Monthly Archives: March 2014

Disposal of Old Propane Tanks (Grill size)

Propane-fueled gas grills outnumber charcoal, electric, and natural gas combined grills combined, so chances are good that you have one, or more.

A propane tank has a 12-year life span. You can see a stamp on the collar around the valve to see when your tank began service. Add 12 years to determine if your tank is too old. The date is usually month year: 12 – 11 or December 2011 in this picture.  The tank in this picture is good until December 2023.

propanetankdate

What is Propane?

Propane is one of the nation’s most versatile sources of energy and supplies 3 to 4% of our total energy. Propane is an approved, alternate clean fuel listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act as well as the National Energy Policy Act of 1992. Propane can be either a liquid or a gas. At normal atmospheric pressure and temperature, it is a non-toxic, colorless and odorless gas. Under moderate pressure, propane becomes a liquid that vaporizes into a clean-burning gas when released from its storage container. Just like natural gas, an identifying odor is added so it can be readily detected.

How do I get rid of an old propane tank?

Fairfax County residents can take small tanks less than 20 pounds to the White Goods/Metal Recycling Area of the I-66 Transfer Station or I-95 Landfill Complex. Some local propane dealers will take the old tank if you buy a new one from them. Otherwise, most dealers charge a recycling fee.

Does Junk King take propane tanks?

Yes, and carefully! In turn, we use a service that properly transports and disposes of the tanks. We do not charge extra for propane tanks.

What do homeowners need to know about handing old propane tanks?

If you have an old propane tank, do not throw it in with your regular trash. All previously used propane tanks have some amount of gas left in them. Do not put an propane tank into a dumpster or other disposal container. Many trash trucks and dumpsters are also compactors. When the trash truck or dumpster compacts its load, the tank ruptures releasing the rest of the propane and may cause an explosion and fire.

When storing tanks—even empty tanks—store them outside. Store tanks in an upright position. Never store tanks on their side or upside down.

Do not attempt to remove the valve from your tank. Special safety equipment is required to prevent explosion. Removal of valves involves costly equipment and extensive training to meet the requirements set out in National Fire Protection Association.

If you have any questions about disposing propane tanks –or anything else for  that matter, please call us at (703) 455-6831.

 

Home Maintenance Checklist

Home Maintenance Checklist: 5 Things To Do This Spring

The snow is gone (hopefully), the mild weather is back, and you have a to do list of things that need accomplishing before the heat and chaos of the summer returns. Spring is a great time to do all kinds of things around your home. With a little planning, you can get a jump on some common springtime tasks before the Easter bunny makes its rounds.

Here’s a checklist of things that you’ll need to follow up on as the weather gets warmer. (These tips are brought to you by Redbeacon.com, a home services website designed to hook families up with the right pros for their home-project lists.)

Review your roof
The winter is a punishing time for your home’s front line of defense against the elements: your roof. Check for shingles that have come loose or broken in the snowy or icy winter weather. These inefficiencies can allow your roof to leak and water to puddle. For a quicker (and safer) inspection, get out the binoculars and detect damage from the ground.

Get your mind into the gutter
While you’re on the roof, you might as well give your gutters some attention. Snow and ice storms can send additional leaves and twigs into your gutters, and you’ll need to make sure that the detritus isn’t clogging the downspouts. In spring’s rainy season, the extra precipitation, if not funneled away from your home, can end up leaking into your foundation.

Swap your winter coat for a coat of paint
Spring is the perfect time to paint. The weather is finally warm enough that you can open the windows when you put a fresh color on your indoor walls, so pick a room and give it a facelift. This is also a good time to get an estimate on sprucing up your home’s exterior with a new color.

Declutter your home
While you were in the throes of cabin fever, you surely brought home some things you don’t really need. It’s spring cleaning time, so open your windows, shake out your rugs, and start going through your closets. The garage is screaming for attention, and your basement looks post apocalyptic. We can help! Junk King makes decluttering easy, all you have to do is decide what you want to get rid of and we do the rest! You can even book online and save money when you book services or rent a dumpster from us!

Dig into your landscaping
Grab your pruning shears, because this job will take some elbow grease. Start by removing any dead annuals and pruning back the perennials that have new growth at the mulch line. Proactively pull weed seedlings while the ground is soft and before the weeds become pesky in the summer months. Assuming the winter left your soil unbalanced, your beds could probably benefit from an application of fertilizer.
Condensed Spring Home Maintenance List
Review your roof
Attend to your gutters
Consider a new coat of paint
Declutter the home
Tidy up the lawn and garden

 

Blog from: http://www.cozi.com/live-simply/home-maintenance-checklist-5-things-do-spring

Junk and Debris Haulers: Half are First Rate; Half are Risky

Property managers, businesses, and homeowners can quickly discern which junk or debris removal companies are first rate and which ones are risky.

