News and trends about dumpster rental, PODS like storage container, and construction waste recycling around Appleton, Green Bay, and Oshkosh Wisconsin.
Restoration, remodeling, and clean-out projects can be stressful enough… The last thing you want to worry about when you rent a dumpster is getting hit with hidden surcharges and unnecessary fees after the project is complete. Unfortunately, it happens more often than you’d think…
National waste management and disposal companies are notorious for tacking on these kinds of fees. Their invoices and receipts can be complicated and very hard to understand, and unsuspecting customers can end up paying a large amount over and above what they anticipated thanks to these additional costs.
Here are a few additional costs I’ve seen on some of their invoices:
Lucky for you, there are a few things you can do to help avoid these types of surprises. Request an online quote to help track exactly what is included in each company’s estimated price. Be sure to ask about a few standard things, like how much is the delivery/pick-up charge, how many tons are included in the base price, and what is the cost for additional tons if you happen go over. A lot of the surcharges are tied to the amount of waste to be disposed of, so with many dumpster rentals, the heavier the load, the higher the price.
Also, when shopping around for waste containers, provide as much information as you can about your project upfront. This includes things like:
Bottom line is, do your homework! The more educated you are upfront about the companies you do business with, the less surprise you’ll encounter in the end.
We like to share the accomplishments of our NE Wisconsin partners. Badger Materials Recycling successfully processed more than 45,000 tons of residential asphalt shingles since 2017.
For every ton of shingles recycled, one 55-gallon barrel of oil is conserved. That results in a savings of one cubic yard of landfill airspace! With the price of oil these days, as well as our diminishing landfill capacities, you can see the importance of recycling asphalt shingles.
Badger Materials Recycling makes this possible by providing homeowners, contractors, and waste haulers with residential asphalt shingle recycling services in Appleton, Delafield, and Arlington, Wisconsin. Their primary focus is to provide an alternative to landfilling or disposing of residential asphalt shingles. When recycled, the shingles are then beneficially reused in hot mix asphalt.
In 2018, Badger Materials Recycling successfully processed 45,000 tons of shingles… That’s 45,000 barrels of oil and 40,000 cubic yards of landfill airspace saved!
Thank you, Badger Materials Recycling, for enabling businesses like ours to help the environment by contributing to shingle recycling services, like yours. We are proud to call you our partner!
The moving process presents many challenges and often, more than a few headaches. Even before the home is listed for sale, it's recommended to begin de-cluttering and removing things that are broken and no longer needed. That level of cleaning typically means a large amount of trash, too much to be added to a regular pick-up. A rental dumpster can be the ideal solution when preparing for a move.
Things to Throw Out When Moving
Make the most of a rental dumpster by disposing of items your regular trash pick-up won't take. When moving, plan to get rid of those things you no longer need and that can't be recycled, donated, or sold. This may include things that are broken or simply worn out, ranging from your children's old plastic sandbox to broken lawn chairs, rugs, bookcases, mini blinds, and that ceiling fan that's been in basement storage for years because it hasn't worked in a decade.
When to Rent a Dumpster and Where to Place It
The best time to rent a dumpster is before the house is placed on market, if possible. Some prospective buyers will understand if they come to see the house and the dumpster is in the driveway, but it won't be doing your curb appeal any favors. It's not the end of the world if it's still there by the time buyers come looking, but if it has to be, be sure the dumpster is out of the walkway, allowing easy access to the home. It shouldn't block any doorways and if possible, don't position so it blocks the garage door. If the dumpster has to be placed on the street, check with your city to see what permits may be needed.
Dumpsters: Size Matters
Ordering too large of a dumpster can stress your moving budget, but you do want to have enough space to accommodate your waste. Dumpster sizes (and prices) can vary by state and by company. On average, a 10-yard dumpster holds approximately 10-cubic yards of waste, while a 20-yard dumpster holds about 20-cubic yards of waste. The latter is about the equivalent of five to six pick-up trucks filled with waste and debris.
