Did you know that before the decade of the 1970s, there was virtually zero recycling in the United States? Though previous generations did find other uses for items once they eventually wore out, there was simply no way to send a used appliance or piece of furniture to the nearest recycling center. Part of the reason that recycling was not a thing of the past is that the use of plastics and other synthetic materials was relatively limited. After the World War II years, however, the amount of trash that the average American household produced began to skyrocket. The combination of increasing prosperity and the availability of relatively cheap consumer items allowed many families to begin to spend their money on items that were previously unavailable.
Whereas your grandparent´s generation most likely invested in consumer purchases that would last a lifetime, the things your parent´s generation purchased were lucky to last a decade. For example, a cast iron wood cook stove and oven that were popular in homes previous to the World War II years was built to last for a lifetime. In comparison, the average gas or electric range has an average lifespan of only 10-12 years. Many of those used appliances are immediately sent to the landfill once they no longer serve a useful purpose.
The limited durability of consumer items alongside the growing use of plastics and other synthetic materials drastically increased the amount of waste that was sent to landfills. From 1950 to 1970, the amount of waste sent to landfills across the country grew exponentially. Today, unfortunately, the amount of waste that we produce continues to rise. In 1960, the United States collectively produced around 12 million tons of food waste, 30 million tons of paper waste, and almost zero plastic waste. Today, that figure has grown to around 64 million tons of food waste, almost 70 million tons of paper waste, and over 35 million tons of plastic waste.
Despite the rapid growth of the recycling industry, less than half of our municipal solid waste (MSW) is eventually recycled. So what exactly can you do to reduce your waste stream? Here in South San Francisco, we have some of the highest recycling rates and landfill diversion rates around the country. However, we also are facing the serious threat of landfill scarcity in the coming years and decades. Below, we offer the top four tips for how individuals, homeowners, and business owners of South San Francisco can ensure that their waste does not end up in the landfill.
Tip #1: Make Every Effort to Recycle your Paper, Cardboard, and Paperboard
Paper, cardboard, and paperboard are some of the easiest things to recycle. Unfortunately, they are also one of the most prevalent sources of post-consumer waste. Every year, we send around 139.6 million tons of municipal solid waste to the landfill. Of that waste, around 18.35 million tons are paper, cardboard, and paperboard. Where does all this paper waste come from?
Consider the following example:
The company Amazon boxes and ships an average of 608 million packages per year. The vast majority of those packages are shipped in cardboard or paperboard boxes. If we take the EPA figures that say that less than half of all paper and paperboard is eventually recycled, this means that over 300 million Amazon boxes end up in landfills each year. Instead of throwing away your Amazon boxes, junk mail, or other sources of paper waste, separating that trash into the paper recycling box can drastically cut back on your waste footprint.
Tip #2: Eliminate Single-Use Packaging
An enormous amount of municipal solid waste is unfortunately made up of single-use packaging. Think about the dozens (or hundreds) of paper coffee cups, plastic grocery bags, and disposable spoons that you use every year. Most of those items are carelessly tossed into the nearest garbage bag before being sent to our already overburdened landfills.
According to recent studies, products and packaging may account for up to 71 percent of the TOTAL waste stream in America, and packaging accounts for over a quarter of all the trash that we throw away. To cut back on your waste footprint, consider bringing along your own coffee mug or cloth grocery bag to cut back on single-use packaging. For food purchases, you might also consider buying in bulk or at your local farmer´s market to even further reduce the amount of packaging waste that you generate.
Tip #3: Compost Your Food and Yard Waste
Instead of bagging your fallen leaves and putting them out to the curb, creating a backyard compost pile is a simple and advantageous way to cut back on your waste stream while also giving you a fantastic organic fertilizer for your yard or garden. Organic waste such as food waste from your kitchen and other organic waste from your yard puts a major burden on landfills. Furthermore, when organic waste decomposes amongst synthetic trash in landfills, it releases an enormous amount of methane, which is one of the most potent greenhouse gasses.
Fortunately, more and more Americans are beginning to start up a compost pile in their backyard. Between 1990 and 2017, Americans increased the amount of yard trimmings that they composted from just 4.2 million tons to over 24 million tons. Composting is easy and requires only a few square feet of space and is also a great way to naturally increase the fertility of your home landscape.
Tip #4: Hire only the most Environmentally Responsible Junk Removal Companies
Lastly, finding ways to responsibly deal with your larger junk items is also an important aspect of reducing your waste stream. Furniture items, large appliances, used hot tubs, and other large items are another major source of waste that is filling up landfills in California and across the country. To get rid of these bulky junk items, millions of American households simply call up the first junk removal company that they find on Google. Unfortunately, many of these junk removal companies simply take the junk they pick up directly to the nearest landfill.
Junk King of South San Francisco, however, takes seriously their commitment to reducing the amount of waste ending up in local landfills. For individuals, homeowners, and business owners located in Brisbane, Burlingame, Daly City, El Granada, Half Moon Bay, Millbrae, Montara, Moss Beach, Pacifica, San Bruno, San Mateo, or other parts of South San Francisco, Junk King is the best junk removal company to help you deal with your bulk junk. We offer appliance and furniture disposal, electronic waste recycling, bulky junk item removal, yard debris removal, hot tub disposal, and much more. As long as it is not classified as toxic waste, we can help you remove the junk you have stored in your home or business.
We are proud to say that at least 60 percent of all the trash and junk we collect at each site is either recycled, reused, or repurposed. Our company is here to ensure that individuals and businesses can get rid of their excess junk while also having a positive impact on the environment, and their local community.
How to Contract Junk King South San Francisco
If you are ready to free up some space in your home or business, you can schedule your next junk removal appointment with Junk King South San Francisco by simply calling 1-888-888-JUNK. We believe in fair and transparent pricing and thus make every effort to offer live, on-site pricing, especially for larger jobs. By actually visiting the site and seeing the junk you need to be hauled away, we can offer you an accurate price for the job. Our on-site price assessment is free and comes with no obligations to hire us. You can also text us a photo of the junk or trash items that you need to be removed at 737-888-5865, and we will text you back a price estimate.
Lastly, we also offer an efficient pricing estimate online. Just follow the link on the “Pricing” tab on our website, scroll to pricing estimator, enter your zip code, and choose estimate “By List Item” or “By Truckload.” We offer a $20 rebate for hiring us online.
No matter how you choose to contact us, we here at Junk King South San Francisco guarantee to outcompete any written estimate. As a junk removal company that is licensed, insured and is fully committed to running a recycling-based operation, we also are amazingly able to offer the most competitive (and transparent) pricing for junk removal services in the South San Francisco area.