Monday, 8 December 2014

Let Us Find A New Home For Some Of Your Stuff At The Furniture Bank

We are proud to support organizations like Furniture Bank. They have been providing a valuable service to people in need and we encourage you to think of others less fortunate, especially at this time of the year. 

For those who are not familiar with Furniture Bank, we thought it would be worthwhile to share their story and needs in their own words.

When did the Furniture Bank get started and what inspired it?

Furniture Bank was brought to life by our Founder, Sister Anne Scheck. Here's what inspired her in her own words: "I received word through a social agency that there was a lady who spoke no English who was basically, desperate for help. When I entered the house, I saw four kids–all under the age of five–sitting around a little 12″ TV. I did a basic inventory of what she had in the kitchen: two plates, two forks, two tiny pots. I knew I couldn’t cook myself dinner with what she had, let alone cook dinner for these four children. It was that moment that I said to myself that this shouldn’t be happening in the city of Toronto." You can read more about Sister Anne here

Who are the people that Furniture Bank serves?

Our clients include the formerly homeless, women and children escaping abusive situations, and newcomers to Canada & refugees. We work with a roster of 70+ shelters and social service agencies that refer clients to Furniture Bank to receive furniture. Here are some of the high level numbers on our impact in the community. 

Are there are any stories of individuals that you have helped that stand out?

Watch and read Martin Train's story hereHe now volunteers his time sitting on the Board of Directors at a nonprofit housing organization.

Where are your greatest needs now, especially given the holidays being so close?

In general, we are preparing to expand our whole organization in 2015 to serve even more clients. In order to do so we know we have to raise more capital from individual and corporate donors, expand our pickup service in order to get more furniture donations, and streamline all aspects of our organization by utilizing new technologies. 

Beyond furniture donations, how else can people help?

By contributing to our annual appeal hereBy volunteering their time with us. They can learn more about volunteering here.

If you would like us to take anything away and you are considering donating some of it to Furniture Bank then please let us know. We'd be happy to get it to them. 

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Pre-Holiday Cleanup Tips

With the higher temperatures that have returned, it is the perfect time to do some last minute outdoor cleanup. Here are some actions you can consider taking before the next cold snap.

If you have Christmas lights and decorations in the garage then see what needs to be disposed of, repaired, or replaced as you get organized.

If you have leaves or branches on the ground then you may want to get them out of your yard or from under or around your deck etc before they are covered in snow and you have to wait to deal with it in the spring. 

If you have dead branches on trees in precarious positions (i.e. over wires or roofs) then you may want to cut them down or have them taken down by a professional arborist to avoid them coming down if Toronto gets another ice storm.

This could be your last chance to redeem yourself if you promised someone to cleanup the garage, backyard, or basement. Make the most of the time remaining and before the busy holiday season is upon us.

While you are in cleanup mode, you should keep up the momentum and see what kind of cleanup and space-making you can do inside in preparation for visiting family and friends as well as all of the gifts that will be coming in over the holiday season.

As part of your cleanup efforts, please give some thought to those less fortunate this holiday season and consider donating time, money, gifts, or furniture. You will be making a difference in people’s lives and you will feel better for it.

If you have any furniture that you would like to donate, we know our friends at The Furniture Bank would love to find a new home for it with people who could use it.

If you need our help then we are just a phone call, an email, or a tweet away!

photo credit: Mastery of Maps via photopin cc

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The Top 5 Things You Should Know About Junk Removal

To some, junk is junk but there is more to it than that. While one persons trash might be another persons treasure, everything has to be examined to ensure that it gets handled properly. There are a number of things you should consider when faced with a junk removal situation.

1. What do you need removed and how urgently do you need it removed?

For example, if you are selling your house and need to tidy or stage it before people start viewing it then you may need things removed quickly. If you are doing spring or fall cleanup then you may not have the same kind of time constraints and elect to remove junk at your convenience.

2. What kind of junk do you need removed (quantity, hazardous material, heavy, awkward and/or requiring a lot of space)?

Sometimes you have junk that is big and awkward but not necessarily heavy. Sometimes you have junk left over from renovations or construction that can be heavy and/or somewhat hazardous with sharp edges or contain nails. If you have appliances or machinery that have reached the end of their use then perhaps it is time for them to go. You might accumulate junk if you are renovating your office and/or moving to a new one (e.g. old cubicles and out of date office equipment).

Junk such as paint, chemicals, batteries, petroleum materials, medical/biohazardous waste, or asbestos may require special equipment and certain expertise which may mean calling a firm or firms that specialize in those types of materials.

3. Who are you going to call - two guys and a truck that drove through your neighbourhood or someone more reputable?

Dont go with the person who just drove by or whose name and number on the truck look slapped on and temporary. Take some time and investigate. Do some research online. Ask friends, family, and colleagues who have used them in the past and what their experiences were like.

4.  Do you know where to go to find reputable junk removers?

See how long they have been in business. Google them! You never know what you will find. Maybe they have been praised or criticized online and Googling them will help you find that out. Check out review sites to hear directly from customers. See if their site includes testimonials and, if so, check them out.

