie Cole regarding the process of sourcing the metals, the importance of recycling…and dancing policemen!

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According to Pip and Bert, the creative process is very much a “chicken and egg” scenario were the materials they come across can often steer a creative idea in an all-together different route. Alongside the duo are a team of other creatives ranging from artists, technicians and performers (some from different companies) to feed into the process and make it what it is.

Experts such as Sir Henry Hot provide the know-how for the fifty-foot flames using computer-controlled techniques…and cause the ground to rumble! BlinkinLAB create the most incredible UV video mapping content for the spider legs, whilst overall the collaboration between the different disciplines is seamless.

Arcadia use a variety of materials to create their stages and these are all recycled parts from jet engines, helicopter blades through to customs & excise scanners.

“We go on a ‘scrap tour’ once a year, which consists of a UK wide motorbike journey taking pictures of everything we find that looks useful. Then we send a lorry round to pick up the good bits at the end (hoping they haven’t reached the crusher yet). We use a bit of everything… plastics, wood and all sorts of metals”

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Material testing is a vital part of any engineering project and Arcadia are no different. Ensuring the materials are safe with structural integrity is essential and Bertie further explained the process:

“Arcadia work with structural engineers to assess the type of metal the structural components are made from and then use computer modelling to calculate the structural strength of the components assembled into complete structures.”

With upcoming events in Thailand and New Zealand, the crew at Arcadia are continuing to push boundaries and create new ideas for the future. When asked whether they had any future creations in the pipeline the duo stated: Always… the world is full of scrap and we’re starting to travel further afield.”

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Many well-known DJ’s have graced the Spider.

Mary Anne Hobbs, Fatboy Slim and Norman Jay MBE have all claimed that it is one of the best and most bizarre stages they have played, which hosts the finest Funktion One sound system in the world. Pip and Bert don’t have a favourite act but they have many stories to tell, with dancing policemen being a particular highlight.

“We had a couple of exited policemen climb on it for a dance once which was pretty funny…not sure if they still have a job though!”

The 2014 event saw Arcadia claim their very own area adjacent to The Park which attracted an estimated 70,000 people for the main acts. Alongside the Spider stage, Arcadia built on their creative recycling ethos with a number of interactive structures in the Mechanical Playground.

Developed by American sculpture and artist Christian Ristow, ‘The Hand of Man’ is a 26-foot long interactive piece which is capable of picking up old cars and crushing them. Operated by a cyborg-like hand glove, the creation is open to the public and is one of the many mind-blowing creations which take the evolving world of creative recycling to a whole new level.

To find more information about Arcadia head to: http://www.arcadiaspectacular.com/

More information about Glastonbury Festival can be found at: http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/

(Images supplied and used with kind permission from Arcadia. Many thanks to the team at Arcadia for their time and help)