Recycling and Disposal Resources
Roll-Off Dumpster Direct Heads to the Campgrounds
It’s official – summer is on our front doorstep! While many of us have begun planting seeds, watching tulips burst forth from the ground, or breaking out the swimsuits, Roll-Off Dumpster Direct has been busy helping local campgrounds gear up for a busy season of fun!
Pine Lake Campground Gets Ready for Summer
When the winter season sets in, campgrounds close up shop pretty quickly. In some locations, heavy snow can block hard-to-reach campsites, leaving a mess when the ground finally thaws. At Pine Lake Campground near Pinehurst, North Carolina – Roll-Off Dumpster was called to help them prepare for the summer of visitors. As a lakeside park, Pine Lake is full of fun things for everyone in the family – from fishing and swimming to lawn sports and hiking. It was our pleasure to help the campground clean up.
Cleaning a Campsite
As responsible campers, it is your job to clean up whatever you pack in – including food (no one wants a bear surprise), fire remnants, trash, or personal items. Even if you are a clean, respectful camper – campgrounds still need a lot of preparation and cleaning before they open the gates to campers. Here are a few things that campgrounds do to prepare for the summer season:
- Site-by-site clearing – debris from fall foliage or winter weather can leave branches, rocks, and more covering the sites. Camp hosts and forest service employees use a large dumpster to remove this debris to give campers a clean, clear spot to enjoy.
- Outhouse service – everyone appreciates a real bathroom when camping! Parks and forest service personnel typically hire a company to service the outhouse, but cleaning the trash or the interior after winter can take time.
- Lodging – some campsites have larger accommodations. This lodging can accumulate a lot of trash, debris, and typically needs a fresh ‘purge’ after the long winter.
Disposing of Trash While Camping
Cleaning the campground is an ongoing process all summer long. As a camper or recreation user – you can do your part by disposing of trash properly. Not only will this help keep away unwanted visitors (bears, eek), but it will keep the environment clean and refreshed for others for years to come! Best practices for disposing of trash while camping include:
- Use designated dumpsters – many campgrounds designate dumpsters for specific campsites. These are locking dumpsters that prevent critters from getting inside and making a mess.
- Leave no trace – you’ve most likely heard this old saying – but it is wise to listen to it. Whatever you bring camping – take it back out with you! If you make food, dispose of it in a locking dumpster or store it inside a vehicle or camper. Do not leave trash laying around for any period of time (including disposable cameras as the scent can attract wildlife).
- Be fire smart – if you start a fire, do not burn your garbage. Many products we use contain dangerous chemicals that can affect animals, the environment, and you. Some chemicals in these products are also very flammable and can have the potential of starting forest fires.
- Bring recycling bins – if you have the space, bring recycling bins that you can lock in a vehicle or camper to help reduce your overall environmental footprint. Not everything needs to be thrown away!
Keep Camping Clean for Generations
We all need to do our part to keep the environment clean for generations to come. We love taking advantage of outdoor spaces – including campsites – but unless we help keep the areas clean and clear of trash, one day these spaces may not be there. Roll-Off Dumpster Direct is proud to help contain the garbage and haul it away to responsible places that can dispose of it properly. Need a dumpster for your business? Get in touch with us today.
Post-Holiday Clean Up
When the Christmas music starts to fade, the wrapping paper has all been ripped off those special, once-secret gifts, and all that remains of Santa’s cookies are a few crumbs too small for even a mouse . . . it’s time for the post-holiday clean-up. Many of us love to bask in the Christmas mess, because it reminds us of joy, of laughter, and of family . . . but as that feeling subsides, that once joyful mess can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to bring some organization and a ‘sense of clean’ back to your home after the holidays.
The Bigger the Mess
It isn’t just the wrapping paper that makes a mess after Christmas. Family visitors and guests, extra cooking and baking, holiday cards, decorations, and more can all contribute to a big, festive disaster. ‘Sizing up’ your mess can help you decide how to begin the task. Determining your needs for the post-holiday clean-up before you begin the job can help you shave off a lot of time.
Organization is Key
Of course, not everything is trash. Many decorations are heartfelt items that have been in the family for years, some items may need to be donated to make room for the new, and other holiday things may just need to be packed up for use next season (such as unused wrapping paper, gift tags, and bags, or bows). Separating these items into piles based on the category will help the clean-up process go quickly and will keep your storage room organized and ready to pull back out in a year’s time.
