Sunday, 8 December 2013

Striking The Right Note

Running 1-800-Get-Rid-Of-It does give Rick Crawford, owner and president, opportunities to benefit the community in unusual ways. he manages to recycle an impressive 60% of the items his crews pick up, so that striking piece of furniture at your neighbour's may have a storied past. Many readers/clients are also familiar with Rick's Clean Up the Humber event, but recently he had more unique task. A local radio station, Jazz FM, had collected a lot of musical instruments after an appeal to their listeners. Rick picked them up and then delivered them to the music department at Regent Park Public School.

Like many other schools, programs and funds had been slashed, so Rick became a veritable Santa Claus, complete with Rid-Of-Its red outfit!

The arrival of Rid-Of-Its big red truck caused quite a stir. The instruments were then carted to the auditorium and carefully unpacked. Many students with musical abilities will appreciate some new opportunities from these underused treasures.

Ours is a throw-away society as our over-flowing landfills can attest to. It becomes essential to be creative about possessions no longer needed. The old axiom, one man's trash, etc. still rings true today. If you are living with clutter, paring down will simplify your life and perhaps enrich someone else's. Taking a picture of an old treasure will preserve the memory, making it easier to part with. You can be a secret Santa many times over!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Halloween Costumes

 D'Arcy Norman / Canada
By: Vicki Alexopoulos

As we step into the month of October, there are two things on everyones mind, regardless of your age: pumpkin spiced everything and Halloween.

Every year there are thousands of costumes that are bought at high end Halloween stores, and while some people might feel alright spending upwards of 50$ towards a costume, I for one do not. So what is a person suppose to do to find a great costume idea, at a great price? Here are some options:

  • Ask a friend, a coworker, or family members. Usually people store old Halloween costumes in the basement, and never want to reuse it, so there is ample opportunity to snag a great costume and jazz it up in your own way!
  • Hit up your local thrift shops. They will usually have a section of affordable costumes during the month of October (not to mention a huge variety of clothes to use to make your own costumes!)
  • Look around your house at old clothes or new clothes that you can use to DIY!
  • The dollarstore has tuns of Halloween goodies (including candy, makeup and costumes) that are a great option for a great price
Do you have any other places you would go for an affordable Halloween costume? Let us know!

Hope all you Junk Lovers have a spook-tacular Halloween!

Humber River Clean up was a HUGE SUCCESS!

Gary J. Wood / Toronto / Ontario
Our third annual Humber River Clean up was a massive success. Thanks to all our 30 volunteers who helped us clear rubbish, chemical containers, dead animals and other strange items (like a message in a bottle!) from the river. All in all, we pulled out two tonnes of solid waste, and the Humber River is one step closer to being back to its natural beauty.

We'd like to send a big thank you to our corporate sponsor The Complete Paddler for helping us out as well. We hope that next year we will have even more corporate sponsors, volunteers, and that the government of Ontario will consider offering support!

Thanks again Junk Lovers!

The 1-800-Rid-Of-It Team

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Help Us Clean Up The Humber River!

Hello Junk Lovers!

Please join us for our third Humber River Clean up event on September 11 2013. From 8:30AM-1:30PM we'll be pulling out garbage from the river; in previous years we've found rusted shopping carts, garbage cans, bottles, cans and even a provincial history plaque which marks a trading post founded by Jean Baptiste Roussaeux (1758-1812)!

This event was created by President Rick Crawford, who lives in the Bloor West village and is also an avid kayaker. He decided to take action when seeing all the rubbish and junk while paddling through the area.

"Pollution is not just impacting the delicate Humber River ecosystem, but is literally burying our history,” said Crawford. “As a local kayaker I can’t believe the things that have ended up in the Humber River and around the shoreline. It’s a beautiful part of the city, but it really needed someone to step in and clean it up.

We have the Complete Paddler  assisting us with water-based recovery of junk from the river, and we would love to have more individuals, small businesses or corporations to assist us as well! Volunteers are both needed and welcome and will meet in the parking lot, just south of Petro Canada gas station just North of the Queensway and off of South Kingsway at 8:30AM!

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Make Your Own Recycled Paper

By: Vicki Alexopoulos

How often would you say you waste paper? If you look into your recycling bin, or perhaps even your garbage, you would be surprised at how much wasted paper you throw out on average. From printing on the wrong side of the sheet, to tossing away old notes, the average office generates around 73kgs of waste each year, 80% of which is recyclable. To make newspapers alone, about 40, 000 trees are cut down each day.

