News and trends about dumpster rentals, portable storage containers, and construction waste recycling around Appleton, Green Bay, and Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
One of the easiest ways of giving your home a freshen up is to remodel the kitchen. In some cases, people choose to do it to increase the value of the home. In other cases, they’re looking to create a space more functional for their family’s use. Or, perhaps they’re just bored looking at the drab old design from when the house was originally built.
In my sister’s case, it was all three. We’re from a big Italian family, so the kitchen is naturally where we tend to spend the majority of our time. She’s a great cook, but as her family continues to grow, there’s so much more food for her to prepare and so many more bodies trying to sneak a taste! They weren’t interested in moving, so, they decided a new kitchen was in order.
They worked through their budget before the project began, which is always a great place to start. They hired a contractor and took their time to plan out exactly what they wanted—Beautiful granite countertops with a big island, a double oven, a quiet dishwasher, an oversized over-the-range microwave, and the biggest refrigerator the space could fit (for all those Italian leftovers)!
Once all the plans were laid out and the materials were purchased, it was time for the demo. While smashing things with a sledgehammer was tempting, they tried to approach it in a more systematic way. They were able to salvage much of the building materials and donated them to Restore.
If you’ve done any home improvement projects before, you know they usually end up costing more than you anticipated and taking twice as long, so they were sure to build in a little extra time and money just in case. And good thing they did! As soon as their contractor got into the walls, he realized the electrical was not up to code. They immediately created a plan to address the increased scope and cost—So it was good they built in that buffer!
Since their old appliances were still in good condition, they made a plan to sell them on Craigslist, and they rented a dumpster from City Disposal to help easily manage their construction and demolition (C&D) materials. (This includes things like wood, glass, metal, concrete, and reclaimed building parts.) We, like most waste management companies, participate in a construction waste recycling program, so they felt good about the extra efforts keep C&D materials from showing up in our local landfill.
In the end, my sister’s kitchen took a few weeks longer and cost a little more than anticipated, but they were very happy with the result. Their grandkids, although young, are already learning their way around “grandma’s kitchen”, which is exiting—that means they’re well on their way keeping those Inglese family recipes alive for generations to come!
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.
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 construction 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 of 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.
So you know you need a construction dumpster… Great! We’ve already armed you with the questions you’ll need to ask before you rent 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. But paper phone books are rapidly nearing extinction, so where else can you turn to get the same information?
Many organizations are monitoring technology trends, and the consensus is that, as of January 2018, about 95% of Americans have a cell phone, and 77% of them have a smartphone. 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 waste management 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 construction waste recycling needs.
Most people are pretty unfamiliar with the restoration industry unless they or someone they know have been affected by things like fire, flood, mold, or storm damage and needed to rent a dumpster. 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 disposal!
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 our the salvageable materials, and disposing/recycling the damaged items. This typically requires two different types of containers: construction dumpsters for waste management and portable storage containers for temporary storage.
City Disposal partners with many restoration companies in Northeast Wisconsin, providing the appropriate types, sizes, and numbers of temporary storage and waste containers 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 shipping 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 garbage and recyclable materials. Internally, most waste management 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 replaced 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 waste containers 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-offs are primarily used for dumpster rentals 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 called 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 when you rent a dumpster.
Some waste businesses try to operate all of these types of waste disposal 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… You need to rent a dumpster! Rather than just picking the first name that pops up on your online search, 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 construction 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 waste container 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 construction waste recycling programs specifically for shingles. However, they are unable to recycle old shingles if your 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 waste management 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 waste disposal 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.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the United States generated about 262.4 million tons of household waste in 2015, which equates to about 4.48 pounds per person per day.
Thankfully, we recycled or composted 91.2 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 recycling and waste disposal 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 put in waste containers that eventually end up 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 construction dumpster 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.
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.
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 you rent a dumpster from a waste disposal company.
First off, ask what their pricing is and what your payment options are for renting a construction dumpster. 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 of the waste container? 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 waste management 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 construction waste 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!
Better, not Bigger
At City Disposal, we pride ourselves on being better, not bigger. Unlike larger, nation-wide companies, when you call City Disposal, you reach us directly. No call-centers. No automated response systems. This gives us the ability to respond to your needs in ways that our larger competitors can’t.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Many waste removal companies use a “one size fits all” approach, but that’s not the way we do business. We take great pride in finding solutions that work best for each of our individual clients.