Recycle and Donate
Many cities have excellent recycling and donation resources. The best tip here is to look at your city’s government page. There are also many programs that allow you to donate or recycle your Christmas tree after the holidays for use in animal shelters or zoo habitats. In addition, recycling things like cans will put a little extra change in your pocket – or your child’s pocket – and is a great little job for kids to feel like they are making a difference!
Use a Trusted Dumpster Rental Company
If you did happen to have a large celebration and need a dumpster to clean up the post-Christmas mess, Roll-Off Dumpster Direct has the solutions for you. Whether you just need a little extra garbage space with a 10-yard dumpster, or you have decided to turn the house upside down to declutter for the new year and need a 40-yard dumpster, you can trust that our team can help you get the job done! We also offer the longest rental period in the industry. Start the year off with a clean slate in every regard, or get a jump start on some spring cleaning! Get a quote today!
Roll-Off Dumpster Direct Now Serves Rhode Island and Ohio
Our team is excited to announce that we are now providing dumpster rentals to the amazing states of Rhode Island – including the cities of Providence, Cranston, and Pawtucket – and Ohio – serving the cities and areas around Akron, Cincinnati, Columbus, Toledo, and Cleveland!
As we begin expanding west into the heartland of America, we are thrilled to be able to offer Rhode Islanders and Ohioans the same great service and professionalism that many customers enjoy up and down the East Coast, as far north as Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut and as far south as Florida!
Things We Love About Rhode Island
There is a lot to love about the Ocean State packed in a small package! With more than 400 miles of coastline, our crews are already enjoying the beautiful scenery! We cannot wait to be a part of a rich future for Rhode Island – as incredible as its Colonial Past.
Why We Love Ohio
What’s not to love about the Buckeye State? With connections to the moon and sky (hello, Neil Armstrong and the Wright Brothers), we hope to provide dumpster rental services as out of this world as they are!
Need to Rent a Dumpster in Rhode Island or Ohio?
Roll-Off Dumpster Direct provides dumpsters for both commercial and residential projects. There are many reasons why people need dumpsters, from spring cleaning to move-outs, and complete renovations! It is important to trust your dumpster rental company, and that is why people love us!
We offer one of the longest rental periods in the industry and have a large inventory of 10, 20, 30, and 40-yard units. We have competitive rates and flexible rental schedules, so get started in Rhode Island or Ohio today!
6 Ways to Recycle Your Christmas Tree
With Christmas just days away, you may be wondering what you are going to do with the lights and the tree. Well, if you are the type of family that opts for a fake tree– then the solution is easy. Box it up and store it away for next year. For those that like a little more adventure during their holidays, getting rid of your Christmas tree can take a little more effort.
Average trees will fit in your dumpster, but unless you want to see them go to a landfill, this may not be the best option. So- where can you get rid of your tree? Keep reading to see what your other options are for giving your tree new life after the holiday season.
What To Do With Your Christmas Tree After The Holidays
- Saw it up for firewood: Firewood is becoming increasingly expensive to buy as a bundle. A great use of your Christmas tree is to chop it up for your own outdoor firewood. Whether you let it dry out for use during your summer camping expeditions, or use it in your firepit on warmer evenings, this should save you a buck or two. Remember not to use your tree for an indoor fire, as the creosote on untreated pine can burn too hot and become a dangerous fire hazard for your home.
- Think About Springtime: You don’t need special or extra 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. Putting down the larger pieces first before backfilling in with soil will allow your plants to grow deeper roots and be more stable when the growing period takes off!
- 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 drop off your tree and have it recycled when the time comes. In fact, many cities encourage you to drop your trees off at the local zoo, as they use these trees for homes for the animals or exercise areas in the exhibits.
- Treat Your Dog to a Log: While you probably don’t want to give your entire tree to your dog, chopping up your tree into some fun-sized logs for your dog can make for a fun afternoon of fetch. It will also give your dog a chew toy (for a little while anyway).
- Make Crafts: Chop the tree trunk into 2-inch disks to create rustic decor items. Use them on your walkway, garden, or dress them up for use in the kitchen as a Lazy Susan or place for salt and pepper to live.
