Category Archives: Garbage

Trash and Animals

Knowing the potential impact of trash on wildlife can save an animal’s life.  Did you know that …

Bird Paw  An animal can experience a fatal blockage if he swallows packaging material while attempting to eat the residue off of it?

  An animal’s head can get stuck inside certain plastic and glass containers causing suffocation or overheating?  In particular, certain yogurt containers that are narrower at the top and wider at the bottom are especially dangerous for animals.

Bird Paw  Six-pack beverage rings can get stuck around an animal’s nose, mouth and neck, blocking off her means of breathing, eating, drinking and self defense?

  Broken glass and sharp edges on cans can cut an animal’s paws and mouth as he attempts to eat food residue off of them?

To help keep animals safe, the MSPCA encourages you to use the following checklist when putting out trash:

checkmark  Rinse all of your recyclables to remove residue and odors.

checkmark  Put lids back on containers tightly. If the lids have been misplaced, crush the containers.

checkmark  Use a can opener that opens cans beneath the lip of the lids, leaving only smooth edges on the cans and lids.  Make sure to completely separate lids from cans.

checkmark  Cut up all six-pack beverage holders and other similar packaging so that there are no closed rings.

checkmark  Use critter-proof trash containers. Like Trash Knight.

checkmark  Recycle all plastic bags at your local grocery store. Don’t put plastic bags in the trash.

checkmark  Cut fishing line up into small pieces or tie it into a secure bundle so that it cannot be unwound.

checkmark  Switch to brands that have less packaging and buy food in bulk to avoid creating excess trash.

checkmark  Spread the word!  Teach your kids, friends, and family to do the same!

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Trash & Wildlife

Trash and Animals

Knowing the potential impact of trash on wildlife can save an animal’s life.  Did you know that …

Bird Paw  An animal can experience a fatal blockage if he swallows packaging material while attempting to eat the residue off of it?

  An animal’s head can get stuck inside certain plastic and glass containers causing suffocation or overheating?  In particular, certain yogurt containers that are narrower at the top and wider at the bottom are especially dangerous for animals.

Bird Paw  Six-pack beverage rings can get stuck around an animal’s nose, mouth and neck, blocking off her means of breathing, eating, drinking and self defense?

  Broken glass and sharp edges on cans can cut an animal’s paws and mouth as he attempts to eat food residue off of them?

To help keep animals safe, the MSPCA encourages you to use the following checklist when putting out trash:

checkmark  Rinse all of your recyclables to remove residue and odors.

checkmark  Put lids back on containers tightly. If the lids have been misplaced, crush the containers.

checkmark  Use a can opener that opens cans beneath the lip of the lids, leaving only smooth edges on the cans and lids.  Make sure to completely separate lids from cans.

checkmark  Cut up all six-pack beverage holders and other similar packaging so that there are no closed rings.

checkmark  Use critter-proof trash containers. Click here to be directed to our Trash Knight resources and links page for ordering information.

checkmark  Recycle all plastic bags at your local grocery store. Don’t put plastic bags in the trash.

checkmark  Cut fishing line up into small pieces or tie it into a secure bundle so that it cannot be unwound.

checkmark  Switch to brands that have less packaging and buy food in bulk to avoid creating excess trash.

checkmark  Spread the word!  Teach your kids, friends, and family to do the same!

Looking for a new coffee table book?

Courtesy, The Collections of The Henry Ford

100 years of the garbage truck

The garbage truck. Durable, strong – sometimes loud – but always true. Much like the people that make up this industry, the trash truck has stood the test of time.

Join Waste & Recycling News as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of this mechanical marvel. “100 Years of the Garbage Truck” publishes Oct. 15, 2012. This coffee-table edition will journey from its start as a flatbed vehicle to the invention of the compactor to today’s automated sideloader.

