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More Sustainable Junk Removal: USA Recycling and Disposal Statistics

December 6, 2019.

Getting rid of things on a small scale is easy, even when you’re dedicated to minimizing your environmental impact. Recycling or sustainably disposing of household items is usually as simple as tipping them into the appropriate bin and wheeling those bins up to the curb for weekly collection. When you’re looking to get rid of larger items or a large volume of waste, however, it can get complicated. However, it’s just as important to seek out greener options for junk removal since USA landfills are reaching capacity at staggering rates and come with unpleasant environmental baggage.

With more than 2,000 landfills operating in the United States generating greenhouse gases, leachate, and toxic runoff, it’s vital for all of us to minimize our landfill impact whenever possible. To put the country’s trash problem into perspective and to better understand the greener disposal alternatives at our disposal, here are some interesting facts and figures related to waste management in the United States.

Bigger than Junk Removal: USA and the Landfill Problem

It’s a fact of life that stuff just tends to accumulate. It’s not uncommon to find a garage so full of odds and ends that the cars are forced to live in the driveway or to find an entire basement that is filled with mostly unused and unwanted items. Whether you’re reclaiming space in your own home or doing the difficult work of closing a loved one’s estate or even working to mitigate a hoarding situation, sometimes you just need to get rid of a lot of things in a short amount of time.

The majority of municipal waste management services across the country offer some type of bulk collection service as a minimal form of junk removal. USA cities and towns set their own regulations which may vary widely from one municipality to the next. One thing many places have in common, however, is that most of what is collected will end up in the landfill with exceptions made for metal, tires and other items required by state or federal law.

In 2015 alone, the Environmental Protection Agency estimated only 34.7% of the 262 million tons of municipal solid waste generated in the United States was recycled or composted. The rest was sent to landfills or incinerated. While almost 100% of textiles and clothing are recyclable, only about 15.8% of those items end up recycled. Post-consumer disposal is the main culprit, as manufacturers of clothing and textiles recycle these goods at a rate of over 75%.

When it comes to demolition waste, roughly 125 million tons are diverted to US landfills each year. Only 2% of building materials waste ends up being recycled with this refuse contributing significantly to the overall landfill burden. Another 12,100,000 tons of waste make their way to US landfills by way of discarded furniture. While many pieces can be broken down and their components recycled, furniture often ends up dumped whole into the nearest landfill. This burden is significant with unwanted furniture making up over 4% of all household waste in the country each year.

Minimizing the Impact of Your Junk Removal Project

You want a clean space, but you also want a clean conscience. When you’re ready to get rid of unwanted furniture, clothing, household items, and assorted waste; it’s important to choose a sustainable disposal method. Unfortunately, you may not always be able to rely upon your local municipal waste hauler to provide the most ethical disposal solution available, nor the most efficient one.

Working with municipal waste management can be a challenge on several fronts. Scheduling is often the first and most pressing issue as many municipalities offer bulk collection on scheduled weeks set by the local government. Some offer bulk collection as infrequently as once or twice each calendar year. If you’re able to make your schedule work with theirs, then you should consider the environmental implications and the labor requirements.

Most likely you’ll be required to place bulky items at the curb or in a designated area for collection. This means you’re on the hook for all the heavy lifting, and you’re still sending the items off to likely clog the nearest landfill. There’s a better, greener way that’s easier on your back and better for your schedule.

Greener Junk Removal

At Jiffy Junk, we are dedicated to providing the very best in full-service, white-glove junk removal while also doing our best to protect the planet for future generations. When we come to your home or place of business to remove unwanted items and haul away waste, we take a different approach than most.

We sort everything we remove to make sure any furniture, clothing or household items in usable condition are taken to local charitable donation centers. This keeps items out of the landfill, but it also keeps them in the community where they can be of use to neighbours in need. Anything we can’t donate we recycle or seek out a sustainable disposal solution that does not include the landfill whenever possible. Our goal is to minimize our own landfill impact to the greatest possible degree allowing us to pass on that smaller footprint to every one of our clients.

As a white-glove service provider, we do all the heavy lifting. No need to haul items down to the curb, we remove them from where they sit. We’ll uninstall unwanted appliances, rip out old carpeting and tear out the padding before carting them off for more ethical disposal. Best of all, we’ll do this all on your schedule to make sure you’re able to meet all your project deadlines.

Don’t let a looming junk pile make your next big project seem too overwhelming to approach. Call Jiffy Junk today to learn more about our white-glove service, and how we can make quick work of even the largest mess. Whether you need a one-time pick up of a few large pieces or an ongoing collection for a massive undertaking, our ethical, knowledgeable, and extensively trained removal techs have you covered.

 

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