How to Dispose of Old Insulation

One of the most cost effective improvements you can make to an old house during a renovation or flip is to replace or enhance the insulation. In some cases, this means the relatively simple task of adding blown insulation or another roll of sheet insulation to existing layers.

 

Other times it involves the challenging task of removing a lot of old insulation. And that means finding out how to correctly dispose of it in a safe and economical way.

Fiberglass

Perhaps the most common form of insulation used in the United States is fiberglass. Whether blown into walls and cavities, or laid in sheets in walls and crawl spaces, fiberglass is a lightweight and efficient insulator.

 

 

For that reason, many new insulation jobs involve simply adding to the existing fiberglass and leaving the old stuff where it is.

 

If you must replace good fiberglass insulation, perhaps to achieve a certain LEED rating; you can examine donating existing insulation to a cooperative or recycling center in your area.

 

However, time, heat, dust and humidity – or water and mud – can take its toll on fiberglass and render it useless. When this happens you will need to dispose of it.

 

Fortunately most communities accept fiberglass insulation in their dumps. You should always do a reality check, and communicate with your dumpster supplier to confirm. But you can usually cheaply and safely simply carry the fiberglass insulation to your rented dumpster.

Mineral Wool

A less commonly used form of insulation is mineral wool. Often used to combine soundproofing with heat and cold insulation, this product can also be blown or come in sheets.

 

There are various types of mineral wool, made with different ingredients. There is no general advice about this. It is your responsibility to determine whether it complies with your community’s waste disposal requirements.

 

The experts who rent you your dumpster can help with this identification and in making sure you are following community guidelines.

Vermiculite

A final commonly used form of insulation in old homes is vermiculite. This is a most problematic form of insulation because it often includes the hazardous material asbestos. In the case that your vermiculite has asbestos, you should proceed with caution. Your project might involve trapping the asbestos in place and working around it.

 

If you have expert help who confirms no asbestos content, again check your community’s waste disposal guidelines to determine whether you can safely rent a dumpster and fill it with your old insulation.

Image created by author on Dall*E

This Trash Does NOT Belong in Your Dumpster

When you rent a dumpster for a project, there is always the temptation to fill it with all the waste you have lying around. However, there are restrictions on what you can put in your dumpster. This is because landfills need to maintain standards for what might leak into groundwater, or what might cause problems – like fires and collapses – at the landfill itself.

Here is a short guide to what one large southwest Ohio waste landfill company does not allow dumped in their landfill.

As always, check with the company you rent your dumpster from, and check with your local landfill for specific regulations and expectations. Always follow the law. Failure to do so can lead to major fines and loss of permits or worse.

Some of the restrictions are obvious. Others will be easily violated if you don’t pay careful attention during your project.

Here’s what one major landfill prohibits

The first check of the list reveals a few anticipated items.

As you’d expect, you are not to throw away hazardous items including items that are flammable, explosive, toxic, or corrosive. Every community has different rules for dispensing of these hazardous materials. These are matters of community safety and should be followed.

Also expected, landfills do not permit dumping radioactive waste. If your waste is radioactive, renting a dumpster is probably not the right path for you!

Final expected banned items are batteries, because they are corrosive and toxic, and medical or other biohazard waste.

The other items on the list might not be as expected, and merit a closer look.

Check closely before dumping to see if tires can be included. At this landfill they cannot. Fluorescent lamps and ballasts are also forbidden items that are easy to miss, especially when doing a demo of factory or office space. These locations often make extensive use of fluorescent bulbs and ballasts. Those materials should be set aside and discarded in accordance with local regulations. If you are doing a home demolition, especially in a garage, it might be tempting to throw items from the shelves into the dumpster without a second thought. However, these can include some of the forbidden items: pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. These items are hazardous alone, and worse, they can combine with other chemicals to become toxic or explosive. Again, check local restrictions before tossing them in your dumpster.

 

Rent a Dumpster for Your Massive 4th of July Party

You’ve rented the tents. You’ve ordered the ice cream. You’ve designated who will bring the ice, and who will bring firewood.

You have planned a birthday party for America that the country, and certainly your friends and family, will not soon forget.

You’re going to make a mess, and you don’t want to make dozens of extra trips hauling full garbage bags to the curb. Or worse, you don’t want all that mess sitting in your garage or back yard for days until garbage pickup day – a day that has been delayed because of the holiday.

You should rent a dumpster.

Why a dumpster is a better option

Sure, you could just buy a bunch of trash bags. After all, you will have help cleaning up. Aunts and uncles, friends and neighbors will all be willing to take a bag or two and walk around the area.

But then what?

Where will you put them? This is not ordinary trash.

After all, most of what made it a fabulous, unforgettable blowout party is also what will bring raccoons and cats, flies and bees, and all sorts of other critters to the pile of trash.

