We’re proud of the students, business owners, and community members in Schenectady, NY who recently donated their time and efforts to make their community a cleaner place.
A recent article highlights 2 initiatives in Schenectady that aim to reduce the amount of litter in the area. Each spring, Joe Aragosa, owner of Marty’s True Value Hardware, organizes a cleanup event. Volunteers gather to pick up litter in the Goose Hill neighborhood, located on Schenectady’s northside.
In 2020, another initiative will take place. The Schenectady Foundation announced that it would be awarding $250,000 in community grants. The Goose Hill team won $24,000 from that grant to spend on placing trash cans throughout the city. These cans were decorated with the artwork of local third-grade children from Yates Elementary School.
The drawings had an anti-littering message. 9-year-old Jeremiyah Thompson summed up his feelings “When you just drop stuff on the floor, the wind can push it and it can go into the river and kill the fish. The fish is saying, ‘Please, don’t litter in my river.’”
It may not be glamorous, but recycling our garbage can actually save us money in the long run. Just ask the residents of Westchester County, where Mount Vernon is located.
In 2018, recycling garbage saved Westchester County $5.4 million, plus the additional $4.2 million earned from selling the recyclables.
To dispose of solid waste, Westchester County spends an average of $79.33 per ton. The good news is, Westchester County’s recycling rate is 52%, which is higher than the national average of 35%.
Other recycling rates around Westchester County include:
- Pleasantville: 64%
- Briarcliff Manor: 65%
- North Castle: 80%
- New Castle: 61%
- Mount Pleasant: 49%
- Mount Kisco: 39%
- Pound Ridge: 43%
- Somers: 34%
- Hastings-on-Hudson: 33%
- Bronxville: 30%
- Dobbs Ferry: 26%
- Mount Vernon: 18%
In addition to saving money, the recycling industry promotes economic growth and creates thousands of jobs for residents of Westchester County. In 2017, the industry brought in $117 billion and provides about $13 billion in tax revenue each year to federal, local, and state governments.
Students at Hampton High School in Hampton, Tennessee (not far from Knoxville) recently helped streamline the garbage process in their community.
Doing so not only made life easier for sanitation workers but it has saved Carter County thousands of dollars.
Real-World Experience for High School Students
As part of a very hands-on school project, students in Daniel Arnett’s architecture and engineering design classes made several improvements to the sanitation building on U.S. Highway 19-E. The project wrapped up at the end of October.
In 2018, Benny Lyons, the director of Carter County’s Solid Waste Department, approached Arnett to ask for his help. The main issue with the sanitation system dealt with the flow of vehicles into the waste center. Traffic was flowing in in 2 or 3 directions when the industry standard is a single, one-way flow of waste.
Another issue was that the dumpsters’ walls were so high, the sanitation workers had a hard time lifting the garbage bags into the dumpsters.
Planning & Executing the Updates
Students in Arnett’s class started with a visit to the waste treatment plant. Once there, they took measurements of the space and used them to draw up designs for new ideas for traffic flow. The new plan had the dumpsters located below the vehicle area, so they would have an easier time getting the garbage into them.
After Lyons submitted the drawings, the project was approved and things were underway! By going through a student project, instead of a professional firm, the project saved the taxpayers $10,000. And according to Lyons, some of the workers to put the plans in place didn’t know that students had done the plans.
We’re passing along a message to our Tennessee customers: Anderson County will no longer recycle glass.
On August 15, WestRock, Anderson County’s recycling vendor, informed Anderson County Solid Waste that they will no longer accept glass for “receiving, handling, and marketing of glass bottles and jars collected at (the) county’s drop off centers.” The change went into effect on September 1.
On August 29, the Marlow Convenience Center stopped accepting glass in order to accommodate the change. Residents were advised to begin throwing away their glass in the regular trash.
Anderson County Solid Waste did attempt to find an alternative way to allow residents to continue recycling glass. The issue is that all vendors that accept glass are located in the Nashville area. In addition, they only accept clear glass, and not green or amber, and offer a rate of $30 per ton.
Anderson County produces 35-50 tons of glass for recycling each year, about a third of which is clear. That means the county could earn about $500 each year for recyclable glass. However, since the cost of hauling the loads is $1,500-$2,000 per ton, it would cost the county around $40,000 each year to haul the glass, so it simply is not feasible to continue recycling it.
An 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.
Plastic 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.
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
- New Milford
- Red Bank
- Saddle Brook
- Secaucus Town
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.
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.
Spring 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
- 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.
- Cover your floor with a drop cloth.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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!
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.
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 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
- North Carolina
- New Jersey
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:
- 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. 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.
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.
Whether 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!
Dumpster 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.
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.