Got Garbage? the Trash Business is Booming !

Got Garbage? the Trash Business is Booming !

I actually read a classified ad in the local newspaper that read,

“Got Garbage? I will pick up your garbage for free.”

It listed a phone number to call “anytime” along with the man’s name. I absolutely had to call this guy because I was so intrigued as to why this man (or any man) would want my garbage. I’ve heard of the old adage that trash may be treasure to some, but c’mon now, plain old garbage? This fellow had to be a lunatic.

As it turns out, the man is not crazy in the least but he is unemployed at the moment and apparently has a lot of time on his hands. One day, his neighbor’s trashcan fell over and spilled out on their street. Being a good neighbor, he went over to pick up the garbage and found some interesting things in the rubbish that could be recycled for cold hard cash.

Aside from the soda cans that garner a five-cent refund (New York and many other states encourage recycling) the man also found some other items that definitely had some more life left to live. He began to sort through the garbage and in the process he gave birth to an idea. He told me that he wondered how many people are throwing away soda cans because they don’t want to be bothered returning them for the deposit. He also wondered how many people just toss out items that could be fixed with a little creative work. His neighbor surely wasn’t the only person.

He finally decided to start a small business advertising free garbage pickup. The only caveat is that the garbage will be screened before it is disposed of. Anything of value will be removed and this allows him the opportunity to redeem those empty soda cans, fix those broken kitchen chairs and reuse or resell those unwanted appliances.

I asked him, “How’s business?”

His response, “It’s booming. I get tons of calls each day.”

I wondered if he was making any money considering that he has to pay to dispose of the remaining garbage at the local dump. He explained that there really isn’t all that much leftover. The leftover food is placed in his backyard compost bin and he recycles the paper, plastics and metal waste. What remains after that is considerably smaller than what he has picked up from his customers. Can we call them customers if they don’t pay anything?

The most fascinating tidbit was that he has located varying markets that will actually purchase his compost material! He told me he has tons of compost now. I bet he does.

Simply amazing. I think we can agree that this is a fine example of good old-fashioned American ingenuity at it’s best.The next time you go to take out the trash, check up and down the street for the guy in the blue pickup truck. I understand he has painted on the side of the truck, “Got Garbage?”

Selling a Vacant Home a Challenge: Vacancy News Another Sign that Housing Market’s Woes are Deep

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one out of every nine housing units in the United States is now vacant. That comes out to more than 14 million empty homes.

This isn’t good news for anybody. An empty home often develops into a neighborhood eyesore. They often become “attractive nuisances,” seeming to attract trouble.

The Empty Home Challenge

For sellers, an empty home is an even bigger challenge. In today’s slumping housing market — home sales dropped 5.9 percent in the fourth quarter of this year from the same period one year earlier, according to the National Association of REALTORS — it’s difficult to sell any home. But an empty home, one that sellers often view as cold and impersonal because of its lack of furnishings or artwork, is an especially tough sell.

Unfortunately, homeowners often have no other choice but to sell a vacant home. A job may have sent the family to another part of the country. Perhaps the family found the perfect new home, but wasn’t able to unload its current home before closing date.
Whatever the reason, homeowners can take some steps to make selling a vacant home at least a little easier.

Get it Staged

Real estate agents often recommend that their clients hire a home stager to give an empty home some personality. Stagers, usually for a flat fee paid by the homeowner, will fill a home with furniture and art, and will do so in a way that maximizes a home’s positive features and obscures its negative ones.

Many stagers use homeowners’ existing furniture, but others will bring in their own sofas, beds, props and artwork. This is especially important for homeowners who have already moved on from a home. It’s rare that these owners will have two complete sets of furniture.

Homeowners not willing to commit to a home stager can take less costly steps to make their vacant homes look warmer. One way is to spend the time and energy to give living room, bedroom and kitchen walls fresh coats of paint. When a home is empty, there is no furniture to distract from faded, chipped or dirty paint. Fresh paint can instantly rejuvenate a gloomy home.

Curb Appeal is Key

Homeowners should also pay special attention to an empty home’s outside. They should make sure lawns are kept neat and gardens are weeded. Trees should be trimmed, and sidewalks and driveways should be kept free of trash and litter. When a vacant house has an unkempt exterior, it instantly makes a bad impression on potential buyers.

Selling a vacant home will almost always take time and energy. But homeowners who do the little things to make an empty home feel warm and inviting will be rewarded with a quicker sale.