Cleveland-area haulers try to stay away from the landfill
When Akron Angie’s List members Susan and Herbert Kosser called A-rated Dave’s Hauling & Cleanup of Cleveland to remove the remains of a fence, the hauling company took the wood and metal to recycling centers. “Using something [again] rather than filling up the dump is always beneficial,” Susan says. “This country’s running out of room.”
Several local hauling companies say they find their customers prefer unwanted items go to a place that benefits someone else or the planet. “I think a lot of [customers] have the same feeling — they want to preserve their environment,” says Steve Davis, co-owner Haulin-N-Such located in Bath.
Davis says his highly rated company endeavors to recycle 65 percent of what it collects. In addition to taking items to Goodwill or the Salvation Army, Davis, also a landlord, often gives items in good condition to tenants in need. “This is one planet, and we have an obligation to leave it for our children and grandchildren,” he says. “At this point in time, actually, we can’t keep using it and think we can throw it in a hole in the ground, and it’s going to go away.”
Recycling also reduces the cost of hauling for customers, says Ron McCully, owner of highly rated Haul-My-Mess.com, which services the Cleveland area. Customers who choose to recycle instead of going to a transfer station save money, he says. In Ohio, solid waste fees charged by landfills include state disposal and environmental protection fees, solid waste management district fees and host community fees, according to the Ohio EPA. “When you go to the landfill, you’re going to pay,” McCully says. “If you have one item, you have a minimum amount you’re going to pay.”
However, recycling through a green hauler includes some expenses. “We spend a little bit more on labor — time putting those things together and sorting and separating it,” Davis says. “That’s where the big expense on our side is to sort it out and make sure it gets categorized and taken to the right facility.” McCully says he minimizes labor costs by using a flatbed truck instead of a dump truck so workers sort all like items together as they’re loaded and make periodic drop-offs at nearby recycling centers as they travel between jobs.
Haulers charge by volume, measuring how much space items take in a truck. For example, Haul-My-Mess.com charges by cubic yards so a job requiring an eighth of the truck costs $139 on a 15-cubic- yard truck. Customers with smaller jobs pay the minimum $75 fee. He calculates costs to include an expectation that 50 percent of materials are recyclable. McCully audited his business in 2011 and says he found 79.5 percent of items collected were donated, nearly hitting his goal to recycle 80 percent.
That kind of goal would sit well with Patricia McGowan, an Angie’s List member from east Cleveland who’s been an avid recycler for two decades. She hired A-rated Ohio Junk Force of North Ridgeville to remove furniture and other items from her mother’s home because the hauling company regularly donates or recycles up to 50 percent of the items it collects. “One of the reasons that I selected them was because they would take away all recyclables,” McGowan says.