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
- 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.
- 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.
- Create a Winter Coat for Your Plants: Pine bows make great insulators to help your plants survive the winter. Just lay them over top!
- 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.
- 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.
- Edging for Your Walkway: Chop the tree trunk into 2-inch disks to create rustic, DIY edging for your flower beds or walkway.
- 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.
We 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
No matter how much money she has in her account, Sue Older-Mondeel prefers to stay frugal. That’s what gave her the idea to start Tangelwood Works, where artists gather to take discarded or broken items and upcycle them, or give them a new, more beautiful life.
Her proclivity for dumpster diving has earned Sue the reputation as the “Dumpster Diva” of Hyattsville, MD, a town not far from Washington, DC. Recently, she did an interview with the Hyattsville Wire, discussing how her passion for upcycling began.
A Life of Upcycling
Sue learned many of her ways from her mother. She can recall a time when a pair of pants floated down the creek in her backyard, and her mother washed them for Sue or her sister to wear. Rather than replace the aging linoleum floor in her kitchen, Older-Mondeel and her mother hand-painted flowers and leaves over the cracks.
During her college years, Sue once transformed an old refrigerator into a a stereo cabinet with the albums in the crisper, turntable on the shelf, and speakers on the roof. Today, she uses her years of experience to inspire others to make their own transformations.
Save your treasured items from the dumpster! If you want to learn how to upcycle your furniture, check out Sue’s online courses.
While we are obviously huge fans of dumpsters here at Roll-Off Dumpster Direct, one of our favorite ways to dispose of waste is through composting. Composting is the process of recycling organic matter so that it transforms into rich, nutritious soil.
If you’ve never composted before, spring is a great time to start!
When you add compost to your garden, there is no need to use chemical fertilizer. Composted soil is high in nutrients that can nourish your plants. In fact, compost is superior to chemical fertilizer since it provides a diverse blend of nutrients that are not washed away by rainfall. Compost gradually releases natural nutrients that nourish your plants over time.
On the other hand, store-bought fertilizer provides a quick burst of nutrients before getting washed away into streams, causing aquatic plants to grow out of control and harm the wildlife.
Reduce Your Impact on the Planet
Compost reduces greenhouse gas emissions in two ways. It reduces the amount of fuel burned by the trucks that would have hauled your composted items to the dump, and it allows your garbage to decompose in a way that is friendly to the environment.
In the landfill, organic matter breaks down anaerobically (without oxygen), a process that creates harmful methane gas. This process can also produce leachate, which can pollute groundwater.
If you have the space, you can start things off by simply piling up scraps in a corner of your yard. Many people prefer to contain their compost in a bin with a lid. You can purchase compost bins at any garden or hardware store.
Compost is made up of four elements: browns (leaves, wood chips, grass clippings, or shredded paper), greens (food and household scraps), water, and air. A good rule of thumb is to have twice as many browns as greens. If you get this balance right, you will have odorless, nutritious compost in 6-8 months.
What Can You Compost?
- Fruit and vegetable scraps
- Egg shells (crushed)
- Coffee grounds, coffee filters, tea leaves, and non-synthetic tea bags
- Spoiled soy/rice/almond/coconut milk
- Used paper napkins, paper towels, paper towel rolls, toilet paper rolls, unwaxed paper plates, and paper bags
- Unwaxed pizza boxes, cardboard egg cartons, and cardboard boxes from cereal, pasta, etc. (Remove any plastic windows and shred)
- The crumbs you sweep off of the counters and floors, and the crumbs from snack food pacakging
- Cooked pasta or rice
- Stale bread, pitas, or tortillas, tortilla chips, candy, pretzels, granola bars, and potato chips
- Spoiled pasta sauce or tomato paste
- Stale crackers and cereal
- Nut shells (except for walnut shells, which are toxic to plants)
- Popcorn kernels
- Old herbs and spices
- Pizza crusts
- Old oatmeal
- Avocado pits (chopped up so they don’t sprout)
- Wine corks (chop up so they decompose faster)
- Moldy cheese (in moderation)
- Melted ice cream (in moderation)
- Old jelly, jam, or preserves
- Stale beer and wine
- Toothpicks and bamboo skewers
- Paper cupcake or muffin cups
- Used tissue
- Hair from your hairbrush
- Trimmings from your razor
- Nail Clippings
- Dryer lint from natural fabrics
- Old cotton or wool clothes cut into pieces
- Bills and other plain paper documents, sticky notes, envelops, and non-glossy business cards(shredded)
- Pencil shavings
- Dust bunnies
- Contents of your dustpan
- Crumbs from under your couch cushions
- Newspapers (shredded or torn into smaller pieces)
- Subscription cards from magazines (shredded)
- Burlap sacks (cut or torn into small pieces)
- Old rope and twine (chopped, natural, unwaxed only)
- Leaves trimmed from houseplants
- Dead houseplants and their soil
- Flowers from floral arrangements
- Used matches
- Ashes from untreated wood burned in the fireplace, grill, or outdoor fire pits (in very small amounts)
- Grass clippings
- Dead autumn leaves
- Sawdust (from plain wood that has NOT been pressure-treated, stained or painted)
- Paper tablecloths (shredded or torn into smaller pieces)
- Crepe paper streamers
- Latex balloons
- Jack O’lanterns (smashed)
- Natural holiday wreaths, garlands, and Christmas trees
- Fur from the dog or cat brush
When in Doubt, Leave it Out!