Safety Tips for Dumpster Use
Always dress in durable clothing when loading items into a dumpster. You want to avoid being scraped or cut by any nails or other sharp objects. Because of the height of the dumpster wall, you may consider using a sturdy step ladder. Using sturdy steps can reduce stress and strain on your back and shoulders when tossing items into the dumpster. Never let children plan in or around the dumpster. Keep pets away as well. A rental dumpster can be a great solution to the excess debris and waste generated when preparing for a move.
Logo Containers are large billboards that are visible while positioned on the jobsite AND when traveling down the road to or from a jobsite. It is a competitive advantage for companies to use Logo Containers, as they are able to grow their presence in the communities they serve at a very low cost.
City Disposal Services, Inc. is a locally-owned, family-operated business providing portable storage containers, waste disposal, and recycling services for contractors, businesses, and homeowners in Northeast Wisconsin. They began this business in 1998.
As you may know, industries such as waste disposal and fire/water restoration are seasonal and often unpredictable, which lead to a very competitive marketplace when jobs arise. Typically, investing money in traditional marketing campaigns does not make sense for companies in these types of industries. In response to this predicament, City Disposal thought, “what about a customizable can?” No matter what you call them—design dumpsters, branded bins, creative containers—their Logo Containers are a standard 20- or 30-yard waste container that is branded with a customer’s company name, colors, logo, contact information, etc. Essentially, Logo Containers are large billboards that are visible while positioned on the jobsite AND when traveling down the road to or from a jobsite. It is a competitive advantage for companies to use Logo Containers, as they are able to grow their presence in the communities they serve at a very low cost.
A few years ago, City Disposal piloted the Logo Container program with a local roofing company called Security-Luebke Roofing. https://securityluebkeroofing.com/ Because it proved to be so effective, they expanded some of the larger fire/water restoration companies that they serve, including ServiceMaster, SERVPRO, and Paul Davis Restoration. It’s not just for larger companies, though! There are many local/family-owned companies that use Logo Containers like R Van Rite Construction & Restoration, Square One, Certified Professional Restoration (CPR), Midwest Restoration, and Acquire Restoration, just to name a few. Most customers have multiple Logo Containers, and some pair them with other City Disposal services, like Portable Storage Units, as well. At this time, there are about 30 Logo Containers at various jobsites throughout Northeast Wisconsin.
Jon Goodman, president of Security-Luebke, like many companies, already invest a significant amount of capital in advertising via TV, radio, church bulletins, youth sports sponsorships, etc., so it was relatively easy to justify the low investment in some Logo Containers. 10 years and six Logo Containers later, Goodman says they’ve “seen tremendous results. By using the Logo Containers, we’re making more of an impact in the communities we serve, reinforcing our brand in the neighborhoods where the actual work is being done.”
When their employees see a Logo Container heading down the highway, Goodman says “it’s so much more than just a dumpster full of trash. To us, that container represents who we are and what our mission is. It gives us a huge sense of pride to be a part of the Security-Luebke team, and we have City Disposal to thank for that!”
Todd Frank, the President of ServiceMaster Specialty Restoration Services, has been using City Disposal’s Logo Containers (among other services) since 2008. In recent years, ServiceMaster has focused its efforts on building more brand awareness throughout the communities it serves—like Appleton, Green Bay, Milwaukee, Ashland, and more—by investing money in various forms of advertising. What impresses Todd the most about using Logo Containers is their high visibility and low investment. “When we use our Logo Containers from City Disposal, people see that we’re the ones out there doing the work,” he said. “They provide us with a level of exposure in the community that we just can’t get through the more traditional forms of marketing.”
Jo Budke, the Office Manager for R Van Rite Construction & Restoration, has also been using City Disposal’s Logo Containers for over five years. While the majority of R Van Rite’s work comes straight from insurance adjusters, many of their newer clients mention their Logo Containers. One of Jo’s favorite parts of working with City Disposal is their excellent customer service. “To me, customer service is key,” she said. “We’ve established a relationship with the folks at City Disposal that we haven’t found anywhere else. They know me by voice, they’re always so friendly and helpful, and I really appreciate the personalized attention they give us.”
