Giving Back to the Community

Feed the Homeless

Venice Beach, CA

June 20, 2014

Sponsored by Refuse Specialists

I’ve been working for Refuse Specialists for about a year now, and I have always admired their willingness to give back. Working alongside our CEO, Shelly Binnette, & President, Marc Savas, I’ve learned that RS is not a typical business- it’s a community, it’s a family, and it is a purpose-driven company. I felt it was only appropriate to carry the torch & give back.

One specific tragedy that’s always been near & dear to my heart, is the poverty we see every day. Yes, there is a ton of it in third-world countries but, personally, I wanted to focus on the tragedy in our own backyard. That’s when I came up with the event: Feed the Homeless at Venice Beach, CA.

I posted a flier in our California office expressing my passion for humanity & willingness to do something POWERFUL & the feedback was great! Fellow employee volunteers signed up & Refuse Specialists sponsored the event. We put together sack lunches with a sandwich, chips & a drink then headed out Venice Beach.

Everything we distributed we carried on our backs & that was so meaningful to me. Every time we handed them a lunch, you could literally feel their sense of relief- it was a transfer of energy. It was as if, we had removed the burden off of their shoulders just for that day. And in turn, that made my day. Their happy faces will forever be engrained in my mind & heart.

I’d like to send a special thank you to all of the volunteers & staff that made this event possible! Refuse Specialists, you are the family away from home. Thank you for teaching & remembering the importance of purpose!

View Video of Feeding the Homeless at Venice Beach



Negotiations Department


Why It’s Best to Let Someone Else Handle Your Waste Department

Waste expenses can be a handful, especially for large portfolios. There are several factors that cause hardships on companies caused by waste departments and expenses. These factors range from the obvious high waste hauler rates, to extra fees and charges, to contract confusion. According to our clients, the best thing to do is let a waste consultant come in and help reconcile the waste department. Trashcan Money

Many waste consultants are more successful at lowering rates, than in house waste departments. This is due to the fact that if you are not deeply knowledgeable about the details in the hauling industry, it is impossible to know the right questions to ask to get the pricing reduced appropriately. And, frankly if you could do lower your rates yourself, you would already have done it! Some of our current clients invested huge amounts of time in an attempt to “operate on themselves” and were able to negotiate some price reductions with the haulers, but nowhere near our average savings rates of 30% to 50% portfolio wide. Just like you wouldn’t use the receptionist to negotiate the purchase or sale of a portfolio just to avoid the commissions, you shouldn’t attempt to become an expert in waste hauling and recycling, when we will do it for you and only share in the success of the program.

Another problem companies face is fear of loss of control, but with Refuse Specialists’ very unique service, we simply act as your agent to renegotiate your contracts and then monitor your invoices. Your company will still have a direct relationship with your waste haulers, in addition to the experts at RS watching your pricing and service levels. You still have complete control over your waste hauling services, because you sign the new waste hauling contracts under the property name. This allows you to call your hauler at any time if a problem arises, however we are also available to help with any problems, it’s up to you who you would like to call first.

The decision to hand a department to another company can be a difficult one. And we fully understand weighing your options. But, with Refuse Specialists there is no need to worry about loss of control, and hiring us to handle your waste department comes at no out-of-pocket cost to you. Refuse Specialists does not have any up-front costs or fees, we simply share in the savings we create for your properties. This equates to less work on your part, and extra money in your bank, what more could you ask for?

Recycling: Boxing with Restaurants

You don’t find many bars or restaurants that recycle, let alone work completely towards having zero waste, like a few Chicago restaurants, including Sandwich Me In, and Hannah’s Bretzel. Man Picking up Boxes Behind A Restaurant

Restaurants and bars have an immense amount of materials that go straight into the trash without even a thought of going into a recycling bin. Think of how things are shipped and transported to restaurants. Cardboard boxes. Completely recyclable material, yet they end up in the waste dumpster nearly every time . Hundreds of boxes end up in the trash each week at just one restaurant. Now look around as you drive down the road at all the restaurants, imagine how many boxes are in those dumpsters each week.

Recycling is one thing, but for an entire restaurant to have zero waste is incredible. Can you picture a restaurant without any trash cans anywhere? Not even in the kitchen. Everything they buy is reused or recycled. According to the owner at Sandwich Me In, it means very small, minimal orders. The less you order, the less food will be wasted. But, it also means using every piece of what you order, including the bones of the chicken.