When composting crumbs found under couch cushions or the contents of your dustpan, be sure to sort through and pick out items like pennies, legos, or other non-natural items. Remember, technically, any animal or plant-based item can be composted, but proceed with caution!
Your neighbors will not be happy with you if you throw bones, dairy products, meat, fish, or fatty items onto your pile. They will give off a strong odor as they break down, attracting critters from all over the area.
To learn more about composting, check out this video about the basics.
In Cape May, NJ, one man looks at dumpsters as bins filled with opportunity. Peter Henderer is an artist who dumpster dives for creative canvases and materials to form into works of art.
Henderer creates wooden artwork from materials he scavenges, trimming and refinishing wood scraps to give them new life. Henderer is also fond of fashioning shovel heads, garden rake fins, and lightbulb eyes into sculptures of fish.
From Trash to Art
In 2015, Henderer first took up wood art. Now, it’s his full-time job. He spends 40 hours per week transforming his dumpster finds in the shed-turned-studio behind his grandparents’ home in Cape May.
While Henderer’s artwork has a unique twist, this isn’t the first time we’ve written about using dumpsters to create artwork. Check out this post about elementary students who used a dumpster as their canvas.
Read the full story about Henderer here in the Press of Atlantic City.
Eagles fans may be rumored to throw trash at opposing team fans, but Lincoln Financial Field has adopted a ‘Go Green’ policy.
For the past decade, Lincoln Financial Field has worked to make sure all operations match their team uniforms! These range from generating clean energy, reducing waste, and planting trees to help offset their impact on the environment.
Keep reading to learn how the Eagles keep it green.
Four Ways the Eagles are the Greenest Team in the NFL
- The NFL’s Largest Solar Power Plant: 100% of the Eagles stadium’s operations are powered via solar and wind power. Thanks to a partnership with NRG Energy Inc., Lincoln Financial Field has 11,000 solar panels and 14 wind turbines, allowing it to generate more solar power than any stadium in the NFL!
- Go Green Team: After every game, the Eagles’ Green Team gets to work sorting through trash. The Green Team was instated in 2003 when staff looked into a trash bag and saw that the garbage wasn’t properly sorted. They decided to form a trash sorting team to lift the burden off of fans, who previously needed to properly sort trash by placing it in correct containers.
- Planting Trees: Since 2007, Eagles personnel have planted 568 trees. Trees take in carbon dioxide and put out purified oxygen, and this helps to offset the effects of carbon emissions. The clean air these new trees provide offsets the pollution caused by team travel.
- Laying Off the Landfill: Less than 1% of waste generated at Lincoln Financial Field ends up in a landfill.
At Roll-Off Dumpster Direct, we love to hear when large organizations use their power to divert trash away from landfills and help the environment!
We can’t wait to cheer on the birds during Super Bowl LII! Check out a previous post to learn three simple Super Bowl snack recipes, and for more information on the Eagles’ efforts to go green, click here.
We are excited about this short film, created by highschoolers, that features dumpsters as a recurring plot point! The star studded cast includes Seth Rogan, James Franco, Nick Kroll, and Hannah Simone.
Thanks to a collaboration between Seth Rogan, his friend Evan Goldberg, and input from Adrienne Slover, a kindergarten teacher in Toronto, high school and elementary students had the opportunity to create a short film.
Getting Their Feet Wet in Hollywood Film-Making
Students from two schools, a high school in Hollywood and an elementary school in Toronto, had the chance to submit applications to work with “professionals in the film industry.” The application involved answering questions like “What are your favorite films?” and “What would you like to do to help your community?”
On filming day, students found out that they would be working with stars like Franco and Rogan.
The film’s focus is on bullying, but with a comedic twist. At Roll-Off Dumpster Direct, we are happy that the film both begins and ends in a dumpster!
We would like to thank everyone involved with “Dumpster Diving” for bringing dumpsters to Hollywood, where they belong.
Check out the full story here. You can watch the video below:
American products are known for being extra large, and everything is especially bigger in Texas. One man is challenging that notion.
Jeff Wilson, a college professor from Austin, TX lived in a dumpster for an entire year. In his 6-by-6 foot dumpster, Wilson was able to install solar power, basic cooking accommodations, a composting toilet, and a solar heated shower.
Wilson’s goal was to prove to his students that he could live on 1% of the electricity and water the average American uses in 1% of the space.
Now that the project is over, Wilson is rolling out dumpster-inspired micro homes via his new company, Kasita. This startup company builds tiny homes packed with the most advanced technologies to reduce the carbon footprints of their occupants.