- 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.
Rent A Dumpster For Easy Clean Out
If you are getting rid of a Christmas tree alongside other decorations and belongings, your best bet is to rent a dumpster for easy cleanout. We drop off the dumpster at any location of choice, and when the dumpster is full or ready for removal we send a truck to remove the waste, making it a hassle-free job for you and your family. For more information, contact us today!
20+ Things to Get Rid of When You Move
Moving can be an incredibly stressful time. Not only are you changing your comfort zone, but you may be changing careers, cities, and even relationships. So the last thing you probably want to deal with is packing. Fortunately, moving is an excellent opportunity to purge unneeded items that will clutter your new space and allow you to assess what is essential as you ‘move’ on.
The best way to make packing for a move go smoothly is to make lists. Before dumping all your random stuff into one box and calling it good, separate it into categories and start your purge from there. Below are some lists of things to get rid of when you move.
- Notebooks, Planners, & Calendars. Throw out old notebooks, calendars, planners, or notepads that have been used. Shred private documents that are no longer needed or set aside in a to-file pile.
- Writing Tools. Toss dead pens and markers. Grab a scratch piece of paper and test your writing tools. If they are dead or starting to fade, toss them. There’s no reason to take those along.
- The Extras. Donate extra folders or empty notebooks to a good cause. If you don’t plan on filling these up anytime soon, many students in your community need supplies.
- The Little Things. Paperclips, sticky notes, miniature erasers – throw them out! These are all small and will get lost at the bottom of your moving boxes, stuck in your vacuum cleaner, or never seen again. It’s better just to start new as these little things are incredibly cheap.
- Books. Pass along books you have read or donate them. Some books are worth keeping forever, but remember, books are heavy. Be very strict about what you will read again. Unless you have hired a moving company, you don’t want to be lifting 50-pound boxes of books when you move.
- Bedding & Mattresses. Start with your bedding. Moving is a fantastic time to go shopping for new bedding and mattresses. Unless you recently purchased these items, they are worth recycling.
- Clothes and Shoes. While we don’t think it is necessary to be as strict as Marie Kondo, we know that Americans tend to hoard things in their closet. Go through your clothing items and be realistic. If you have not worn an outfit in the last 12 months, donate it. If it is worn out or has holes, throw it out.
- Hangers. They are cheap, and as you are sorting, you will most likely break a few. Throw them out and start fresh with a bundle of new hangers when you move.
- Toys. If sorting through a kid’s bedroom, throw out broken toys that cannot be repaired. If a toy has sat at the bottom of the toy box for the last few months, donate it. Box up clothes that are too small for your children and either donate them or set them aside for the next baby (only keep the items in good shape or that have special meaning).
The Living Room
- Furniture. You may not want to hear this, but it’s time to choose a new couch. Your new home will have a different layout, most likely, which means getting furniture that fits the space will be key to creating a functional living area. The good news is that you can sell your furniture! If it is in good condition, without rips or stains, you should be able to get a good chunk of cash to pay for your new furniture swag.
- Rugs. Time to roll up the old carpet and toss it. Not only do rugs collect bacteria and dust mites, but they won’t match your new aesthetic. Start with a clean rug, and you’ll be happier and healthier.
- Wall Pictures & Decor. Unless it was given to you by your great-grandmother or it is a picture of your sweet family, you should sort or donate decor.
- Entertainment. We hope you aren’t, but it’s time to move on if you are still carting around that old 90s VHS or DVD player. Don’t even bother donating them; just throw it out. Not only are these outdated, but they take up a lot of space. Instead, try a streaming service with Firestick or Roku and let your life begin anew. DVDs and CDs can be ripped to your computer and be discarded or donated.
- All of it. Yes, we mean it: old bath towels, washcloths, and mats should be thrown out. It is a cheap room when wanting to start over. Also, please don’t take your old toothbrush with you.
- Cleaning Supplies. We recommend using any cleaning supplies for your move-out clean and then correctly and safely throw them away before you move. Transporting cleaning products can be dangerous. If they get spilled, they can damage the boxes and items they are around. It is best to buy new when you move.
- Old or Unused Appliances. If you just now remember you have a food processor at the bottom of the pantry, you can probably donate it or sell it. Chances are, you aren’t going to change your cooking habits anytime soon.