The restoration industry, advertising services, waste disposal or roofing, no matter what type of business you’re in, the success of a small business hinges on Great Customer Service.
For More Information
For more information on Logo Containers or City Disposal Services, Inc., visit their website at http://www.citydisposal.com or call Tim Inglese (owner) at 1-866-DUMPSTR.
Technology is everywhere… Literally. In today’s digital world, the way we interact is greatly influenced by our connectivity. Being “connected” no longer requires being tethered to a computer, or even a laptop… Mobile devices are changing the way people do business, and because of that, we’ve changed the way we do business, too!
Our clients can submit an inquiry to rent a dumpster or request waste management services with just one click from within the app. This automatically triggers simultaneous email and text message notifications to us, and we will immediately begin processing the request. At City Disposal, we’ve always prided ourselves on our exceptional customer service, and I can assure you that experience will not change. It’s important to note that this app does not replace the way you used to contact us; rather, it invites you to contact us in whatever way works best for you!
“Today, most project managers are armed with smartphones and tablets at the jobsite,” said Tim Inglese, President of City Disposal Services, Inc. “Now, scheduling requests like a dumpster drop off or pick up will be easier and faster than ever.”
“Mobile applications are helping businesses better connect with their customers and streamlining their ordering processes by leveraging the technology built into smartphones,” said Joe Wetzel, SureProgramming. “It's really an exciting time in the mobile world.”
Visit the Google Play Store / iOS App Store to download the free City Disposal Services, Inc. mobile app. Registration within the app is not required until you’re ready to submit a request.
If you need to temporarily store personal items, your first thought might be to rent out a storage unit. While public storage units typically offer a large amount of storage space, getting into one may be trickier than you think. There can be long waiting lists to get into one, and a 3-month minimum contract (with a security deposit) is often the norm. And, if you’re lucky enough to find one, you still have to figure out a way to transport all your items to and from the unit.
PODS and other portable self-storage systems take the worry out of transporting your items by bringing the storage unit to you. Companies deliver the POD to your location, and you have the option to leave it there, have them move it to a local storage facility, or have them haul it to a long-distance destination. However, these self-storage systems are usually made of plastic and wood so may not be your most secure choice. And, you’re limited to how much each POD can fit, because they come in three standard lengths: 7 feet, 12 feet, and 16 feet.
A portable storage container, (or shipping container/cargo ship container) is typically made of steel, and can handle very large, heavy loads. The majority of them come from overseas into shipping ports. They make their way to major metro areas, and then are recycled into the storage industry. Portable storage containers primarily come in two lengths: 20 feet and 40 feet.
Portable storage containers are great for construction/remodeling projects. The containers can remain on jobsites to hold personal belongings OR to store tools and materials for the construction crew. They are also great if you’ve experienced fire or water damage and want your belongings to remain onsite while your property is rebuilt. Retail stores could use them for a highly secure place for seasonal inventory… Really the possibilities are limitless!
The costs associated with portable storage containers are fairly comparable to other forms of storage, although they offer so much more… They have more space, are more convenient, and are more secure. Portable storage container fees typically include a delivery/pick-up charge and a monthly charge (1 month minimum). Occasionally, some rental companies will prorate your last month, so be sure to ask upfront about any deals like that. And, as with all rentals, be sure to ask if there are any additional taxes or surcharges associated with the portable storage container rental before entering a contract.
Cleaning out a loved one’s home, (which is often the result of a death, a decision to downsize, or a necessary move to an assisted living community,) can be a huge undertaking... Especially when those who lived through the Great Depression tended to save everything, whether it had value or not! Before tackling an estate clean-out, create a plan! While paying for a dumpster rental might seem like an unnecessary expenditure, doing so helps ensure that the process goes smoothly.