From flat screen TVs, to clothes washers, these tiny homes have all the amenities we’re used to in a fraction of the space. While the median American home size is 2,467 square feet, Kasitas are 352.
While this model is a bit different from the 6X6 original that is near and dear to our hearts here at RDD, it’s difficult to forget the roots of the first Kasita microhouse.
Roll-Off Dumpster Direct has recently expanded into the Garden State! In honor of our recent new digs, we’ve created this garbage guide for our New Jersey customers.
Since trash specifics depend on the local government that serves your area, this is a general guide for New Jersey. To find out detailed information about your community’s disposal requirements, check out the website for your local magistrate.
In most communities, regular trash is picked up once a week. Place your containers at the curb after 5:30 PM the day before, or prior to 7 AM the day of your scheduled pick-up day. Place your containers within 4 feet of the roadway, and make certain that they do not impede use of the sidewalk.
You must remove the empty containers from the curb within 12 hours of trash pick-up.
Most communities in New Jersey participate in single stream recycling. This means that all recyclables can be placed into one container–no need to sort! The following items can be recycled:
Metals: Aluminum cans, aluminum foil and bake-ware, steel and tin cans
Papers: Corrugated cardboard, magazines, office paper, newspaper, paperboard, cartons, unsolicited direct mail, phone books
Glass: Clear, amber, green
Plastic: Be sure to thoroughly rinse!
What not to recycle:
- Any glass that has food waste, dirt, or stones in it
- Ceramic items
- Heat-resistant glass
- Mixed colors of glass that is broken
- Glass from mirrors or windows
- Metal or plastic caps and lids
- Light bulbs
- Cathode ray tubes (found in TV and computer monitors)
Most communities throughout New Jersey offer a bulk trash pickup day as often as once a month. On bulk trash day, you can dispose of materials you ordinarily cannot. Most communities will dispose of:
Wood and Carpet Scraps: Weighing less than 50 lbs and cut into 4-foot long pieces
Furniture and Car Batteries: Place these at the curb for pick-up
Metal and Household Appliances: These include metal window frames, bed frames, washers, dryers, ovens, and water heaters
Used Motor Oil and Anti-Freeze: Must be in containers that are clearly marked “Used Motor Oil” or “Used Anti-Freeze”
These items must be placed in an automated cart. Most communities issue one cart per household but will allow residents to purchase additional carts. Garbage that is not placed in an automated cart will be tagged and you will be issued a warning. If the problem isn’t corrected, you will be charged with a fine.
Electronic items contain toxic chemicals that need to be disposed of carefully. These items include:
- Video Game Counsels
- Fax Machines
- DVD Players
It is important that you clear these items of your personal data. Simply deleting it will not prevent a criminal from stealing your personal information. This post offers helpful tips on how to wipe the data from your electronic device, as well as charities where you can donate your items.
In addition to donating your used electronics to a charity, most New Jersey communities have electronics pick up days. Check your local website for details.
Proper disposal of unneeded medications is important for safety. New Jersey has enacted “Project Medicine Drop,” an initiative that allows residents to dispose of their medications anonymously 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Simply bring your medicines to a participating police station and place them in the labeled container.
Still Not Sure What to Do With Your Garbage?
One thing the New Jersey public garbage system doesn’t handle is construction scraps. If you have a construction site and need someone to haul the garbage away, Roll-Off Dumpster Direct has you covered! From Toms River, to Jersey City, to Elizabeth, and Trenton, we serve the entire state of New Jersey.
A new initiative in Brazil keeps food out of the trash and puts it in the hands of those who need it.
Every day, we throw out food that is perfectly fine simply because we don’t want to deal with it anymore. It’s easy to forget that there are hungry people who would never dream of abandoning a meal.
The tragedy is that it’s nearly impossible to get your leftovers into the hands of someone who really needs them. In an attempt to change that, the Makers Society in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has created an initiative, forming a supply chain to help the hungry.
Prato de Rua (Street Dish) is an initiative that operates by placing a sticker on a dumpster. The sticker encourages passersby to hang their leftovers from a knob on the dumpsters so that the city’s poorest residents can eat them.
We are happy to see that The Makers Society has found a way to use dumpsters as a platform to help those in need.
Over the past month, we’ve delivered dumpsters to several TGI Friday’s locations. Typically, these rentals are an indication of renovations or major construction. When we saw this story in the news, it all started to make sense.
Apparently, the restaurant change is looking for a change of decor to better attract millennials. The new look will eliminate the famous “flair” sported by the serving staff, and take down the memorabilia and knick knacks that once adorned the walls. The new decor will be much lighter than the dark wooden tables and red and white stripes that we’ve grown accustomed to. Even their new website design matches the new blond wood.
Dropping the T.G.I.
Perhaps the most shocking of the changes — the restaurant will now just be known as “Fridays.” You may be wondering where we’re getting all of this information from. Well, a prototype “Fridays” was opened in Corpus Christi, TX. This chic, new spot has also incorporated other business changes such as a to-go sandwich counter, coffee stations, open mic nights, and a “Hangover Brunch.”
