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Archive for the ‘About Fast Haul’ Category
Eco Blog: dedication to Green Hauling
April 17th, 2012
Most people think our job as junk haulers is pretty simple and straightforward: they call us, we bring a truck, load it up with their junk and trash and then we’re on our way. While this is certainly not rocket science, there are actually a few more things we have to pay attention to each time, as each job may present its own set of challenges.
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February 16th, 2012
When looking to hire a junk hauling company, why does it matter how they will take care of my trash and junk? Well, allow us to explain!
Like with any other company you chose to do work at your home or business, there are several important factors to consider when hiring a junk removal company. You want to select a company that is licensed, pays taxes, offers workers benefits, and gives back to the community. The junk removal business is one of the easiest businesses to get a start in, all you need is a few hundred dollars to purchase a used pickup truck and $20 for a can of paint to put your name and contact information on the side of the truck. For this reason, there are many different kinds of irresponsible individuals who get in this very rigorous business, and you want to make sure you are able to recognize the true professionals.
Illegal, non-licensed drive by and “Home Depot” type haulers are very likely to dump your trash on the street! That’s why they can work at such a cheap rate. Also, these people have no traceable address and it’s extremely difficult to hold them responsible for illegal dumping, which is a serious problem in our cities. It costs taxpayers millions of dollars to deal with the ongoing problem. Often times the police will sift the illegally dumped trash for an address and come back to present the proprietor with a large bill for the cleanup. These illegal haulers will not refuse to haul hazardous paints and chemicals, which may be dumped on the street or in a landfill; such a problem is commons in area like Richmond, CA which is close to the Bay of San Francisco. The paints and chemicals find their way into the Bay waters, becoming a dangerous threat to marine life and the entire Bay Area environment.
Demand to see companies’ license and insurance; also ask for references whenever possible. Pick a company with prominent advertising and a traceable address. Also it is always preferable to pick a locally owned and operated company. For example, it would be much easier for the inhabitants of Richmond or the San Francisco Bay Area to check the credentials and deal with a San Francisco junk removal company.
It's usually easy to tell the good ones by the look of the trucks too!
Also, there are many new junk franchise type operations that pay $30,000-$50,000 for a new franchise and have to get this initial franchise costs paid for ASAP. Locally owned & operated companies can always give you a better price.
Ask for an up front quote for the work. Don’t do business with a company that adds on weight or labor charges after the job is completed. Lastly, don’t do business with a company who places illegal ad signs on chain link fences and telephone poles. These are usually franchise operations that do not care about the blight they cause in our neighborhoods. The removal costs of these illegal signs are put on us, the taxpayers.
February 3rd, 2012
Like all “older” business owners, especially in the tech-savvy San Francisco Bay Area, I had to adapt to the ever growing influence of the Internet.
I’ve been running Fast Haul, my trash removal and junk hauling business for 20 years and in the past, all you had to do was making sure you were in the Yellow pages and maybe a couple of other local business publications, then drop a few print ads (or flyers as they are called these days) in mailboxes and on windshields. You were pretty much fine with only that.
Since then, things have radically changed, and especially here in the San Francisco Bay Area as I mentioned; I am now getting over 90% of my business through my website and online ads. I am definitely not a computer person, but if I wanted my business to survive, I had to adapt: get a website and a solid online advertising strategy. It has been a learning curve, and I thought the latest issue I had would serve as a cautionary tale for other small business owners trying to make an honest living out of their website.
After several bad experiences (which will probably be the topic of a future Eco blog post), I hired dots Web Marketing in 2009 for a complete re-design of my site and implementation of an online marketing campaign. Because the re-design process was done step by step, with a lot of back and forth and several iterations of the design I know for a fact that it is a 100% original design.
Here is what it looks like:
I really like this design and at the time I’m writing this entry, we are still using it; so it’s not a surprise that others like it too. What came as a surprise though is when a few months ago a friend forwarded me the url of another junk hauling website, which at the time looked like this:
Even though these guys are in completely different part of the country and not at all competitors of mine, I still felt robbed and was immediately very upset and very angry. I started researching right away what legal action I could take. While investigating though, I found out that the best course of action before involving lawyers is to simply get in touch with the site’s owner and basically send them a Cease and desist notification. If they ignore this, then that’s when you should get an attorney; there are actually several laws protecting you from this and the offender might end up giving you a lot of money for using your intellectual property.