- Food. No, we don’t recommend throwing away the hundreds of dollars worth of food, beverages, and snacks in your pantry. A good rule to follow is to eat from home as much as possible before you move. Don’t add new items to your pantry. Get creative with your recipes and use up as much as you can. Groceries are getting expensive, so don’t throw food away but try to pack as little as you can. If you are moving cross-country or aren’t planning on moving into your new place right away- throw away all perishables.
We Can Help
While this list is not exhaustive, we hope it helps give you a good starting point as you begin thinking about what to get rid of when you move. We also recommend using our services if you feel overwhelmed or have too much stuff that needs to be thrown away. We offer different sizes of residential dumpsters and offer the most extensive rental period (21-days) in the industry. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.
How to Dispose of Batteries
You may not give it a second thought. Dead batteries? Straight to the garbage, right? Sadly, many people don’t realize that throwing away their batteries in their kitchen trash can actually cause environmental damage, fires, and even threaten drinking water in the area. The EPA has recommendations for battery disposal. These guidelines are essential when discarding batteries safely.
Alkaline vs. Rechargeable Batteries
Batteries have evolved immensely over the last several decades. People have replaced the standard household AA, 9-Volt, or D Cell batteries with rechargeable batteries for remotes, smoke detectors, clocks, flashlights, or everyday household items.
Although rechargeable batteries look like a typical alkaline battery, they are a different breed. Instead of throwing these out the first time their charge dies, you can fit these into a port that plugs into an outlet. Manufacturers make these batteries out of metals such as lithium-ion, nickel-cadmium, nickel-metal hydride, nickel-zinc, and even lead! Discarding these improperly can lead to dangerous issues as chemicals end up in streams and landfills.
Proper Disposal of Batteries
When discarding a basic, non-rechargeable alkaline battery, such as the AA, D Cell, or 9 Volt batteries, taping the ends before tossing them can prevent them from becoming hazardous. In addition, place these batteries in a box or safe container. You can then dispose of these in your kitchen garbage.
Rechargeable batteries cannot be thrown away and usually need to be recycled. Before deciding to get rid of these, check the labeling on the battery or seal itself. The packaging on the individual battery will indicate whether or not they can be recycled and should even provide information about manufacturer recommendations and websites.
Locations to Recycle Batteries
There are a few options for recycling batteries. While not the most convenient option, mailing your rechargeable batteries back to the manufacturer is an excellent way to dispose of these. If you don’t have time to do this, here are a few other choices:
- Rechargeable Batteries:
- Drop them off at the Home Depot. You can recycle any battery that weighs less than 11 lbs and has less than 300-watt hours at the store through a program called Call2Recycle. Ask an associate where these bins are located.
- Contact your local landfill or city public works department and ask if they have any special events coming up that would allow you to recycle an old, rechargeable battery.
- Vehicle Batteries:
- If you are trying to recycle a car battery, the easiest way to dispose of it is to take them to any automotive retailer in your area.
It may not be something you think of every day, but please remember to dispose of batteries properly to avoid hazardous waste ending up in landfills, streams, and drinking water. Unfortunately, while we assist with the disposal of several different types of waste, we cannot dispose of batteries with our dumpster rental options. Our team at Roll-Off Dumpster Direct would be happy to help you with jobs that require dumpsters on site. Also, be sure to check back on our blog for more education on proper disposal and recycling.
When To Rent a Dumpster vs When To Bag Your Trash
You may find yourself wondering what is the best way to dispose of your trash. Whether you are doing a large home clean out, some small spring cleaning, or a home renovation, it can be hard to determine whether you need a dumpster or if it’s just easier to bag your trash. We came up with a pro and cons list to both options to make this decision a bit easier!
Pros & Cons for Using a Dumpster
- A dumpster provides more room for bigger waste. If you are prepping for a move or undergoing large home renovations a dumpster can hold coffee tables, couches, junk, debris, and so much more.
- A dumpster offers safety. All your waste will be held safely in a confined space rather than on the sidewalk or on the edge of your property.
- A roll-off dumpster is convenient. It is brought to you and picked up when you’re done.
- A dumpster saves you time from driving to and from a waste drop-off location.