Transformation of other locations depends on the success of the prototype, but all sources seem to think the likelihood is high. Fridays will now be a day-time competitor for businesses like Starbucks, where customers can have breakfast, lunch, work-from-home, or a grab a bite while on the run. At night, the restaurant will remain a dinner staple but also offer the accommodations of your local pub. The play is for the “millennial-minded,” though the brand doesn’t want to cut that off at a single age.
What do you think of the change?
We’ve opened up another new office – this time in Boca Raton. With the demand we’ve been seeing for affordable dumpster rentals in Florida, adding to our growing business was a no-brainer. You can now find Roll-Off Dumpster Direct at 1825 NW Corporate Blvd, Ste 110, Boca Raton, FL 33431 or reach us by phone at 561-948-1048. Our new location is situated between Florida Atlantic University and Town Center. If we’re now neighbors, please feel free to stop by and say hello.
At Roll-Off Dumpster Direct, we’ve been actively opening additional offices to expand our reach without sacrificing quality. We are now perfectly situated to provide better-than-ever service in Palm Beach, Broward, and Dade Counties. We’re especially looking forward to escaping the cold of Northeast winters. Conducting business by the beach or golf course sounds much more appealing.
Better Dumpster Rentals in Southeast Florida
Whether you’re opening a new business (like us), taking on a construction project, or moving to/from Southeast Florida, be sure to reach out to Roll-Off Dumpster Direct for your dumpster rental. We offer the most affordable rates and longest rental periods. Our dumpster size options include 10, 20, 30, and 40 yards. Additionally, we provide the best customer service in the industry.
After opening our latest office in Boca Raton, we’ve become increasingly interested in waste removal in Florida. We know, you must be too. In any case, we did come across some facts about landfills that are sure to catch the interest of at least a few Florida residents.
- The smallest landfill is located in Glades County, having a total land area of 40 acres.
- The state of Florida has 163 active Construction and Demolition (C&D) debris disposal facilities.
- The landfill in Okeechobee is one of the ten largest in the country, receiving roughly 2,640,000 tons each year.
- In 1980, Florida had approximately 500 open dumps. During this time period, it was a common practice to either burn or use one of these open dumps in order to alleviate the solid waste
- Orange County Landfill receives approximately 2,100 TPD of waste within a total site area of 5,000 acres.
- According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there are 67 municipal solid waste landfills in Florida.
Even if you’re not as excited by waste statistics as we are, you should be excited that Roll-Off Dumpster Direct is now in the area! This new office will allow us to provide even better service to our Floridian clients. To schedule your own dumpster delivery, get a free quote using the form on this page or give us a call on our new local number 561-948-1048.
At first glance, the answer to this question may seem obvious. However, it is one we across fairly frequently and rightly so. Knowing a dumpster’s size in yards is not very telling of how one of our customers might best use a 10 yard dumpster.
Specifically, a 10 yard dumpster is 3.5′ high, 8′ wide, and 13′ long, and can hold 10 cubic yards of material or roughly five pickup truck loads. These dumpsters are designed to help with small construction projects or large items that are difficult to remove from your home. Some of the common projects we recommend this size dumpster for include:
- Basement or garage cleanouts
- Removal of a 250 square foot deck
- Concrete demolition
- Yard debris cleanup
- Small kitchen or bath remodeling
- Roofing jobs
The 10 yard dumpster is often ideal for home dumpster rentals, as it fits easily into a driveway or parking space. Generally, this size dumpster is used for all types of cleanouts in the home. Despite being the smallest size dumpster, it isn’t necessarily the least expensive. Keep in mind that it’s more affordable to order a larger container than several 10 yard containers. If you need to dispose of more than 10 cubic yards of waste, consider a 20 or 30 yard dumpster.
For more information, be sure to check out our dumpster size guide.
Residents of Media, PA have had a front row seat to the week-long demolition of the Media-Upper Providence Free Library. We’ve been able to watch the entire building be demolished, and also see just how helpful dumpster rentals really are during construction projects. It’s very exciting to see the beginnings of a brand new building in the area.
In order to accommodate more traffic and improve accessibility as well as public safety, the new library will be a 10,000 square foot, two-story building. The new design will feature an elevator, ADA compliant entrances and restrooms, designated parking, free Wi-Fi, and energy efficient lighting and windows. Additionally, this new design will be flexible so that future changes can easily be made to better accommodate changes in the way the public uses the library.
The History of the Library
The library was founded by the Woman’s Club of Media in 1901 and the building you saw at the beginning of this video was the result of connecting five different buildings over the course of 50 years. The library is a non-profit organization responsible for its own operation. It serves 9,000 active cardholders and is visited by over 100,000 patrons each year. In the past five years alone, the library has been busier than the previous ten — which indicates that usage is actually growing.