An easy and fun way of getting either you or your family involved in saving trees and remembering to recycle paper is by actually making your own paper. The following are the steps you can take to make your old notes into beautiful hand made paper, perfect for gifts, notebooks or anything of your choosing!

Make Your Own Recycled Paper:

You will need:
- Scrap pieces of paper
- A small strainer
- A blender
- A plastic container
- Old news papers
- Optional: A rolling pin


Fill the blender about 2/3 of the way full with the scrap pieces of paper and fill the rest with water. Blend until you reach a creamy consistency and it looks pulp like. Pour contents of the blender into a plastic container, and continue to blend paper until you have your desired amount. Then take the strainer, scoop some pulp, and wait for the water to drain out. Then place on a hard surface, pat down with old news papers to absorb the remaining water, and roll out with a rolling pin (keep the news paper on top, and roll on the news paper to avoid unwanted messes). Finally, put out into a warm sunny place, preferably outside and wait to dry.

*Tip: For coloured paper, add some drops of food colouring to the pulp mixture.

Volia! Enjoy junk lovers.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Get Organized

By: Vicki Alexopoulos

If you are lucky like me, you are able to access your computer in your bedroom, kitchen table or an otherwise cozy location, where you are free to stretch out and sprawl all over your own space. Unfortunately, like my sister who is working at the Bank of Montreal this summer, the majority of jobs in Toronto are office jobs, requiring long hours of sitting at a desk, using your computer, and spreading out as much as you can over a small desk.

If you are anything like my sister, you hate clutter. But what can you do with such a small space? Here are some tips to keep your desk free of junk:
  • Make sure you have a trash can near or under your desk, and become aware of the recycling bins close to your area. A very simple addition like this will help you throw out unwanted or used paper and other junk that may be clouding up your desk space
  • Prioritize. Take everything off your desk, and begin to put on the desk your most important items, i.e. computer, mouse, keyboard, clock, pencils and highlighters etc. Place these items in easy reach 
  • Store items that you do not commonly use in a file cabinet or in lower drawers, and if you are a labeler, go ahead and label so you know which drawer holds what
  • Invest in a paper organizerIkea has good, sturdy metal ones in cool colours like pink, white and silver, that add height to your desk while organizing loose papers 
  • If you have a drawer, kitchen cutlery plastic organizers can be your best friend. They're inexpensive, you can usually find them around your house, and they are perfect for storing loose items like pencils, erasers and useful junk of that sort
  • Make room for inspirational items, be it a picture frame, a small jar with flowers, or an interesting desk calender - not only does this lighten your mood, but it gives your newly organized desk a more personal feel
  • Once a week, go through all your junk that you have accumulated and throw out the stuff you know you will not need. Place the other items in a "maybe" pile, and after a month if you have not used anything in that pile, toss that junk out!
Feel free to comment any more tips on Desk Organization! I'd love to hear from you. Anyways, til next time Junk Lovers!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Update: Toronto Flood

Photo by Vanessa Alexopoulos
By Vicki Alexopoulos

Last week Toronto got hit with record breaking rainfalls and power outages  complete with destroyed basements, furniture and in some cases entire homes. Homeowners around Toronto were all asking the same questions; how do we prevent this from happening again, what do we do if it happens again, and who should we call to help us with all this junk? Luckily, I have some answers.

Preventative measures for future floods should be taken by Torontonians now that we have felt the wrath of Mother Nature. This includes:
  • Sealing cracks in windows, foundations and floors
  • Increasing greenery around your house to absorb rainwater
  • Regular checks and maintenance of weeping tile systems
  • Avoiding carpeting and storing valuables in the basement if possible
  • Make sure that the plumbing is in good condition
  • Research what types of flooding your insurance does and does not cover
If a flood was to reoccur in your home, these steps are helpful to keep in mind:
  • Call 311 (City staff will come and inspect the problem, available 24-hours a day)
  • Be safe while cleaning up your flooded area 
    • watch for sewage
    • be mindful of electical accidents
    • dress appropriately
    • dry and ventilate areas with de-humidifiers and/or fans
    • remove all drywall/insulation that has come into contact with sewage or water
On Saturday, the City provided a special collection to pick up the waste that came from the flooding. However, driving through Etobicoke earlier today, I could not help but notice piles of garbage, old mattresses, carpets, dressers and other ruined things on the curb, either because of a delay in getting these items outside or being unaware of this special garbage collection. Not to mention the Green Bin collection was not part of this collection service, leaving people with spoiled food unfortunately from their warmed up freezers/fridges.