5.  Do you know what kind of protection you have as a consumer?

Checkout their website. See what they say about their services and what kind of guarantee they offer. Call with questions and dont commit til you feel comfortable. Asking questions when the company is already at your location creates unnecessary pressure. Call ahead and go through the process over the phone and confirm expectations in advance. Doing some online research doesnt hurt either. Being an informed consumer helps you ask the right questions and companies appreciate dealing with well-informed customers. It makes it much smoother for everyone involved.

photo credit: Lawrence Whittemore via photopin cc

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Nuit Blanche Recap

It was another fun year at Scotiabank's Nuit Blanche. This was our second year at the event for the City of Toronto along with sponsorship partner organizations such as Tourism Toronto and Subaru and our valued partner, Spinnaker Recycling. We appreciate their support.

The event was projected to see over 1,000,000 people visiting over 120 projects. According to the city, last year's event had an economic impact of $39.5M.

We spent 24 hours moving about cleaning up, sweeping the streets, emptying the trash cans, and disposing of waste, all in an effort to ensure a positive experience.

There were so many interesting sites and exhibits but the coolest display we saw was a video-based art installation projected on a large wall that made it look like a wrecking ball was coming right through the wall. (Source)

The event has been gaining momentum over the years and people seemed to be fired up this year as well. Just by looking at the amount of people in the streets at crazy times of the night and enjoying the unique art installations, there was definitely a fair amount of partying going on.

One unique things this year was the use of Fort York as a venue. It really gave the event a different feel. To see one of the the oldest founding areas of the city transformed into an art gallery full of some of the most modern and fresh ideas was a great back drop for sure. One of they key exhibits was Between Doors.

Another intriguing thing about Nuit Blanche is that every year it has a different feel and vibe to it. You can never assume the next year will be anything like previous years so you always have to come with an open mind and the expectation that you will be wowed. That was certainly the case this year. 

Here is a great recap video from Ryerson Student Life

Checkout the photo finalists from blogTO's photo contest for the event. Awesome! (Source)

If you attended this year, we would love to hear about what you saw, what caught your interest, and what left you scratching your head. Was this year better than past years? Any tips to get more out of the event in future years? Suggestions welcome!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Humber River 2014 Cleanup Recap

It was another great year for us, our partners, and volunteers. We want to send out a big THANK YOU to our the forty volunteers who joined us to help cleanup the Humber River. A big shoutout of thanks for our partners, Contiki Holidays, the Complete Paddler, TreadRight Foundation, and Tiered Response.

The efforts of everyone resulted in the collection and removal of 2.4 tonnes of junk. How Awesome is that? Some of the junk may have come from flooding but other junk, sadly, was  simply disposed of in the river and surrounding area. We cleaned up for the better part of a day but it shouldn’t stop there. We all should be proud of the amount of junk we removed but there is still more work to be done and more help and support required to protect the Humber River year round. 

We helped raise awareness regarding the Humber River’s junk situation and we are grateful for the efforts everyone put forth to get the word out and for the additional coverage we received from CTV News and Anwar Knight over the course of the day.

Some of the things that we collected ranged from the interesting to the strange/weird such as an old freezer, what appeared to be a severed head but was, in fact, just a wig, and a toboggan.

It was great to see so many people doing well by doing good. Lots of smiles.

You can count on us to be back next year and we hope we can count on you to join us. In the meantime, we will continue to raise awareness about the Humber River’s junk problem and ask that you continue to help spread the word.


Rick and the 1800 Rid-of-It Team

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Join the Cleanup and Maybe Uncover History

On September 15th, 2014 we will be leading our fourth Humber River clean-up event to remove debris. Pollution has accumulated along and in the Humber River over the years and we feel it is critically important to do something about it. In past years, volunteers have removed as much as two tonnes of debris.

Can you join us? Do you know other people or businesses interested in seeing the Humber River cleaned up? Organizations such such as the Complete Paddler, Contiki Holidays, and TieredResponse are lending their support to the cause in a variety of ways. We welcome your support too.

This is just an example of the kind of debris to be found along the Humber River.

 If we band together we can clean it up and restore it to its original glory when people like those pictured below used it for travel and commerce.

 Uncovering a Bit of History

Our clean-up efforts last year led to the discovery of a historical plaque amidst the debris. The recovered plaque related to a trading post founded by Jean Baptiste Rousseaux (1758-1812) who, according to a provincial history website, was the first European to settle in the Toronto area. Rousseaux and his father served as interpreters for the Indian department and he served in Simcoe’s government until his death in 1812. (More information can be found at

You can read about we were able to accomplish last year here. So please join us if you can and see how much clean-up can be accomplished in just a few hours. Here are the details regarding time and place. If you have questions then feel free to get in touch. You can reach us at or 416-RID-OF-IT (743-6348).