For being such a major city and trendy spot for nightlife, the housing market in Atlanta is unbelievable! Coming from a suburb of Philadelphia, we were shocked to see the high inventory and low prices of homes within the metro Atlanta area. It got us wondering how this could be possible. We came up with a few potential factors — and one relates to our industry.
The first factor could be that the city is completely without natural boundaries, so there is no limit on new construction within the city and metro area. Additionally, there is no high competition for properties with a water or mountain view to drive up prices.
Another, and more interesting (to us, at least!), factor is the cheap price of waste disposal in Atlanta. There seems to be relation between waste disposal and the housing market, which would make sense because cheaper waste disposal allows for cheaper construction. For example, to dispose of a ton of waste in the Philadelphia area, it costs roughly $67-$80, and in Atlanta, it’s more like $39-$45/ton.
One of the Most Affordable Housing Markets in the Country
So, why are houses so inexpensive in Atlanta? According to Investopedia, the national median list price is $199,000 while Atlanta’s median is $184,900.
Coming from a company who just opened an office in Buckhead, we’d have to say the real reason is a combination of the two factors listed above. Thanks to cheap waste disposal options, construction is relatively inexpensive. Additionally, the lack of boundaries make the potential for new construction limitless — especially in an area where many homeowners aren’t concerned with being close to the downtown area. All in all, Atlanta seems to have an abundant inventory of homes and lots just waiting for buyers. When supply outweighs demand, prices always remain low.
Dumpster pools could be the solution to cooling off this summer. Macro Sea, a New York City real estate and development company, popularized dumpster pools in Brooklyn back in the summer of 2009. In the past few years, the company has improved the dumpster pool design, and set up “lo-fi” country clubs across New York. Now, the mobile pools are making appearances across the country.
Currently, residents of Tucson, AZ can try out one of these pools for themselves at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). The Mobile Pools Exhibit is on display from June 20 – September 26, 2015. Three code-compliant, street legal dumpster pools will be located in the Great Hall where museum members can swim, screen films, and see live entertainment.
Mobile Pools in Unexpected Places
Macro Sea’s hope was to create “cost-effective ways to bring pop-up pools to municipalities nationwide,” and they did just that. Their designs are now street legal and can be unloaded from a truck, filled up, and plugged in. The dumpster pools are created from objects typically used to haul junk and can make a swimming pool possible in any setting. While dumpster rentals do not hold onto rain water (don’t worry), these unique designs are lined to retain the water for the ultimate summer splash without the trash.
At the end of the summer, MOCA intends to sell the dumpster pools to new downtown owners. This way, they can keep with the tradition of keeping the pools in unexpected places.
Check out this article in the NY Times to read about the first dumpster pool in Brooklyn.
As of 2008 when the city began tracking waste statistics as part of its Greenworks initiative, about 53% of waste in Philadelphia avoided the landfill through recycling and waste to energy (WTE) practices. By 2012 this increased to 73% of waste avoiding landfills, and in 2014 the Philadelphia Streets Department began diverting all waste from land-fills through a combination of recycling and WTE practices.
So if you are wondering where your trash goes in Philadelphia, it is either recycled or turned into energy. There are a wide variety of recycling facilities in and around the city listed in the map below.
The largest Waste to Energy Facility is in Chester, known as Covanta Delaware Valley or The Delaware Valley Resource Recovery facility, and it burns up to 3,300 tons of waste per day. A smaller facility known as Covanta Plymouth Renewable Energy is located in Conshohocken and handles up to 1,200 tons of trash per day. Another facility in Morristown PA is the Wheelabrator Falls Inc. waste-to-energy facility, which can handle 1,500 tons per day.
For many years there were 4 major landfills in the Philadelphia area.
- Morrisville, Bucks County.
- Tullytown, Bucks County.
- Pottstown, Montgomery County.
- West Grove, Chester County.
The Tullytown landfill is certified through 2019 but Waste Management, who runs the landfill, said they expect it to close in three years, which would be at some point in 2018. There is another landfill very nearby in Morrisville known as the GROWS North Landfill that is expected to close down earlier than that. Did you know that cash gifts from the Borough of Tullytown have been as high as $6000 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 Bloomberg.com
The landfill in Pottstown PA was closed as of 2005.
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.
While the need for landfills is decreasing, the Zero Waste Sub committee defines zero waste as over 90% diversion rate. So 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.
A report from the United Nations University studied the world’s e-waste production, and found that the United States and China are the biggest producers. Most of our home appliances, computers, and smart phones are thrown out but never actually recycled. Interestingly enough, neither the US or China has the most e-waste per capita in the world.
The report defined e-waste as equipment using a battery or cord — and only one sixth of e-waste is recycled worldwide. The rest ends up in landfills where it is often stripped of valuable materials and components and left to leak toxic materials into the environment. CBS also reported that Africa was identified as one of the lowest e-waste producing countries, but still ends up with the most e-waste in its landfills.
“Worldwide, e-waste constitutes a valuable urban mine – a large potential reservoir of recyclable materials,” said United Nations Under-Secretary-General David Malone.