Consider talking to neighbors about the estate clean-out ahead of time. It’s always a good idea to give them a heads up before the project begins. Plus, you never know… They, too, may be in need of dumpster, and that would allow you to split costs and save some money! Here are a few things to consider before contacting a waste disposal company:
So you know you need a waste dumpster… Great! We’ve already armed you with the questions you’ll need to ask before ordering a dumpster, (thanks to last month’s blog post) but how do you figure out who to contact? Back in the good ol’ days, you’d flip through the yellow pages of a big, bulky phone book and make a call. In a recent survey done for WhitePages.com, nearly seven out of ten people hardly, if ever, use the paper kind anymore! Because of this trend, phone books are becoming obsolete. Some communities are going so far as to ban the distribution of phone books to save trees because they’re so hard to recycle. If phone books are rapidly nearing extinction, where else can you turn to get the same information?
Many organizations are monitoring technology trends, and the consensus is that, as of January 2014, about 90% of Americans have a cell phone, 58% have a smartphone, 32% own an e-reader, and 42% own a tablet. Makes sense then, that more and more people are relying on search engines, online directories, and mobile apps to look up contact information. These techy resources contain the same information, (if not more,) and are more easily accessible than physical phone books ever were. If you know exactly what company you’re looking for, one of these methods would be a cinch! However, that’s not always the case. The amount of information can be overwhelming at times, and it’s up to you as a consumer to understand how these resources work, and the differences in the types of companies you’ll find when using them.
If you type in keywords such as “waste disposal” or “dumpster rentals” into a search engine, online directory, or mobile app, there are essentially three different kinds of companies that you’ll find: Nationals, Brokers, and Local Haulers. From the surface, they all appear to be on a level playing field, and likely claim to provide comparable services. However, there are some distinct differences between the three that are important for you to know before picking up the phone or requesting an initial online quote.
Nationals are typically the big companies with highly recognizable names. While you may find comfort in a brand you’ve seen all over the place, the customer experience may not be as pleasant as you’d like. These companies use generalized call centers where the operators are trained to close deals, meaning they can feel a bit pushy. Because they service such a broad area, they tend to lack the knowledge and understanding of your local area. Their operation is more of a one-size-fits-all approach, providing standardized equipment for any job. For instance, we’ve seen them send a large truck into a residential setting, which isn’t practical, and in many cases, not even safe! Most Nationals are also higher-priced, oftentimes because they also control landfills and/or transfer stations in addition to their waste disposal/dumpster rental operation.
Brokers are companies that have an office only; they don’t personally own any equipment themselves. Essentially, Brokers are middlemen that subcontract with Local Haulers, (which means you pay the Local Hauler cost plus a brokerage fee). They use keywords like “local dumpster rental,” “hometown waste disposal,” or “cheap dumpsters” in their names or marketing materials, and usually purchase advertising space in some of the more popular search engines so they appear at the top of the list. (This increases the chances of you reaching out to them first… Tricky, tricky!) While Brokers feel a bit more customer-oriented than the Nationals, it’s still oftentimes hard to resolve any issues that may arise because there are so many people involved in a single transaction.
Local haulers tend to be slightly smaller operations, but don’t let that deter you from using them! When you call a Local Hauler, you’ll typically experience exceptional customer service throughout the entire process, from initial quote to final bill and beyond. Because of their narrower service area, they are considered experts for the local communities. They are generally more flexible in scheduling and tend to have a wider variety of equipment to better accommodate each customer’s individual needs. As a bonus, Local Haulers are typically actively involved in their communities. You may not know it, but many of them donate containers for various festivals, charity events, disaster recovery efforts, etc. So, buying local essentially puts money back into your own community! How cool is that? They say you can't buy happiness, but you CAN buy local... And that's kind of the same thing!
Of course it’s still up to you to determine which company fits your needs and who you ultimately want to give your business to, but we hope that you’ll at least consider digging a bit deeper into your search for a service provider for all of your dumpster rental, waste disposal, and recycling needs.