When: Monday, September 15, 2014
Time: 8:30 AM

Volunteers meet at the rally point in the parking lot of the Petro Canada gas station/car wash (north of Queensway - off of South Kingsway. Map below)

Wednesday, 23 July 2014


Canada's 147th birthday was celebrated with a fun-filled evening of live music and dance performances, family activities and a spectacular fireworks show choreographed to music.

Canadian pride was shown  by all with free Canadian flags provided by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage.

1-800-RID-OF-IT provided exclusive event cleanup services. This included onsite cleanup staffing throughout the night and complete cleanup services after the event.  


•    Pre event exhibit cleanup
•    Post event cleaning
•    All garbage and recycling removal
•    On site event staffing
•    Tote Rental


Monday, 21 July 2014

It started as a run among 100 or so friends on crisp fall day in a North Toronto park in 1996. Today Push for Tush a nationwide event with thousands of runners in cities all across Canada. The 5km walk / 10km run is a great day for everyone, with refreshments, T-Shirts and fun family activities. 1-800-RID-OF-IT will provide all cleanup services for the 2014 event. This includes onsite cleanup staffing throughout the run, and complete cleanup services after the event. 

•    Post event cleanup
•    Event recycling
•    On site event staffing

Push For Your Tush  2014   was a huge success this year.  The weather was amazing, everyone had lots of fun and best of all over $415 000  was raised.   Good job by all involved.  1-800  RID-OF-IT  was a proud sponsor this year and looking forward to being involved for years to come.


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Go to   and book your  pick up, to free yourself of all your unwanted items. Our crews will remove almost anything from anywhere on your property and dispose of it for you.
 1-800 RID-OF-IT Toronto offers prompt and reliable junk removal services for both residential and commercial clients. Your time is important, and it is our job to make rubbish removal easy for you. With our flexible appointment times, you can plan your day accordingly. It's that simple.
Call today and GET 1-800 RID-OF-IT (1-800-743-6348) or book online at
(offer not valid with any other promotion or coupon must be 1/4 load or more not valid on Bin Rentals)
Solar Energy, part two

Politics - Darkening solar energy ambitions

Although approved by the senate, a Florida bill giving tax breaks to businesses who install solar panels is not likely to come before voters. Roof top solar is viewed as a threat to the electrical utilities. If the vote came to the average Floridian, the vote would be 90 per cent for solar initiatives. Rallies are planned to protest. Business men have already voted with their feet and taken solar technology to warmer receptions and out of the sunshine state.

Over three million dollars has already been spent on campaign contributions in this election cycle so far by the utilities. What does this mean to the environmentally conscious home owner? Well, ask Robin Speronis. She has been charged with living off the grid, illegal under the International Property and Maintenance Code. After a year and a half keeping house with a camp stove, rain water and solar energy, she has to hook back up to the big utilities grid.

In contrast, two young students living in London, Ontario became somewhat of a "cause célèbre" when they spent the summer under similar conditions. I am sure they did not make it over the interminable Ontario winter, but they got local TV and newspaper coverage for their experiment.

Let us hope that Florida politicians don't take this issue as seriously as in close by Texas. Swat teams were sent in to intimidate the Garden of Eden Community, holding members at gunpoint and putting them in handcuffs. Apparently there were no laws against off grid life, and no drugs or guns were found. At the end of the day, they enforced a few city code violations and assorted traffic violations. Not exactly good use of manpower or tax payer funds!

Sunshine in the Sunshine State, A Squandered Resource?

Despite a promising start in the thirties when solar water heaters graced many subdivision homes, Florida has a dismal record in their use of solar power. It does sound hopeful to write that they have three solar plants up and running for the last three years and a world's first next generation solar plant that is connected to a conventional plan, but more should be done.
Their  record lags way behind states with grey skies, such as New Jersey and Massachusetts. Fifty billion dollars a year leaves Florida to purchase coal, natural gas, and gasoline. Discouraging elements are changes in solar models, federal tax credits and a state with a record of rejecting renewable energy plans. Utility companies are the only ones that can sell power, solar companies can only sell at wholesale rates to utilities. Add to the picture electricity rates lower than in the North and the huge start up costs associated with solar power, and you have dismal results.
Solar companies are now considering leasing equipment to businesses. We can only hope that this trend will catch on and include residential customers.
Many thousands of Floridians live in RVs or some type of manufactured home. It takes only a short ride anywhere in the state to see the many trailer parks. Go across an overpass and the flat, white roofs seem to stretch right across the horizon. An ideal spot for solar installations. As boomers join the older snowbirds, a solar option will become more and more appealing. The demand peaks in the summer for the necessary air conditioning, but winter needs often include running a heater for a few hours a day.
Florida's Governor, Rick Scott, is fighting for his political life in the upcoming elections. One of his recent campaign statements bragged about a good record in protecting the environment. Would that this were so; journalists quickly punched holes in this assertion by hauling out the record of the many cutbacks taken while he was in office. A well thought out plan for the state with 86 per cent of America's sunshine would go along way to ensure his reelection.