Eco Blog: dedication to Green Hauling

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!

How to Save Money on Your Junk Hauling Job

January 18th, 2017

There is something cathartic about removing unwanted furniture and other items from a home or business, even if it’s not officially spring cleaning season. While most junk hauling companies handle all aspects of removing the items, people getting rid of junk can do several things to make the process go smoother and lower their costs. One such tip is to move the unwanted items to the curb or another point that provides easy access for the haulers. This saves money since it’s common for junk haulers to charge extra when employees have to move the items themselves, especially up or down stairs.

Some other tried-and-true advice for saving money on getting rid of junk and improving efficiency while cleaning include:

  1. Disassemble larger items to reduce the size of the haul and the junk removal bill. Those planning an upcoming purge of their home or business can click here for rates and to budget for the expense.
  2. Separate hazardous materials such as paint thinner, unused electronics, and oil to avoid incurring additional fees for dumping.
  3. Clean one room at a time to avoid becoming overwhelmed and giving up on the project altogether. Getting the most challenging room out of the way first will make the remainder of the cleaning seem much easier.
  4. While cleaning, separate items into piles for hauling away, donating, and keeping. A general rule of thumb with cleaning is to get rid of anything that hasn’t been worn, used, or looked at in more than a year. People who feel concerned about throwing away paper records can scan them to their computer for safekeeping first.
  5. Break down boxes and place smaller items inside of larger ones. This conserves space in the hauling truck and is an effective way to keep rates low.
  6. Get an estimate for the entire job in advance and in person. Junk haulers that offer price quotes over the phone often increase prices after seeing the size of the job.
  7. Recycle as many things as possible before contacting a junk hauler. This requires home and business owners to know the recycling rules in their own city to avoid having certain items refused. Even though junk haulers charge a fee to take items the city won’t recycle, most have connections with charitable organizations that can use larger discarded items such as televisions and computers.

Plan for an Efficient Junk Haul by Knowing What Is and Isn’t Accepted

Junk haulers typically accept the following items:

  • Appliances
  • Bulk trash
  • Carpet
  • Clothes
  • Concrete
  • Construction waste
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Mattresses
  • Metal
  • Play sets
  • Sheds
  • Wood scraps

This is good news for people with a wide range of things they no longer want. However, they need to make other arrangements for getting rid of the following:

  • Batteries
  • Chemicals
  • Equipment that contains gas or oil
  • Explosives
  • Florescent lights
  • Hazardous waste
  • Liquid waste such as Freon
  • Medical or biohazardous waste
  • Paint
  • PCBs or asbestos
  • Scrap tires

Local city government officials can advise residents on proper procedures for home or business owners who no longer want these items. You can also contact us to discuss pricing and options for custom jobs such as these.

Dealing With Junk in an Environmentally Friendly Way

December 31st, 2016

It’s amazing how much junk people can accumulate over time. Yet getting rid of our junk responsibly is sometimes easier said than done. Most people just end up taking everything to a landfill or throwing it in a dumpster, a quick and easy solution that doesn’t do any favors for Mother Nature. That’s why it’s important to dispose of junk responsibly in order to live a more eco-friendly life and adhere to regulations associated with trash disposal. If you are feeling buried by a mountain of junk, consider following these tips for a junk-free life.

Deciding What’s Junk and What’s Not

The first step to getting rid of your accumulation of junk is deciding what’s actually junk and what’s worth keeping. Many people keep items thinking they might prove useful down the road to themselves or their children, but these items can begin to stack up and leave you with little storage space. One rule of thumb says to eliminate seven items of junk from your home every day. Another option is to discard items that you haven’t used in a year or more. Ideally, of course, you’ll get rid of enough unwanted items so that you can live a clutter-free life and enjoy your space again.

Start in One Spot of Your Home

You can empty your home of unwanted items when you start organizing one room at a time. It’s important to gather boxes so you can sort items as you go through them. You will want to have a box for recycling and a box for your junk hauling service to pick up from you. When you contact a junk hauling service, it’s important to ask where they dispose of the materials they pick up. Some services will simply dump what they collect on the side of the street, but a reputable service will ensure that everything they pick up will be disposed of in the most environmentally friendly way.

Resell or Throw Away

According to WiseBread.com, a site dedicated to frugal living, deciding what to sell and what to throw away are some of the most difficult decisions to make. Even though its tough, these decisions must be made to keep your home from becoming overly cluttered. Just because you don’t want these items, however, does not mean that they don’t have some value.

As you sort items, you’ll likely find some that would sell in a yard sale. Having a yard sale each year during the warm season is a great way to get rid of your unwanted items and make some extra money while doing so. For items that are worth more than you can expect to get at a yard sale, consider listing them on online auction sites like eBay.

Donate Unwanted Items

If the idea of holding a yard sale or selling online doesn’t suit your time frame, consider donating your unwanted materials to resale shops or charitable institutions that may want them. You can donate items to Good Will, for example. If you aren’t sure if the items you have are wanted by these organizations, you can call to find out what materials are accepted.

You can’t keep junk forever. You might as well reclaim your space and eliminate unwanted items from your home now. From professional junk hauling services to yard sales, you can not only get rid of your junk–you can get rid of it responsibly.

