What's New at Roll Off Dumpster Direct

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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Where Does the Trash Go In Philadelphia?

When you have something you never want to see again, all you need to do is throw it away, and it vanishes forever. But when we think about it, we know it has to be more complicated than that. And it is!

Keep reading to learn what happens to the trash that Philadelphians throw away.

Reducing Waste That Ends Up in the Landfill

If you are wondering where your trash goes in Philadelphia, it’s likely either recycled or turned into energy. The breakdown looks like this:

  • 46% Recycled
  • 28% Converted into energy
  • 26% is landfilled

In 2017, the city released a new waste reduction plan. The goal is to increase trash diversion by 90% by 2035. You can read more about it here.

Waste Facilities in the Area

There are a wide variety of recycling facilities in and around the city listed in the map at the bottom of this post.  

Philadelphia and the surrounding area uses 3 main waste facilities:

  • Covanta Delaware Valley in Chester is the largest facility. It burns 3,300 tons of waste per day.
  • Covanta Plymouth Renewable Energy in Conshohocken burns 1,200 tons of waste per day
  • Wheelabrator Falls Inc. in Morristown burns 1,500 tons of waste per day.

For many years, there were 4 major landfills in the Philadelphia area.

They were located in:

  • Morrisville, Bucks County.
  • Tullytown, Bucks County.
  • Pottstown, Montgomery County.
  • West Grove, Chester County.

The Morrisville landfill, known as the GROWS North Landfill, is expected to close sometime in the next few years.

Nearby the GROWS North Landfill is the Tullytown landfill, which is certified through 2019, however,  Waste Management, who runs the landfill, expect to shut it down within the next few years.  Did you know that cash gifts from the Borough of Tullytown have been as high as $6,000 per household? Residents have to put up with the terrible smell of the landfill, but are rewarded with some of the revenue from the landfill.  Read more on The Intell.com

The landfill in West Grove has no plans of closing.  In fact, the development plans on their website will keep the landfill open through 2051.

The landfill in Pottstown PA closed in 2005. 

Not all Waste Can be Recycled

While the need for landfills is decreasing, there is still some waste that can’t be recycled or converted to energy.  Many townships outside of Philadelphia still use landfills. In fact there are 44 permitted landfills in Pennsylvania; however, only 3 of those reside in Philadelphia, Chester County, Delaware County, and Bucks County.

Check out another of our recent blog posts to learn what happens to trash in the Washington, D.C. region

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How the NFL’s Sustainability Efforts Benefit Super Bowl Host Communities

planting trees for sustainabilityWhether you’re rooting for the Rams or the Patriots, one thing we can all get behind is keeping the environment safe. Every year, the NFL runs a series of sustainability projects in the Super Bowl host city.

Super Bowl LIII will take place this Sunday, February 3, in Atlanta, GA. Keep reading to hear about the sustainability efforts the NFL is making to improve the community. 

How The NFL is Increasing Sustainability in Atlanta

Food Recovery and Distribution: After the game, any unused food will be salvaged by Second Helpings Atlanta, Atlanta Community Food Bank, and Goodr. 

Urban Forestry:  Organizations like NFL Green, Verizon, The Host Committee, and Trees Atalanta will help organize tree plantings, grow community gardens, and create pollinator habitats throughout the Atlanta area.

Other sustainability efforts include using green energy to power the stadium, recycling and solid waste management, and material recovery and donation.  Click here to read more about the NFL and Atlanta’s work to increase sustainability efforts. Or read our post from last year about the sustainability efforts at the Philadelphia Eagles stadium. 

From Roll-Off Dumpster Direct, we hope you enjoy this year’s Super Bowl festivities!

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Is Dumpster Diving Illegal?

dumpster diving2Dumpster diving is a fad that’s increasing in popularity across America.

It sounds like what it is: searching for useful items discarded in dumpsters. But, typically, it’s a lot less icky than you may imagine. The professionals scope out retail dumpsters, where they can find unopened makeup, untouched food items, and other perfectly fine treasures. 

This practice is becoming increasingly popular, and not just among the desperate. For many, it’s a thrifty and environmentally conscious hobby. But over all of this hovers one question–is it legal?

What Does the Law Say About Dumpster Diving?

US law states that dumpster diving is legal, because in most cases when an item enters a garbage bin, it’s now public domain. However, laws vary from city to city.

Many dumpsters are on private property, often enclosed with a fence or marked “No Trespassing.” Garbage picking in such a dumpster could result in getting ticketed or even arrested.

Other legal issues you may face are not directly related to dumpster diving but tend to come with the territory. Police often charge garbage pickers with disorderly conduct or littering. Usually, police only get involved when responding to a call from a resident or store manager. If the diver leaves the scene without a fight, and without leaving a mess, they usually don’t face charges.

More Grey Areas With Dumpster Diving

Some cities treat dumpster diving on foot differently than doing so in a vehicle. Since certain recyclables can be collected and exchanged for cash, it’s assumed that you’re loading your vehicle full of these goods. For the same reason, these communities may consider taking items from a recycling bin to be thievery.

Another issue is that dumpster owners worry they will face a lawsuit. If a diver injures themselves or falls ill after eating food from the dumpster, those trash pickers could sue. For those reasons, those responsible for dumpsters may press charges if they catch you diving.

Do Your Research Before You Dive

At the end of the day, is dumpster diving illegal? While the general answer is no, U.S. towns and cities do have the ability to outlaw dumpster diving in that municipality.

Research the topic in your area to see if you live in one of these towns. Dumpster owners or renters who wish to keep others out of their garbage are able to place their dumpster on private property and hang the appropriate signage to warn potential divers.