We encourage you to submit your story idea or photo. You can also email them to editorial@wasterecyclingnews.com

Some of the stories include:

  • THE HELPER
    Hanging onto the back of a rear loader is what most people think of when they think of a garbage man. A look at the helper job and how it may be vanishing as more trucks are automated and semi-automated.
  • UNDER THE HOOD
    Veteran mechanics talk about the guts of trucks, how they’ve changed, how reliability has changed and what they do to keep this vehicles on the road.
  • CNG
    What’s the percentage of CNG trash trucks on the road today? What will it be in 25 years? What cities have the largest CNG trash truck fleets?
  • DEALERS
    Who are the largest trash truck dealers in the U.S.? What’s the secret to their success? What do their customers like and dislike about today’s trash trucks?
  • SAFETY
    A look at the safety innovations of the trash truck. What are the biggest dangers on the road?
  • WOMEN ON THE TRUCK
    Women on the trash truck are still a rarity, but they bring a different perspective and approach to the still-tough job. What’s it like to be a woman in a what is still essentially a man’s world?
  • THE INNOVATORS
    Interviews with the patent holders of trash trucks and the devices that made them what they are today.
  • WEDDING
    A trash truck route supervisor in Arizona loves garbage trucks so much that he got married on one.
  • MUSEUM
    Waste Pro plans to open a museum for trash trucks in 2013. A similar museum already exists in Germany.
  • THE MANUFACTURERS
    Profiles of today’s and yesterday’s truck makers.

Key Ingredients for Great Compost

Key Ingredients for Great Compost

One of the great aspects of composting is that the key ingredients are often things that you’d be tempted to throw away. So, with just a little effort, you can contribute less to the trash stream (good for the environment) and make great compost (good for your garden).

Compost is created when you provide the right mixture of key ingredients for the millions of microorganisms that do the dirty work. These microorganisms will eat, multiply, and convert raw materials to compost as long as the environment is right. The environment doesn’t have to be absolutely “perfect,” so you don’t need to be a microbiologist or chemist to have successful compost. You need to provide: food, water, and air.

The water and air are easy. The food is a little more complex. Food for your little micro friends consists of two classes of materials, simply referred to as “Greens” and “Browns.” Green materials are high in nitrogen, while brown materials are high in carbon. The green materials provide protein for the micro bugs, while the brown materials provide energy.

Typical green materials are:
  • Fresh (green) Grass clippings
  • Fresh manure (horse, chicken, rabbit, cow)
  • Kitchen scraps (fruit, vegetables, coffee grounds, tea bags)
  • Weeds
  • Green leaves
  • Leftover fruits from the garden
Typical brown materials include:
  • Brown, dry leaves
  • Dried grass
  • Cornstalks (shredded)
  • Straw
  • Sawdust (in moderation; see below)

 

Just like us, the little microorganisms need a balanced diet, along with water and air. Too much, or too little of any ingredient significantly reduces their productivity. It is hard to have too much of the brown category. As noted earlier, leaves in the forest decompose without significant quantities of “green” components (although animal droppings do contribute to the green part of the mix) – but, the decomposition takes a little longer.

Too much green is usually the problem. A pile of kitchen garbage will never become useful compost; it simply becomes a smelly pile of garbage. Landfills are not composting sites. Most municipal composting operations begin with the huge quantities of dry leaves that are collected each fall.

A good mix of browns and greens also helps the pile maintain the right amount of moisture and air. A pile that is 100% grass clippings, for example, will quickly become a matted, soggy mess, with too much moisture and too little air. It will decompose, quickly at first, but then stall. Mix in some dry leaves, and you’ll have a significantly more efficient mixture. The dry leave help maintain air pockets within the pile and also provide a more balanced diet for the bacteria and fungi that cause the decomposition.

For more information about composting or to learn more about our Trash Knight garbage system, please visit www.trashknight.com.

Trash Knight Facts

Q. What can the TRASH KNIGHT do for me?

A. The main use of the TRASH KNIGHT has always been to keep animals out of residential garbage, but it does other things as well.

1. The rolling and towable models are an excellent mobility aid for older folks or a simple convenience for anybody who doesn’t want to make multiple trips to the curb lugging heavy trash cans. Your garbage can be taken out on ‘trash night’ (the night before your trash service comes), to avoid having to take it out before dawn on ‘trash day’ for fear of animal intrusion.

