As a green-leaning person, you know in your heart that the lumber and drywall and concrete and wires that are destined for the landfill really should be recycled. But it’s so complicated. Where do you take the concrete? And the old framing lumber? It’s too much to worry about, right?
Right. And that’s why a new subset of the trash hauling industry has arisen to pick up your construction debris, separate it at a yard, and then recycle it for you.
Pacoima-based Looney Bins is one such company, and it claims a 75% diversion rate (as in diverted from the landfill) for all demolition debris, as certified by the city of Los Angeles. And it claims a 90% diversion rate for concrete, asphalt, rocks and dirt.
Here’s how it works: When you get ready to gleefully take a sledgehammer to your old cabinets (or you hire people to do it for you), you’ll need a bin outside to toss the stuff in, as it’s not going to fit in your 55-gallon trash can.
So you call a company who brings out a "roll-off" bin of the size you need (that means it rolls off a truck). And you may as well call out a company whose goal is to recycle the materials rather than just dump them.
Here’s a little guide on the sizes:
Forty-yard containers are for large construction and clean-up projects, and are 20 feet long, 6 feet high and 8 feet wide. Twenty-yard containers are for smaller construction and clean-up projects and are 18 feet long, 3.5 feet high and 8 feet wide. Ten-yard containers are for dirt, concrete, asphalt and other inert materials and are 16 feet long, only 2 feet high, and 8 feet wide. The smallest, which look like a typical "dumpster," are 4 feet long, 4 feet high and 6 feet wide.
And if you’re hiring a contractor or subcontractor to do the demolition, you can insist that they use a hauler with a good recycling reputation. You’ll even get a report when it’s all done telling you how much of your debris got diverted.
If you know of other haulers with good recycling credentials, please post below.