Most people are pretty unfamiliar with the restoration industry unless they or someone they know have personally been affected by things like fire, flood, mold, or storm damage. Restoration companies work primarily with insurance companies, providing on-call assistance to those in need. There’s always work to be done regardless of the time of year, however “busy season” for this industry is typically the winter months, (when water pipes have the tendency to burst and fires start due to portable heaters.) As we all know, the weather in Northeast Wisconsin can be incredibly unpredictable, which causes a challenge when coordinating restoration efforts… And for us, the waste removal!
ServiceMaster Specialty Restoration Services' logo on storage container
There are a number of national franchises that you probably recognize by name in the restoration industry, but what you might not know is that many of them are privately owned. For example, Service Master is known for their residential and commercial cleaning and disaster recovery efforts. They have franchises located internationally and nationally (in all 50 states). ServiceMaster Specialty Restoration Services of Appleton/Green Bay is one of a group of seven or so that responds to national disasters. Regardless of what or where the need is, President Todd Frank is always ready on a moment’s notice to send personnel and equipment and get right down to work.
Some companies choose to specialize in certain aspects of restoration, (like water extraction, demolition, or fire cleanup efforts,) while others do it all. Regardless of the type of damage, many restoration jobs involve removing the property’s contents first, separating the salvageable materials from those damaged by the event. This typically requires two different types of containers: dumpsters and storage.
City Disposal partners with many restoration companies in Northeast Wisconsin, providing the appropriate types, sizes, and numbers of containers and dumpsters for the job. Recently, our partners have been very pleased with our Logo Container program. (A Logo Container is a standard 20- or 30-yard waste container or storage container branded with our partner’s company logo, contact information, and corporate colors... Essentially it’s a portable billboard!) For more information about City Disposal’s Logo Container program, contact us!
Waste disposal is something that most people take for granted, yet know very little about. Each week we mindlessly fill our trash cans with household items we consider garbage, and then set the cans at the end of the driveway on our assigned day for a municipal employee (or a contracted private company) to whisk it away to a landfill…
“The Waste Industry” is basically a transportation service, and the commodity transported is waste and recyclable materials. Internally, most waste business run like any other business, with accounts payable, accounts receivable, cash flow, etc. This business is very capital-intensive, because a single basic truck can cost over a quarter million dollars. To be successful, a waste business’ equipment needs to be reliable; it requires a good maintenance plan, properly trained operators, and a solid safety program in place.
But what exactly do we mean when we talk about a waste business’ “equipment”?
Automated Side Loaders
An automated side loader is the type of truck that typically collects our residential waste and recyclables. Nicknamed “one arm bandits,” operators manipulate these trucks with a joystick from inside the cab. This joystick directs an arm to pick-up residential carts with a claw, and then lifts and tips the wheeled bins into the side of the truck. These automated side loaders have been replacing the outdated rear loader, which generally required two to three people just to operate.
Front loaders are used by the largest segment of the industry, primarily because most businesses use dumpsters that are compatible with these types of trucks. Front loaders can accommodate a 2-, 4-, 6-, or 8-yard container for waste and recyclables like cardboard and paper. Just like their name implies, front loaders pick up the dumpsters with arms on the front of the truck and dump the contents into the hopper located just behind the cab.
Roll-off dumpsters are primarily used for construction and demolition (C&D) work. Roll-off trucks transport a 20- or 30-cubic yard container to the project site, and then uses hydraulics to lift its bed so the roll-off container can do just that – roll off – with the assistance of a cable. When the dumpster is full, the truck uses a cable and winch system to pull it back onto the truck.
A roll-off that is safer and more efficient than the cable style is a hook-lift, which is the type that we use at City Disposal. With a hook-lift system, the truck extends a 90-degree hooked arm and lifts the dumpster onto and off of the truck. Most hook-lift systems are on smaller, single-axle trucks and are usually used with containers that are 20-yards or less. These smaller trucks are much easier to navigate in residential areas. Better maneuverability means less chance for property damage.