You will want to put those bags in a dumpster.

Designed to save you time and energy in just this sort of situation, a dumpster will also save you headaches and even greater mess.

If you tried to shove all those bags into your trash cans, you would run out of trash cans. Additionally, a lot of communities have limits on how much trash they will pick up at one location on trash day.

Worse yet, even if you could leave all those bags piled up on the curb, one night of neighborhood critters could create a massive mess as the critters attempt to open, eat, and drag those bags back home to their young ones. It could end up looking like a bomb went off, even after your efforts to clean everything up.

In this case, while renting a dumpster might incur a little extra expense, it more than makes up for it in making a more enjoyable party, and easier clean-up and a smaller trash hangover.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska: https://www.pexels.com/photo/waving-flag-of-united-states-of-america-4386426/

 

 

Get a Bigger Dumpster Than You Think You Need, Here’s Why

Sure, a dumpster rental place is going to tell you to get a bigger dumpster than you think they need. Of course they are, right? It’s called an upsell, and every company does it.

Except there’s more to it than simply upselling.

Getting a bigger dumpster than you initially think you need is good planning advice for multiple reasons. The bottom line is, in most cases it will ultimately save you time and money. Here’s a list of reasons, some related to each other, and overlapping, but each unique.

Your estimation skills are strong

Years of experience have taught you that you have a strong sense of spatial reasoning. You can see how things fit together. You have planned it all out and this will  fit perfectly in the dumpster you have picked out.

Here’s the problem. The act of tearing things out, breaking them down, and throwing them in the dumpster creates space. It creates jagged edges and ill-fitting corners that don’t settle.

That means your project has air pockets in it.

If you’ve planned for that, great. However, if you imagined a compact dumpster neatly packed tight with your rubbish, like a truck on moving day, that is not what you are getting.

Consider rounding up to the next biggest size to allow for the spaces you can’t fill.

You’re a good neighbor

Over the years, or even the past few weeks, you have developed a great relationship with at least a couple of your neighbors. You’re a good person, and you understand the value of getting along with the people who live closest to you, and can keep an eye on things when you’re not around.

So you might offer to let them throw a few things in your dumpster. Or they might assume, because you are so terrific and welcoming, that there is an open invitation to throw their own stuff in there.

That means you are going to have more in there than you ever planned. Maybe a lot more.

You want to do this once

You are a planner, and this event is planned. One trip in, one trip out. You know you have saved yourself a lot of time and energy.

But with space taken up by air, neighbors contributing, and the potential of someone adding another project around the house, you don’t want to do this again.

And you definitely don’t want to stack bags of debris in the garage to bring out on trash day.

Do it once. Account for these factors when choosing the size of your next dumpster rental.

Photo by Markus Spiske: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-trash-bin-with-full-of-trash-3806764/

 

 

Save Dumpster Space by Donating to Re-Use Stores

Reclaimed. Re-used. Recycled. Whatever term you want to use, there is a thriving business in giving almost everything one more shot at life.

Most communities have at least one store where lightly used cabinetry, furniture, doors, lumber, and, well, everything is bought and sold. Owners upgrading or tearing down can find one last market. Beginning or thrifty owners find useful fixtures or projects.

And everyone wins.

Save dumpster space – and make money – by reselling

 

For the conscientious homeowner or builder, this thriving middle man market means additional savings in multiple ways.

First, every square foot of space saved in the rental dumpster means a small rental or fewer trips to the dump.

Second, some of these shops will pay a modest fee for the items, or they may even arrange to come pick it up for you. This last option can save labor and time – all of which is favorable to the bottom line.

Finally, there is a feeling of satisfaction that comes from knowing you not only saved space at the dump, but you helped out an ambitious homeowner. Your overall footprint, carbon and otherwise, is smaller.

Use it to your advantage

Of course, you don’t have to only be a donor – although it is a smart way to reduce your workload and impact your environment and community.

You could be a patron. When you are embarking on your next project, stop by the local re-purposing store to see if maybe they have something you could use. Is there a door here that fits your building but saves you buying new? You can get it for a fraction of the cost. Is there a mirror that will work over the new sink to give a room the rustic feel you need?

With a little bit of imagination, time, and the investment of some elbow grease, a re-use store can help every part of your next building project be a little better.

Old lumber can be re-used with dramatic effect.

Photo by Dmitry Demidov: https://www.pexels.com/photo/weathered-wooden-surface-with-scratches-on-sunny-day-3800468/

Rent a Dumpster for Your Next Big Home Project

HG TV has filled you with great new ideas. You have saved and planned. And now it is time to create your dream renovation. Whether it is your bedroom, dinising room, kitchen, basement, or garage, you have big ideas.

Things are going to change.

But you will need to rent a dumpster.

