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Where Does the Trash Go in Raleigh?

Where Does the Trash Go in Raleigh

All day every day, we throw things out and set our garbage cans on the curb each week. For most of us, that’s where the story ends. In reality, each piece of garbage goes on a journey that involves a great deal of technology and logistics.

Each town tackles waste disposal in a different way. In Raleigh, trash ends up in one of 17 waste management facilities.  

Waste Management in Raleigh

According to the Wake County Waste & Recycling Information Guide, garbage and recyclables are processed at any of these facilities in Raleigh:

  1. Waste Disposal Facilities: The South Wake Landfill is the only landfill in Wake County, situated between Apex and Holly Springs. It opened in 2008 and the plan is to keep it active for 30 years.
  2. East Wake Transfer Center: At this station, waste that comes in from Eastern and Northern Wake County. At the transfer center, the waste is sorted, put on trucks, and transported to the South Wake Landfill.
  3. Landfill Gas to Energy Center: As material breaks down, it releases gas, so all landfills produce a gas. Usually, it’s composed of 50% methane and 50% carbon dioxide. South Wake Landfill has gas collection wells that transport the gas to a landfill gas-to-energy facility. The process produces 4 megawatts of energy, which can power 4,000-8,000 homes, depending on how much electricity is in use.
  4. Convenience Centers: These are drop off facilities where Wake County residents can drop off recyclables or waste free of charge at any of the 11 locations.
  5. Multi-Material Recycling Facilities: These facilities accept materials that aren’t always accepted in your curbside recycling or at convenience centers. Examples of these materials include tires, cardboard, discs and tapes, and antifreeze. Wake County residents can drop off their items free of charge at one of the 2 facilities, either in the Northeast or Northwest of the county.
  6. Hazardous Waste Facilities: Certain household items cannot be disposed of in regular garbage. Wake County has 2 hazardous waste facilities, one in Northwest Wake County, and one in Southwest Wake County. Wake County residents can drop their hazardous waste off free of charge.

The Future of Waste in Raleigh

As the waste in the East Wake Landfill increases, the Landfill Gas to Energy Center will be able to power more homes. Raleigh waste authorities say that the landfill has the capacity to produce 12 megawatts of energy per day, which is enough to power 24,000 homes.

You may also be interested in reading about what happens to trash in Washington, DC and Philadelphia

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New Jersey Laws Aim to Curb Food Waste

food wasteAn unfortunate truth in the United States is that 40% of the food we produce is either uneaten or thrown away. On the flip side, 1 in 8 Americans faces food insecurity. A new law in New Jersey attempts to combat this.

Governor Murphy recently signed a bill into law that aims to reduce the amount of food waste in the Garden State by 50% before the year 2030. This is in line with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recently announced goal

Earlier this year, New Jersey also established plans to reduce the number of plastic bags used in the state.

New Jersey Food Waste Task Force & Food Desert Pilot Program

The new laws include establishing a New Jersey Food Waste Task Force, a committee devoted to exploring the factors that could be contributing to the high levels of food waste. This information will help inform strategies and policies that could reduce waste and find ways to get food to those in need.

Another part of the package introduces a two-year program to help reduce food deserts, which are communities where residents have limited access to nutritious foods. The program involves holding weekly markets in three food desert communities.

Other New Laws

In addition to the 2 detailed above, on May 9, these bills became law:

  • A4707: Requires the Department of Agriculture to establish a public awareness campaign regarding food waste.
  • AJR174: Encourages large food retailers in New Jersey to reduce food waste.
  • AJR172: Makes every third Thursday in September “Food Waste Prevention Day” throughout the Garden State.
  • AJR60: Designates every November as “Food Pantry Donation Month” in New Jersey.
  • A4703: Implores New Jersey’s Chief Technology Office to create an anti-hunger web resource that provides information on emergency food services.
  • A4702: The “Hunger-Free Campus Act,” which requires the Secretary of Higher Education to create $1 million grant program to combat food insecurity in public school students. to establish a grant program to address food insecurity among students enrolled in public institutions of public education.
  • AJR175: Requires New Jersey’s Chief Innovation Officer to update the NJOneApp so it includes all anti-hunger programs in the state.
  • A4708: Establishes Farm Liaison in Department of Agriculture.