Dumpsters Behind A Restaurant

Recycling, composting, and reusing can be very expensive for restaurants, hence why not more are participating in these green activities. We all know the price of these green efforts will be reflected in the cost of their food and drinks, and on our tabs. But that’s something you need to ask yourself, is it worth a few extra dollars on your tab to know that a restaurant is environmentally responsible?

Being a Zero Waste establishment takes a lot of thought and an enormous amount of effort. We commend all of the bars and restaurants that have Zero Waste. We even commend the bars and restaurants that recycle, because there are way too many restaurants that put everything in the trash, without a second thought.

Recycling: Tackling Sports Arenas

All big U.S. cities have at least one sports venue, whether it’s a football stadium, a ballpark, a basketball arena, or even a college stadium. Some cities even have all four or even more! Sports can be a huge deal, and people love to drink while they are there whether it’s beer, or just to stay hydrated.

Now here’s a question how many of these sports venues recycle their recyclable materials? Well that’s a pretty good question, because we were unable to find actual statistics for this. Recycling isn’t a hard issue to tackle at these venues.  The amount of aluminum beer bottles, plastic cups, and water or soda bottles that scatter the ground after a game is indescribable. Let’s do some math, Cowboys Stadium holds 80,000 people.  Let’s say the stadium is full and every seat has 2 beverages.  That’s 160,000 bottles that are left in the trash. There is a very simple solution to add recycling to your trash pick up after the game, and even during the game.

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We’ll start with recycling during the game. Although, there aren’t many trashcans in the seating area, they scatter the food courts and walk ways. Why not add a recycling bin? And if the venue does not have single stream recycling, add a few bins, just ensure they are clearly labeled. The majority of people who see a recycling bin will recycle their waste if possible. And if they don’t, then that’s a conversation we will need to have with them personally. Recycling is easy, and most guests will participate if given the option.

Now for after the game, when trash scatters the chairs, ground, and stairways. Someone obviously has to pick this up. Well, why not split up the trash crew. Have some specifically for waste, and others for recyclable materials. The venues won’t even need to hire more employees; it will simply split the work. We aren’t adding waste, we just splitting it up.

If installing a recycling program into a venue seems so easy, why aren’t more venues participating in recycling? Is it because of the added cost of recycling? Because I am pretty sure they can make that back on their $8 domestic beers, and $4 waters. It doesn’t seem as though venues aren’t at a loss for profit with their prices.

So, again I ask why aren’t sports venues recycling? This is an issue that needs to be brought to the surface with baseball in full swing and football season right around the corner. Help us get the issue out and addressed, it’s everybody’s earth and we need to start taking care of it.

We’ll get in to composting next time.

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You Call, We Haul Service- Will It Work?

Developing countries are continually struggling with constructing an effective solid waste management structure. There seems to always be a roadblock that causes their structure to result in trash being left on the sidewalks, in the streets, and all over municipalities. Even some more developed countries are looking for a better way to rid their city of refuse.

Bee’ah, the Middle East’s leading and award-winning fully integrated environment and waste management company, has just unveiled their newest venture in Sharjah. Bee’ah is set to launch a “You Call, We Haul” service for bulk waste disposal.  Sharjah is the third largest and most populous city in the United Arab Emirates.

“This cutting-edge waste collection initiative is perfectly in line with our mission to deliver innovative, practical and sustainable solutions to future energy challenges here in Sharjah,” said Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO, Bee’ah.

The service is pretty self-explanatory. Sharjah residents can call the Bee’ah customer service department; give the details of the waste that is to be picked up, and the company’s new fleet of trucks specialized for handling large-scale waste, will be sent out that same day. It’s almost like a valet service for waste.

It’s not clear, but the original article alludes to the possibility that this service will be replacing the town’s current waste hauling service. One thing that needs to be considered, is cost. Sharjah is one of the larger, more developed cities in the UAE, but will the service be priced reasonably enough for the residents, or will it be too expensive? Their pricing scheme is another aspect that needs to be addressed. Will customers be charged monthly, or per call?

 Something to think about; Would a service like this work for middle to upper class citizens of developed countries?

A perk to the service is less congestion of garbage bins, as well as diminishing hazardous effects on human health and the environment. Many people will find at least one of these benefits appealing enough to utilize the service, assuming they have the means.

Bee’ah seems to be on to a great new venture. We hope it works out in Sharjah, and maybe one day we will see it here in the United States. Piling up garbage is not appealing, but being able to get rid of it with just a phone call, sounds like the best solution.