 

Simple Ways to Green Your Business

December 31st, 2016

These days, more businesses than ever are greening up their companies and doing business in a more environmentally friendly manner. In fact, businesses are also showcasing their green initiatives right on their website so they can inspire their clients and customers with their sustainable practices and possible even highlight that they are more environmentally principled than their competitors. If you want to improve your business’s eco-friendly profile, the following tips can help.

Adopt a Green Vision

Some companies advise their staffs to waste less paper and other companies create an entire vision that promotes green practices throughout the entire organization. Adopting a green company culture is a more effective way to comprehensively improve the company’s practices associated with sustainability. When green initiatives formally and prominently drive the company, they more effectively take root at each level of the company for a more improved level of sustainability.

Promote Green Campaigns

Along with adopting a green company vision, it can help to create specific campaigns designed to achieve your green initiatives. For instance, during one month your business might focus on eliminating plastic bottles. The next month it might clean up its paper wasting practices or switch to more energy-efficient light bulbs. Imagine how much better your business will be when it comes to sustainable practices in a year’s time! You can also share your business’s efforts on the company website or via social media to let your clients and customers know about your green campaigns.

Do Business with Eco-Friendly Vendors

Although it’s essential for a business to improve its green profile, it’s also important to support other businesses that are working for a better environment. For instance, search for companies that use energy-efficient vehicles and manufacturing plants that have practices in place to reduce their carbon footprint.  When deciding between vendors, try to work with the one that has the more aggressive program of sustainable practices.

Reuse and Recycle Materials

Not only is there a cost savings associated with reusing and recycling materials, these practices are also better for the environment. Be sure your business has the necessary bins for employees to use for recycling items such as paper and plastic. Instruct your office managers to purchase items like ink cartridges that are made from recycled materials. In addition, your business should work with a junk hauling service that has an “eco-friendly outlook and business attitude” and can dispose of your business’s waste in accordance with best environmental practices.

A Greener Clean

You can keep your business toxin-free by ensuring that only green cleaning products are used for cleaning. You can use green products for cleaning hard surfaces such as desktops and windows as well as floors and carpets. Work with a cleaning service that offers green-only services so that you can maintain the healthiest office environment, which will not only benefit the planet, but your employees too!

When you take time to adopt more sustainable practices, you can set a green example for your industry and your customers. The practices outlined here are not only simple to adopt, they’re also highly effective and will make a difference for the environment.

2016’s Top Innovations in Recycling

December 13th, 2016

Recycling, which was once a fad of environmentalists and so-called “tree huggers” is now mainstream in nearly every developed world community and here to stay.  The benefits of recycling, and the perils of not doing it, have become crystal clear.  In the U.S. today, we have reached a 34.6% recycling rate as of 2014.  In just that one year, the recycling and composting of 89 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) resulted in a reduction of over 181 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.

Advances in recycling depend not only on buy-in from consumers and businesses, but also consistent innovation from scientists, engineers, and inventors.  Here are just six top recycling innovations from the past year:

1. Diesel Fuel

A group of University of Illinois researchers have found a way to transform used grocery bags into diesel fuel and other petroleum products.  Another benefit is that the energy used in the conversion process is less than the recovered energy.

2. Lightbulb Recycling

We’re all used to seeing those reverse vending machines that give you cash for your bottles or cans.  Now, there are the same sorts of machines in some countries that will pay you to recycle your used lightbulbs.  The machines were built by a UK firm called reVend and can be found in Brazil, the UAE, and the UK.

3. Concrete Bricks

A recent architectural graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Albany, New York has developed a sustainable building material from discarded plastic.   Henry Miller took plastic bags and other plastic refuse and discovered a way to mix them with concrete to form bricks that had substantial environmental benefits.  Plastics are being recycled for use in building and the concrete mix no longer needs mined aggregate as an ingredient.

4. Wi-Fi Recycling

Finland wanted to take a look at the amount of time and fuel that they were wasting by driving around to pick up nearly empty recycling bins at homes and businesses.  If they were polluting the environment with emissions, the gains from recycling were being effectively canceled.  A firm called Enevo invented a Wi-Fi sensor that attaches to the bins, letting the collectors know fill levels so that they only come out to collect when bins are full.

5. iRecycle

Recycling isn’t just a trend; it’s become a way of life for many people around the globe.  Fortunately, we have the support of technology to help us make the most of our recycling efforts.  U.S. residents can download an App called iRecycle.  This gives users access to more than 1.6 million ways to recycle more than 350 materials.  Users can search from their current location or enter an address for nearby recycling facilities.

6. Olio

A growing trend, which has picked up steam in Europe with several well-placed regulations, is not wasting food.  Two developers, Sasha Celestial-One and Tessa Cook, have developed an App called Olio that makes it simpler for individuals and local businesses to participate in this movement.  Users can share information on surplus food items available, giving instructions for pick-up.  The App is currently being used in the UK and Ireland but is set for expansion to other countries.

Even though the U.S. is one of the countries with the highest recycling rates, we still have a long way to go. Recycling efforts and innovation is an ongoing process. Fortunately, we’re continuing to see new developments each year that promise improvements and instill the hope of sustainable communities in the future.

 
 
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