It’s also interesting to note that, despite popular belief, the majority of e-waste does not come from cell phones and computers. Actually, technology only makes up about seven percent of the world’s e-waste. The biggest offenders were actually home appliances such as washing machines, microwaves, dishwashers, toasters, and vacuum cleaners.
The report came to the conclusion that our e-waste production will only get worse in coming years. The amount of e-waste is projected to rise 21 percent by 2018 to 50 million metric tons.
To learn more about what Americans do recycle, visit a previous blog post.
This week (March 8-15) is Patient Safety Awareness week. To do our part, we took the Medicine Cabinet Clean-out Challenge, and decided to share it with you! If you’ve ever been unsure of how to clean out your medicine cabinet, this post is sure to help.
1. Know your medications
– Do you take your prescriptions as prescribed?
– Do you understand all possible side effects?
Going through some of our medications at home, we realized that not all of us were aware of which prescriptions needed to be taken on a full stomach or at the same time each day. We were also pretty surprised to learn of some of the possible side effects of these drugs — a few seemed to outweigh the positive effects.
2. Secure your medications
– Are your medicines stored in a secured location?
– How do you monitor the amount left in each medicine bottle?
For most of us, our medicine cabinets were up high where kids can’t reach them. However, most of us didn’t have a system to monitor the amount left in each bottle. Those of us who did seemed to keep medications that were running low toward the front to remind us to refill or dispose.
3. Dispose your medications
– Do you know how/where to safely dispose of any unused or expired medications?
– Have you checked to see if any medications are recalled?
To check if your medications have been recalled, you can check with the American Recall Center. When you have unused or expired medicine, you can’t always just toss it into the trash. In the past, we’ve covered this topic in depth. You can find more info about disposing of medications in a previous blog post.
If you’ve taken the challenge, share your experiences with us!
Philadelphia City Council recently approved a bill to encourage restaurants to compost food waste rather than grind it through a disposal unit.
The bill would cut in half the dumpster permit fee for units that will be used for composting purposes. This will prevent the waste from sitting in a regular dumpster until disposal, and eventually winding up in a landfill. According to Councilman Denny O’Brien, who sponsored the bill, the composting dumpsters will be good for neighbors of the restaurant. He said there will be fewer odors, less waste, and less frequent dumpster pickups. Also, the measure should save restaurant owners and the city some money. The bill now goes to the mayor, and it’s expected he’ll sign it.
You can read more about the story here.
Food Waste in Philadelphia
It’s estimated that the city of Philadelphia generates 150,000 tons of food waste every year. When that waste rots in the landfill, it becomes a significant source of methane. In fact, landfills are responsible for 20% of all methane emissions. Composted food waste is used to improve soil health and drought resistance.
What do you think, Philadelphians? Are you looking forward to fewer odors and insects surrounding restaurants? How do you feel about reducing food waste? Sound off in the comments below!
While the average American home continues to get better and use more resources, one Austin, TX college professor is taking part in an experiment to cut way back — to just one percent. Jeffrey Wilson, affectionately known as Professor Dumpster, moved into a dumpster on Huston-Tillotson University campus back in March to prove to his students and the community that you can have a good life while using only 1% of the water and energy used by the average American household. (His dumpster is also 1% the size of the average home at six by six feet.)
At first, Wilson was essentially camping in this dumpster, getting water from the town lake, using candlelight, and storing his very few belongings in a false plywood floor. In August, he entered Phase II of the project. They were able to equip the dumpster with air conditioning just in time for Texas heat of August. In this phase, the dumpster will be hooked up to the electrical grid and afforded many amenities of the modern home such as bedding, cooking supplies, solar lighting, and an improved roof.
Phase III, called The Über Dumpster, will kick off in Spring 2015. In this phase, the team plans to combine the best of the first two phases — using modern amenities while creating the smallest ecological footprint possible. Design ideas for Phase III include a composting toilet, solar-heated shower, and a flat screen television.
To keep up to date with Professor Dumpster and the HT Green is the New BlackTM student organization, check out the website.
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Renting a dumpster may seem like an investment to some people, but when you consider the factors that go into waste collection and disposal, it’s an affordable alternative to handling waste disposal on your own.
When you are looking for a dumpster rental quote, consider the main factors that determine dumpster pricing.
1. First, you must consider the price of purchasing an actual dumpster. Obviously, it’s not worth buying a $4,000 dumpster that you’ll only use a few times. Renting a dumpster ensures you won’t be charged an arm and a leg for one-time use. As shown, the bigger the dumpster, the higher the cost.
Cost of purchasing a dumpster: $3,795-$5,295
2. Second, factor in the cost of transporting a dumpster. Dumpster companies must haul the dumpster to a few stops. Fuel costs alone make this a costly effort.
Cost of transporting a dumpster: $150-$300
3. Rental periods vary by dumpster rental companies. For a longer job, you’ll want to choose a company that offers a long rental period so you won’t be surprised by rental extension fees.