Summer Recycling Tips for Families

Summer has officially started! At least for most families. Kids are out of school, and are at home all day. Now this means a lot for parents, but it also means more trash. If you aren’t recycling yet, now is the time to start! Have your children help you out, and it won’t be any different than simply using a trashcan. Recycling can also mean reusing/ repurposing, which makes great activities for kids! We’ve searched the web and found the top eleven tips for recycling/reusing this summer. So step away from your trashcan, and start recycling today!


  1. Set up a recycling center in your kitchen, utility room, or garage. Find out if your recyclables need to be separated, and plan accordingly. You may need one bin, or you may need a few. Be sure to clearly label your bins for easy sorting.  Image
  2. Some communities don’t have a recycling program. Search for recycling centers near your home, and make a field trip out of it with your kids. This could be a great teaching lesson.
  3. Kids mean more drinks; sodas, water bottles, juice boxes, etc. Find out which of these are recyclable and start putting them in the recycling bin immediately. If they aren’t recyclable, see if you can create something out of the containers.
  4. If you are traveling, bring two bags for any trash you might accumulate, one for waste, one for recyclables. There’s a very strong chance you will run into a recycling bin somewhere on your trip.
  5. Kids are always in need of entertaining. Start turning some of your trash into activities. Use tin cans to create a telephone, or decorate tin cans for marker and colored pencil holders. Take a milk carton and make a bird feeder. Let the kids decorate it first. The opportunities are endless for reusing household materials. Search for even more ideas. (
  6. Throwing a pool party or having a bar-b-que? Make sure your recycling bin is clearly labeled, and visible for your guests to use.
  7. Reuse your 6-pack holders for condiments, and silverware for your pool Imageparties or BBQs.
  8. Have your kids clean out their closets. Separate anything you can DIY, then donate the rest.
  9. Summer has a lot of down time. Instead of buying brand new books that will only get read once, have a book swap with your friends and neighbors.
  10. If you have a ton of magazines or old newspapers lying around, use them for mosaics or a paper mache project. This will keep the kids occupied all afternoon!
  11. Use your scraps to start a garden ( Instead of throwing your scraps away, start a garden with your children. You can even go a step further and start your own composting bin, to have beautiful rich soil for your garden.

Don’t waste anymore time not recycling. Have your kids help. Teach your kids about recycling now, so they will practice it throughout their entire life. It is important to teach our young about the earth, recycling, and landfills. Start this summer with fun activities that will promote recycling, and keep your kids occupied!

Helping Out in Haiti: A Story of New Life Children’s Home

New Life Children's Home FacilityOne thing that seems to be close to heart with all of the Refuse Specialists Executive Team, as well as the other employees, is charitable endeavors. Recently, our Executive Team made a trip down to Haiti to help Miriam Frederick at the New Life Children’s Home.

Miriam established New Life Children’s Home in 1977, when she visited the Haiti villages and discovered the immense amount of suffering and dying children, from diseases and malnutrition. Humbled, Miriam realized that the dying children would have no hope if she didn’t take them to Port-Au-Prince to help them.

Since 1977, Miriam and the team at New Life Children’s Home have brought several hundred children to the orphanage over the years. Some have stayed, some were adopted, and others have returned home and receive family assistance.

Refuse Specialists Team at New Life Children's Home

The organization uses donations to help these children, as well as entire villages. The team has completed many building projects, as well as digging projects in various villages. They also assist schools with feeding programs and medical care, as funds are available in the remote mountain villages, where hunger and disease remain rampant.

The facilities have changed from the small house they rented in Port Au Prince in the very beginning, to the mission property they purchased in the early 1980’s. Since then, they have built an outside dining hall, and restroom and shower facilities for the children. Due to the continued violence in Haiti, they have constructed a 13-foot security wall around their facilities, in order to protect the children from gunfire.

The Children of New Life Children's HomeAlthough, Miriam and her team have made several improvements on the facility, there is still an immense amount of work to be completed at the facility. With the growing amounts of children at New Life Children’s Home, the facility is becoming overcrowded and is in need of expanding.

“We have a great vision as we move forward helping the poor, sick, abandoned and/or orphaned children of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Many have given up on Haiti and have left, but we have and will continue to stay and press on because of the children. We have done the very best we could with what we have had, and now the need demands that we step out and do more.”- Miriam Frederick,

New Life Children’s Home runs purely off donations. As a team, we at Refuse Specialists, have vowed to help Miriam, whether that is simply helping her get the word out about her orphanage and her mission, money donations, or time donations.

We want to encourage people everywhere to help Miriam, New Life Children’s Home, and the orphans that find refuge there. New Life Children’s Home runs strictly off donations, and anything is helpful. Please visit for more information on the orphanage, and donations.