Friday, June 26, 2015

Dumpster Diving

This weeks topic on Dumpster Diving came about after seeing it pop up on numerous dumpster searches.  We do not condone dumpster diving nor is this any sort of recommendation around it, this article is just a review of some of the interesting and funny things we found about the topic on the internet.

Why do people dumpster dive?  Is it sport, fun, hobby, to live?  There are many reasons, but often it is about reducing the cost of living.  Reducing the cost of living comes in many forms ~ homesteading, collecting cans, dump pickin' and dumpster diving among them. Dump pickin' is pretty much obsolete since municipalities created landfills, although if you watch Alaskan Bush People, they still have a dump they can go to and find what was one persons junk, but still has a use for another.   Homesteading is a challenging lifestyle, and collecting cans consumes lots of time for a small return.  That leaves the 21st century version of trash-to-treasure aka dumpster diving.

To some, it's an occasional outing, to others a bona fide hobby and then there are freegans who use most of what they get and those who make a living [at some level] on repairing and selling dumpster finds.   Many share and consume reject food items like packaged foods with expired "sell by" dates. And, like every other pastime, there are networks, blogs and group associations.  Check out

One aspect of paramount importance is the law with regard to trespassing, environmental concerns, invasion of privacy and theft.  For example, it is illegal (also dangerous) to enter a construction site dumpster where you might see one of Bin There Dump That dumpster rentals around Tampa.  Once you've cleared that legal hurdle and understand what you can and can not do, figure out what you want and where to go for it.  Learn trash pick up days and annual or semi-annual special trash collections in different neighborhoods.

For food items, check with grocery stores, restaurants and bakeries.  Furniture and electronics might be found next to trash cans following a yard sale or moving day.  In Clearwater, Thursdays is "bulky" day pick up, you can often find great items such as patio furniture on the roadside waiting for collection.  College apartment complexes are a wealth of treasure at the end of the semester when most move-outs take place. 

There are health risks along with the legal issues in dumpster diving.  When doing some research for this blog, we found an article of Wiki has a 15 tips on dumpster diving,  Here are some other helpful tips that were out there on the web as well.
    • Know & OBEY the laws!  
    • Wear old clothes
    • Remove jewelry
    • Think about protective gear like gloves, glasses, etc
    • Pound the side of the dumpster first to alert rodents & critters inside
    • Don't dig through with your hands, there might be sharp or broken glass
    • Don't leave the area a mess
    • Clean anything you find
    • Bring a first aid kit
    • Never take & reuse any baby items
    • Never enter a dumpster that has a compactor
    • Don't actually "jump" into it, that is a hypothetical term
    • Do not trespass 

Keep in mind that trash trucks may come any time.  They are big and noisy, and no one will hear you shouting from inside as it grabs the dumpster.  In many cases, the skill of the dumpster pick up drivers is amazing and they move quickly and swiftly completing their job.  Remember, know the laws and take precautions to be safe.   We do not recommend ever going into a dumpster, this blog was just for fun!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Flipping Houses and Pocketing the Profit

House flipping ranges from picking up a one-time property deal and turning it around for a tidy profit to making a living at buying distressed, foreclosed, run-down or other properties, repairing, cleaning up, renovating, painting or all of the above.  It can be an occasional hobby or a bona-fide vocation.  It's not for the faint-hearted, as much planning, financial investment and hard work goes into house flipping ~ including, but not limited to, having a good relationship with a dumpster rental company that is reliable and can move quickly once you close on your deal and are ready to get started.  Reliable partners that can move as fast as you need are a major key to this game.

People buy, sell and move all the time, but house flippers are generally considered "in the business" when properties change hands in less than 12 months.  The serious ones may have several properties in various stages of fix-up at the same time, and others might do one a year on the side. 

The greater Tampa, St. Pete, & Clearwater region is prime for house flippers from the old beach condo to the foreclosed mansion.  The older homes in South Tampa and St. Pete seem to be hot areas of interest today.  Buying any property and re-selling it without doing anything happens, but real value and higher profits are found in the renovation or at the least major sprucing up of a house or condo.  

To get started, you need a few things besides a toolbox ~ 

  • Knowledge of neighborhoods, real estate prices, demographics, current market trends
  • Financial expertise in fees associated with home buying and selling, like Realtor commissions, appraiser, home inspection, bank financing, building permits, closing fees
  • Vision of what can be and the repair and renovation work and associated costs
  • Negotiating skills
  • Good relationships with a dumpster rental company, plumbers, painters, electricians, landscapers and roofers, among others
  • Management capabilities to prioritize, track expenses, deal with suppliers, etc. 