- A dumpster gives you more flexibility with scheduling. You can choose when to have it picked up or plan to keep it for the full 21 days if you rent from Roll-Off Dumpster Direct.
- There is an additional expense of renting a roll-off dumpster.
- You will need to set aside space to place the dumpster.
- Some homeowner’s associations may require a permit for a roll-off dumpster.
Pros and Cons for Bagging Your Trash
- There is no upfront cost for bagging your trash.
- Doing it yourself allows you to choose where to put the trash.
- Bagging your trash allows you to have full space.
- You cannot throw out a large amount of trash as efficiently as having a dumpster.
- Some items can not be left out for routine trash pick-up and have to be lugged into a remote area. You may have to pay extra for this service and it’s also time and gas spent.
- If you have a large amount of waste the regular trash pick-up may only take some of it.
We’ll Take Care of Your Trash
The answer to this question really relies on what you are doing. If the project that you are working on is going to create a large amount of waste, it might be in your best interest to rent a dumpster. This is where we can help! We have 4 different sized dumpsters to choose from – 10 yards, 20 yards, 30 yards, and 40 yards. A 10-yard dumpster can be a great alternative for smaller projects. We drop off our dumpsters at any location of choice and pick them up once you are done with it. If you are looking for more information, contact us today!
Spring Cleaning While in Quarantine
It’s that time of the year again – spring cleaning! But this year is a little different than other years – you’re stuck in the house due to COVID-19. What does this mean for your spring cleaning? We’ve created a list on how this can help you with your spring cleaning!
4 Tips for This Year’s Spring Cleaning
We encourage you to participate in spring cleaning for multiple reasons, but it is especially important this year because your living space is probably where you’re spending most of your time right now. According to Medium, having a clean work space can decrease stress, increase focus and efficiency, and has multiple health benefits.
Below we outline some of our favorite tips to get you started:
- Make your own disinfectants. Let’s discuss the nationwide shortage of disinfectants. If you’re affected by this you can start by making your own disinfectants. Combine one cup of water with one cup of rubbing alcohol to clean surfaces. For window washing, you can mix equal parts vinegar and dish soap. You will be surprised how well these DIY options work!
- Make a to-do list and conquer. Your to-do list should include all rooms in your house/apartment, including your yard, shed and garage. We do not recommend attempting to clean the house at once: try cleaning one room at a time.
- Think to clean the unthinkable. This is a great time to clean the parts of the house you’ve been putting off. This can include cleaning out closets, cupboards, appliances, and the pantry. Now is the perfect time to change filters, check the furnace, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. These are great tasks to get the kids involved in!
- Make a schedule. Once your house is sparkling, make a weekly schedule to keep the house clean. Here’s a great example found on USA Today:
Monday: Bathroom day.
Tuesday: Dusting day.
Wednesday: Vacuuming day.
Thursday: Floor washing day.
Friday: Catch up on anything from the previous days you didn’t get to.
Saturday: Sheets and towels day.
Sunday: Upkeep those basic starter tasks.
We’ll Take Care of Your Trash
Between going to the grocery store and walking around your neighborhood, you’re running around your house pulling out any gloves and masks you can find. Make sure you’re disposing of these items correctly!
If you’re looking for a dumpster for your spring cleaning – you’re in luck. We will drop off the dumpster at your location of choice and once your dumpster is full and ready for removal, we send a truck back to your location to take it away. The best part is you pick the time for dumpster arrival and pickup & you don’t need to have any close contact with the driver.
Contact us with questions you may have!
Make Sure You Dispose of Facial Masks Properly
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting us all, including the team at Roll-Off Dumpster Direct. Since we are considered an essential business, our services remain available. You can read our entire response to COVID-19 here.
With an increase in the use of face masks, more and more are ending up in the trash. Unfortunately, when the masks aren’t properly disposed of, the virus has the chance to spread to sanitation workers. Here’s how you can do your part to keep them safe.
When to Throw Your Mask Away
If possible, face masks should be disposed of when they start to get damp. Surgical masks are only designed for temporary use. With mask shortages being an issue, the FDA came out with a system for disinfecting masks for healthcare workers so that they can be reused.
Still, there is the question of disposing of masks that you are using at home for private use.
