Junk is a lot like traffic – you don’t really notice that it’s there until you’re overwhelmed by it. At first you have one or two unused pieces of furniture around your home or a few underemployed printers at the office – remember fax machines? – then you find yourself overrun by 20th-century technology.
When we say “junk” that actually includes more than you might think. The average American gets over 40 pounds of junk mail every year. That’s junk. Did you also know that Americans also eat, on average, 35 to 40 tons of food in their lifetime!
While there’s a lot of viable food (and food waste) that goes along with that, there’s also a whole lot of soiled cups, bowls and utensils that – if not recyclable in the form of aluminum cans, paper, or glass – should be considered junk.
How to Dispose of Junk
The point is that just looking around our homes and offices we can spot a lot of junk: Some of which can be disposed of in our daily trash pickup while other kinds of junk are actually bulky waste that require special pickup.
And yet other kinds of junk could be categorized as recyclable material, electronic waste, yard refuse, construction debris, or even hazardous waste that we need to be careful around.
- Recyclable Materials
First up are recyclable materials that might accidentally get lumped in with junk, but actually constitute items that can be put to further use.
The average person, believe it or not, makes the mistake of confusing junk and recyclable materials pretty often – nearly three million tons of otherwise recyclable aluminum are tossed away every year instead of thrown into the blue recycling bin.
Office paper that you have sitting around, corrugated cardboard that may have once housed a package that you received in the mail, and old newspapers and paperboard should also be categorized as recyclable materials rather than junk. Newspapers are made from recyclable fiber and can, therefore, usually be recycled.
The interesting thing is that a lot of the glossy magazines out today can also be recycled because recycling technology has improved so much over the years. That’s something to bear in mind when eying your regular trash can instead of the blue recycling one when touting your magazines to the curb.
- Electronic Waste
Electronic waste, or e-waste, is a term that we use referring to used or obsolete electronics that you have collecting dust in your home office or place of work.
Because of high turnover in the tech industry and the rate of change today, more electronic waste is being generated than ever before.
Things like old desktops, keyboards, printers and obsolete DVD players are obviously electronic waste, but household appliances like microwaves and dishwashers might also qualify since there’s no hard-and-fast definition of what is and isn’t e-waste.
Just make sure that if you use a department store’s e-waste recycling program that you’re not turning in something that would be better categorized as hazardous or bulky waste.
- Bulky Waste
Bulky waste (a.k.a., bulky refuse) are items like HVAC units and certain dishwashers that are too large for regular trash collection. You might need the help of a junk removal company like Junk King to take these items off your hands.
Why? Because Junk King can pick up bulky waste items like yard refuse, mattresses, large appliances and foreclosure clean out items using heavy-duty devices like grapple trucks. Junk King can also help you remove construction waste and e-waste like old televisions that you aren’t sure are recyclable. Set up an appointment online today!