What Happens to the Junk We Pick Up?
Did you know that less than 35 percent of households and less than 10 percent of businesses in the U.S. recycle unwanted items?
At JUNK Relief, we value the importance of recycling and taking care of the environment for the sake of our future generations. Reusing old junk and waste is a huge benefit towards conserving our planet’s resources, and by sending fewer materials to landfills, many harmful air and water pollution levels are significantly reduced.
We make a conscious decision to donate and recycle as much as possible — so much that we even moved into a 10,000-sq-ft warehouse in order to efficiently separate and sort any material we pick up.
Donating or Recycling Construction Debris
If we pick up gently used fixtures, cabinets, or similar unwanted construction material, we take it back to our warehouse for separation. After all of the materials have been thoroughly sorted, any leftover items are then donated to the ReBuilding Exchange. Our partners there are able to repurpose the discarded material and to provide employment and job training opportunities to the disadvantaged.
This local non-profit aims to continue its mission towards sustainability by diverting material from landfills, donating materials to partnered non-profit organizations that are working to rebuild their communities, and promoting sustainable deconstruction practices. ReBuilding Exchange also provides education and job training programs in the fields of deconstruction, materials management, warehousing, retail, and carpentry.
Since 2009, the organization has diverted over 9,668.84 tons of building materials from landfills while simultaneously creating over $2 million worth of quality reuse materials available to the public. With the possibility of repurposing much of the leftover debris, you can rest assured that your unwanted trash can be turned into someone else’s treasure.
When it comes to leftover construction material like plaster, drywall, or scrap wood, we take these items straight to Lakeshore Recycling Systems. LRS has a state-of-the-art facility utilizing the most sophisticated equipment coupled with experienced line workers to divert over 90% of the material that arrives at their facility.
Donating or Recycling Household Material
If we pick up furniture, clothes, or other household items in good condition we will take it back to our warehouse where we separate it for donation. We donate furniture, clothes, toys, and other items to Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, and GoodWill.
Unfortunately, not all projects deal with items that are in donation-quality condition. If we pick up any items that are not suitable for donation, we will then bring it to our warehouse where we will still try to find a home for it when possible. If these items are in such bad shape that they’re beyond donation or repurposing, we take them to Lakeshore Recycling Systems’ facility, where over 40% of municipal solid waste is typically diverted.
Recycling e-Waste and Hazardous Materials
While it’s a digital world, we all should still do our part in continuing eco-friendly practices. Figuring out what electronic household items are eligible for recycling or donation can be especially tricky, but JUNK Relief can help to simplify that task. Whether you have a few old junky desktop computers from the 90’s in your home or are looking to get rid of a large amount of large format office fixtures, we can easily pick up your items and quickly whisk them away.
What is e-Waste?
The first step is to determine what qualifies as e-waste and where those materials can be deposited.
Electronic waste, known as “e-waste,” includes any electronics that have become unwanted or obsolete, which can quickly add up in your household or office as new technologies are constantly being developed and improved. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 100 million computers are thrown out in the U.S. alone — and less than 20% of those computers are being recycled properly.
The EPA also estimates that 60 million tons of e-waste are placed in landfills annually. Much of the e-waste contain harmful materials like beryllium, cadmium, mercury, and lead, and almost all of the waste contains recyclable materials, including plastic, glass, and metals. Rather than let this waste sit in landfills, it’s worth contacting JUNK Relief to clear your home or workspace of these outdated junkers.
You may be asking, “What about chemicals, paint, tires, and all the other miscellaneous stuff?” Well, we can handle those items, too! Once we pick up your unwanted junk, we have resources for these materials to be sorted back at our warehouse. After the initial separation, we take some materials to individual recyclers and the rest goes to Lakeshore Recycling Systems where they further separate and recycle until only the minimal amount of junk is sent to a landfill.
If you’re curious about how your junk can be recycled or if you’re just wanted to get rid of the trash but don’t know where to start, get in touch! We can answer your questions and help you find some relief from all that junk.