Rental period options: 7-21 days
4. Unfortunately, waste doesn’t just disappear into mid-air. Most waste is taken to a landfill, and prices of disposal vary by location.
Cost of waste disposal in PA (per ton): $75.96
Considering all of these factors that go into waste disposal, it’s important to understand that you should choose a dumpster rental company that best suits your needs. Not sure how much it will cost? Roll-Off Dumpster Direct offers instant online quotes, so you’ll know the costs before you rent.
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According to the EPA’s 2012 report, Americans recycled and composted almost 87 million tons of municipal solid waste in 2012. The infographic above breaks down different categories of waste. On the left, you can see the total amount of waste generated, and on the right, you can see how much of that was recycled and composted. The percentage listed in the middle is representative of the rate at which a material is recycled.
In 2012, American generated over 251 million tons of trash, putting the recycling rate at 34.5%. This rate continues to rise. In the year 2000, Americans recycled 28.5% of materials.
As the infographic shows, yard trimmings and paper products are commonly recycled. While food and “other waste” makes up a big portion of generated waste, this is the category with the least amount of material recycled.
Construction and demolition waste, also known as C&D waste, usually consists of heavy, bulky materials that can potentially cause harm to us and the environment if not disposed of correctly.
Recycling C & D materials helps to avoid this harm, and it conserves space in landfills. Often, even the smallest of materials can be converted into something useful. For example, Waste Management has provided this diagram for recycling construction materials.
Inerts > Road base
Clean wood > Mulch
Crushed concrete > Gravel or New concrete
Dirt, rock and sand > Alternative Daily Cover (ADC) in landfills
Cardboard, paper, Plastics and metals > Converted into new goods
The following are some construction waste statistics provided by GreenWaste:
According to the National Association of Home Builders, a typical 2,200 sq.ft. home requires 13,000 board feet of framing lumber.
If laid end to end, that framing lumber would stretch 2.5 miles.
If all the dimensional lumber used to build the 1.2 million new homes constructed in the United State each year were laid end to end, it would extend 3 million miles, the equivalent of going to the moon and back six and a half times.
Home construction, remodeling and demolition projects are responsible for 25% to 30% of the nation’s annual municipal solid waste.
The Zanker landfill’s recycling facility processes C&D materials at the rate of 135 tons each hour.
We hope these statistics stay with you during your next construction project. We always encourage all of our clients to dispose of waste responsibly. After all, all of that waste is just causing problems long after your lifetime.
For more information about waste, check out our Landfill Facts blog post.
Spring is finally here! This means sunshine, flowers, letting air in the windows, and finally getting rid of all that clutter you’ve let build up over the long winter. Spring cleaning is one of the most satisfying ways to get a fresh start, but where do you begin?
We’ve made a checklist to make your seasonal cleanup a bit easier. Here, we’ll break down room by room some ways to get the most out of your scrubbing. However, we do want to remind you that the first step in each of these rooms is to OPEN THE WINDOWS. It is Spring, after all.
1. Empty your cabinets. Wipe down the blank shelves and check for any food or medicine that has expired. You’ll be surprised how much space is wasted on items that are past their expiration dates.
2. Clean the oven, stove top, and sink. These are items you use everyday but probably don’t get around to cleaning very often. This type of cleaning can also stop germs from getting into your food.
3. Create counter space. Your kitchen will seem much larger without so many unused items taking up space. Instead, stash some appliances you don’t use everyday in a cabinet. You’re sure to have some extra room after step 1.
1. Declutter. Throw away any items you don’t need like an old toothbrush or eye cream. Also, collect items such as jewelry or clothing that actually belong in other rooms.
2. Scrub places you normally neglect. This might include a toothbrush holder, vent, cabinet, or drain.
3. Perform a thorough cleaning of any linens, mirrors, windows, sinks — and of course, the toilet.
1. Remove and reorganize your drawers. Donate any clothes you don’t need anymore to create more space.
2. Freshen your mattress by letting it sit in baking soda, then vacuuming. While you’re at it, be sure to vacuum under the bed.
3. Clean the window sills, vents, and lamp shades.
And, if you decide to take on any Spring renovations be sure to give us a call to help with waste removal!
There are many reasons that our customers contact us for dumpster or container rental. However, most of those reasons involve some type of construction project. That being said, we thought it would be helpful to supply our customers with a few demolition guidelines to help tear down a shed by hand.
First, you’ll need to get the proper equipment like safety goggles, a hard hat, boots, and work gloves. You’ll also need demo equipment including but not limited to:
- Wire cutters
And of course, you’ll need to rent a dumpster.
According to doityourself.com, you should contact city officials before beginning your project. In many areas, a permit is needed to perform demolition on your property. This is something you’ll want to have cleared up beforehand so you won’t be facing any fines post-demo. This would be a great time to disconnect any water or electrical services to the shed, as well.