Some waste businesses try to operate all of these types of trucks, while others like to specialize in a certain area. Regardless of the business strategy, the bottom line is waste businesses need good employees to operate their equipment. At City Disposal, our employees are the ambassadors, the backbone of our company, and our direct link to our customers. We encourage our drivers to communicate with our customers, identify any potential problems, and present opportunities for improvement. Investing time and money on the right employee pays dividends; companies are only as good as their worst employee.
While it’s not the most exciting investment you’ll ever make, a new roof is one of the best ways to help protect your home and everything in it. You’ve chosen your contractor, ordered the shingles and other materials, pulled your permit, and scheduled the date… Good. But there’s one thing you’re missing… Your dumpster! Rather than just picking a name out of the phone book, be sure educate yourself on your options.
When calling various haulers for quotes, you’ll first want to communicate the number of “square” on your roof, or the number of bundles purchased, which will help determine the size dumpster you will need. One square of shingles is the equivalent of 100 square feet. (There are three bundles per square.) Standard 3-tab shingles weigh approximately 250 pounds per square while architectural shingles weight closer to 360 pounds per square. Remember, some older homes may have multiple layers, which you’ll have to take into account; your dumpster needs will double with two layers, triple with three layers, etc. For a rough estimate of what container size to expect for your project, use the chart below:
Container Size --> Capacity
10-yard -->30 square
15-yard --> 45 square
20-yard --> 60 square
30-yard --> 90 square
So for example, a 2,500 square foot roof with a single layer of 3-tab shingles would equal 25 square and 6,250 pounds, which would require a 10-yard container. A 1,800 square foot roof with a double layer of 3-tab shingles would equal 36 square and 9,000 pounds, which would require a 15-yard container.
Some homeowners like to use the dumpster to dispose of other household items after the roofing project is complete, so it’s best to ask the hauler upfront what specific materials can be placed in the dumpster. Most haulers participate in shingle recycling programs, but they are unable to if the load contains anything aside from mixed roofing materials like asphalt singles, tar paper, nails, plastic wrappers, and metal/aluminum edging. Wood and household items would cause rejection from recycling.
If you are getting your shingles and other materials delivered to your home before the project commences, plan it so that you receive them before the dumpster drop. If you get your dumpster first, you run the risk of it potentially prohibiting the supplier from loading shingles onto the roof… Most contractors will appreciate having all the materials in the correct spots before they arrive to start the job.
Some haulers use single axle trucks—which are lighter and more maneuverable—that provide less risk for damage to residential driveways. Still, asphalt and concrete driveways can get marked when dropping/picking up the dumpster; this is especially true of asphalt in high heat. The best precaution is to lay down a 4x8 sheet of plywood or a couple of 2x6 planks, depending on the dumpster size you’ll be receiving.
And, as the construction date nears, be sure to constantly check the weather! Have plenty of tarps ready in case Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate with your project plans. When in doubt, go bigger in size… It’ll be cheaper in the long run.
As you know, protecting our environment is a social responsibility that we all share. In last month’s blog post, we talked about some waste statistics, and offered up a few ideas on how we can work together to reduce, reuse, and recycle construction and demolition (C&D) materials to support this initiative. This month, we’d like to highlight a few outstanding local recyclers that we partner with to help save energy, natural resources, and landfill space. Not only that, but they help make Northeast Wisconsin a great place to live and work!
Badger Materials Recycling provides homeowners, contractors, and waste haulers with residential asphalt shingle recycling services in Appleton, Delafield, and Arlington, Wisconsin.
For every ton of shingles recycled, one 55-gallon barrel of oil is conserved and one cubic yard of landfill airspace is saved. With the price of oil these days, as well as our diminishing landfill capacities, you can see how important Badger Materials Recycling’s job is!
Landfill Reduction & Recycling is a C&D recycling facility that accepts both mixed and sorted loads of C&D materials from private parties, residential and commercial contractors, demolition companies, and waste haulers. The processing facility is located in Appleton, Wisconsin. For convenience, they also offer third party drop off locations in Green Bay, Oshkosh, Door County, and Madison, Wisconsin areas.
