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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.

Facts About Garbage that Just Might Shock You

May 31st, 2017

The folks over at www.trucksandparts.com manufacture a lot of different vehicles and equipment. One of the types of vehicles they specialize in is garbage trucks. As such, they recently created a very informative infographic highlighting 14 different facts about garbage and trash production in America. As a junk hauler with an emphasis on green, environmentally-responsible hauling, we think it’s great to see this kind of information distributed.

Here are few eye-opening figures from the infographic below that may give you pause:

  • The total volume of solid waste created by Americans every year is equivalent to the weight of 2.3 MILLION Boeing 747 jumbo jets.
  • Most communities spend more money on trash disposal than they do on schoolbooks and libraries, fire protection, and public parks
  • Americans throw away 40% of the world’s toys, but only 4% of the world’s children live in the United States

Find the rest of the staggering stats below:

 

California’s Relentless 2016-17 Rain Season [Infographic]

February 24th, 2017

As a follow to our last post about the most recent set of storms to again pound the Bay Area, we’ve created the following infographic demonstrating the massive impact the last several months of record-setting rainfall have had.  In addition to filling reservoirs and adding to a healthy snowpack, all this rain has caused significant damage to private property and public infrastructure throughout the state.

If your home or business has suffered from flood damage or other rain-related issues that require the disposal or large, bulky, or hazardous materials, contact Fast Haul today! We serve clients throughout San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, and parts of Marin County.

To share the following infographic, use the social media buttons up top or the embed code at the bottom of the page!

relentless rain of 2016-17 season in Northern California infographic

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Bay Area Rainfall Relentless in 2017

February 14th, 2017

After many years of drought, the Bay Area has experienced an unprecedented amount of rainfall over the last several months. As we celebrate Valentine’s Day, it is increasingly evident that the amount of rainfall is approaching “too much of a good thing” levels.  Per the following graphic from the National Weather Service, this has been the rainiest or 2nd rainiest winter season in the last 100 years for many Bay Area cities:

With such prolific rainfall, and high winds accompanying many of these recent storm systems, homeowners around the Bay Area might find their backyards in a state of disarray. Customers throughout the Bay Area report muddy, flooded lawns, fallen trees, and varying degrees of chaos on their properties. Here’s what one San Mateo resident woke up to in his backyard after a recent storm earlier this month:

fallen tree san mateo

As the days get longer and weather gets warmer in the coming weeks, all that moisture in the ground will also lead to rapid growth in vegetation. To ensure your yard isn’t an overgrown mess come by Easter or Memorial Day, get an early start on backyard clean-up and contact Fast Haul today!

Our experienced work crews offer a wide variety of backyard and garden clean-up services including:

  • Ivy removal & weed removal
  • Garden maintenance
  • Irrigation installation & repair
  • Landscaping
  • House painting
  • Hillside cleaning – fire safety clearing
  • Rototilling
  • Decks repair & refinishing
  • Power washing
  • New sod lawns installation
  • Interlocking pavers
  • Tree trimming, removal & pruning
  • Flagstone & New Patios
  • Gutter cleaning
  • Retaining wall repair & removal

We’ve served residential customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area with inexpensive yard work, lawn care, garden maintenance, and landscaping services for almost 25 years (since 1993!). With more storms on the way later this week, schedule your clean-up with Fast Haul soon to get your yard under control and ready for what should be a beautiful Spring and Summer here in Northern California. Bay Area rainfall in 2017 has certainly been relentless, but the clean-up of your property can be made easy!

5 Innovations to Monitor and Fight Air Pollution

October 17th, 2016

When confronted with the evidence, it’s difficult to minimize the effects of our polluted environment. According to the WHO, air pollution is now considered to be the world’s single largest environmental health risk, with an estimated 7 million deaths linked to the problem each year.   Most of the issues lie in urban areas of the world, where populations are often exposed to pollution levels that are 2.5 times higher than recommended.

Because this has become a global problem, many of our best minds have set out to develop solutions.  Here are just five of the most inspiring innovations that are helping us both monitor and reduce air pollution.

1 – Cloud Seeding

Have you ever wished, or prayed, for rain to cleanse the skies?  Scientists have found a way to tip the odds of those wishes coming true with something called cloud seeding.  Rain manifests through cloud condensation.  What happens with this process, is that condensation is artificially generated through planes “seeding” the clouds with silver iodide, or dry ice.  China allegedly used this method in Beijing in 2008 to clean up its skies leading up to the 2008 Olympics. Scientists are split on how effective this practice truly is at generating rainfall.

2 – Giant Sprinklers

In the areas of the world with high levels of air pollution, China seems to be one of the hardest hit.  The Asian country has declared war on air pollution in recent years and one of its current proposals is to use giant sprinklers on the top of its skyscrapers.   These sprinklers will spray water into the air, which should settle dust and other pollution particles.  These systems are still in the design and testing phases.

3 – Smog-Eating Buildings

Another way to clean pollution, or smog, is with passive chemical reactions.  Mexico City also isn’t known for its clean air.  Yet, an innovative design at its hospital building called the Torre de Especialidades provides a unique solution. The facade is constructed of special tiles that are coated with titanium oxide. Once the tiles are activated by UV rays, they convert mono-nitrogen oxide (pollution) into some less harmful substances.

4 – Pigeon Air Patrol

Probably one of the more entertaining and fascinating solutions, the Pigeon Air Patrol is an actual squad of pigeons that flies over the city of London and its boroughs. The feathered flock’s primary assignment is to conduct air pollution monitoring. 10 racing pigeons outfitted with air sensor backpacks measure levels of ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and other pollutants throughout the city.  Londoners can follow Twitter accounts to determine readings in their area. This program by Plume Labs is now being expanded to help citizens understand pollution and its health risks.

5 – Smog Free Tower 

Picture one of those air purifiers that you place in the corner of your home or office.  Now imagine a massive air purifier over 20 feet high that can clean up to 1,000 cubic feet of air per hour.  This is exactly what is now sitting in Beijing’s 751 D.Park.  This smog free tower is considered the world’s largest air purifier and it runs on just a small amount of green electricity.  The smog free tower was created by Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde and is planned for a world tour.

While air pollution remains a serious problem, these are exciting times in the field of air quality monitoring and pollution reduction.  These new technologies are revolutionizing the way we view air quality and providing methods to clean up our environment for future generations.

 
 
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