Click here for the full story on New Jersey’s new food waste laws.

What the Rest of Us Can Do

These laws are a step in the right direction for reducing food waste in New Jersey. However, there are also things the rest of us can do to lower our impact. 

To reduce the food waste in your household, try planning meals ahead of time and purchasing only the ingredients you need. Check the food you already have at home before heading to the store.

If you end up with food that won’t be eaten before it goes bad, try freezing it. Bread, fruit, and meat all take well to freezing. If you end up with uneaten food you can’t use, donate it to your local food bank. For unusable food scraps, try composting.

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New Jersey Proposes One of the Nation’s Strictest Plastic Bans

plastic bagsPlastic waste is a big problem throughout the world, including in New Jersey.

Plastic is a cheap material that is basically indestructible.

In fact, it never completely biodegrades, but instead, breaks into tiny particles that infest the Delaware River and the Atlantic Ocean.

Proposed State-Wide Plastic Ban

The New Jersey state government is currently debating a bill that would attempt to decrease plastic. The proposed bill would ban plastic grocery store bags, straws, cups, carryout containers, food trays, and egg cartons. It would also instate a $0.10 fee on paper shopping bags.

Other states–including Hawaii and California–have enacted similar legislation, but if this new bill passes, it will be the most drastic yet.

The bill still needs to pass a number of legal steps before it becomes law, but it is beginning to attract attention, including from the plastic industry. 

Click here to read the full story.

Active & Pending Local Plastic Bans in New Jersey Towns

Several towns throughout New Jersey have existing bans in an effort to prevent plastic consumption in the Garden State.

Plastic bans are in effect in these towns:

  • Avalon: Ban on single-use plastic bags and polystyrene containers
  • Beach Haven: Ban on single-use plastic bags
  • Belmar: Ban on single-use plastic bags
  • Bradley Beach: Ban on single-use plastic bags and a $.05 charge on single-use paper bags
  • Brigantine:  Ban on single-use plastic bags
  • Harvey Cedars: Ban on single-use plastic bags
  • Highland Park: $.10 fee on single-use plastic bags. In November, this will move to a ban on plastic bags and $.10 fee on paper bags
  • Hoboken: Ban on single-use plastic bags and up to a $.25 fee on paper bags
  • Jersey City: Ban on single-use plastic bags
  • Lambertville: Ban on single-use plastic bags, plastic straws, and polystyrene food containers. Until January 2020, this is voluntary.
  • Long Beach: Ban on single-use plastic bags
  • Longport: Ban on single-use plastic bags, unless a customer specifically requests one at a $.10 fee.
  • Maplewood: Ban on single-use plastic bags, $.05 fee on paper bags
  • Monmouth Beach: Ban on single-use plastic bags, plastic straws, and polystyrene food containers
  • Point Pleasant Beach: Ban on single-use plastic bags
  • Somers Point: Ban on single-use plastic bags
  • Stafford: Ban on single-use plastic bags
  • Stone Harbor: Ban on single-use plastic bags, plastic utensils, and polystyrene food containers

Plastic bans are pending in these towns:

  • Asbury Park: Ban on single-use plastic bags, with a fee of up to $.25 on paper bags
  • Bayonne: Ban on single-use plastic bags and straws
  • Glen Rock: Ban on single-use plastic bags, up to a $.10 fee on reusable and paper bags
  • Hopewell: Ban on single-use plastic bags
  • Little Silver: Ban on single-use plastic bags, straws, and polystyrene food containers
  • Ocean Gate: Ban on single-use plastic bags, straws, and polystyrene food containers
  • Parsippany-Troy Hills: Ban on single-use plastic bags, with a fee of up to $.25 on paper bags
  • Ridgewood Village: Ban on single-use plastic bags, with a fee on paper bags
  • South Orange Village: Ban on single-use plastic bags, with a fee of up to $.25 on paper bags with a $.05 fee on paper bags
  • Teaneck: Up to a $.05 fee on plastic bags

