Posts Tagged ‘green’

Austin demolition

An estimated 44,000 buildings and 270,000 homes get demolished every single year. Unsurprisingly, this produces a lot of waste – about 80 million tons of waste annually.

It’s hard not to look at just these numbers and wonder if we should have a problem with demolition. Does demolition harm the environment? Is it putting too much garbage into the landfills? Is it simply a necessary evil?

As an Austin demolition company, we have strong feelings about these questions. We believe demolition is a very necessary service, but it’s completely unnecessary for it to produce the amount of waste it does!

The majority of waste from demolition jobs is wood, metal, cardboard, paper, plastic, concrete, gravel, drywall, roofing, glass and carpeting – all of which can be recycled!

But unfortunately, only 30% of demolition waste actually gets recycled. What gives?

The simple fact is that many demolition companies don’t want to pay the increased cost associated with recycling demolition waste. It’s way cheaper to simply dump your waste at the landfill than recycle it. Basically, these companies feel that until more homeowners begin demanding green demolition, it’s not worth the added costs.

But many homeowners, who hire demolition companies for their residential remodeling jobs, simply don’t know that they need to ask if a demolition contractor is green. Many just assume that the company will recycle responsibly or they may not even know that most demolition material can be recycled or reused.

So what can you do?

When it’s time for you to hire a demolition company, make sure to hire one that’s green – even if it is slightly more expensive. Never just assume that the waste will be recycled unless you specifically ask.

You may also want to ask if any of your materials can be donated. In Austin, there’s a Habitat for Humanity Restore that takes some construction waste items such as old doors, windows, toilets, etc. If your contractor agrees to donate the stuff, make sure to ask them for a receipt so you can claim the donations on your taxes!

By ensuring you only hire green demolition contractors, you’re putting the pressure on other contractors to become more environmentally-friendly and we think that pressure is a beautiful thing!

And if you need Austin demolition services or have a question, you can find us on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. We’re always happy to answer questions.

Green Christmas

Did you know that the average American produces 25% more trash during the holidays? If you’re concerned about keeping your holidays environmentally-friendly, here are some easy things  you can do to lessen your impact:

  1. Buy reusable gift sacks or save your gift sacks for use next year.
  2. Avoid using wrapping paper.
  3. Don’t use ribbons or bows.
  4. Gift experiences like gift cards, tickets, etc. instead of material items.
  5. Send e-cards instead of Christmas cards.
  6. Recycle any Christmas cards you receive.
  7. Hire a junk hauling company to clean out your house before Christmas to make room for your new stuff. Make sure to find one that will donate everything they haul away!
  8. Buy reusable batteries for your new toys.
  9. Consider giving “green” gifts such as reusable water bottles, etc.
  10. Purchase a real Christmas tree. Fake ones are made from non-biodegradable plastic.
  11. Use LED lights.
  12. Make your own decorations out of junk you have lying around your house. Check out the Dirty Work Pinterest page for awesome ideas for how to do this.
  13. Don’t use plastic plates and utensils or disposable table cloths.
  14. Set automatic timers on your lights and don’t keep them running all night long.
  15. Cut down on left overs by allowing guests to take home a plate each.

 Interested in more ideas like this? Find Austin waste removal company Dirty Work on Facebook or Twitter!

Think going green at home is inconvenient? Think again! Image

Here are 10 easy ways you can go green at home….

  1. Buy a water filter and drink tap water!
  2. Buy reusable bags.
  3. Use energy efficient light bulbs.
  4. Turn the water off while you brush your teeth.
  5. Take baths or limit the amount of time you’re in the shower.
  6. Unplug electronics when you aren’t using them.
  7. Monitor your electricity usage with an electricity monitoring device.
  8. Buy food grown locally.
  9. Eat left overs.
  10. Donate your old clothes, junk and more!

All of these tips are simple to implement and most of them will save you money! What’s stopping you now?

And if you want to donate all your old clothes and junk, but have too much to haul off on our own, you can find Dirty Work on Facebook, Twitter or Google+

Austin junk removal

This week the results of a study commissioned by Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful brought back some shocking results. The study found 6,487 illegal dumping sites in the state that contain over 63.5 tons of trash! Some of these sites had as much as 50 tons or 100,000 pounds of trash!

In total, the sites contain 18,516.83 tons of trash!

While no similar studies have been done in the other states, it’s highly unlikely that illegal dumping is a Pennsylvania-specific problem.

So where is all this trash coming from and how does it affect you?

Both residents and unethical companies illegally dump. In the Pennsylvania study, companies that illegally dump construction waste were singled out as one of the greatest offenders as well as residents in urban and isolated rural areas.

And all this illegally dumped waste has some serious consequences for you.

Illegal dumping grounds are the perfect breeding grounds for disease-carrying rats and mosquitos as well as poisonous spiders. In fact, there is evidence that a recent outbreak of encephalitis was spread by diseased mosquitos that were breeding in illegally dumped tires.