In this case though, the email notification was enough and helped clear the situation: the owner of the other company didn’t even know that’s what happened. It was now his turn to be upset at the so-called web designer who charged him a lot of money to create an original website design but basically stole someone else’s work instead!
He temporarily reverted back to his old website and has had a brand new one designed since then.
This experience probably taught him a lesson I’ve learned a while ago and he will hopefully be more cautious of who he’s hiring in the future for his online needs. My past misfortune in this field also makes for a good story, but as I said above, it will be the topic of another post!
January 23rd, 2012
We have now compiled our 2011 numbers around recycling efforts and I am happy to report that we beat our estimated goals!
Here is a breakdown of the total amount of recycled materials, which does not include donations to GoodWill, the Salvation Army and other Charities for re-use:
- Cardboard/Paper: ~300,000lbs (150 tons)
- Iron/metal: ~150,000lbs (75 tons)
- Green waste: ~100,000lbs (50 tons)
- Electronic waste (or e-waste): 1560 pieces
- Concrete: ~3,000,000lbs (1,500 tons)
All these recycled materials came from a combination of residential and commercial trash hauling and junk removal jobs. The concrete also came from commercial and residential jobs; some of those jobs include breaking up driveways, patios, etc. and hauling away the debris and some jobs only consist of hauling away the debris created by other demolition companies.
As we explain on our Green Hauling page (among other things) we always work toward passing on the recycling savings to our customers.
Here are a few facts and numbers about recycling practices:
- Producing 1 ton of steel from raw iron ore produces around 538 pounds of solid wastes and 42 pounds of air pollutants. By comparison, recycling steel reduces air pollution by about 86% and reduces water pollution by around 76%.
- It takes approximately 17 mature trees to produce 1 ton of paper fiber. Producing paper from recycled fiber requires 40% less energy than is required to produce paper from tree pulp.
- Burning I ton of paper generates about 1,500 pounds of carbon dioxide gas and 60 pounds of other air pollutants.
- Recycling protects and expands US manufacturing jobs and increases US competitiveness.
- Recycling reduces the need for incineration and use of landfills.
- Recycling prevents pollution caused by the manufacturing of products from virgin materials.
- Recycling decreases emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change.
- Recycling conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals.
(Sources: epa.gov, Wikipedia, crra.com)
January 10th, 2012
For 2012, we are starting this Blog, which we called “Eco Blog: dedication to Green Hauling”. We will regularly post some of our thoughts and experiences with hauling and properly disposing of people’s junk and trash, as well as share our opinion on various environmental issues.
This is something that has always been a concern of ours, since our inception 20 years ago.
Fast Haul was founded in 1993. At the time, I had just moved from Ohio to California. I had come to live with my brother in the Oakland Hills when the Great Oakland Fire of October 20th 1991 struck. My brother’s house, like many others, was burnt out during the fire, and we were forced into living at several temporary housing locations. In the meantime, we also helped out with the cleaning up of all the debris and I saw firsthand the need for hauling services, not only because of the debris from the fire but also from the amount of junk and trash people keep piling up in their yards and garages.
Since I had to start everything over anyway, I used a FEMA grant to buy my first truck and start working and getting paid for hauling people’s junk away. Fast Haul was born.
But I soon realized that if people only cared about getting rid of all their junk, it was up to me, the hauler, to make sure all that junk was properly disposed of. There were few hauling businesses at the time, but I quickly understood that most of them would just drive to a deserted area and dump their load, without any regard for the nature of what they were throwing away or the damage caused to the environment. Since I, on the other hand, have always been environment conscious, I decided that I work this way so I came up with a system to sort out what could be salvaged and given to charities as well as a fair pricing system including any cost I may have to pay to access regulated dump sites and recycling facilities.
Fast Haul has been an advocate of “green hauling” ever since and over the years, we’ve always made a point to recycle and re-use as much as possible, and regularly donated to various green charities and environmental organizations.
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