These towns have plastic bans still being considered:

  • Atlantic Highlands
  • Chatham Borough
  • Chatham Township
  • Cranford
  • Garfield
  • Leonia
  • Livingston
  • Millburn
  • Montclair
  • New Milford
  • Newark
  • Northfield
  • Oradell
  • Paramus
  • Red Bank
  • Saddle Brook
  • Secaucus Town
  • Wyckoff

Click here to see the full list, or learn about our options for renting a dumpster in New Jersey.

 

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3 Home Projects for Summer

messy garageSummer is here! This is the season we’ve been waiting for all year. While we certainly hope you’re finding time to enjoy the great outdoors with loved ones, this is also the time to be productive.

The nice weather makes now an opportune time to take care of the odds and ends around your home, so roll up your sleeves! 

Here are 3 projects you could do around the house now that the cold weather is behind us. 

1. Haul Your Junk From the Garage

Another year has passed. Is your garage still a mess? Now is your chance to rid yourself of the clutter. Decide what you want to keep, and see if there’s anything you can donate or sell. 

Pile whatever’s left into a dumpster and it will be out of your hair in no time.  

2. Clean Up Your Log Pile

Many homeowners have a pile of logs and brush sitting in their backyard somewhere. However, if year after year goes by and your pile continues to grow, it’s time to get rid of it.

It’s especially important to clear this away because your woodpile could become a haven for wasps, rodents, or termites. Yikes!

3. Closet Clean-Out

Whether it’s your bedroom closet, linen closet, or hall closet, chances are, it could use some love. Go through and see if you’re holding onto anything that you don’t use (or, to borrow phrasing from Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo, does not “spark joy”).

But just because you don’t have use for something any more, doesn’t mean it’s junk! See if you can sell your old vacuum on Craigslist or organize a garage sale to get rid of those old clothes, books, or mismatched dishes. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Rent a Dumpster from Roll-Off Dumpster Direct

We hope that completing these projects will help you feel lighter as you head into autumn. Renting a dumpster from Roll-Off Dumpster Direct can help simplify things. 

For home cleanout projects, we usually recommend 20-yard dumpsters. Click here to learn more about the ones we have for rent. 

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Roll-Off Dumpster Direct Now Serves Connecticut

We are excited to be in the great state of Connecticut! Our services are now available all throughout the Constitution State, including Bridgeport, New Haven, Hartford, and Waterbury.

While we are expanding, we’ll also be maintaining our other service areas including New Jersey, North Carolina, and Florida. Connecticut is a beautiful state and we’re thoroughly enjoying the scenery in the area.

We’ve also recently started providing our dumpsters in New York and Tennessee.

Need to Rent a Dumpster in Connecticut?

Roll-Off Dumpster Direct rents dumpsters for both commercial and residential projects. People rent our dumpsters for a variety of reasons, from overhauling an office building when they’re starting a new business to DIY-demos on home kitchens or bathrooms.

We offer a large inventory of 10, 20, 30, and 40-yard units, and boast competitive rates and flexible rental schedules. 

To learn more about our newest service area, visit our Connecticut page.

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Roll-Off Dumpster Direct Now Serves New York!

We are excited to announce that we are now serving New York! This isn’t the first time we’ve opened a new service area, we also recently expanded into Tennessee.  

While we get started serving our new territory, we will continue to serve our other territories, like Florida, North Carolina, and New Jersey

Our New York service area includes Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse

Rent a Dumpster in New York

Our dumpsters are available for residential and commercial projects. If you’re moving to a new home, cleaning out your garage, or starting a new business, a dumpster can make things much easier. Roll-Off Dumpster Direct has a wide inventory that includes 10, 20, 30, and 40-yard dumpsters. Advantages of working with Roll-Off Dumpster Direct include competitive rates and flexible rental cycles.