Secondly, illegal dumping grounds are safety hazards. They frequently contain glass, sharp pieces of metal, toxic chemicals and other nasty stuff. They’re also more likely than other spots to be targeted by arsonists.

Lastly, illegal dumping grounds poison the environment. All that trash decomposing in the ground will affect the growth of plants in the area and litter frequently kills wildlife.

For more information on this topic, find Austin junk removal company Dirty Work on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

Austin recycling

Want to know why Dirty Work is so passionate about recycling? Check out these 20 crazy recycling facts:

  1. Americans throw away enough paper each year to build a 12 foot wall that stretches from L.A. to NYC!
  2. 75,000 trees are used to print the Sunday edition of the New York Times!
  3. An average American will throw away 90,000 pounds of trash in their lifetime!
  4. Americans throw away 25 million plastic bottles every hour!
  5. A glass bottle takes over 4,000 years to decompose!
  6. The average American produces 1,609 pounds of trash annually!
  7. Doubling the recycling rate would create 1 million new jobs!
  8. If you walk one mile down an average U.S. highway, you’ll see 1,457 pieces of litter.
  9. Every square mile of ocean water has an estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic in it!
  10. The largest landfill in the world is more than 500 feet tall!
  11. Every 3 months, Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild our nation’s entire air fleet!
  12. Recycling 3 feet of newspaper saves one tree!
  13. We throw away enough wood and paper each year to heat 50 million homes for 20 years!
  14. Each month enough glass bottles are thrown away to fill up an entire skyscraper!
  15. A single quart of illegally dumped motor oil can contaminate up to 2 million gallons of fresh water!
  16. Recycling just one can saves enough electricity to power a television for an hour!
  17. Enough plastic is produced each year to shrink wrap Texas!
  18. 50% of waste in your dustbin could be used in compost instead!
  19. Americans are more likely to recycle than vote.
  20. 12 Texas landfills are more than 200 feet tall!

Crazy, right?

So if you have some junk that you need hauled away and you want to make sure it gets recycled, call Austin junk removal contractor Dirty Work or find us on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

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How many pieces of junk mail did you receive today? Probably way more than you would have liked and what did you do with it? If you’re like most people, you threw it away.

In fact, 5.6 million tons of junk mail ends up in landfills each year.  44% of this junk mail isn’t even opened.

Think that’s scary? Check out these other facts from NYU Law:

  • Only 22% of junk mail is recycled.
  • The average house receives 1.5 trees worth of junk mail each year.
  • 100 million trees are used per year for junk mail. This is the equivalent of deforesting all of Rocky Mountain National Park every four months!
  • Junk mail manufacturing creates as much greenhouse gases as 3.7 million cars.
  • We pay $370 million dollars a year to throw away junk mail.

How can you help put a stop to this needless slaughter of trees? First, opt out of receiving junk mail. You can do this by registering with the Direct Marketing Association’s Mail Preference Service online at www.dmachoice.org. This service will delete you from the lists of many national companies for five years.

However, the service can’t remove you from everybody’s list, so you’ll still receive some junk mail.

Which brings us to our second point: recycle all that junk mail! Is it really that much harder to throw the paper into a recycling bin instead of the trash can?

Yeah, we didn’t think so either.

For more information on Austin recycling, find Dirty Work on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

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Hosting a 4th of July party this year? Having an environmentally-friendly party can save you money while helping you save the environment.

So how do you have a green 4th of July party? Well you could…

Avoid mailing invitations

Mailing invitations wastes paper and money. Unfortunately, almost all of your invitations will end up in the trash bin when your party is over as opposed to the recycling bin. In fact, paper is one of the most common items found in landfills today. To prevent this from happening, send e-vites.

There are dozens of free online sites that will allow you to create unique email invitations. These sites are incredibly easy to use. They allow you to customize premade templates with your own text, images and more. Easy to make, customized, free, environmentally-friendly invitations? Count us in!

Avoid paper plates and plastic utensils

Like we said above, paper is one of the most wasted resources. To avoid wasting more paper, don’t buy paper plates for your party. Instead, have guests eat off real plates. Yes, you’ll have to run the dishwasher a couple of extra times, but running the dishwasher creates less of an environmental impact than the paper wasting away in landfills.

Also, don’t give guests plastic spoons, knives and forks to eat with. These items also frequently end up in landfills too.

Avoid or recycle paper decorations

A great way to reuse old materials around your house and save money on decoration costs is to create your own decorations.

For example, you could use some old mason jars, a couple of pieces of tissue paper and a few dollar store flags to create the decorations shown above. Or you could spray paint some old vases red, white and blue to create unique centerpieces for your table.

If you decide to use paper decorations to decorate for your party, make sure all of the decorations end up in the recycling bin when you’re done with them.

For more Austin recycling tips like this, find Dirty Work on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or Tumblr