Resources for Business Owners and Other Dumpster Users

Restaurant or food store managers can donate unsold food instead of throwing it away. The Good Samaritan Food Donation Act protects donors from liability when donating food near its expiration date to a non-profit organization. There is even a free cafe in operation that serves dumpster finds!

If you have specific questions about renting a dumpster, visit our frequently asked questions page.

 

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What to do With Your Christmas Tree After the Holidays

Close up of a Christmas tree farm in Oregon.Christmas has come and gone, and those of us who opt for natural trees are now faced with a dilemma, how do we get rid of it?

Of course, you could leave it on the curb, but then your tree will end up in a landfill.

Keep reading to see what your other options are for giving your tree new life after the holiday season. 

7 Ways to Recycle Your Christmas Tree

  1. Use it for (Outdoor) Firewood: If you have a wood-burning stove in your house, you should not burn your tree. That’s because the tree has not been treated to eliminate creosote, a chemical that builds up in trees and burns too hot for indoor fires. However, it’s safe to use your old tree for kindling in your outdoor fire pit! If you cover the tree so it stays dry throughout the winter, you can be roasting smores over it come summer.
  2. Mulch Your Garden: You don’t need special equipment! Just break the tree into small bits with whatever tools you have on hand. Don’t worry about the needles–if they end up in the soil they’ll help your plants retain moisture. 
  3. Create a Winter Coat for Your Plants: Pine bows make great insulators to help your plants survive the winter. Just lay them over top!
  4. Recycle It: Check the details in your city. Some offer curbside recycling, but many don’t. In that case, most cities offer a location where you can bring your tree and have it recycled when you’re finished.
  5. Spruce Up Your Fish Tank: It may sound weird, but think about it. Pine branches fall into bodies of water all the time! Clean small branches thoroughly, and place them in the tank to create a safe haven for your pet to relax and hide.
  6. Edging for Your Walkway: Chop the tree trunk into 2-inch disks to create rustic, DIY edging for your flower beds or walkway.
  7. Start a Compost Pile: You can compost your tree! In fact, it makes a great first item for a new compost pile. Also, for more composting info, head over to our composting guide
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17 Fast Facts About the Pentagon

US pentagon building aerial view at sunsetWe were so excited about our recent dumpster delivery to the Pentagon in Arlington, VA! This 5-sided, or pentagon-shaped, building is the headquarters for the US Department of Defense. Every year, it draws more than 106,000 visitors for tours.

The Pentagon was one of the sites of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, exactly 60 years after its construction began on September 11, 1941. That day, 189 people died when a plane crashed into the building. Since the section where the plane hit had recently been renovated, it was not fully occupied. Otherwise, many more people would have lost their lives that day.

Keep reading to learn some fast facts about the Pentagon and its construction, size, and shape.

Construction

  • The Pentagon was constructed in only 16 months, thanks to a round-the-clock, multiple-shift schedule.
  • It needed to be built quickly because, after the Pearl Harbor Attack, there was an influx of military personnel flooding into Washington.
  • Construction went in spurts, often before blueprints and design documents were completed. More than 1,000 architects worked on-site to construct the building.
  • Since it was constructed during WWII when steel was in high demand, the building is mostly made of concrete.
  • The total building costs were $83 million, today’s equivalent of approximately $1.33 billion.

Size

  • With more than 17 miles of hallways inside, it’s the world’s largest low-rise office building.
  • Inside, you’ll find 131 stairways, 284 bathrooms, 4,200 clocks, 19 escalators, and 691 water fountains.
  • Its 16 parking lots can hold 8,770 cars.
  • The five sides of the pentagon enclose a five-acre courtyard.
  • A lap around the outside of the building is close to 1 mile.
  • The Pentagon contains 16,250 light fixtures, which require 250 daily light bulbs changes.
  • The telephone wire in the Pentagon could wrap around the planet 4.5 times.
  • Before every desk had a telephone and before the days of email, messengers used to travel around the hallways on rollerskates to cut down on time!

Shape

  • The first site of the Pentagon as Arlington Farms, which is a pentagon-shaped lot. Since building there would obstruct the view of Washington, D.C. from Arlington Cemetery, a new site was selected. Since by then, planning was in its advanced stages, the pentagon shape stayed the same.
  • The site where the Pentagon rests was once Hoover Lot, an airport that served Washington. 
  • Theodore Roosevelt, who was president at the time of construction, liked the unique design.
  • The shape also allowed for quicker walking distances. Architects calculated that walking time would be 30 to 50% less than a rectangular building. Similar efficiency to a circle, but much easier to build.
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Our Favorite Things About All-Star Sports Resort in Disney World

Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida, January 31st 2007: Sunset at the EntranceWe recently took a delivery to the All-Star Sports Resort in Disney World in Orlando, FL! This hotel and resort pays homage to competitive sports like baseball, basketball, football, surfing, and tennis. 

We were excited to add this fun client to our list of delivery stops. The hotel features sports-themed pools and dining, plus, this is the resort that recently added cookie dough to the dessert menu

Edible cookie dough certainly goes far with us, but we wanted to share some of our other favorite things about All-Star Sports Resort.

Our Favorite Things About All-Star 

Between time spent exploring the parks, guests can hang out at the Surfboard Bay Pool, a 242,471-gallon pool that makes you feel like you’re at the beach! It features large, 3-story surfboards, a kiddie pool for the little ones, and for the grown-ups, Grandstand Spirits Pool Bar. If baseball is more your speed, head to the Grand Slam Pool, which is shaped like a baseball diamond with a Goofy fountain standing on the pitcher’s mound. 

Other things to do at the resort include a one-mile jogging trail, playground, and an arcade.

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