For more information, check out our New York Page. Note that at this time we are unable to serve within the New York City limits. 

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Spring Remodeling? Save by DIY-ing Your Demo

the renovation of a bathroom renovation uind by a construction workerSpring is a time of year when many of us start executing the projects we’ve had planned. As exciting as it is to plan the updates to your new home, one thing that’s a little bit of a bummer is how these projects can cost a pretty penny.

One way to save that doesn’t require too much-advanced skill is to do the demolition on your own. Keep reading to get our tips and tricks for a successful process.

How to Prep Your Space for Demolition

  1. The first step is very important–turn off the electricity to your kitchen at your breaker box. It’s also a good idea to also put a piece of tape over the switch, so no one mistakenly turns it on while you’re working. Now is also a good time to turn off gas and water.
  2. Cover your floor with a drop cloth.
  3. Rent your equipment: useful items include a dolly for moving heavier items and a dumpster. For a project like this, a ten-yard dumpster is usually best.

After you prep your space, it’s time to start removing your old fixtures and appliances.

  1. Garbage Disposal: Loosen the compression nut with channel lock pliers, and the disposal unit should fall right off. Make sure someone is waiting to catch it!
  2. Sink: Using a utility knife, cut the silicone bead at the edge of the sink that holds it onto the counter. Place wooden 2 x 4s under the edges of the sink while you loosen it. Next, use a hammer or pry bar to lift the sink out of the counter.
  3. Cabinets: First, remove everything from inside the cabinets, and remove the doors and drawers. You can either reuse the cabinets in another area or donate them to a charity. If that’s the case, make sure you label each door and drawer for reassembly. Tape the screws to the hinges, and pry the cabinet off of the wall. 
  4.  Countertops and Backsplashes: Pry countertops and tiles from the backsplash, or use a saw to cut the countertops into chunks.

Do it Yourself and Save Money

Renting a dumpster to overhaul your home remodeling is a great way to save on the total cost of your project. Plus, it’s easy to do, and it can even be fun!

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Roll-Off Dumpster Direct Expands to Tennessee

We are excited about expanding our territory here at Roll-Off Dumpster Direct. This time, we plan to move into the great state of Tennessee. This will be the hub where we will manage all of our services to the entire state.

Our scope of services in the Volunteer State includes cities like Chattanooga, Jackson, Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville. Even though we’re still new in town, we are already loving traveling throughout this beautiful state!

In addition to Tennessee, we will continue to serve our other territories, including North Carolina, Florida, and New Jersey.

Rent a Dumpster in Tennessee 

Whether you’re working on a residential or commercial construction project, moving to a new home, starting a new business, or cleaning out your garage, you’ll need to rent a dumpster. Roll-Off Dumpster Direct stocks 10, 20, 30, and 40-yard dumpsters and offers advantages like flexible rental cycles and competitive rates. 

For more information, check out our Tennessee page.

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Where Does the Trash Go in Washington, D.C.?

Recycle plant. Process of separation of garbage, plastics, cans,You may not stop to think about your trash after it makes its way to the trash can, but what exactly happens next? 

In 2017, the District of Washington reported that the Department of Public Works (DPW) collected nearly 800,000 tons of solid waste per year- but surprisingly, that doesn’t account for all of the cities trash!

Waste Management in the District

The DPW is responsible for collecting residential waste and recycling for 105,000 single-family homes and buildings housing less than 3 housing units; multi-family and commercial buildings receive waste management services from private waste and recycling companies.

Waste reduction programs like the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Energy and Environment employ collection teams for public spaces in the hopes to develop a zero-waste plan that attends to divert 80% of the districts solid waste to reuse, recycle, compost, or anaerobically digest.

