Posts Tagged ‘junk hauling’

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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.

Recycling Costs On The Rise for San Francisco

November 25th, 2014

truck-and-armWith the holiday season in full swing, people all across the Bay Area are gearing up to start shopping: hunting for deals, mapping out stores to hit on Black Friday, and getting gift lists together. Unfortunately for the city of San Francisco, they will be getting a rather unwelcomed gift this year: higher recycling rates.

In a new contract proposed between the city and long-time service provider Recology, the bill for city departments will increase by 11% over the first four years of a six-year contract worth $44 million. This means that on average, the city would see a 2.85% rate increase every year, with no increases in the last two years.

The increase in cost for the city is likely due to the rising commercial/residential costs this past year. Historically, rates for city departments have been set at 20% below commercial rates. But with the rising costs, last year the city played around 31.4% below commercial rates. The new contract hopes to re-align the costs once again.

The contract, while not expected to face much if any opposition when brought to the city board, is an uneasy reminder of just how dominant Recology has been in San Francisco. In 1932, the company was granted a “permanent concession” to individuals or small, independent businesses that were in possession of the 97 collection route permits. After that, those 97 permit holders banded together to create the company that is now Recology. The permanent rights that were given became assets of the company, thus beginning a long and lucrative monopoly.

Since then, efforts to break the monopoly have failed, including a 2012 ballot measure that hoped to bring some competition to the market. The ballot, which Recology spent $1.7 million opposing, was rejected by 76% of voters.

Amid legal strife, Oakland will return garbage contract to Waste Management

September 29th, 2014

84905_1280x720In a surprising turn of events, The City of Oakland has decided to bow out of the legal battle brought on by Waste Management and give back the contract that will keep the company in control of a majority of the waste collection services.

While the council’s unanimous vote allows California Waste Solutions (CWS) to still be in charge for collecting recyclables, garbage and compost collection duties will be the responsibility of Waste Management. This means that the hundred plus year relationship between Waste management and Oakland will continue.

Some city officials are meeting the decision with a sigh of relief. Under the previous contract, CWS would have had to drastically expand their operations in the city in a very short amount of time. This would include building new facilitates, acquiring 150 new trucks, and 300,000 new trash bins. Some officials whose advice fell on deaf ears suggested that the small East Bay company could not meet the lofty challenge.

On the other hand, a faction of officials who help get the contract in the hands of CWS in the first place are less than enthused. Councilwoman Desley Brooks offered her take on the situation, saying, “We have set a precedent here tonight that when people don’t get their way and they have enough money, they just do whatever they want to, say whatever they want to and there are no ramifications for what they do”.

As part of the new deal, Waste Management has agreed to drop the lawsuit, end the petition drive they started, and reimburse the city around $800,000 to cover their Oakland’s court costs.

(Source: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Oakland-OKs-waste-contract-compromise-5774321.php)

Oakland Gambles with New Trash Hauling Contract

August 6th, 2014

cwslogo_tagline

For the first time in years, the city of Oakland will be counting on a different company to handle garbage pickup.

Last week, city council unanimously voted to award the highly coveted 10-year contract (valued at $1 billion) to California Waste Solutions (CWS), an Oakland-based company whose primary expertise lies in recycling. The decision to place garbage-collecting responsibilities for the entire city in the hands of a company with no experience with garbage represents an extremely risky venture.

With CWS taking over garbage collection duties, it marks the end a decades-long business relationship between the city and Waste Management, the agency previously handling garbage pickup. At times in the past the relationship has been strained, many pointing the Waste Managements decision to lock out 500 members of the Teamsters labor union after workers refused the companies demand that they pay a larger share of their healthcare benefits as a major factor. As a result, trash was left uncollected for two weeks and city officials were not too happy. (Source)

The major turning point during negotiations came when Waste Management refused to budge off the proposed $100 a year rate increase. CWS offered a more competitive bid, with a figure that would only cost residents around $80 more per year. With the winning bid comes the daunting task of CWS expanding their current operations to meet its new needs. In less then a year, CWS must:

  • Build a transfer station in Oakland
  • Add 150+ employees
  • Double its 70-truck fleet
  • Invest around $80 million into operations
  • Swap out 300,000 trash bins

Should CWS fall short during preparations, they have prepared to let Republic Services, the second largest garbage service in the US, will allow them to use their transfer station in Richmond.

(Source: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/johnson/article/Oakland-s-plan-to-hire-local-trash-hauler-could-5667987.php#photo-6389119)

SF Recycling Centers Causing Friction Among Locals

July 10th, 2014
safewayrecycle2

The recycling center at the Market Street Safeway

In San Francisco a heated battle continues to over one current recycling center that has overstayed their welcome, as well as opposition over another one looking for city approval before setting up shop.

At the Safeway located at 2020 Market St., residents and business owners had enough with the industrial sized center operated by Community Recyclers. People have grown tired of the seemingly endless line of shopping carts and overflowing trash bags lining the street up to the center, creating hefty amounts of litter, noise, and traffic congestion.

Last summer, Safeway terminated the center’s lease, but Community Recyclers opted to not leave without a fight. The center stayed open, forcing Safeway to file suit. When the dust settled, a settlement was reached that would see the center close on June 30th.

The 30th came and went, with the center still holding normal operating hours. With Community Recyclers violating a court order and facing a formal eviction, the task of enforcement falls on the shoulders of the Sheriff’s Department. According to department policy evictions take place on Wednesdays, although there has been no word as to if they have followed through.

Many of the same reasons why locals wanted the Market St. center closed are coming into play to try and stop a new center from opening on 10th and Harrison. Residents of the area came out in droves to almost unanimously oppose the planned recycling center, citing the already dangerous intersection as a less-then-ideal site for the increased foot traffic a recycling center will bring.

In the end, San Francisco is faced with a unique and challenging problem with public recycling. While recycling centers play a huge role in the illegal collection and processing of recyclables (which can cost the city around $5 million annually), the city hopes not to completely alienate people looking to help them reach the goal of zero waste.

 

(Source:  http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/nevius/article/Future-uncertain-for-2-recycling-centers-in-S-F-5600790.php#photo-6553595)

By Ethan Malone

 
 
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