Bulk Trash Pickup: Not Just For The Holidays Anymore.

Most cities and towns set aside one day each year for free municipal bulk pickups. Out go the past-their-prime mattresses, rugs and long-dead appliances; in comes newfound space in the basement and garage.

But in the commercial world, one bulk pickup day each year wouldn’t be nearly enough, especially in the autumn.  Fall is when the bulk trash levels can reach their highest, starting around the end of November and continuing through New Years’ Day.  Spring remodeling can also generate plenty of debris.

When you work with SLM, experts in the world of bulk trash pickups will arrange for your bulk pickup to be hauled away. Relax immediately; repeat when necessary.

SLM experts source and manage a wide variety of competitively priced facility and waste management services. Our national network of over 12,000 licensed and insured vendors provides expertise in managing waste, recycling, grease trap and cooking oil disposal, kitchen hood exhaust cleaning, property maintenance and power washing services. SLM designs and manages comprehensive facility management programs to meet your specific needs.

AT PEACE WITH THE GREASE: Avoiding Backups Before They Start

grease trap

There’s no secret to lessening grease trap problems. While backups might be impossible to avoid completely, being mindful of how you and the kitchen staff deal with grease before it enters your plumbing system can make a big difference in the frequency and the seriousness of maintenance calls.

The care and cleaning of grease traps has been one of SLM’s cornerstone capabilities since the founding of the company.  We’ve put what we’ve learned over the years into these suggestions for Best Management Practices when dealing with grease and food waste in commercial food and restaurant facilities:

Train kitchen staff and other employees about how they can help ensure Best Management Practices are implemented.

Reason: People are more willing to support an effort if they understand the basis for it.

Benefit: All the subsequent benefits of Best Management Practices will have a better chance of being implemented.

Post “No Grease” signs above sinks and on the front of dishwashers.

Reason: Signs serve as a constant reminder for staff working in kitchens.

Benefit: This will help minimize grease discharge to traps/interceptors and may reduce

the cost of cleaning and disposal.

“Dry wipe” pots, pans, and dishware prior to dishwashing.

Reason: By dry-wiping and disposing in the garbage, the material will not be sent to grease traps.

Benefit: This will reduce the amount of material collected in the grease trap and interceptors, which can lessen cleaning and maintenance costs.

Recycle waste cooking oil.

Reason: Cooking oil that ends up in grease traps will have to be pumped, resulting in extra fees during your normal service.

Cover outdoor grease and oil storage containers.

Reason: Rainwater into open containers can cause an overflow onto the ground leading to stormwater collection systems, creeks, and streams.

Benefit: Avoidance of polluting streams, creeks and other water bodies.

Do not pour grease down sinks or into toilets.

Reason: Grease poured into a toilet or sink can congeal, clogging sewer pipes and cause backups.

Benefit: Lower plumbing bills and no loss of business due to sewer backups.

Avoid or limit the use of garbage disposals.

Reason: Garbage disposals grind large food particles into small pieces. These pieces can fill up a grease trap causing backups or may require more frequent pump outs of the grease trap.

Benefit: No sewer backups and less money spent cleaning out the grease trap.

Use a three-sink compartment dishwashing system, including sinks for washing, rinsing, and sanitizing.

Reason: The three-sink system uses water less than 140ºF, whereas a mechanical dishwasher requires a minimum temperature of 160ºF.

Benefit: The facility will reduce energy costs for heating the water and operating the dishwasher.

SLM’s experts source and manage a wide variety of competitively priced facility and waste management services. Our national network of over 12,000 licensed and insured vendors provides expertise in managing waste, recycling, grease trap and cooking oil disposal, kitchen hood exhaust cleaning, property maintenance and power washing services. SLM designs and manages comprehensive facility management programs to meet your specific needs.

Preventive HVAC Maintenance isn’t optional; it’s mandatory.

Building systems are the lifeblood of any facility, notes Robin Suttell (rsuttell@cox.net) in Buildings Magazine. Without lighting, water, or heating and cooling, a building would be uninhabitable. That’s why a strong preventive and predictive HVAC maintenance program isn’t an option; it’s a must.

“Two issues – the asset and the life of the building – can be tied back to the fact that a solid program of preventive maintenance is absolutely paramount,” says Anthony Shaker, Vice President of Operations and Maintenance at UNICCO, Newton, MA. “The better it is maintained, the more likely you’re going to get the appropriate life-cycle from the equipment. If not, it will deteriorate. If you are looking for viable occupancy, you need to maintain the system so people can inhabit the building and [achieve] full productivity.”

A Case for Maintenance
Think of preventive HVAC maintenance in the same way as the preventive maintenance for your car: If you don’t change your oil and filters, the engine will lock up and the vehicle will not operate at its full potential. The same holds true, in a sense, for HVAC systems. “If you spend $30 on an oil change in your car, you will save $3,000 on a new engine,” says Matt Ashwood, president and CEO at Bonded Filter Co., Nashville, TN. “Proper preventive maintenance [for] HVAC equipment will do the same thing.”