Order too small, and you will have more of the same problems you were trying to avoid in the first place: piles of bags at the curb, complaining neighbors, and an unsightly front lawn. Go too big and you might overpay and use up some of your precious budget unnecessarily, leaving you less able to fill your new space with needed items, or having to cut corners elsewhere.

Here are the steps you must take in order to make sure you get the right dumpster for your project.

Figure out your dumpster size needs

This is often the most challenging part of ordering a dumpster: looking at the project and anticipating how big of a dumpster you will need to hold it all.

First, start with what you can see. Everything will take up more space once you have torn it apart, crumbled it up, and piled it loosely into a dumpster. The mess generally expands the more times you move it.

So is some of the furniture going out? Wallpaper? Structural materials? Will that include lathe? Concrete? Some soil? Objects unearthed during the cleaning phase?

But also remember that you will be throwing out packaging and waste from your new items too. Will you be scraping and painting? Don’t forget that there will be blades, brushes and more going in. The packing material for new fixtures often retains a lot of its original size and shape.

Imagine these items loosely jumbled together. That’s just about the size you need.

Figure out your dumpster schedule

Of course, there is a second factor in your rental: how long will you need it? It makes sense to have a dumpster onsite for the entire length of your project. Last minute supply arrivals will generate trash just like the first items did, and you don’t want to be caught off-guard, or violate your HOA or anger your neighbors.

Plus you don’t want to have to do the work twice.

You will need the dumpster on site for the first day of tear down, or else you will spend valuable time and energy moving your debris twice.

With these two factors in hand, contact Big Daddy Dumpsters at (937) 915-3984. Our friendly and experienced staff will help make sure your project goes as smoothly as possible.

Photo by Emmet

 

Pick the Right Sized Trash Bag for the Job

There are a mind-boggling number of different garbage bags on shelves today. Between various brands, bag types, applications, material, and sizes, one could be forgiven for simply grabbing a box and running to the next aisle hoping for the best.

There are more than a dozen different sizes of trash receptacles in homes. The most common types have many brands competing for their trash bag business. Here’s a guide to the types of cans you have at home, and which size trash bag fit them the best.

First, you need to know that the bags are measured in gallons, which can cause confusion. It helps if you imagine liquid poured into the bag, outside of the container, filling it completely. In reality, the bags don’t hold that much, and often would not stand up to holding that amount of liquid.

4 gallon trash bag

These small boutique trash cans are the workhouse of the home. Found in nearly every room, some people opt to not put any bags in them at all. However, a small 4-gallon bag will do nicely. It will keep your can clean and leave plenty of room to tie the bag shut before putting it out to the curb in your larger trash bin.

8 gallon trash bag

Commonly referred to as the kitchen trash bag, the 8-10 gallon bag can be found in every home. Big enough to hold food and refuse from a couple of days of cooking, it is also small enough for anyone to carry out to the trash bin – even your youngest helpers. And it fits comfortably under most kitchen sinks.

12-15 gallon trash bag

This work room or garage trash bag is perfect for hearty use. It can hold a lot of trash from several projects, or one big one. Watch out, though. When full, this bag can be a load to carry!

20 gallon trash bags and larger

Designed for heavier outdoor or industrial use, bags are made to fit receptacles of nearly every size. These can hold bags within a bag, and are often used as liners rather than trash bags. That is, they are used to keep the bin clean while other smaller trash bags are placed inside then dumped into garbage trucks or dumpsters.

Remember: bagging your garbage is a good choice for keeping your trash bins clean. Check with your community guidelines about which kinds of garbage bags are acceptable at your waste site.

Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas

You need these IKEA organizers

When you are spring cleaning, it is tempting to make two common mistakes. The first is to throw everything out. The second is to keep everything.

Whichever of those two mistakes you tend make, this article is perfect for you. A quick trip to IKEA or another organizer store can get you a few handy tools that help your clutter feel less cluttered, so it doesn’t all have to be thrown away, but it also doesn’t make a mess in your home as you clean and reorganize this spring.

Hanging closet dividers

The inexpensive STUK dividers or SKUBB closet organizer make attractive and handy storage for whatever you have too much of. Store t-shirts, shoes, books, or other items vertically. Now instead of sorting through piles, you can quickly locate whatever you were looking for.

Simpler and less expensive than individual shelves, these hanging cloth organizers offer you flexibility and convenience. Better yet, they can simply affix to existing hangar poles in any closet in your home.

Cabinet of drawers

Small drawers are not just for the office anymore. There are dozens of applications for a small chest of drawers, and every homeowner or hobbyist can quickly organize a room and tame a troublesome corner of the house.

The Helmer drawers are on casters, meaning they can be easily moved around for multiple uses. The similar Alex drawers have less hardware and offer a clean, modern look.

