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A Quest to Become a Zero Waste City: Junk Pick Up San Francisco

Several years ago, the ex-mayor of San Francisco, Edwin Lee proclaimed that San Francisco had achieved an impressive 80 percent diversion rate of waste heading to landfills. According to the press release, “Recycling and composting is not only good for our environment, it is also good for our economy,” said Mayor Lee. ”Recycling alone creates 10 times more jobs than simply sending refuse to the landfill, and I applaud Recology, the Department of Environment and San Franciscans for reaching this record milestone of 80 percent diversion.”

The city of San Francisco is widely regarded as the national leader in the campaign to achieve a zero waste future. The process of achieving an 80 percent landfill diversion rate is testament to the public investment in recycling and compost programs. Furthermore, the city´s waste reduction programs that focus on reuse and repurposing waste is another strategy helping to keep trash out of area landfills. The collective efforts of the city government, local businesses, and every individual citizen in the city of San Francisco is why San Francisco was named the Greenest City in North America and receive a perfect score for resource recovery and recycling category in the 2011 Siemens Green City Index.

Despite these important advances and achievements, a closer look at the city´s waste management programs shows that individuals, homeowners, and business owners continue to generate large amounts of trash that do eventually end up in landfills. In this short article, we take an in-depth look at how the city achieved its 80 percent landfill diversion rate, and how the junk pickup services offered by Junk King of San Francisco can help the city advance even farther on its quest to become America´s first Zero Waste city. 

Pile of old Furniture and home debris

The Number Crunching Needed to Achieve an 80 Percent Landfill Diversion Rate 

Let´s start with the well-known figure related to the amount of trash that each and every individual in the United States produces on a daily basis. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average person in the United States produces around 4.4 pounds of trash per day. In the state of California, the average amount of trash produced per person is slightly higher at 4.7 pounds of trash each day (as per 2016 statistics). On a nationwide level, only about one-third of that trash ends up getting recycled, composted reused, or repurposed, meaning that each person is responsible for around 2.9 pounds of trash ending up in landfills or incinerators every day. 

One would think that the 80 percent landfill diversion rate for the city of San Francisco would mean that 80 percent of the trash we produce gets either composted or recycled. But´s let´s take a closer look at the numbers. 

Firstly, it is important to state that the city of San Francisco has a much higher “per capita waste-generation rate” with an average of 7.5 pounds of waste and recyclables being generated per person per day. That is almost 60 percent more trash per person than the national average. The higher standards of living in the Bay area unfortunately lead to higher levels of consuming, thus putting more stress on the city´s waste management systems.  

This might not be a serious problem if 80 percent of that trash did get recycled, reused, or repurposed, which would leave just 1.5 pounds of trash heading to local landfills or incinerators. Unfortunately, that isn’t what happens. San Francisco’s 80 percent diversion rate is actually the product of how the San Francisco Department of Environment counts and calculates the city´s recyclable material. The city certainly does have an impressive program to recycle everyday post-consumer products made from paper, metal, glass, and plastics; as well as an exemplary organic waste composting program. However, to achieve that impressive 80 percent figure, the city includes large quantities of very heavy construction materials such as excavated fill and rubble, which are subsequently reused as infill and road base. Furthermore, the city´s Department of Environment also counts the “recycling” of bio-solids which are applied to agricultural land as part of their diversion total. 

Free Construction Debris Removal Guide

Construction and debris (C&D) and bio-solid waste certainly accounts for a major amount of waste that unfortunately continues to accumulate in landfills across the country. C&D debris is actually more than double the amount of municipal solid waste (MSW) on a national level. The fact that the City of San Francisco is making efforts to keep those elements out of landfills should certainly be applauded. However, it is important to understand that the 80 percent diversion rate does NOT mean that 80 percent of municipal solid waste (MSW) is either recycled, reused, or repurposed. 

The truth is that due to their higher waste-per-capita generation, San Franciscans send roughly the same quantities of trash to the dump as most other Americans. 

junk removal service recycling

What Can be Done to Reduce Your Individual Waste Footprint?

The statistics provided above should make it clear that individuals, homeowners, and business owners in San Francisco can do more to reduce their waste footprints. Besides dutifully separating your recyclables and organics every week when the Recology trucks come to pick up your weekly trash, making an effort to recycle, donate, or repurpose your bulky trash items should also be a high priority. 

