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How Proper Junk Removal Benefits the Environment

How Proper Junk Removal Benefits the Environment

Despite making up only 5% of the world’s population, the United States produces 30% of the world’s waste. Estimates say that Americans, in one year, throw away approximately 26,800,000 tons of food, 8,550,000 tons of furniture, and 6,330,000 tons of clothing, shoes, and other waste. Also, estimates claim that people in the U.S. throw away enough trash every day to fill 70,000 garbage collection trucks.

When you factor in that most consumer products today are designed to be disposable, you can see how this problem isn’t going to get any better any time soon.

In too many instances, items such as computers, batteries, electronics, and chemicals are thrown in with the regular trash, which creates an environmental hazard.

In this article, we’re going to examine how best to dispose of your trash and how it impacts the environment.

 

Separate Recyclables

Although it’s an extra step, taking the time to separate what can be recycled from your regular trash is a big help to the environment. When doing spring cleaning or any other big cleaning project, determine which of your bulk items can go to the landfill or what you can recycle. Most furniture made with metal or wood is recyclable. Some plastics are also recyclable, although it’s best to check. If you find that a piece of furniture isn’t recyclable, consider selling it or donating it to a charity or shelter rather than having it go to the dump.

 

Properly Dispose of Appliances

It’s incredible to see how many appliances we accumulate, and nearly all of these appliances take forever to break down when taken to a landfill. If you have devices that don’t work, or you want to throw away, a smart move is to call a professional junk removal service. These companies know how to properly dispose of these items in a way that causes the least harm to the environment. Also, if the appliance works, but you don’t want it anymore, consider donating it or passing it along to someone who can use it.

 

Be Mindful of Electronics

Electronics, computers and cell phones, in particular, create what’s called e-waste or electronic waste, and it’s a big problem. While the effects on the environment aren’t genuinely known since e-waste is a newer type of garbage, some scientists say the environmental impact is significant. Many of our computers and electronics contain heavy metals — lead, barium, mercury, lithium — and when thrown into a landfill, these metals seep into the soil and get into the groundwater. People who depend on this water could be drinking carcinogens and not know it.

Because of the potential health concerns throwing away electronics represents, it’s responsible to properly dispose of these items in a manner that won’t impact the environment.

Today, many companies will come and collect computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices for recycling. If you don’t have a company locally, there are a number online where you can send these items.

Lastly, if you have computers or cell phones that work, consider donating those to a charity or school.

 

Chemicals and Drugs

Many people pour old chemicals or unused medications down the drain or into the toilet. Disposing of these items in this fashion leads to water pollution and contamination. If you have unused medications, most towns now have drug take-back programs where you can drop off these items where they’ll be appropriately disposed. The same is true for chemicals. Most chemical products have on the labels how to properly dispose of them, so they have minimal impact on the environment.

 

Reduce Air Pollution

In some communities, burning trash is an acceptable way to deal with the problem. Most trash burning is fine. Things like leaves, grass clippings, cardboard and paper, and even some fabrics are ok to burn. But, many items, such as plastics and rubber, release toxic fumes when burned, which leads to air pollution. Although most municipalities regulate the backyard burning of trash, people do it anyway. If you’re interested in protecting the environment, do a little homework to see what’s acceptable to burn and what needs to be recycled or removed by a trash removal services.

 

Health Benefits

We’re all part of the environment, and we depend on our environment being clean and safe for our survival. Properly disposing of trash — relocating it away from human populations — helps keep the air and the water we consume pure and safe. When some garbage is burned or breaks down, it causes air pollution, which can lead to respiratory illness for some people.

Safely disposing of trash and taking it to proper recycling facilities or approved landfills reduces the biohazards that come with mountains of trash. Many landfills utilize specialized liners to prevent toxic chemicals from getting into the groundwater and are mindful of what type of waste is incinerated.

 

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

It can’t be stressed enough, but recycling unwanted or unused items is one of the best ways to help the environment. Your items not going to a dump or landfill goes a long way to keeping the environment clean. Not only does this reduce the amount of stuff in the landfill, but it reduces the number of toxins that seep into the ground as products break down.

As stated above, the best ways to recycle unused or unwanted items is to donate them to charities or shelters. If you can’t do that, consider selling them online or have a garage sale.

As you can see, there are considerable benefits to the environment and our overall health to responsibly disposing of trash. If you do have waste that you don’t know what to do with, many professional junk removal services can assist you and ensure your waste is disposed of safely and adequately.