2. The TRASH KNIGHT can get your garbage cans out of the garage. Tired of that odor when you go to get in your car?

3. The TRASH KNIGHT opens your cans for you. No more prying unsanitary lids off. Taking the garbage out is now ‘touchless’. Germaphobes rejoice!

4. Reduce your trash can expense. The Rubbermaid BRUTEtm trash can is an extremely  tough commercial grade product. They are expensive, but last a very long time, and the Trash Man can’t throw the lids when they are attached to the unit. In fact, my trash man likes the fact that he never has to pick up my trash so much that he has agreed to gently place my cans back in my TRASH KNIGHT rather than tossing them on the ground.

5. The TRASH KNIGHT can be used for storage of animal feed of almost any type. From rabbits to horses, one of our models can simplify feeding time and ensure varmint proof storage.

For more information about the Trash Knight garbage system, please visit www.trashknight.com.

How to Keep Animals Out of Outdoor Trash

Animals Getting into Your Outdoor Garbage Cans?

Not everyone has a garage or shed in which to store garbage cans until trash day, and when garbage cans are stored outside, inevitably animals looking for food get into them. Lids offer some protection, but even lids don’t always keep out hungry animals. Dogs, which are usually larger and stronger than most trash raiding culprits, knock over cans and scatter garbage all over the ground. Cats create a hole in the trash bag and gingerly pull out what they want, one piece at a time. Wild animals such as raccoons and opossums get into the garbage too, and they find what they want anyway they can.If you are forced to store your garbage cans outside, there are ingenious but easy ways to keep animals out of your trash until garbage day. These methods won’t harm the animals, and trash collectors won’t end up with chemicals or soap all over their hands. Try these ideas if you are having a problem with animals in your outdoor garbage. You won’t have to pick up household garbage from the ground again.

What You Shouldn’t Do

People sometimes pour strong chemicals such as bleach or ammonia on outdoor garbage in an effort to keep dogs, cats, opossums, raccoons, and other animals out of their garbage. These products might temporarily repel animals, but garbage handlers don’t appreciate having ammonia, bleach, and other chemicals on their hands and clothes. There are options other than messy soaps or strong chemicals that work to keep animals out of the garbage.

More importantly, don’t resort to shooting or poisoning animals that look for food in your garbage cans. Every living creature must to eat to survive, and it isn’t the fault of the animal if they are homeless or their owner lets them roam the streets. If you know where a particular animal originates from, contact the owner, and respectfully explain the problem. If politely confronting the animal owner doesn’t work, contact your local dogcatcher. Animals allowed to run the streets are sometimes the unfortunate victims of cars, guns, and poison. You’ll be doing an innocent animal a favor as well as yourself.

Stakes

If your garbage cans have handles, drive stakes into the ground where they are stored, and run the handles through the stakes. This will prevent animals such as large dogs from knocking the cans over. This along with the following ideas for keeping animals out of outdoor trashcans, might eliminate any further problems with animals getting into trashcans.

Bungee Cords

Bungee cords can be very helpful in keeping lids on trashcans. Connect bungee cords together if necessary, and secure the lids by threading the bungee cords through the handles.

Bungee cords are also helpful in keeping trashcans in an upright position. Connect bungee cords, and wrap them around more than one can. Animals trying to knock the cans over will have a difficult time when they are connected. Alternately, if you have a fence, consider using bungee cords to secure garbage cans to the fence. If an animal can’t knock them over, the lids are less likely to come off, and they’ll be forced to go foraging elsewhere.

Box the Cans

If all else fails and animals are still getting into your outdoor garbage cans, consider building a box to house trashcans. Build the box from strong plywood, and make a lid with hinges and a hasp. You’ll not only hide unsightly trashcans, but you’ll never again have to pick up trash from the ground because of animals getting into the garbage.

For more information about keeping critters out of the trash or to learn more about our Trash Knight garbage system, please visit www.trashknight.com.

 

A Timeline of Trash

An interesting perspective of trash, the disposal process and the future of trash. Trash Knight encourages you to dispose of trash, recyclables and compost items accordingly.