Maintenance isn’t expensive compared to what you might need to spend if your system degrades (and ultimately fails). Shaker provides this example: “If you have a piece of equipment that costs $10,000 to maintain and has a forecasted life of 10 years if properly maintained, you will spend only $20,000 from first cost to replacement cost at the 10-year mark, assuming it would cost $10,000 again to replace it at the end of its life-cycle. However, if you did not properly maintain the unit and it failed at the 5-year mark, you would need to spend $10,000 to replace it after 5 years and then replace that same unit again in another 5 years if you continued to not perform maintenance. Your total cost would be $30,000.”

“[Those are] significant savings. Proper maintenance costs a lot less over the life of the equipment than to change out equipment on a more frequent basis,” Shaker says. “The word ‘preventive’ speaks for itself. It keeps things from happening.”

Crafting the Perfect Plan
Two main issues are at the heart of any HVAC maintenance program:

  1. The recommended performance and maintenance tasks for each piece of equipment.
  2. The overall operation of the system in relation to the building in which it’s installed.

“Depending on those two requirements – the sophistication of the equipment, as well as the environment and operation of the overall system – you need to decide if your preventive maintenance plan is a full-maintenance-coverage plan or if there’s an opportunity for system-performance enhancement,” notes Michael P. Bordes, senior vice president at EMCOR Facilities Services and president at Norwalk, CT-based EMCOR Services’ Elmhurst, IL, office.

The first place to turn to if you have questions about how to build a successful HVAC maintenance plan should be right at your fingertips – or at least nearby on a bookshelf or in a desk drawer: It’s the operating and maintenance manual, provided by the manufacturer.

Don’t overlook these maintenance manuals. They provide a concrete blueprint for the steps you need to take to maintain chillers, boilers, motors, air-handling units – every piece of equipment in a building’s HVAC system. “Manufacturers spend a lot of time and money testing their equipment to determine what the maintenance needs are,” says Walter M. D’Ascenzo, senior project manager at Fairfax, VA-based Facility Engineering Associates PC. “They put this information into the manuals; it’s all there in black and white. These maintenance manuals were not dreamt up in a conference room over doughnuts and coffee.”

If you don’t have the original manuals, you can easily get replacements—most can be found online. Call your manufacturer’s representative with the pertinent model and serial numbers, and they can get you the replacement information you need.

Once you have reviewed the manuals and consider your system’s specific needs, you will have all the necessary information to get a successful preventive and predictive maintenance program off the ground – one that is tailored to your building’s HVAC system and operating environment.

While every piece of equipment will need to be replaced eventually, following a stringent, comprehensive maintenance schedule will prolong your building’s HVAC system and maintain not only a healthy bottom line, but happy, satisfied, and comfortable tenants.

This article by Robin Suttell (rsuttell@cox.net) originally appeared in Buildings Magazine. The full article appears here: https://www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/3183/title/preventive-hvac-maintenance-is-a-good-investment

 

PUTTING A SHATTERED BUSINESS BACK TOGETHER

Let’s face it, no matter what kind of business you have, sooner or later someone will drive right off the street and right into your shop…through the big display window.

Speaking of smashing things, if you’re a retailer featuring a Black Friday stampede—um, sale, you’ll have some massive cleanup to do on Saturday.

It’s situations like these that prompted SLM to create a Handyman Services Program. Our vendors across the country have proven their capability, mastery and reliability in dozens of different disciplines. That’s why SLM can now offer you these Handyman Services tasks:

  •  Door Installation & Repair
  •  Tile Installation & Repair
  •  Drywall Installation & Repair
  •  Restroom Repair
  •  Cement Repair
  •  Painting Services
  •  Commercial Carpentry
  •  Cubicle & Furniture Assembly
  •  Installation of Crown Molding
  •  Fence Installation & Repair
  •  Stucco Repair
  •  Removal of Graffiti
  •  And Much More!

Every SLM vendor has all necessary licenses and insurance. Each vendor is fully background-checked, drug-screened, and uniformed.

Sound expensive? Not when you have SLM’s expert team of negotiators and database of tens of thousands of vendors nationwide.

 

With SLM’s Handyman Services program, you get one number, and one primary contact to call in case of emergency.

SLM’s Handyman Service is also the perfect solution for those areas that require regular maintenance but are too specialized for in-house maintenance personnel. Everything from repairing walls to replacing fixtures require expert care and they’ll deliver years more of safe operation when they get it.

SLM is an award-winning facilities management company with a problem-solving, sustainable approach to managing industrial waste. We apply our innovative and ethical practices to all areas of facilities management.

IS YOUR DUMPSTER OVERWHELMING YOUR KITCHEN??