With tall, short, and stackable options, there are lots of stylish options for your next room upgrade.

Open shelves

Available in a wide range of heights, widths, and shelf sizes, open shelves are a can’t-miss addition to your room upgrade. Whether you’ve seen them featured in Zoom rooms in business meetings during the pandemic, or in comfortable home decor open shelves are unattractive and useful addition in every room of the house.

In the bedroom, open shelves can hold books sweaters trophies or other items that are comfortable on full display. In the living room, well-chosen accent pieces on open shelves can  create a striking visual showpiece that is the envy of your neighbors. In the TV room the shelves can hold video game components, speakers, memorabilia, and more.

Different styles come in various sizes and can be paired for wider uses, but generally are not stackable. This popular Flysta shelf stands just over 4’ tall and is attractive as a standalone piece.

Photo by Dan Azzopardi on Unsplash

Spring Cleaning Tips to Keep Your Family Safe and Healthy

When spring arrives, we all face an irresistible urge to throw the windows open, turn the music up, and clean out our homes.

This spring, you can do a deeper clean than normal to make sure that you start the season with a safe, healthy, and virus-free home. Follow these tips to get unusual and hard-to-clean locations spotless this spring.

Deep clean behind the refrigerator

One often-neglected spot in every house is behind the refrigerator. The combination of being hard to reach is combined with natural convection that comes from coils heating and cooling, and in many cases fans that circulate air around the appliance.

This means lots of dust. Add that to the grease naturally found where you do your cooking, and you’ve got a sticky dirty mess.

Use a mix of water and an abundant supply of grease cutting cleaner – including dish soap – to get this spot looking like the day you moved in.

Fight mold in your dehumidifier

As the days heat up, homeowners pull the dehumidifier out of storage to help their basements stay cool and to delay air conditioner season. But what happened inside the dehumidifier during the long off-season? Was it put away completely dry, or did mold possibly grow in the coils?

One way to fight mold is to create a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. Spray or wipe that onto the surface of your coils and every place that water goes during regular operation of the dehumidifier. Then wait several hours for it to dry. Now you can start your season off confident that you aren’t spreading mold spores throughout your house.

You can also use an ultraviolet light to fight mold in your dehumidifier.

Wipe down your door knobs

We were all relieved when we learned that COVID did not spread easily on surfaces but was instead spread in the air between people. However, we ended an important practice that was helping keep us safe from lots of germs: wiping door handles.

Every day we touch the handles of our doors – some more than others – at various times. Sometimes our hands are clean. And sometimes they are not.

It’s impossible to know exactly what viruses, germs, or other contaminants get on our door knobs during this time.

The best solution is to periodically wipe them down with warm soapy water or a mild bleach solution.

Spring is a great time to clean parts of your house you have neglected all winter long.

Photo by Arno Smit on Unsplash

What is That Spill in My Garage?

When it gets to be time to clean out your garage, and you have worked all day to get it cleaned out, you are likely to see something you haven’t seen in a long time: your garage floor.

And there you are likely to find a wide variety of spills and stains.

Here is a handy guide to the kinds of stains you might find, and how you should go about cleaning them up.

Gasoline

A common spill in the garage is gasoline. This kind of spill happens most often if you use a gas powered mower or trimmer.  These often require that you mix gas and oil in a separate container and then fill the mower or trimmer through a spout. Those spouts are prone to leak.

You will likely recognize the smell of gasoline stain. Sop up any excess fluid with a cloth or rag, then dispose of that in the trash after allowing the cloth to sit in a breeze to allow gasoline to evaporate. This will keep it from becoming a fire threat in your trash can. The remaining stain can be treated with kitty litter or sawdust which will help draw the remaining liquid out.

Oil

Another common garage spill is oil. This can happen the same way the gasoline spills happen, because many two-stroke engines require a mix of gasoline and oil, so these spills often happen together. Additionally, it can happen if you change your oil in your garage. It is not unusual for a little oil to get on the floor from a drip, or perhaps even a spill if you accidentally knock something over.

As with gas, you should sop up excess or standing fluid with a cloth, kitty litter, or sawdust. After allowing it to air out until the odor diminishes, you can then sweep it up into a trash bag and throw it away.

Windshield wiper fluid

A third, most common spill in a garage is windshield wiper fluid. This is frequently colorless, but might have a sweet odor, if you’re adventurous enough to have a sniff.

Cleanup is very straightforward, just sop up the excess with a rag or towel. Luckily this poses no threat in your trash.

If you are routinely finding these stains under your car, and you note that the spill returns after you have cleaned it up, the problem isn’t your garage, it’s your car. Take it to your mechanic to make sure that the leak can be fixed and it quits messing up the garage you worked so hard to clean!

Driveway stains. Photo by Jon Moore on Unsplash

 

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