‘Spring Cleaning’ Scavengers

bigjunk.jpg photo by www.sfrecycling.com

The beautiful weather this weekend got me out and about through my neighborhood where I encountered a surprising number of armchairs, sofas and miscellaneous desk and shelf combinations, all sitting out forlornly, curbside. I guess if SF gets it’s true summer weather a few months late, the concept of ‘spring cleaning’ takes a lag, as well.

Since I, too, am considering a significant overhaul of my abode, it got me wondering about the procedure for disposing of that third-hand chintz armchair, or the broken-down futon. Sure, some people just set it out for anyone to take, but the latest items I’ve seen have been present on the sidewalk for a few days. The desk and shelves are slowing deteriorating in the moist mist, and the fabric sofas have been left for the wolves – their pillows snagged, then large swaths of their fabric skinned away, like a fallen carcass being picked away by vermin.

I know that SF maintains a contract with a refuse company, Sunset Scavengers, which has a standing policy of recycling and offers two free pick-ups of large items per year, for active residential customers. But what about us apartment dwellers? Turns out, we have a few options:

* Coordinate with your building management. The two free pick-ups apply per street address, so they may have established dates that their maintenance crew use to deal with construction debris, apartment turn-over, etc. You might need to hold onto that smelly lounge chair a bit longer, but by not burning up one of their pick-ups you just might strike a deal to have their handyman haul it out to the curb for you. Because YES, it has to be at the curb.

* Schedule your own pick-up through RecycleMyJunk, a low-cost hauling service that will pick up items from INSIDE of your home and recycle as much of it as possible (just think! no negotiating that behemoth sectional into your tiny, gated elevator cab!) This is the option for me, as there is NO WAY I am risking my lumbar to hoist that monitor down three flights of stairs. They also deal with materials that would otherwise be refused at the dump, like many electronic and computer devices, my monitor included.

Both services can be scheduled with just a few days lead-time, and if MAJOR overhaul is in your future, you can schedule for a debris box to be dropped off. This could be incentive to finally meet the neighbors upstairs by holding a BYOG – Bring Your Own Garbage – event and splitting the cost!

1 Comment so far

  1. courtney (unregistered) on September 20th, 2006 @ 11:48 am

    SCRAP is another good place to take your left-over….scraps. and they’re a non profit,
    so you can write it off, keep it out of the landfill, and
    some kid can use it in an art project.

    http://www.scrap-sf.org/



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