When is it Important to Wear a Face Mask
Unless you are a healthcare worker, it is unnecessary to wear a mask except under two conditions:
- You have exhibited symptoms. If you are experiencing difficulty breathing, cough, or fever, you should wear a mask and seek medical care.
- Someone close to you has symptoms or suspects they have Coronavirus. If you are in the same room as someone with suspected COVID-19 infection, definitely wear a mask and encourage that person to seek medical care.
If neither of these applies to you, there is no need to wear a mask. There is no evidence that masks protect people who are not sick.
This article from the World Health Organization (WHO) has more information about who should wear a mask and how to properly put one on.
How to Dispose of Facial Masks
With an increase in the number of facial masks being disposed of, sanitation workers are at risk. It’s important to follow the proper protocol when disposing of your mask.
Be sure to follow these steps:
- Wash Your Hands: You should always clean your hands with soap and water or with alcohol hand rub before applying and removing your mask.
- Untie or Break the Ties at Back of Your Head
- Remove Mask: Take care to touch only the ties when handling the mask.
- Place Mask in a Plastic Bag and Close it Securely: a shopping bag or a large ziplock bag works well.
- Place Bag in the Garbage.
Thank you for doing your part to protect our sanitation workers and flatten the curve during this pandemic. We hope you and your family are staying safe and healthy during this difficult time.
6 Different Types of Waste to Know About
Do you know the types of waste you’re disposing of on a daily basis? There’s more to waste disposal than just separating recyclables from everything else. In fact, there are at least six different kinds of waste. Take the time to learn about each one, so you can be sure you’re disposing of trash correctly. Improper disposal may interfere with your trash pickup or your dumpster rental. (more…)
Ikea Pilots Furniture Recycling Program
We recently had the chance to make a delivery to an Ikea store in Elizabeth, NJ. We were interested to learn about this Swedish furniture store’s new sustainability initiative.
Many consumers believe things that are affordable, like Ikea furniture, are also disposable. The company’s chief sustainability officer Steve Howard wants to challenge that notion by creating an innovative way to recycle old products.
Ikea’s Circular Store
Howard believes that every business has an obligation to provide avenues for recycling and repairing products. That’s why he came up with the Ikea “circular store,” where customers can bring their damaged or unwanted Ikea products and repair or recycle them. Customers would be welcome to drop by with expired couches, mattresses, and rugs, and have them repaired or recycled, so they don’t end up in the landfill.
Ikea has conducted several successful pilots of this program, mostly in Europe. We can’t wait for them to hit the US! Click here to read the whole story on Fast Company.
How to Dispose of Construction Waste
During a construction project, there is inevitably a large amount of waste. Once the project is finished and the site is cleaned up, what do you do with all of the debris? Typically, construction waste consists of bulky items that are heavy to life and also can cause environmental harm.
Rent a Dumpster
The simplest way to dispose of construction waste is to rent a dumpster from a company like Roll-Off Dumpster Direct, who will empty the dumpster for you. You can keep the rental dumpster in the driveway for the duration of the construction project and fill it as you go. However, there are some hazardous materials that should not go into a dumpster:
- Aerosol cans
- Chemical products
- Fluorescent tubes
These materials often require special disposal. You can contact your local waste management authority for specific guidelines.
Don’t Forget About Recyclables
Surprisingly, much construction waste can easily be recycled so you won’t have to worry about your debris rotting in a landfill for years to come. The process varies by location, but most landfills will sort through the dumpster upon arrival, salvaging what materials they can to recycle. Some of these materials include:
- Clean Wood
- Crushed Concrete
If you’re concerned about the recycling process, call your dumpster rental company to ask about where these items will be disposed. If you’re not renting a dumpster, you can use Earth 911 to search for local recycling resources.
At Roll-Off Dumpster Direct, we offer several resources to help our clients understand the waste removal process. Be sure to check out our other blog posts including Construction Waste Statistics, Landfill Facts, What Americans Recycle Most, and Where Does the Trash go in Philly.
Construction Cleanup Checklist
Just because the construction phase of your project is over, it doesn’t always mean your duties are completely done. While no one enjoys it, cleaning up a construction site is a very important task in officially completing a project. Since our dumpsters are often vital in this step, we’ve developed a construction cleanup checklist to help our clients tackle the job efficiently.