A Timeline of Trash
Date Location Notes
6,500 BC North America Archeological studies shows a clan of Native Americans in what is now Colorado produced an average of 5.3 pounds of waste a day.
500 BC Athens Greece First municipal dump in western world organized. Regulations required waste to be dumped at least a mile from the city limits.
New Testament of Bible Jerusalem Palestine The Valley of Gehenna also called Sheoal in the New Testament of the Bible “Though I descent into Sheol, thou art there.” Sheoal was apparently a dump outside of the city of that periodically burned. It became synonymous with “hell.”
1388 England English Parliament bars waste dispersal in public waterways and ditches.
1400 Paris France Garbage piles so high outside of Paris gates that it interferes with city defense.
1690 Philadelphia Rittenhouse Mill, Philadelphia makes paper from recycled fibers (waste paper and rags).
1842 England A report links disease to filthy environmental conditions – “age of sanitation” begins.
1874 Nottingham England A new technology called “the Destructor” provided the first systematic incineration of refuse in Nottingham, England. Until this time, much of the burning was accidental, a result of methane production.
1885 Governor’s Island NY The first garbage incinerator was built in USA (on Governor’s Island in NY)
1889 Washington DC Washington DC reported that we were running out of appropriate places for refuse (sound familiar?).
1896 United States Waste reduction plants arrive in US. (for compressing organic wastes). Later closed because of noxious emissions.
1898 New York NY has first rubbish sorting plant for recycling (are we reinventing the wheel?).
Turn of Century By the turn of the century the garbage problem was seen as one of the greatest problems for local authorities.
1900 “Piggeries” were developed to eat fresh or cooked garbage (In the mid-50’s an outbreak of vesicluar exenthama resulted in the destruction of 1,000s of pigs that had eaten raw garbage. Law passed requiring that garbage had to be cooked before it could be fed to swine).
1911 New York City NYC citizens were producing 4.6 pounds of refuse a day (remember the Native Americans from 6500 BC mentioned above?).
1914 United States there were about 300 incinerators in the US for burning trash.
1920’s Landfills were becoming a popular way of reclaiming swamp land while getting rid of trash.
1954 Olympia Washington Olympia Washington pays for return of aluminum cans.
1965 United States The first federal solid waste management laws were enacted.
1968 By 1968 companies began buy back recycling of containers.
1970 United States The first Earth Day was celebrated, the Environmental Protection Agency EPA created and the Resource Recovery Act enacted.
1976 United States In 1976 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) was created emphasizing recycling and HW management. This was the result of two major events: the oil embargo and the discovery (or recognition) of Love Canal.
1979 United States The EPA issued criteria prohibiting open dumping.
Today The list goes on and on.

What to Recycle

What to Recycle

The confusion over what we can and cannot recycle continues to confound consumers. Plastics are especially troublesome, as different types of plastic require different processing to be reformulated and re-used as raw material. Some municipalities accept all types of plastic for recycling, while others only accept jugs, containers and bottles with certain numbers stamped on their bottoms.

Remember to:

  • Empty and rinse all containers.
  • Flatten cartons and boxes, and place them inside your cart.
  • Secure shredded paper and textiles inside a clear plastic bag.
  • Sorting Your Waste: WHAT GOES WHERE?

 

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Join us at the 26th Annual Fresno Home & Garden Show!

We invite you to explore all of the fantastic possibilities featured at this year’s 26th Annual Fresno Home and Garden Show (March 2, 3, 4, 2012) – California’s premier consumer event. Top professionals from a variety of home-based industries have gathered once again, and many will be offering show specials and drastic discounts. All of this comes just in time to give your home a money-saving Spring makeover. We’ll inspire you – so dust off the cobwebs, put on your walking shoes, and join us at the Valley’s most anticipated Home Show, where fresh ideas abound!

2012 DATES & SHOW HOURS:

Friday, March 2nd
11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 3rd
10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 4th
10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

ADMISSION:
General – $8.00 adults, children 12 and under FREE.

Happy Hour Friday – Friday, March 2nd ONLY – From 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., ALL attendees pay just $4.00! (Discount coupons, any and all special offers, Senior’s Day special, etc., cannot be used in conjunction with Happy Hour Friday pricing. Kids 12 and under are still free).