Earlier this year in the Tampa Bay times, reported in their article Tampa Bay Ranks Among Nation's Leaders in House-Flipping Profits that local flippers were averaging 57% gross profit during the first few months of 2015.  According to, a leading source of housing data, close to 27,000 homes were flipped nationwide during the third quarter of last year with an average profit of $75,990. "The record-high average profits per flip in the quarter demonstrate that flippers are still filling an important niche in an aging housing market with historically low levels of new homes being built," states Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "The most successful flippers are buying older, outdated homes in established neighborhoods and rehabbing them extensively to appeal to modern tastes."

House flipping has increased in popularity among the less experienced with a many TV shows dedicated to buying and selling homes.  You can see Bin There Dump That on a few TV shows like Property Brothers & Holmes on Homes.  Check out our "seen on TV" page on our website.

You cannot flip houses as fast as pancakes, but it is still a fast-paced endeavor that has financial risk as you have money tied up in the purchase price as well as labor and materials.   If you are a contractor and can do the work yourself, the profit is even bigger.  If wiring and roofing are involved, and you are neither an electrician nor professional roofer, it's wise to get an estimate from a licensed contractor before bidding on the property.  Having reliable partners is a must, without them, time is wasted, money is lost and your profits dwindle.  Many flippers use a combination of professionals alongside their own work.  When it's all said and done, there is probably blood, sweat and tears along with that tidy profit, and you can smile all the way to the bank.

If you are flipping a house, check out Bin There Dump That for your Tampa area projects.  They offer same day services, delivery on Saturdays, and help keep you moving.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Asbestos disposal & resources

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that comes from rock and soil that is used in manufacturing different products, mostly for construction purposes and also as a source of fire resistant materials.   Items ranging from PVC pipes, floor tiles, wood, cement, corrugated asbestos roofing, wallboards, and many construction materials.

Since asbestos can be airborne and be inhaled, necessary steps should be taken when disposing of these construction or demolition materials.   Government agencies have taken the lead in handling and disposing of these RACMs (Regulated Asbestos-Containing Materials) in any activities such as demolitions, renovations, maintenance of pipelines, paintings, flooring, roofings and all other activities that would require these materials-containing asbestos.

As a matter of fact, the components of Asbestos itself are considered as hazardous and have claimed thousands of lives every year for those who were exposed to the deadly chemicals.  Asbestosis,  Mesothelioma and lung cancer are leading major health problems caused by the exposure to asbestos.  But still some workers in the field have ignored it by keeping themselves to old practices.

Asbestos found in different products and materials, here are a few examples:  
  • Adhesives
  • Fire Blankets   
  • Vinyl Wall Coverings
  • Spackling Compounds   
  • Cement Wallboard
  • Vinyl Floor Tile
  • Cement Pipes                                                                              
  • HVAC Duct Insulation
  • Asphalt Floor Tile                                                                        
  • Ductwork Flexible Fabric
  • Decorative Plaster   
  • Textured Paints/Coatings
  • Cement Siding   
  • Electrical Wiring Insulation 
  • Blow-in Insulation
  • Fireproofing materials   
  • Ceiling Tiles and Lay-in Panels
  • Base Flashing     
  • Fire Curtains   

….. And a whole lot more.

The following are activities which you may consider to be the causes of asbestos exposure:
  • Demolition during a remodel or renovation
  • Flooring repair
  • Roofing repair
  • Maintenance on piping and other systems in and around
  • Cable installations as well as its maintenance
  • Ceiling tile maintenance or repair
  • Painting, either spray-applied or the old school brushes

Asbestos Management: 

Proper asbestos management procedures should be followed before beginning any activity, which might disturb materials containing asbestos:

1.  Written asbestos survey be prepared before any building renovations or demolitions,
2.  Get a licensed asbestos consultant to perform asbestos surveys in the State of Florida.
3.  Only licensed asbestos contractors can remove asbestos-containing materials
4.  All Regulated Asbestos-Containing Materials (RACM) must be removed from buildings, prior to demolition activities
5.  A written notification is required to be mailed ten (10) working days prior to any demolition, and ten (10) working days prior to removal of any Regulated Asbestos Containing Material (RACM).

Asbestos Resources: