Eco Blog: dedication to Green Hauling

Why Illegal Dumping is Such a Foul Act

April 26th, 2017

Most people would be shocked to learn that they have been guilty of illegal dumping at some point. However, that may be exactly what they’re doing if they dispose of waste anywhere but their own receptacle provided by the city or county. Exceptions do exist, such as when city or county governments hold electronics recycling days. Putting old furniture in the yard or along the side of a road with a free sign attached to it is an example of illegal dumping that many people don’t realize. Some others include:

  • Placing waste from a construction site in another company’s bin
  • Dumping contaminated waste from a factory into water or soil without permission or treating it first
  • Throwing leaves, lawn clippings, garden rubbish, or everyday household waste into a park or forest

Why Do People Dump Their Garbage Illegally?

The reasons that people don’t follow rules regarding proper waste disposal are as varied as people themselves. Some simply don’t want to pay to have their trash removed so they use the trash receptacles of other people or businesses and make it their problem. Perhaps they feel desperate to get rid of something, such as a broken TV monitor or old computer, and don’t know how to do so otherwise. Ignorance of dumping laws and available alternatives are a common reason as well, although neither are a valid excuse.

How Illegal Dumping Affects Communities and the Environment

Nothing can make a community look run-down faster than old furniture and trash lining the sidewalks, streets, and yards of homes and businesses. Not only does this practice make neighborhoods look unsightly and lower property values, it attracts crime and jeopardizes health and safety. Vandals may find it entertaining to spray graffiti on the trash or even start it on fire. People walking or biking on a sidewalk may hit an obstruction and injure themselves. Trash piles attract rodents, which can spread disease to people and pets.

Illegal dumping is also hazardous to the environment at large. Common items that people dump, such as freezers and refrigerators, contain types of carbon that damage the earth’s ozone layer. Dumping trash directly into a river, lake, or ocean kills marine life and makes the water unsafe for human consumption. Hazardous waste kills plants, which in turn removes a food source for many types of animals. Some species of animals and plants will never return in the same numbers.

How the Environmental Protection Agency and State Agencies Are Addressing Illegal Dumping

The EPA estimates that 100 million tons of waste material have been dumped in locations across the United States. The solution is to clamp down on people who commit crimes against the environment. A minor offense, such as throwing trash out the window of a moving vehicle, may land the offender with a $50 fine. Fines can reach thousands or millions of dollars in more serious cases.

Large corporations are often the worst offenders because they put making a profit ahead of the health and safety of others. If everyone agrees to do their part and report those who engage in this activity, illegal dumping could be reduced considerably.

How to Reclaim an Overgrown Backyard

March 20th, 2017

overgrown yardMost people move into their homes with the best intentions of enjoying their backyards. Unfortunately, time can get away from them and their backyard becomes overgrown before they know it. Here in the Bay Area, following a relentless rainy season, vegetation is growing at a rate not seen in years.

It’s also possible that the house sat uninhabited for months with no one to tend to the back yard. Instead of relaxing on lawn chairs at the end of a long day, they head back inside within minutes due to mosquitoes and other pesky insects. The family pets can’t enjoy the backyard either due to tall grass and parasites. It will take some hard work, but homeowners can make their overgrown backyard inhabitable again with these tips.

Gather the Right Tools

A typical lawnmower may not work to tame an overgrown backyard full of knee-high grass and weeds. It’s best to avoid the risk of damaging the mower and rent or borrow a brush mower instead. If the area is walkable, a push brush mower should work just fine. Otherwise, it’s necessary to use a tow-behind model. These powerful mowers can easily cut through weeds and grass more than three inches thick.

Some homeowners must deal with several unwanted stumps if clearing the backyard involved removing unwanted trees. Getting rid of them is simple with a quality stump grinder. This method is far superior than trying to eliminate stumps with chemicals or digging them out by hand.

A brush grubber is the ideal tool to remove a single sapling or a section of brush. It’s impossible to remove either one with a lawn mower or chainsaw. With the brush grubber, the homeowner places a set of metal jaws containing spikes around a stump or small tree. After attaching a chain to the other end, the homeowner can pull the section of brush or sapling out with a truck, tractor, or ATV. This tool pulls out everything, including the roots.