How does the city plan to achieve this goal? By educated its residents! Let’s take a look at Washington D.C.’s waste measurements to understand what your trash looks like and where it is likely headed. 

City-Wide Waste Estimates

According to the 2015-2016 Solid Waste Diversion Progress Report, the fate of Washington D.C. waste is grouped into 4 categories:

washington, d.c. waste graphGenerally, once the DPW or private collections takes your trash, it is transferred two one of three stations:

Ft. Totten Transfer Station houses roughly two-thirds of the district’s waste and offers a drop-off program that is open to residents to dispose of e-waste and hazardous household items.

Benning Road Transfer Station receives about one-third of the city’s waste with waste guidelines similar to Ft. Totten. 

Covanta Fairfax Waste-to-Energy is a final disposal site outside of the city in Fairfax, VA . Covanta is considered one of the largest waste facilities in the country and processes more than 3,000 tons of municipal solid waste per day for Washington, D.C. suburbs. 

Click “View Larger Map” to learn more about solid waste facilities around Washington, D.C. 
 
The Future of Washington. D.C. Waste

The city continues to try to decrease the amount of landfill and disposal facilities waste with its 80% zero waste initiative; however, the program still has a long way to go. Learn more about the district’s sustainability plans.

You may also be interested to check out our other post, about what happens to garbage in the Philadelphia region.

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What is Considered E-Waste?

pile of e wasteIf you’re thinking about tossing out an old television or computer monitor, you might have to do some research into acceptable ways to discard these items. These electronic devices are considered e-waste and could potentially cause damage to the environment as well as sanitation workers if not properly recycled.

Heavy metals such as cadmium, lead, and mercury seep out of these electronics and into the environment, potentially polluting our drinking water. These metals never decompose so they remain a constant threat to the environment. Half of U.S. states are beginning to ban the disposal of e-waste and require that it be recycled instead.

Laws regarding e-waste exists in many states, including:

  • South Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Maryland
  • North Carolina
  • New Jersey
  • Virginia

Click here to check out the whole list.

How Do I Know Whether Something is E-Waste?

You may still be wondering, exactly what is e-waste? By definition, e-waste is any obsolete or unwanted electronic device to be discarded. This includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Televisions
  • Laptops
  • Computer Monitors
  • Tablets
  • Keyboards
  • Printers
  • Audio Equipment
  • MP3 Players
  • Cell Phones

Depending on your area, some of these items may be exempt from the recycling law. You can usually find specific information on your state’s recycling page. However, each item on this list contains materials that are hazardous to the environment. Technology advances at such a rapid rate, so the lifespan of computers and cell phones are quickly diminishing. This is leaving more e-waste to sit in our landfills.

The Proper Way to Discard E-Waste

When sanitation workers incinerate e-waste items, they release dangerous gases into the air. Additionally, most e-waste contains bits of aluminum, tin, gold, and copper that can serve as secondary raw materials if properly recycled. Typically, you’re able to recycle these items by taking them to drop off locations or collection events. If caught illegally dumping e-waste, you could face thousands in fines.

Currently, e-waste makes up only about two percent of the solid waste stream, but it is the quickest growing component and is responsible for up to 70 percent of heavy metal waste in our landfills. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, the average American household has 24 electronic devices that will eventually become e-waste. The world produces about 50 million tons of e-waste each year. Even developing countries are contributing to this number.

Why It’s Important

In order to protect the environment as well as future generations, it is becoming necessary that we dispose of electronic devices responsibly. If you’re still not convinced, you should consider where e-waste ends up — some of it is exported across the world, creating environmental problems all over.

Properly recycling electronic waste will help to preserve energy and drinking water while reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 US homes in a year. Recycling will also save the United States millions by recycling natural resources used in electronics rather than having to extract more gold and copper.

Visit our Death of a Cell Phone post to read more about the dangers that cell phones can pose to the environment once they become e-waste. We also encourage you to do your best to not only follow proper waste disposal laws, but to make environmentally conscious decisions.

 

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