When it comes time actual physical labor, eHow says the roof is the best place to start. Lean your ladder against the shed and climb until you can look down at the roof. Remove any nails with your hammer. You can also slip your crowbar between the wall and roof to pry the top off of the structure.
From here, working your way down should be simpler. After the roof is off, you should be able to push and knock each wall inward. In some cases, you’ll need your hammer to remove brackets from the corners. Be careful that no one is standing in the area when you push each wall down.
Pull apart any insulation between the walls so that you can break them down easier. Breaking each wall into smaller, manageable pieces will make your clean up much easier. If your shed is made of sturdier material, you might consider using a jackhammer for this step. After the pieces are broken apart, toss them into your dumpster rental.
For more detailed advice, learn from the Houston Trash Junk Guys.
Have you ever thought about where your garbage goes after it is taken from the curb? We certainly have, and we were a bit surprised by the information we learned about American landfills. To share this information with our readers, we decided to compile a list of landfill facts.
- The average American produces 4.5 pounds of waste each day, which is equivalent to 56 tons each year, to be taken to our landfills.
- Of the garbage in those landfills, almost 30 percent is paper; 18 percent is food scraps and 16 percent is plastics.
- Our landfills are filled with Styrofoam products and used baby diapers, and they will be there for centuries.
- Each year, Americans throw away enough paper and plastic utensils to circle the equator 300 times.
- Nearly one third of the average dump consists of packaging materials.
- While Mexico City’s largest landfill was closed in 2011, trash continues to be dumped at the site. Before closing, the dumping site took in 12,000 tons of garbage a day.
- The Fresh Kills landfill in New York was once rumored to be visible from space. Now, it is closed and being transitioned into a public park.
- Some decomposition times courtesy of TLC: banana peels, it’s 2-10 days. Cotton: 1-5 months. Cigarette butts: 1-10 years. Aluminum cans: 80-100 years. Glass bottles: 1,000,000 years.
- Although we only represent 5 percent of the world’s population, Americans are responsible for 40 percent of the world’s waste.
- The Puente Hills landfill in Los Angeles County is the largest landfill in the United States. It is estimated that six days a week, about 1,500 trucks deliver 12,000 tons of municipal solid waste. The landfill is 500 feet high, covers 700 acres, and hosts tours.
- According to CleanAir.org, Alaska has 300 landfill facilities, while the entire northeastern region of the United States only has 134.
- “Mount Rumpke,” a mountain of trash at the Rumpke sanitary landfill, is the highest point in Hamilton County, OH. It is a staggering 1045 ft. above sea level (USI.edu).
We hope you found these facts as eye-opening as we did! Knowing how much garbage we’ve piled up over time should encourage us to recycle more in the future. Just think, most of your trash will live on in landfills long after your time.
If 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 U.S. states are beginning to ban the disposal of e-waste and require that it be recycled instead. For example, Pennyslvania’s e-waste recycling law went into effect on January 24th.
You may still be wondering, exactly what is considered 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:
- Computer Monitors
- 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. Because so many new models are introduced to the market each year, the lifespan of computers and cell phones are quickly diminishing. This is leaving more e-waste to sit in our landfills. Items that are incinerated pose the threat of releasing toxins 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. It’s estimated that around 50 million tons of e-waste is produced globally each year. Even developing countries are contributing to this number. 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.
Perhaps you’ve heard about the newest fad: dumpster diving. Those who partake in dumpster diving search through items discarded in a dumpster for food or other things such as furniture or clothing that they might find useful. This practice is becoming increasingly popular not just as a way of life for the less affluent, but as a serious hobby for the thrifty and environmentally conscious. In fact, dumpster divers, sometimes known as freegans, across America are beginning to connect over the internet and form groups. However, the legality of this practice is constantly being questioned. Many want to know — is dumpster diving illegal? While laws tend to vary in different areas, here is a general overview to abide by. Still, you should check the specific laws in your town before diving yourself.
In the United States, dumpster diving or garbage picking is legal. Generally, law states that when an item is thrown into garbage bins placed outside, that item becomes public domain. However, dumpster divers may run into issues when the dumpster is located on private property or near a fence marked “No Trespassing.” In these cases, police may have reason to ticket or even arrest the diver. If you plan on dumpster diving, check the area for any signage that would suggest the garbage is not part of public domain.
Dumpster divers commonly run into other legal issues such as littering or disorderly conduct. Typically, police will not respond to dumpster diving unless called by a store manager or resident. Freegans who do not cause a commotion or leave a mess behind are less likely to have a negative interaction with authorities.
In some cities, garbage picking using a vehicle is considered illegal because certain recyclables could be exchanged for cash. For the same reason, some communities consider taking from recycling bins to be thievery. Other times, the person responsible for the dumpster may try taking legal action to avoid being sued if someone injures themselves while dumpster diving or gets sick from food they’ve tossed away.
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. If you have specific questions about renting a dumpster, visit our frequently asked questions page.
It might be useful for restaurant or food store managers to note that they are able to 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. Click here to read about a free cafe supplied with dumpster diving finds.