Landfill Reduction & Recycling processes about 300-400 tons of C&D materials per day, or the equivalent of about 100 dumpsters per day! With a successful recycling rate of about 74%, you can imagine this is no small task! To keep up with this demand, they employ about 50 associates, on top of the additional jobs created through third parties… Which means their recycling efforts are good for the local environment AND the local economy, as well!
After sorting the C&D materials, Landfill Reduction & Recycling processes certain commodities, including ground gypsum (or recycled drywall,) ground wood/landscaping mulch/boiler fuel, and aggregates/clean fill… So not only are they keeping these quality raw materials out of the local landfills; they’re also helping to repurpose them within the communities from which they came. For more information on their recycling efforts, check out their YouTube video.
Outagamie County Recycling & Solid Waste operates the Tri-County Regional Landfill and the Tri-County Recycling Facility. The Tri-County Regional Landfill currently manages over 500,000 tons of solid waste each year. The Tri-County Recycling Facility is one of the largest publicly-owned, publicly-operated, single stream recycling facilities in the United States which provides recycling services to nearly 16% of the state’s population! The recycling facility processed over 82,000 tons of household recyclables in 2013 alone, with projections reaching beyond 95,000 tons by the end of 2014! The recyclables are separated and compressed into bales, and then delivered to local companies and manufacturers to be turned into new products.
To further their positive impact on the environment, Outagamie County Recycling & Solid Waste is currently working on a project to divert and recycle asphalt shingles. The shingles will help supply a local business with quality raw materials and keep more material out of the landfill. For more information on their recycling efforts, check out their YouTube video.
Each year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducts research on waste disposal and recycling. In 2012 alone, the EPA reported that the United States generated about 251 million tons of household waste. Of this 251 million tons, paper products made up 27.4%, food waste was 14.5%, yard trimmings were 13.5%, plastics were 12.7%, metals were 8.9%, rubber/leather/textiles were 8.7%, wood was 6.3%, and glass was 4.6%. Everything else falls into the “other” category, making up the remaining 3.4% of the 251 million tons.
Thankfully, we recycled or composted almost 87 million tons of this waste. Even better, our nation’s recycling efforts have increased significantly – up from only about 15 million tons in 1980 – but like anything, there’s always room for improvement. To help continue this recycling trend, the waste management industry has come up with a number of programs to help keep our landfills manageable.
For example, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a strategy that was intended to incorporate environmental costs for a product’s entire lifecycle into its market price, forcing manufacturers to think beyond the product and it’s packaging, all the way through its “end of life”. The idea is that, because the manufacturers have control over the packaging and product design, they also have the greatest ability to reduce the amount of solid waste that gets disposed of or recycled. Some companies have focused their efforts on using fewer materials to create the product itself, some strive to use 100% recyclable packaging, and some are even working towards designing products that will ultimately last longer. Many companies are choosing to take it another step further and implement a “take-back” program, which means the manufacturers accept responsibility for taking back their products from consumers at the end of the product’s life. All of these examples of EPR strategies help to incentivize manufacturers to design their products and packaging in a more environmentally-friendly way.
Other than being conscious about our household garbage, we, along with the customers we serve, have a HUGE opportunity to contribute to the protection of our environment by being conscious of the construction and demolition (C&D) materials we dispose of in our landfills. C&D materials are the debris generated during demolition, renovation, or new construction projects. The most common C&D materials include bulky things like wood, glass, metal, concrete, and reclaimed building parts. While it’s easy to just chuck everything into one container and ship it off to the landfill when it’s full, think about the impact our industry can have on the environment… Less waste can lead to fewer disposal facilities in general, helping to reduce methane gas emissions (which have been proven to contribute to global climate change.) To help protect our natural resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, here are just a few simple ways to reduce, reuse, or recycle C&D materials:
If you’re planning a remodeling or new construction project, consider checking with local salvagers or non-profit retail outlets before purchasing all new products... Many of these organizations, like Restore, offer good quality reclaimed building materials for a much cheaper cost than buying it brand new. (Plus there’s nothing wrong with supporting your local business owners!)