Senior’s Day – Friday, March 2nd ONLY – Seniors 60 and over pay $5.00 (Discount coupons, special offers, etc., cannot be used in conjunction with the Senior’s Day pricing.)

Pet Promotion – Bring in a new pet toy, item or unopened bag of pet food and you will receive HALF OFF regular admission to the show! Items donated will go to the Valley Animal Center of Fresno. (Not to be used in conjunction with any other discount). 

A $2.00 Off Discount Coupon is available on this website. (Option located at the bottom-right corner of the Home and Garden home page). Just click, print and go!

PARKING: $5.00.   Secure parking located off of South Chance Avenue, Kings Canyon Road and Butler Avenue (for directions and driving suggestions, see “Directions to the Fairgrounds…”). 

And, might we suggest…

1) Make a List – Take some time before heading to the fairgrounds and jot down projects you’d like to tackle in 2012. Browse the EXHIBITOR LISTING on this website and decide what companies are of interest (companies are from the 2011 H&G Show. The Exhibitor List will be updated in February of 2012). Also, see what companies are offering Show Specials.

2) Don’t Just Browse – Talk to the merchants. If you are truly interested in a product or service, leave your name and phone number and ask the vendor to follow-up after the show, or pick up one of their brochures. Ask about Show Specials!

3) The Show is BIG – Come early and plan on spending the whole day; take a break at the Food Court. The show is both indoors and outdoors, so wear appropriate clothing, comfortable shoes, and enjoy the day.

4) Pick a Meeting Place – Decide on a pre-determined spot to meet just in case someone in your party gets lost. The Food Court is a good area.

5) Bring Blueprints, Plans, etc. – Sketches, blueprints, floorplans – take them all with you to the show. Many vendors are prepared to take your information and get back to you with estimates, time lines, etc.

6) Prepare to Shop – Many companies have items to purchase right at the event, so  plan to shop.

7Wheelchairs and strollers are not available to rent at the fairgrounds.

8ATMs will be available throughout the fairgrounds.         

9) Download a DISCOUNT COUPON from this website! START SAVING NOW! – OR – purchase a ticket online, beat the crowds, and get a subscription to Better Homes and Gardens!  See our Home Page for details…  (COUPONS NOT AVAILABLE UNTIL FEBRUARY 2012)


How to Keep Possums and Raccoons Off Your Property

Cute? Yes. Annoying? VERY!

Opossums and raccoons are nocturnal wild animals that are easily attracted to garbage and/or food left out on your property. These creatures tend to carry disease and are potentially harmful if they bite or scratch you. The key to ridding yourself of these pests is through simple storage methods and food source removal. The following list denotes some key things you can do to deter these animals. If the problem persists or becomes unmanageable, we recommend seeking the assistance of a professional animal/pest removal service.
Instructions

Things You’ll Need

  • 30 to 40 lb. weight
  • Rope
  • Peppermint oil
  • Cloth rag
  • Ammonia
  • Make sure to seal Trash Night systems with their appropriate latch and close compost bins at night. If you do not yet own a Trash Knight system, place a 30 to 40 lb. weight on top of the garbage can lid to keep animals from removing it, or tie rope tightly around the lid’s handle to tie down the lid to trash can. We assure you, the Trash Knight is a much easier alternative! Opossums and raccoons sleep during the day and search for food at night, which leaves your garbage cans and compost bins susceptible to being invaded.
  • Pick up fruit and other food sources from your yard. Fruit trees attract these nocturnal rodents, and fallen fruit results in a yard filled with the creatures.

  • Move your pet’s food and water bowl indoors after sunset. Raccoons and opossums will eat and drink your pet’s food and water if it is left outside at night, which increases the risk of passing diseases to your pet.

  • Soak several rags in peppermint oil or ammonia and place the rags around your property. Opossurms and raccoons do not like the pungent odor of the peppermint oil or ammonia, and will stay away from the offending area. Replace the rags after rainfall to maintain the deterrent.

 

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