To officially put an end to your home construction project, complete each task on this list:
- Begin at the top of the room, since dust will fall. This means dusting any ceiling fans, tops of doors, and crown molding that could contain debris. A damp towel on top of a broomstick can be helpful for those high-up areas.
- Wipe down walls to remove scuffs, smudges, and any dust that may have accumulated throughout the duration of the project.
- Make sure you check door handles and hinges for any dirt or paint that may need scraping — this is an often-missed cleanup step.
- Clean windows and remove any stickers from new windows. Don’t forget the sills!
- Wipe down light fixtures and bulbs that may have been collecting dust.
- Dispose of any trash that’s been accumulating in the corners of your project site.
- Thoroughly vacuum any carpeted flooring, and make sure you pay attention to the edges and corners.
- Once all equipment and trash have been removed, clean hardwood or tiled floors. This may include sweeping, mopping, buffing, waxing, sealing, etc. Remember that the heavy duty cleaning will be much more convenient now, while the room is empty.
Remember that most of your construction waste can be tossed into a dumpster, so you’ll be able to get rid of all that mess at one time. For a list of prohibited materials, be sure to check out our FAQ section.
Paper or Plastic? What are Americans Recycling Most? [Infographic]
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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.
Putting Your Mattress to Bed
We took a trip to a Days Inn in Richmond, VA to help with a mattress disposal job, and that’s our inspiration for this blog post.
Each year Americans disposed of over 40 million mattresses, and one mattress takes up as much as 40 cubic feet in a landfill. That’s why it’s important to recycle them. Most mattresses are made up of foam, wood, cotton, and metal springs that are recyclables.
Some companies have a mattress take-back program that makes the process simple. While many thrift stores do not accept mattress donations, various charities do. So if you are looking to get rid of an old mattress, ask a local charity.
Take a look at the recycling locator to find out where you can dispose of a mattress.
It’s worth taking the time to find a place that will recycle your mattress, since about 90 percent of the average mattress can be recovered for recycle. You can even take apart the mattress components yourself if you are having trouble disposing of the whole thing at once.
Death of a Cell Phone
Throughout the past decade or so you have probably gone through a few cell phones. You felt pretty cool with your original Nokia, eventually upgraded to that classy Motorola Razr, and now you find yourself constantly connected to your iPhone or Android.
Americans on average replace their cellphones every 18-22 months, and a majority of phone users trash the phones or hold onto them. In fact, we recently blogged the benefits about cell phone disposal and the benefits of recycling.
But, what happens to old phones that get dumped?
In many impoverished nations, children pile up e-waste and burn the contents to extract metals, like gold, silver and copper. They then sell the parts to recycling centers for a minimal amount of money.
According to the World Health Organization, even a low level of exposure to lead, mercury and cadmium (all found in old phones), pose neurological and developmental risks. Children and pregnant women are especially prone to these dangers.
Even in the United States, many prison inmates are given jobs to process e-waste, which can create serious health problems.
Unfortunately, the United States is the only industrialized country to not ratify the Basel Convention, an international treaty that makes trafficking e-waste illegal. Additionally, a 2011 Responsible Electronics Recycling Act was introduced to Congress but never put to a vote. This would have made it illegal to export toxic waste from the US to many countries focused on economic cooperation and development.
The Act would have provided more of an incentive to begin safer waste management programs and stop the practice of dumping e-waste into poor countries.
The point is, we are not exactly where we want to be in terms of e-waste recycling programs. Find out the best way to dispose of e-waste in your area because safe waste management and recycling programs do exist.
Cell Phone Disposal
The average cell phone user replaces his or her phone every 18 months. But what happens to their old phone? This infographic from Living Green Magazine shows exactly what happens when users replace their phones.
It turns out that 40% of people keep their old phones as a spare. While this seems like the smart thing to do, you might not even realize that you have multiple cell phones in a box at the back of your closet.
Unlike other types of waste, electronic waste (e-waste) can be harmful if left to decay. Phones, and other electronics, are made up of valuable and precious metals that can not decompose in a landfill.
Benefits of Recycling Phones
If you recycle your e-waste at a local recycling center or store, like Best Buy, the materials will be sourced. In addition to plastic, cell phones contain copper, gold, silver, and palladium, which can be broken down and reused.
