Eco Blog: dedication to Green Hauling

Around the Bay Area in Waste Management (June 2018)

June 8th, 2018

Here at Fast Haul, we are committed to doing our part to help reduce the percentage of waste materials in the Bay Area going into landfills. Through recycling and donations, many large, bulky, and unwanted items can be diverted and re-used or re-purposed.

Below is a summary of recent news from around the Bay Area related to waste reduction efforts and ensuring a slightly greener planet for all of us:


Call2Recycle launches Bay Area battery safety campaign

“Call2Recycle announced Tuesday a new battery safety campaign with industry partners and Bay Area MRFs and waste facilities to educate California consumers about the “hidden dangers” of improper battery disposal, particularly regarding lithium-based batteries.

The “Avoid the Spark” campaign will focus on bringing best practices to Alameda, Marin, Santa Clara, San Francisco and San Mateo.”

Read the full article by Kristin Musulin at Waste Dive here: https://www.wastedive.com/news/call2recycle-launches-bay-area-battery-safety-campaign/523606/


SF to consider banning plastic straws

“In San Francisco, plastic drinking straws could soon be going the way of non-reusable shopping bags and Styrofoam containers — that is to say, strictly prohibited within city limits.

On Tuesday, Supervisor Katy Tang is expected to roll out legislation that would count San Francisco among the growing list of cities seeking to cut down on environmentally noxious litter by prohibiting restaurants, bars and coffee shops from stuffing plastic straws, stirrers or cocktail sticks into the drinks they serve.”

Read the full article by Dominic Fracassa of the San Francisco Chronicle here: https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/SF-to-consider-banning-plastic-straws-12913930.php

https://twitter.com/ecowatchADZU/status/1004685636383563776


How the Bay Area is impacted by chaos in US recycling industry

“The U.S. could soon drown in a sea of recycled paper, plastic and cardboard because overseas companies that reprocess it into new products can’t handle the load. A decision made by China against accepting U.S. recycling is causing chaos.

This problem is coming to your house, and everyone else’s. It’s time to learn how to generate less recycling or learn to live in it.”

Read the full article by Tom Vacar of KTVU at: http://www.ktvu.com/news/how-the-bay-area-is-impacted-by-chaos-in-us-recycling-industry


Tips for Moving with Kids

April 9th, 2018

moving boxes in living roomIt really doesn’t matter if you are moving across the city or across the country, moving with kids is not easy to do. In reality, a young child may not understand what moving actually means. They can’t grasp the concept because they haven’t experienced it.

An older child will not want to move or may be nervous about the move because they are giving up friends, changing schools, or losing their space. Since they aren’t sure about the new place, they don’t know what to expect and therefore don’t want it to happen. So, we gathered a few tips to help you and your family out when moving with kids:

All Your “Stuff”

Moving is a headache, but it’s a great excuse to purge your old and unnecessary stuff. You know, all of the things that you’ve stored in closets, or your garage for years – said you would use later, but never have. Or that small mountain of baby carriers, swings, cribs, and other contraptions gathering dust in the attic. Many of those things could be donated, or hauled off to the dump, before a move. Using a company like Fast Haul can really help through that part of the process.

The Baby Situation

If you have a newborn or a tiny one, then you will want to remember that you can wear the baby. Keep a diaper bag fully packed and ready to go in the car. That way you always know where a diaper and wipes are. Pack and label all feeding things last and together. Label them so that you know where they are at a moment’s glance. There’s nothing worse than a crying hungry baby. make sure that your swing, soother seat, or bouncy chair are always close at hand. Put them in the vehicle that the baby is traveling in so that you know it is with you when you need it.

The Toddler

Toddlers are just a little more complicated. They want their favorite items right when they want them. Pack them a bag of the things that will soothe them in a pinch and put them up where you can pull them out. It is always best to have two bags, that way when they deplete one, you have a backup. Set their room up first. That makes it easier for them. They will know what space is there’s and it helps them to transition just a little bit easier.

The Preschooler

Talk to them and let them know what to expect. Check out books from the library that talk about moving. Get a calendar and circle your moving day. Then, as the day gets closer, have them check off the days. Take them with you to see the new house. Let them see it and the neighborhood before they move. Be honest about discussing the similarities and differences in the new place and the one you are moving from.