Looking for professional help clearing out an overgrown backyard?

CONTACT FAST HAUL TODAY!

Steps to Getting the Overgrown Backyard Clean

Walking through the yard with several trash bags is the first step in regaining control. Homeowners should throw away any small items they don’t want to keep. A wheelbarrow comes in handy to transport larger items to the trash. People who know they want to eliminate some trees or plants should mark them with a ribbon and come back to them later. Other plants, shrubs, and trees could benefit from professional trimming. Homeowners who want to do the job themselves should ensure they have the right tools, including pruning shears. It’s also essential to throw away yard waste immediately.

When mowing the lawn with a regular mower, homeowners should choose the highest setting. Walking in half-lines instead of full lines the first time through saves wear on the mower. The next day, lower the setting and mow the lawn again. Rake and remove grass clippings from the yard right away to allow the new grass to grow without any restrictions. If the yard has a garden or landscape beds, rake them to remove any weeds and then re-establish neat borders.

Breaking down the tasks from most important to least important makes the whole project seem less overwhelming. This is important to keep in mind at the start of clearing an overgrown backyard as well as throughout the project.

Tips for Cleaning Up a Chaotic Garage

March 14th, 2017

garage clear-outHas your garage become a haven for just about anything that you don’t want in your house? Many people have so much junk in their garage that there isn’t even room for their car. Whether your clutter problem is massive or just close to getting out of control, a disorganized mess can lead to stress and even a scattered mind. Fortunately, there is an entire industry built around garage clean-up organization so that you can regain your space and your peace of mind. Here are seven tips for cleaning up that chaotic garage.

1. Block Out Some Time

Cleaning out a cluttered garage properly isn’t a one or two-hour job. If you want to get this task done right, set aside at least a full day and preferably an entire weekend for the work. While not fun by any means, you could speed up the process and might even have a few laughs if you include family and a few friends.

2. Sort Through Everything

You’ll need to pull absolutely every item out of each nook and cranny of your garage. Open closed boxes to find out if you have junk or hidden treasures. As you go through each item, test electronics and appliances to see if they work. Inspect tools and sports equipment for rust or mildew. Now it’s time to make some decisions.

3. Discard and Donate

When you touch each item in your garage, you’ll need to make several piles: garbage, donate or sell, and items to keep. If you expect that your discarded items pile is going to be massive, you might need to rent a dumpster for this occasion. Also, check with your local waste service for rules about discarding certain chemicals and electronics. Arrange for a service, if possible, to pick up donation items as soon as possible. If you’re going to sell some items, be sure that the effort is worth the potential gain.

Looking for professional help clearing out and disposing of unwanted items in your garage?

CONTACT FAST HAUL TODAY!

4. Organize and Strategically Store

You should now have a pile of articles that you’ve decided to keep. The next garage clean-up task is organizing and storing these items in the best way possible. Things that you shouldn’t store in your garage for a variety of reasons include paint, food, and paper products. If you already have shelving and storage systems, use what you have on hand.

5. Invest in Storage Products and Systems

To get the most organized garage, you’re probably going to need to invest in some storage products. Plastic bins are relatively cheap, many are see-through, and they can be stacked. Open shelves and tool systems work well in garages to keep your items easily accessible and organized. Pegboard organization systems are another inexpensive and efficient solution.

6. Use Ceiling and Wall Space

Since your goal is to de-clutter and make room for your car, you’ll want to get as much of your stuff off of the floor as possible. You can do this by using wall and ceiling space to store various items. Pegboards or large bins work well to store tools and sports equipment that you use frequently. Ceiling systems work to keep large items (surfboards, fishing poles, Christmas tree) out of the way. Just make sure that any ceiling storage doesn’t impede your garage door operation.

7. Tips to Stay Organized

Once you’ve achieved an organized garage space, the chaos can slowly creep back in over months and years. You can prevent this from happening with some careful planning and maintenance. Each spring, go through your items and donate or toss out what you no longer use. Sweep out and hose down the floor and apply a natural pesticide to the perimeter to keep bugs at bay.

Congratulations! You’re on your way to a successful garage clean-up project.

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!

 
 
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