Junk King of San Francisco offers efficient and affordable junk removal services for residents, homeowners, and business owners of San Francisco. While you could haul your old couch out to the curb and place a “free” sign in hopes that somebody might come and pick it up, chances are that you would be rewarded with a hefty fine before anyone actually removed the thing. San Francisco´s municipal trash service only offers one (and sometime two) free bulk item pickups to individuals every year, and charges businesses a small fee. 

If you don’t have a free pickup but are burdened with an enormous amount of junk you need to get rid of, Junk King of San Francisco can help you avoid the headache of self-hauling your old junk to the nearest collection facility. With a simple phone call or text, we can set up a time and date to come and help you get free up space in your home by getting rid of your used furniture items. 

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Who is Junk King of San Francisco?

Junk King of San Francisco was started back in 2005 out of a garage in San Carlos. Over 15 years later, our business now has eight trucks and serves thousands of customers across the entire city of San Francisco. We have developed close relationships with dozens of recycling centers, thrift stores, non-profit organizations, and other interested parties to make sure that all your used junk is given every opportunity to be donated or recycled, instead of landfilled. In fact, we are able to recycle, donate, or repurpose around 60 percent of the junk that we pick up. We are able to help you get rid of regular trash, construction debris, household junk, yard waste, small and medium sized appliances, e-waste, furniture and virtually anything that is not classified as toxic waste in an environmentally friendly manner. 

To hire Junk King of San Francisco, simply call us for a free quotation or send us a text with photos of the items you need removed. We´ll send you a free quote, and once we have agreed upon a price and a two-hour window for pickup, our professional furniture removal staff will send you a text 15-30 minutes before arrival to let you know we´re on our way. We´ll do all the heavy hauling, so you simply have to let us know which pieces of furniture you want to get rid of and we´ll do the rest! 

Besides offering the most competitive furniture removal prices on the market, we are also proud to say that our customer service is second to none. We have a 5-star rating on Yelp, with well over 50 reviews and we can also guarantee to beat any written estimate.

How to Contact Junk King San Francisco

Whether you are completely renovating your apartment or simply have some yard waste you need to get rid of, Junk King of San Francisco offers the most reliable, efficient, affordable, and environmentally friendly junk removal service in San Francisco. We are the pioneers of recycling based junk pick up right here in the Bay Area, and can help you reduce your environmental footprint by ensuring that your junk gets every opportunity to be recycled, upcycled, or donated. Give us a call at 1-888-888-JUNK, or book online today!

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Dumpster Rental Service in San Francisco 

Let´s take a look at some of the rather outlandish statistics related to the amount of trash that we accumulate here in United States: 

  • We collectively throw away 2.5 million plastic water bottles every HOUR. That amounts to well over 22 billion plastic bottles of water every year. 
  • Despite the drastic drop in “snail mail” service, the average American continues to receive at least 560 pieces of junk mail per year, or about 1.5 trees that are cut down to make the paper for the junk mail you probably don’t even read. 
  • Every three months, the United States throws away enough aluminum trash to completely rebuild our ENTIRE commercial air fleet. 
  • With the rise of cell phones, computers, and other electronic appliances and devices, we are now producing around 9.4 million tons of “e-waste” each and every year. According to one report, “electronic waste affects nearly every system in the human body because the materials that make up e-waste contain a plethora of toxic components, including mercury, lead, cadmium, polybrominated flame retardants, barium, and lithium.” Only 12.5 percent of electronic waste is currently recycled. 
  • A typical household throws away between 10 and 15 percent of the food that it purchases. In total, Americans throw away 21.5 million tons of food waste each year. When landfilled, this organic waste combines with inorganic waste to release an enormous amount of methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gasses. 
  • Over 12 million tons of furniture and furnishings are also sent to the landfill each year, many of them in decent shape. 

Junk King Dumpster filled with Debris

These statistics should send us a wakeup call to the fact that the amount of waste that we generate on a daily basis is simply unsustainable. Often, we only think about the “tail end” of the waste streams we generate: the landfill. According to one recent analysis, “seven states are looking at running out of landfill space in the next five years, one state will reach capacity in five to 10 years and three states have 11 to 20 years to go.” Though a lack of landfill space is a very real problem, the negative environmental effects of our waste streams go far beyond where our waste eventually ends up. 

junk removal service recycling

Consider the issue of wasted food.  Much of the food waste we create unfortunately ends up landfilled and contributes to the issue of global warming via methane emissions, as we mentioned above. However, wasted food also contributes to other ecological problems. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) estimates that the amount of food waste we generate each year is equal 19 percent of all U.S. cropland used to produce crops, 18 percent of all the farming fertilizer used every year, 2.6 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, 21 percent of the total agricultural water usage, and around $218 billion in economic losses, or 1.3 percent of the total gross domestic product (GDP). 