Thankfully, you know who to call for efficient and effective Junk Removal services. Feel free to call us up (1800-RID-OF-IT) and we will gladly talk with you about your options and our services.

Til next time, Junk Lovers, and stay dry!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Thrift Shopping: Turning "Trash" into "Treasure"

By Vicki Alexopoulos

Toronto is a booming mecca of fashion and style, ranging from small, high-end boutique shops to big name brands fighting to secure shops all across the city. On our streets, personal style is diverse, and paints our city like moving street art. One characteristic of many of these Torontonian fashionistas is their ability to thrift shop; i.e., look between the boutiques and name brand stores, and find the second hand stores/venders that normally do not get a second glance. Not only do thrift shoppers find the best deals on trendy items, but they add personality and depth to their wardrobes in innovative and exciting ways.

Perhaps made famous in the past few months from the music duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis in their single "Thrift Shop", thrift shopping has become more popular due to its incorporation into mainstream fashion society. For all you first-time thrift shoppers who cringe at the idea, let me be clear: it can be scary, overwhelming and time consuming, but it is so worth it, and there's so much more than mere junk in the offing. Finding statement necklaces that normally would break the bank, making jean shorts out of 5 dollar high-wasted jeans, snagging a chic wide brimmed hat, or even finding a neon orange desk perfect for that empty space in your front hallway, thrift shops (and yes, this includes garage sales!) are a shopacholic-with-a-tight-budget's dream.

Here are some important tips for first-time thrift shoppers:

1. Be open to fixer-uppers. These pieces have been worn before, and that may mean they need a little TLC. It's not junk! Careful cleaning, polishing and stitching may be the bridge between you and a perfectly original new piece!
2. Be prepared to spend some time in the store. Thrift shopping usually requires shifting through lots of stuff, so bring a friend to catch up with and have fun.
3. Look for insect damage (holes), odor, stains, loose threads or tears, and bring up any concerns to the store clerks or seller.
4. Know your budget, and the store. Some "vintage" shops will charge a small fortune for their items because they are "unique", and could be considered a "collectible". On the other hand, thrift shops and garage sales differ because their items have not come from any notable eras/brands/owners etc.
5. Research where to shop. Some may mix a lot of garbage in with the gems, but there are many great stores in Toronto just waiting to be found!

Not only does thrift shopping save you money, but it recycles clothing that would have normally filled garbage sites, or laid dusty in the depths of someone else's basement. At the end of the day, you have done your own "dirty" work, and turned someone else's trash into your new treasure!

Enjoy, Junk Lovers!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Why Risk Property Damage during a Junk Removal?

Does it matter who picks up your junk? After all, it's only junk, right? That's true, but
everything else AROUND your junk is valuable. 1-800- Rid-Of-It owner Rick Crawford
explains how his teams prevent property damage during your junk removal appointment.

Junk Tip:Knowing Cost Per Cubic Yards can Save You Money

Most junk removal companies will quote you a price based on volume i.e. 1/4 load, 1/2 load etc.
But not all junk removal companies use the same sized trucks. 1-800-Rid-Of-It owner explains
the importance of cost per cubic yard. Learn even more here

Custom solutions for Office & Property Mangers

We know that every office and property manager has unique needs, so we create
custom solutions to respond accordingly. Watch owner Rick Crawford explain how.
Learn more about custom solutions for both office managers and property managers.

1-800-Rid-Of-It - Coming Soon to a Doctor's Near You!

Our new promotional video will be shown at all Appletree Medical Centres
throughout Toronto.Have a look and tell us what you think.  

Humber River Cleanup

Every spring we spearhead a campaign to clean up the Humber River. Local residents
and businesses donate time and resources, and everyone has fun doing something good
for the community and helping to keep Toronto clean and green. Learn more

Do You Know Where Your Junk Goes?

Does it really matter who picks up your junk?
It does if you care about the environment. Here's why.

Disposal Bins vs. Pickups

Is renting a disposal bin better than a full service junk removal?
Sometimes yes, but usually no. Here's why.

Welcome to Trash Talk

Stay tuned for lots of information about junk and junk removal