Eco Blog: dedication to Green Hauling

Bags Banned On Either Side of the Caldecott Tunnel

April 2nd, 2014

images (1)Single-use or plastic bags are up for a ban in Walnut Creek, due to take effect fall 2014.  The ban was reached in a 4-1 decision by the city’s council members recently bringing the city into the fold of over 100 other cities throughout the state of California who have enacted such a measure. Walnut Creek is the fifth city in the county to enact such a ban.  The ban will prohibit plastic single-use bags at all restaurants and retail stores, as well as supermarkets and pharmacies.

Assessments in Walnut Creek found that plastic bags litter waterways and cause environmental degradation. By eliminating them, the city will be better able to meet federal waste reduction requirements. The ordinance will require that a fee of from 10 to 25 cents for each bag be charged to customers by participating stores, with the exception of paper bags, as well as certain plastic bags (those without handles, typically used to protect meat, produce, and dairy from exposure to other objects).  Plastic bags used by launders for dry-cleaned clothes, food retailers for prepared foods, pharmacies for prescription medications are also exempt.

Stores must comply with the ban by September, but restaurants, which had previously been excluded from the ban, will have until December to do so. The additional time will be used to educate restaurants and smooth the transition away from the extremely popular take-out bags. State law mandates grocers recycle plastic bags, but this is costly and still doesn’t address the issue of their ultimate entry into the environment. According to a Walnut Creek city program manager, only 3 percent of plastic bags in California are recycled.

The city means to change that, with a fine scheme that charges $100 for first-time ban violators, $200 for second-timers in a 12-month period, and $500 for third-time violators and any subsequent violations.


By: Ethan Malone

Growth of the Green Movement [Infographic]

March 27th, 2014

The roots of the “green” movement, now present throughout the world, originated during the industrial revolution as citizens first became aware of the negative impacts of pollution. Today, with ever-increasing amounts of waste generated by consumers and our industrial complex that manufactures all of the products used by our modern society, as junk haulers we see the environmental challenges affiliated with waste and junk disposal on a daily basis. At Fast Haul, we strive to recycle as high of a percentage of the junk and trash that we pick-up as possible. In the infographic below, we are paying tribute to the roots and development and the green movement that continues to grow and expand today.

Highlights include the major expansion of the National Parks system by President Franklin Roosevelt, the establishment of “Earth Day” and founding of Greenpeace in the early seventies, the 1992 UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and the city of San Francisco’s ambitious “Zero Waste” program that aims to make S.F. the first municipality to be “waste-free” (i.e. all waste recycled, composted or otherwise re-used) by the year 2020.

Enjoy the infographic, and if you would like to share it or post it on your own website or blog, please use the embed code provided at the bottom of the page:

growth of the green movement infographic

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San Francisco: Where Earth Day Took Flight

March 20th, 2014

Philadelphia may be the city of “Brotherly Love”, but San Francisco…is the city of “Motherly Love’.  In 1971, the United Nations designated March 20th as International Earth Day, a day which has been celebrated around the world, but it was first celebrated in San Francisco, CA.  Why March 20th? That day is the first day of spring, also known as the vernal equinox. What does this day signify? In the words of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the occasion last year, “International Mother Earth Day is a chance to reaffirm our collective responsibility to promote harmony with nature at a time when our planet is under threat from climate change, unsustainable exploitation of natural resources and other man-made problems.”

This clarion call has been taken up by environmental sentinels and stewards the world over and now you can find Earth Day or International Earth Day, or some other version of this nomenclature, celebrated in countries around the world. Earth day events tend to be highly educational and participatory in nature – a vehicle to engage citizens in the issues that shape not only their immediate environment, but that of other communities, and ultimately, the world community. Projects range from tree-planting, to composting, to stream reclamation, to recycling workshops, and are generally hoped to lead to ongoing and year-round events and activities in local communities.

It was in 1990, on the 20th anniversary of Earth Day that the movement went global, by mobilizing 200 million people, in 141 countries. The scale of that mobilization gave environmental awareness a global platform and impact. One empirical result of this action was the boost in recycling efforts around the world. In 1985, the average recycling of Americans per capita was 10.1% (of total Municipal Solid Waste generated), by 2011 that number had jumped to 34.7%, more than three times what it had been less than two decades ago.

Companies like Fast Haul, a licensed junk removal service in the San Francisco Bay Area, have helped spearhead the recycling boom, by providing a courier to appropriate diversion sites (charities, e-waste recyclers, metal and glass reclaimers, etc.) helping keep reusable or recyclable waste out of landfills.

In the words of the movement’s founder, Gaylord Nelson, “The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity… that’s all there is. That’s the whole economy. That’s where all the economic activity and jobs come from. These biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world.”


By: Ethan Malone

Another “Green” Holiday Infographic ;)

March 17th, 2014

Happy St. Paddy’s Day everyone. Since here at Fast Haul, we like to support all things “green”, we thought we’d get into the spirit of the holiday with this great infographic! Brought to you by, this fun and unique infographic presents a ton of interesting facts about Irish culture in America, including recent population rates, Irish symbols and their meanings, and figures on exactly how many people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

For example, while 122 million people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day annually, Ireland’s most popular beer Guinness doesn’t even crack the top 5 most popular beers on tap in America. That’s pretty surprising, given that 34.5 million U.S. residents claim Irish ancestry. There are a ton of facts like these in the infographic that people will love! It’s perfect for brushing up on some Irish trivia to impress your friends at St. Patrick’s Day parties. In fact, is offering a 25% discount on orders over $500 when they mention the page!

Lucky Irish Promotional Items [Infographic]

Copyright 2014

How Green is California?

March 12th, 2014

323585_thumbnailA recent report showed California ranks number three in the nation in terms of being green. It’s not a big stretch, given that California has put in place many programs intended to completely eliminate waste diverted to landfill.  One standout measure taken by the state is the ratification of a seven-part strategic plan, with a zero-waste program as its crown jewel.  The plan’s goal is to engage citizens and business owners in efforts to re-introduce solid waste into the marketplace or nature, in ways that minimally impact the environment, i.e., recycling, reusing, or flat-out reducing consumption, and consequently sidestepping landfills altogether.  California was the first state to adopt a zero-waste policy.

According to the report provided by, California recycles 68% of waste.  The legacy stands and California can boast being the most recycling state in the Union.  Companies like Fast Haul are a key part of the success of California’s green initiatives, offering consumers economic options for sustainably recycling or reintegrating their unwanted bulk items, via county or state sanctioned collection centers, charitable organizations, or other recycling options.

Presently, the state is considering a ban on single-use plastic bags in food retailers, such as grocery and liquor stores, as well as in pharmacies.  Recycled-paper or reusable bags will be permitted for distribution by retailers.  Hand-in-hand with its other green initiatives is California’s focus on renewable energy sources; it ranks third in the nation.

Where California has room to grow is in reducing CO2 emissions, it ranked 50th, just above the “Lone Star State” of Texas.

That notwithstanding, California still does pretty well and has many of the top green cities in the nation.   San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Sunnyvale, and Irvine, are at the head of the pack in the state, but not all California cities are on the green train.  According to, the cities of Fresno and Bakersfield are at the bottom, not only in California, but in the nation.  But, if the rest of the state is an indication, and if the proposed statewide plastic bag ban is approved, these cities, too, might find themselves working towards a greener future for California.

By: Ethan Malone



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