Tips for the Whole Family

The family is moving, not just the adults, so it really helps to have your older ones be as much as part of the process as you can. That means letting them help pack. It means discussing options on houses. Get a realtor that doesn’t mind your child tagging along. There are resources to help you find a realtor that is perfect for your family. Explain the process. Let them ask questions.

Your older kids may find it helpful to visit their new school. Let them meet the counselors ahead of time. By discussing what will change and what will stay the same may help them to adjust easier. Moving with kids should be a gradual process if possible. It seems more sudden to children when they aren’t part of that process. However, there is no reason why the whole family can’t transition to your new home with minimum bumps along the way.

Why Curb Appeal is Important Even if You’re Not Selling Your Home

February 16th, 2018

It’s a common misconception that only people selling their home need to feel concerned with curb appeal. The realtor’s term means how a home appears from street-level to someone walking or driving by it. However, having attractive curb appeal is beneficial for homeowners even if they have no intention of selling anytime soon. It’s a welcome sight at the end of a long day at work and it makes for better relationships with neighbors as well. Here are some simple things all homeowners can do to improve the curb appeal of their home:

  • Take care of yard clean-up: Mow and edge the lawn, trim trees and bushes, weed overgrown flowerbeds, and apply a new layer of mulch every spring.
  • Improve lighting: Replace any dead or broken bulbs, replace corroded or otherwise damaged light fixtures, clean glass panels and shades, and dust off any cobwebs.
  • Clean regularly: Pick up debris, sweep the sidewalk and steps, pressure wash siding, and clean all windows.
  • Make frequent repairs: This could include repainting the front door, resurfacing the driveway, replacing a damaged mailbox, or adding a coat of paint trim to the house.

By keeping up with these basic chores, homeowners will have continually good curb appeal and won’t feel overwhelmed by the thought of doing everything at once.

Good Curb Appeal Helps to Detract Criminals

When a home’s trees and bushes become overgrown, it makes an ideal place for criminals to hide. If a neighbor can’t see the windows, they won’t be able to spot a burglar trying to case the home either. Trees and bushes should be no taller than three feet high since this allows the homeowner and possibly the neighbors to see a potential burglar. Any entrance to the home should contain bright lighting for a further deterrent. Lastly, homeowners should consider placing gravel around the windows that makes a loud crunching sound when someone steps on it. This will alert them that someone could be trying to break in.

Strategically Placed Trees Can Help Homeowners Save Energy

Besides offering better curb appeal, trees and shrubs can also help to block wind and sun. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, planting trees on the east, northwest, and west of the property provides natural protection from the sun and cuts down on cooling costs. Homeowners just need to be careful to trim trees and shrubs so they don’t block the window view, cover solar panels, or cover an air conditioning unit.

Improves Property Value Over Time

Buying a home is the biggest investment that most people make in their lifetime. It just makes sense to keep it looking and functioning well. An attractive view from the street increases property value, even for homeowners not planning to move. The increase in property value can extend to the rest of the neighborhood as well. Keeping the property well-maintained already improves neighbor relationships, so increased value street-wide will only add to the sense of goodwill.

Around the Bay Area in Waste Management News – January 2018

January 26th, 2018

As a hub for progressive environmental ideologies, you can always count on waste management to be making headlines in Northern California. As we kick off the New Year, we look around the Bay Area to see what is being done to address issues and improve recycling and waste management in the month of January:

Cupertino to Adopt a “Zero Waste” Policy

In an effort to do away with the need for a landfill or waste incinerator, the city of Cupertino has adopted a “zero waste” policy to be implemented immediately. The overall goal of the policy, comprised of 16 separate waste elimination priorities, is to dispose of 80 percent of the cities waste through alternative means such as composting, recycling or reuse by the year 2025.

While officials are skeptical that the city could ever truly achieve zero waste, they feel that the increased effort could get them quite close to the goal (As it stands now, 65 percent of residential waste and 75 percent of commercial waste is diverted away from landfills in Cupertino). Beyond reducing the level of trash produced, officials are hoping that improved waste diversion efforts will help prevent pollution and help conserve resources.

Salesforce to Implement Aggressive Water Recycling Plan

The Salesforce Tower, the latest and greatest addition to the San Francisco skyline, has revealed plans to include a membrane bioreactor in the basement that will have the ability to recycle the entire buildings wastewater. The bioreactor will be able to process water from all 61 floors of the building (as well as rainwater runoff) and treat it for reuse. When it becomes fully operational, it will be the biggest water recycling system for a commercial building in the entire US.