Obviously, dealing with the huge amount of waste that we accumulate starts with questioning our individual consumer habits. Maybe investing in a water filter could help us reduce the purchase of so many plastic water bottles. Despite this fact, however, accumulating excess amounts of junk almost always seems to occur at certain times. Whether you are helping a distant family member deal with a “hoarding” problem, or you simply need to get rid of some old office furniture that is taking up space in the attic of the small business you own, renting a dumpster from a local junk removal service is often the best option to efficiently get rid of the accumulated junk that is taking up space in your home or business. Might there be a way to ensure that the junk you toss into a dumpster isn’t simply sent to the nearest landfill, thus further contributing to the landfill crisis we mentioned above? 

Learn more about our dumpster rental services.

Dumpster Rental with Junk King of San Francisco: A Green, Efficient, and Sustainable Option 

For residents of the Bay area of California, Junk King of San Francisco offers efficient and affordable junk removal services for residents, homeowners, and business owners. The team at Junk King can help you remove virtually every type of bulky junk that you have at your home or business, as long as it is not classified as toxic waste. If you are renovating a home or slowly going through years’ worth of junk that is stored in your garage or basement, renting a dumpster from Junk King of San Francisco will give you an easy and efficient place to store that junk as you work through the deep clean process. 

Because municipal trash service in San Francisco might not be able to take away your bulk trash, Junk King of San Francisco can help you avoid the headache of self-hauling your old junk to the nearest collection facility. With a simple phone call or text, you can rent a dumpster that our junk removal professionals will deliver and help you install safely and legally on your site. Our customer service representatives can also help you determine the correct size dumpster you need (measured by cubic yards) so that you only spend as much as you needed for your dumpster rental. 

Junk King of San Francisco was started back in 2005 out of a garage in San Carlos. Over 15 years later, our business now has eight trucks and serves thousands of customers across the entire city of San Francisco. We have developed close relationships with dozens of recycling centers, thrift stores, non-profit organizations, and other interested parties to make sure that all your used junk is given every opportunity to be donated or recycled, instead of landfilled. In fact, we are able to recycle, donate, or repurpose around 60 percent of the junk that we pick up or collect from the dumpsters that we rent. 

For a dumpster rental, you can throw away regular trash, construction debris, household junk, yard waste, small and medium sized appliances, e-waste, furniture, used hot tubs, and virtually anything that is not classified as toxic waste in an environmentally friendly manner. With a dumpster rental, you can take your time to sort through your junk and let us know whenever it is ready to be picked up. 

bigger junk removal trucks

How to Contact and Hire Junk King San Francisco for a Dumpster Rental 

To rent a dumpster from Junk King of San Francisco, simply call us for a free quotation or send us a text with photos of the items you plan to put into the dumpster. We´ll send you a free quote for the dumpster rental. Once you accept our price, simply let us know when you need the dumpster delivered to your home or business, and our professional furniture removal staff will send you a text 15-30 minutes before arrival to let you know we´re on our way. We´ll do all the heavy hauling to get the dumpster into place, so you simply have to let us know where you want it located for your greatest convenience.  

Whether you are completely renovating your apartment or simply want to de-clutter your basement, garage, or attic, renting a dumpster from Junk King of San Francisco is the most reliable, efficient, affordable, and environmentally friendly way to get rid of your excess junk in San Francisco. We are the pioneers of recycling based junk removal right here in the Bay Area, and can help you reduce your environmental footprint by ensuring that your junk gets every opportunity to be recycled, upcycled, or donated. Give us a call at 1-888-888-JUNK, or book online today!

Contact Us

Junk King San Francisco
1485 Bayshore Blvd #225
San Francisco, CA 94124
Hours: M-Su: 8A-4P

Providing junk removal services to the San Francisco area, including:

San Francisco
and these nearby zip codes:
94013, 94101, 94102, 94103, 94104, 94105, 94107, 94108, 94109, 94110, 94111, 94112, 94114, 94115, 94116, 94117, 94118, 94119, 94120, 94121, 94122, 94123, 94124, 94127, 94128, 94129, 94130, 94131, 94132, 94133, 94134, 94143, 94158