If using reclaimed materials for your project isn’t your thing, that’s okay… There are still some ways you can make an environmental impact! Rather than conducting a full-blown demolition, consider using deconstruction techniques and donating the salvaged materials and/or any unused/gently used materials to a local non-profit organization like Restore. And if protecting the environment, helping out local business owners, and contributing to a good cause isn’t enough incentive already, if you donate to a qualified 501(c)(3) charity, you’ll also receive a tax benefit for your organization.
If nothing else, please do your part and recycle all of the C&D materials that you can! At City Disposal Services, we care about the environment and partner very closely with local recyclers to minimize landfilling… We’ll talk more about some of the amazing recycling efforts in Northeast Wisconsin in next month’s blog!
So next time you’re about to throw something in a garbage can at home or a dumpster on a jobsite, think about the impact that may have on the environment and evaluate your alternatives!
You’ve heard the request a million times… “I want the highest quality at the lowest price by tomorrow.” “Get me the most bang for my buck, and quickly.” “Let’s immediately maximize our return on investment.” It’s one of those things that sounds great in theory, but is a task that is near impossible to execute. There are three factors that come into play here, that all directly affect one another—Fast, good, and cheap—but normally you can only focus on two at a time. For instance, if you demand immediate, high quality service, it will typically cost you a pretty penny. If you demand cheap-yet-high-quality service, it will likely take a long time to execute. If you demand service quickly and cheaply, the quality will probably be lacking. It seems as though there’s always something that has to suffer… But it doesn’t HAVE to be that way!
As in any project, arming yourself with the proper knowledge ahead of time can save you time and money. In this blog, I’d like to help you get a jump start on that by providing you some questions you should ask when ordering a rental dumpster from a waste disposal company.
First off, ask what their pricing is and what your payment options are. Don’t be afraid to ask for the initial quote online. Then, when you have a representative on the phone with you, as what is all included: Are the delivery and pick-up fees are separate from the base price? How many tons are included in the price? Is there an additional cost per ton disposal? Know that rates will vary depending on location and competition.
Find out how many rental days are included in the price, and if there is a cost-per-day thereafter; 10-14 days is typical for a standard rental. And, if you have long-term projects, (especially in the off-season,) don’t be afraid to negotiate rental rates.
Better yet, ask them what their base price does NOT include, like fuel surcharges or environmental fees. Some of the bigger national companies are notorious for these types of surcharges, so you need to watch out… Their billing systems can be very complex and the invoices are essentially illegible. I’ve seen some of these invoices, and I’m telling you, they rival hospital bills! (And when it is all said and done, remember to get an itemized receipt to double check it against your original agreement.)
Describe the work that you need to do and ask what your available options are. Don’t let the company upsell you on more than what you need. Having the right equipment for the job is important! Some companies will talk you into their one-size-fits-all solution. Others have smaller trucks that are more residential-friendly, meaning they can maneuver better in tighter places and get the container closer to your actual work, all with less risk of property damage.
Many companies may not tell you upfront about what CAN’T be thrown in the dumpster, so be sure to ask. Common items that can’t be include things like tires, batteries, appliances, waste oil, hazardous chemicals, and electronics like computers and TVs. And ask about recycling! Established waste disposal companies should have the resources for recycling certain materials such as construction debris, roofing, metals, and more.
Tell them exactly when and where you’d like to have the dumpster delivered, and ask if they can accommodate your request. Some companies only deliver on certain days of the week, so be aware of that. This industry’s “busy season” is usually from May to August, so it’s best to plan ahead; 7-10 days is typically a good enough lead time, but many customer-driven organizations will do what they can to accommodate even shorter notices.
After these questions have been answered, then it’s up to you to find a provider who will consistently deliver that high-quality service, rounding out the trifecta of a good business relationship. Really, the disposal companies should be asking YOU questions to better determine what YOUR needs are! Do your due diligence and write down the information they provide so you can compare it to other companies... Don’t assume all waste disposal companies are the same!