Working as a dual filtration and treatment system, The bioreactor will also be able to take some of the pressure off of San Francisco’s sewage system by diverting water during storms. While Salesforce is only leasing 36 of the 61 floors in the building, they company has agreed to foot the entire bill for the bioreactor.

Milpitas Residents Upset After New Garbage Hauling Contract

In December, the city of Milpitas chose to sign a waste collection contract with Milpitas Sanitation Inc., moving away from long time partner Republic Services. Although the decision to end the 30-year relationship with Republic was made to save money and reduce contributions to the nearby Newby Island Landfill, residents are seeing little benefit so far.

A recent City Council meeting saw several people lodge complaints on a litany of issues with the new trash service, namely the sizes of the new waste bins. Residents feel that the new divided bins, featuring a 67-gallon landfill section and 29-gallon compost section, are not a generous as the previous and feature a much smaller garbage allotment. Other complaints include extra trash bags being ignored or strewn across the street, garbage not being picked up at all, and issues regarding billing. Council members present to hear the complaints say they are actively working with Milpitas Sanitation in order to work though these concerns.

What Happens to a Mattress When Junked

December 28th, 2017

With an ever-increasing importance being placed on environmental issues, more and more people are taking a second look at how much waste they produce and how they can better dispose of it. Although responsibly disposing of smaller, common household items like cans, boxes, leftover food, and containers is relatively straight forward, it gets a bit more complicated once we arrive at bigger and more sophisticated items like furniture and electronics.

One such item that always throws eco-friendly folks for a curve is mattress removal. Mattresses are an item that tends to find its way into the dump rather than a recycling center. Today we are going to look at the process of breaking down and recycling an old mattress responsibly.

Old Mattresses for sale? I think not!

 Of all the different items you will find in a second hand store, you will almost never find a used mattress. In fact, most stores that deal with furniture re-sales will have a strict “no mattress” policy, and for good reason too. A study conducted by Ohio State University found that used mattresses typically have between 100,000 and 10 million mites living inside.  These mites, who thrive in a warm, moist environment, feed on the dead skin cells that humans tend to shed at night. Additionally, ridding a mattress of all mites on a regular basis is an incredibly tough job even with all of the proper tools. That being said, you most likely wont see a ton of people lining up to buy mattresses second hand.

What’s recyclable

 While mattresses do contain components of a wide range of materials, most of them can be reused or recycled. Mattress frames and their springs are almost always made of wood and steel, organic materials that have been recycled for years. The stuffing of a mattress, whether it is cotton or foam, can be reused in a number of ways (for example, carpet padding, or furniture reupholstering).

A step-by-step process

If all the materials that comprise a mattress can be reused or recycled than you might be asking yourself, what makes them so hard to recycle? It’s the fact that all those materials need to be separated and treated differently, which results in a painstaking process:

Below we will outline the general process undergone when a mattress is responsibly disposed of:

  • All mattresses are stored so that they are properly dried out and sorted.
  • After they are sorted, all of the fabric is removed and bundled based on the type of material (i.e., cotton, fabric, wool, foam, etc.) For there, the bundles are sent elsewhere so that the material can be reused.
  • From here, the steel springs are removed from the wooden frames. This process can be long and arduous to do by hand, so in most cases recyclers use a specialized machine that strips and bundles the springs for them.
  • Once the springs are removed, the wooden frames are broken down and recycled.

While it is obviously easier to just dump an old mattress in a landfill, properly recycling mattress has a significant environmental impact. Properly recycling or 10,000 mattresses can save 239 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. That equates to planting 273 trees or taking 40 cars off the streets! That reason alone should be more than enough reason to research options in your area.

 
 
© Fast Haul. All rights reserved.
We serve the greater San Francisco Bay Area including: San Francisco County, Marin County, Alameda County, Santa Clara County, Solano County, Contra Costa County, San Mateo County, Alameda, Albany, Antioch, Atherton, Berkeley, Burlingame, Castro Valley, Concord, Corte Madera, Daly City, Danville, Dublin, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Hercules, Kensington, Lafayette, Livermore, Martinez, Mill Valley, Montclair, Moraga, Newark, Novato, Oakland, Orinda, Pacifica, Palo Alto, Piedmont, Pittsburg, Pleasanton, Pleasant Hill, San Bruno, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, San Pablo, San Rafael, Sausalito, South San Francisco, Tiburon, Union City, Vallejo, Walnut Creek.