The Washington Metro Area has no fewer than 30 junk hauling companies comprising at least 160 trucks ranging from 20,000 GVW trucks to pick-up trucks. You have a lot of choices; however, junk hauling companies fall into two basic categories: First Rate and Risky. Our rough estimate is that about half the trucks represent First Rate companies and half represent Risky haulers.

When selecting a hauler, you first need to decide whether you want to work with a First Rate or if you are willing to absorb Risk.  I’ll tell you up front that you pay a little more or a First Rate hauler—but less of a difference than you’d think. Here is how you distinguish Frist Rate and Risky haulers.

Employees

First Rate haulers, like Junk King, have W-2 employees: vetted and trained. (Junk King Fairfax is veteran-owned and we recruit veterans.) Risky haulers use 1099 labor (independent contractors). Some use day laborers. This practice saves labor expense and shifts the risk of accident away from the hauler and onto the laborer or even the customer.

Insurance and Licenses

First Rate haulers carry all the required insurance. For example, Junk King carries the following insurance:

  • Workers Compensation Insurance (each accident $100,000, disease $100,000)
  • Auto Insurance (each accident $1,000,000)
  • General Liability Insurance (each occurrence $1,000,000, damage to rented premises $100,000, medical expenses per person $10,000, personal injury $1,000,000)
  • General aggregate $ 2,000,000
  • Products $2,000,000
  • Cargo Carrier insurance (each vehicle $50,000)
  • For Hire Tags
  • DOT Registration and Inspection

Risky haulers who use 1099 independent contractors or day laborer avoid the legal requirement to pay worker’s compensation or unemployment insurance. Risky haulers often skip or are light on General liability. Most are not registered with the Department of Transportation. If something goes seriously wrong, the customer has little recourse but to sue a company with a net worth that amounts to a used truck. Or worse, an uninsured laborer injured on your property may go after your assets.

Capacity

First Rate haulers typically have at least three trucks and crews capable of loading and hauling up to 200 cubic yards per day. You may not need that much capacity, but size does indicate the company’s serious commitment to a long-term business. Junk King has three trucks with a fourth truck arriving in March 2014.

Specialization

The best haulers stick to their specialty— hauling and disposal. Some branch into the business of moving household goods, which is pretty close. Risky haulers will do anything from washing windows to snow removal to landscaping. If the hauler advertises too many services, they are probably not expert at any of them.

Physical Address

First Rate haulers have a real business address. Junk King has a 2,500 square foot warehouse in Lorton where we sort donatables and recyclable debris before disposing the burnable debris at the Covanta plant in Lorton. Because we have a place to store recyclables, we can take many items that other haulers do not take such as propane tanks, tires, cement, and such. Here is a picture of our 2500 square-foot warehouse.

JUnk KIng's 2500 sqft warehouse for sorting

JUnk KIng’s 2500 sqft warehouse for sorting

Risky haulers typically do not have a separate business address—certainly not a warehouse. Typically, they use personal or phony addresses in their websites and listings. For example, we found a typical one-truck hauler posting two addresses in Yelp and the Better Business Bureau. Here are pictures of both addresses—neither is a place to keep a junk hauling truck. Beware of companies that use multiple or phony addresses.

Yelp and BBB addresses for a one-truck hauler--really?

Yelp and BBB addresses for a one-truck hauler–really?

In addition, this same one-truck hauler posts a Burke, VA address and a Wilson Blvd, Arlington address on other websites.

Responsible Disposal

First Rate haulers can achieve a 60% recycling rate just by using the Covanta plant. To meet the Covanta rules, the hauler needs to sort the debris. A warehouse or large outdoor bins are necessary to effectively sort debris. If the hauler fails to sort the debris, Covanta bans them and they must resort to the landfill. Risky haulers who lack the resources to sort debris need the convenience of the landfill. Junk King has the resources and is 100% landfill free. We find sources to take cement, drywall, and other non-burnable debris plus eco-friendly ways to dispose e-waste, tires, metals and such.

Price

Although Risky haulers cut corners on labor, insurance, service, and proper disposal, they don’t give the customer much of a price break. Depending on the size of the job, the cost of using a First Rate hauler like Junk King is typically 2% to 5% more than using the Risky hauler.

Two minutes of research can prevent months of headaches.

You can quickly determine if a hauler is First Rate or Risky with two simple questions:

  1. Will the crew members who come to my site be W-2 employees?
  2. What is the business address? (Then search on Google Map.)

If the crews are not W-2 employees, you can be fairly certain the hauler is not paying workers compensation, and you may suspect that other insurance coverage is also missing. If the business address looks suspicious, you should be suspicious.

If you are a realtor, property manager, or other business, you might ask if the hauler will add you as a “co-insured.” This small paper drill costs the First Rate hauler little or nothing and adds protection for the customer.

Conclusion

Prudent business owners and homeowners do their due diligence before bringing a service company onto their property. You have plenty of high quality, service-oriented junk removal services to choose from. Junk King Fairfax is striving to be the best of the best.