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Top tips for eco-friendly junk removal

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Moving house is one of the most stressful times in people’s lives. All the packing, organizing, planning, and then the big move day can result in more than a few shredded nerves. Here at 1800-GOT-JUNK? we work regularly with people who are packing up and moving. One of the most common requests we get is help me get rid of all this junk that’s piled up over the years! And by the way, what happens to it all when you haul it away?

Most junk removal companies, including ours, have a diversion plan that involves some level of donation and recycling – you should ask to avoid having all your former prized possessions dumped in the landfill. But if you’ve decided to go it alone and dispose of some of your unwanted household junk, here are some great tips to ensure you do your best for the environment:

Categorize items. Identify everything you will not be taking with you to your new home and make color-coded sticky notes to categorize them into the following: donate, recycle, rubbish.

Research community donation facilities. The majority of your unwanted household junk will probably go into this category. Consult an online engine or local directory looking for:

  • Charities and shops that will pick up or accept drop-off items that are in good condition. You may start with the following:Lifeline provides crisis support for suicide prevention. You can donate material goods like clothing, books, furniture, blankets and household items directly to Lifeline shops.Salvation Army accepts clothing and household goods to Salvos Stores or Family Store to raise money for vital community projects.St Vincent de Paul Society (Vinnies) also welcomes your donations to help people in need.Consider searching for “local charities accepting donations” or asking friends, family and co-workers for suggestions of people in their communities who may be in need.
  • Online classified pages where you can give your stuff away. Sites such as Ziilch all have “free” sections where you can offer up your items in good condition for free.
  • Opportunities to place your items on the kerb with a “Free” sign. Many cities will allow this, with some restrictions.
  • Local schools/churches that have new families or poor families in need of household items

Research community recycling facilities. Almost everything can be recycled. Items you decide not to donate or that are not in great condition can be recycled in whole or for their parts. These include: electronics, appliances, metals, wood, paper, cardboard, plastic, and cloth. Even your local landfill will have some provision for recycling these components. One resource that can answer all your questions is Recycling Near You.

Take action. Procrastinating is easy when you are planning a move because there are endless tasks needed to be done. But the junk is not going away, and you don’t want to bring it with you. That would take up precious space in your new home and cost you more in moving fees. Take Action! Gather the family or friends together and put a team effort into distributing your unwanted items to the appropriate facility. Plan a thank-you dinner or treats at the end of the day to reward your helpers and celebrate a job well done. And don’t forget to invite them to the new house warming party!


Justin King photoJustin King owns both the 1800-GOT-JUNK? Brisbane and 1800-GOT-JUNK? Melbourne franchises. He is an expert in rubbish removal in Australia. Justin prides himself on disposing of junk and rubbish responsibly (by way of charitable donations or recycling). Connect with Justin on Google+