You can also consider sending your phones overseas to developing countries. Not only will it help people communicate, but it also creates business opportunities. According to the infographic, “When 10 more people out of 100 in a developing countries use mobile phones the GDP rises by .59% per capita.”
Cell phone companies have also run campaigns to raise awareness about recycling. For example, Nokia donated money to various causes and offered free music and games to people who donated. Still, the large majority of people are holding onto phones.
What’s stopping you from recycling your phone or donating it to a good cause?
Spring Cleaning Disposal: Recycle Your Shingles
Did you know that roof repairs and replacements produce 11 million tons of asphalt shingle waste each year in the United States?
That’s a lot of shingles!
Luckily not all shingle waste has to go to the landfill. Asphalt shingles can be recycled into making highways and parking lots. Some states regulate shingle recycling, and many companies will collect your extra shingles.
Even if recycling is not required, roofing contractors should be doing it anyways. In fact, recycling 11 million tons of asphalt roofing shingles is the equivalent of saving 11 million barrels of oil.
Roofing contractors can do their part by recycling their shingles or donating unused shingles to Habitat for Humanity or other organizations. Contractors should take accurate measurements to reduce roofing wastes and costs.
Even as a homeowner, make the effort to ask whether or not your contractor is recycling. It’s a simple step towards improving the environment.
For more of our spring cleaning disposal tips, check out our posts for clothing, electronics, medicine and paint.
Spring Cleaning Disposal: Medicine
Following with our spring cleaning disposal theme, this week we’ll talk about disposing of medicine.
It’s a good idea to go through your medicine cabinets every few months and dispose of medicine. Many medications come with disposal instructions, but this isn’t true for all of them. If you have old medicine sitting around, it’s time to throw it away.
There’s a few issues that make medication disposal a little tricky. First of all, some drugs that are placed in the garbage could harm other people or animals. You never know who could be going through your trash.
Some medications come with specific instructions to flush them down the toilet. This is because they could be fatal if taken by others, especially children. While some argue that this could leave trace amounts of drugs in the water system, the FDA has compiled a list of approved flushable drugs. Still, there hasn’t been much research on the topic so, if possible, you may want to avoid flushing medication.
When you first go through your medicine cabinet, carefully read the labels. Some will instruct you to flush any extra down the toilet and others may say it’s safe to dispose of in the trash.
Find out if there is a medicine take-back program in your area. The U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) schedules drug-take back days, where participating locations collect prescription and over-the-counter medications. This year’s take back day is April 27, 2013.
If you do dispose of medicine in your trash, make sure to scratch off any personal information that might be on the label. The FDA also says that if no instructions are on the drug label and there is no drug take-back program in your area, throw the drugs in your trash but follow some easy steps:
Take them out of their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter. The medication will be less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through your trash.
Put them in a sealable bag, empty can, or other container to prevent the medication from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.
For more information on safe medication disposal in your area, visit the FDA’s website.
Spring Cleaning Disposal: Electronics and Batteries
It’s about that time to start thinking about spring cleaning. While you might be able to donate old clothes and furniture to a charity, there are many household items that you’ll need to trash. At Roll Off, we want to make sure you aren’t improperly disposing of waste that could harm the environment.
Even some household products that seem harmless can be toxic and dangerous. For the next few weeks leading up to spring, we will address how to properly dispose of household objects.
This week we’ll talk about electronics and batteries.
If electronics are thrown into a landfill with normal trash, hazardous material can leach into the Earth. Plus, in many cases materials are burned, and plastics and metals that are burned can enter the atmosphere and disrupt the food chain.
Items like computer monitors and television sets may contain lead and metallic compounds that have harmful health affects on animals and humans. Many electronics made up of plastics contain harmful carcinogens that can damage human and animal reproductive systems.
States have different laws about disposing of e-waste; for example, Pennsylvania dumpster law states that you disposing of electronic waste in public landfills is illegal. This is a result of Pennsylvania’s Covered Device Recycling Act.
Stores, like Best Buy, offer recycling programs. In some cases you can exchange electronics for gift cards. Additionally, many office stores have bins for collecting recyclable batteries and electronics.
A location near you might have an e-waste recycling center. We have information on Philadelphia e-waste disposal, Norfolk e-waste disposal and Annapolis e-waste disposal.
For more information about electronic waste disposal, visit the Environmental Protection Agency.