When to Remove Old Junk vs Keeping Memories

When to Remove Old Junk vs Keeping Memories

So… you’ve been inspired to declutter your house. Easier said than done right? Decluttering may start out as a simple enough process. It’s easy to throw out old papers, recycle those magazines you flipped through once, donate those pants and shirts that have gone completely out of style. But things may get a little more complicated when the time comes to sort through all those pieces of memorabilia you hold so near and dear to your heart. Be strong, we’re here to help.

Here are some important tips to keep in mind while you’re getting through the clutter, and the meaningful items too.

Prioritize Sentimentality

Begin by doing a simple walk through of your home, mentally inventorying things that may need to go. As you notice items that may give you heartburn in parting with, like that old Victorian lamp your Aunt Myrtle gave you that’s sitting in the closet, write them down on a list in order of least to most sentimental. Once you’re done, start with the room that has the greatest number of sentimental items with the most value to you.

Obligation or Honest Affection?

As you’re going through those items think about what makes them important to you. Do you feel a responsibility to hold on to these items because someone would feel bad if you didn’t? Or do they legitimately bring back a pleasant memory that’s truly near and dear to your heart? If you wouldn’t hold onto the item if it had not been purchased, made, or owned by someone close to you, seriously consider parting with the item by throwing it away or gifting it to someone else.

Relive the Glory

Personal items that you adore may just end up weighing you down. Give that bowling ball bookshelf you made in 7th grade shop class one last spot in the living room for a couple days, then throw it out. The memories you treasure, or don’t depending on your middle school experience, won’t be diminished or boosted by it’s presence or lack thereof.

What’s Truly Special

So much of what we hold onto brings back memories, sure. But is it truly special? A big difference lies between something like an old collection of dolls that none of your children, nieces, or nephews would care to have, and something you and your mother worked on together, some beautifully handmade treasure that may be cherished by generations to come.

Design a test for yourself to determine what is truly important and what is just “stuff.” If you have boxes upon boxes of what you consider to be treasures, ones which you never ever crack open the boxes to see, no one else is going to want to see it either. Let it go, and make room in your home and your life for new memories.

Electronic Preservation

One of the smartest things you can do is take old pictures, drawings, artwork, projects, letters, documents, and the like and scan them for digital storage. Take a weekend to digitize only the memorabilia that is truly meaningful to you, then store it on a few thumb drives for safe keeping. You can even keep one thumb drive at your home, one at a family member’s home, or one in a safety deposit box.

Bins, Bins, and More Bins

If you have an especially hard time separating the truly sentimental from the clutter, try limiting yourself to certain size bins. Pick a period in your life you want to remember. Collect all of the things you’ve collected along the way during that time frame, then limit what you’ll keep to whatever will fit in that bin.

Be reasonable with the bin size. The smaller the better. A five gallon tote will get you nowhere. But a container slightly larger than a shoebox will enable you to keep the items of most importance. So, when you’re wanting to relive some wonderful childhood memories on a lazy afternoon, you can focus on the memories and memorabilia that really matter.

Limit Decorative Items

Sure, we all want our homes to look nice. But we can do this without making our homes an obstacle course full of tripping hazards caused by keepsakes and trinkets everywhere. Take a good look at each room in your house, and pair down the number of items that don’t serve a practical purpose.

Keep only those ornamental items your eyes gaze upon with regularity when you spend time in that given room. Perhaps there is a vase you love to adore while sitting on the sofa, or there are photo frames holding your most favored memories. Save those. Get rid of the porcelain bunny on the end table collecting dust, or the coasters no one ever uses or needs.

At the end of the day the ultimate test to use in determining whether an item is truly worth keeping is the emotional reaction it brings out. Just because you may experience an “oooh” or “awww” moment when going through old things, doesn’t mean those old things are worth keeping.

You must set priorities and then keep the strength to hold fast to those set rules. If you feel a strong emotional connection to an item, not just an “oh isn’t that cute” feeling, then keep it. If it is something your children or other family members will certainly want to have in the future, consider giving it to them now if they’re ready for it. Or, if it can be repurposed or memorialized in some way instead of just sitting in a box, then keep it.

Getting rid of unnecessary junk and items does not erase the memories associated with them. Those memories will be with you as long as you want them to. Remember, you can always retell your memories in a journal so that you’ll always have them with you. Think about whether or not a photo or a written recount of that special day would serve the same purpose as looking at that item itself. And remember, when you clear out space in your home and your life, you can look a the world around you with more clarity, with room to make new memories.