Dumpster deodorizing

It’s a scene reenacted over and over, pretty much everywhere…

HE:      What’s the matter?

SHE:    You don’t smell that?

HE:      I don’t smell anything.

SHE:    There’s an open window behind your head. I bet there’s a dumpster on the other side.

HE:      (Being served) Are we still sharing the minestrone?

When a diner’s first impression of your restaurant is “It stinks in here,” it’s time to take a hard look (and sniff?) at what needs attention—starting with your dumpster.

1. Power Washing

Dumpsters accumulate grime and odors. Power Washing is safe and effective. The high-powered jet stream of clean water cuts through the sticky and the icky without the use of any chemicals. Dumpsters can be professionally power washed by the hauler, or at the location itself with the hauler’s permission. Don’t forget to pull the dumpster plug before the big bath!

2. Dumpster Swaps

Most haulers will happily swap out a funky dumpster due to odors…but beware! Some may charge outrageous swap fees and take weeks to complete. Check your waste removal contract to see how many swaps are included for each year, or during the duration of the contract.

3. Super Citrus

For industrial-strength odors, SLM created our own Super Citrus Dumpster Wash a powerful dumpster deodorizing system for restaurants, hotels, schools and others who require maximum deodorizing. It’s now available online. And we’re pretty proud of it.

4. Bagging it

Keeping both the interior and exterior of a dumpster cleaner longer goes a long way toward cutting off bad odors at the source.  And it starts with basic bagging common sense:

  • Tie up bags tight
  • Sling with care
  • Double bag if leaking or ripped
  • Try not to dump liquids

YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT WE DIDN’T FIND IN THE DUMPSTER

It’s a cop-movie cliché: the big fight scene in a warehouse area, surrounded by trucks and trash, where, amidst the flying bullets, a scavenger is climbing into a dumpster, presumably in search of food.

Chances are, that scavenger will come up empty. Edible food, leftover or otherwise, takes up very little space in a dumpster.

“A dumpster is a terrible place to look for food,” says one SLM staffer. “But if you’re looking to take a nap, mattresses are very popular in dumpsters.”

SLM knows dumpsters. The company was founded as a waste-management firm, and eventually branched out, tackling all aspects of facilities management.  One of SLM’s most popular services is its Bulk Pickup program.

“With the Bulk Pickup program, SLM gets rid of your most awkward, heaviest and most unwieldy junk,” says the staffer. “Dumpsters are often involved.”

SLM’s Bulk Pickup crews have seen plenty of objects that might not immediately be associated with dumpsters.  From the world of transportation, bicycles are surprisingly common. Not so common are the random car parts, including old tires, seats, transmissions and engines.

Refrigerators, both consumer and commercial, have made the leap into the dumpster. So have all types of shelving, wood, metal and plastic. Worn couches and chairs from homes sometimes share space with almost brand-new office couches and chairs from start-ups that never quite got started.

There’s another item that nobody wants to find in a dumpster but often do. For the sake of delicacy, let’s just say that Lassie isn’t really romping on a farm, Timmy.

Is there such a thing as having a favorite type of junk? SLM’s thinks so. “There’s something almost poetic about a dumpster that’s filled with other dumpsters.” In this particular case, the dumped dumpsters were abandoned by servicing companies that went out of business. So they all ended up in super-dumpsters, which were removed by SLM’s Bulk Pickup.  “We tell people that we do it all so they don’t have to,” says the staffer. “Even when it involves dumpsters within dumpsters within dumpsters.”

Honoring 9/11

Honor 9/11

Here at SLM we want to take a moment to stop and honor those who were lost in the events of 9/11. From family and loved ones to first responders and rescuers, we will never forget.

Even 16 years later, there are still families in need who were affected.  If you would like to donate or sponsor a piece of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, please visit the following website, https://www.911memorial.org/donations .

Your SLM Team

Hurricane Irma: Your Preparation Checklist

Hurricane Preparation

We at SLM are dedicated to the well-being and stability of your facilities and your business.  Our mission is to ensure that your business and day-to-day operations run seamlessly with or without the threat of an impending emergency.  Unfortunately, this is a time of emergency, and we want to do everything in our power to make certain you are prepared.

With each passing hour, it is becoming more and more certain that several of the southern US states will be impacted by Hurricane Irma. If you have not done so already, it is now that you should prepare yourself and your business from the possibly damaging effects of the storm and it’s aftermath.

Gather Information

Know if you live in an evacuation area.

Assess your risks and know your business’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding, and wind.

Contacts

Keep a list of contact information for reference.

  • Emergency Management Offices
  • County Law Enforcement
  • County Public Safety Fire/Rescue
  • State, County and City/Town Government
  • Local Hospitals
  • Local Utilities
  • Local American Red Cross
  • Local TV Stations
  • Local Radio Stations
  • Your Property Insurance Agent
  • Risk Analysis

Supplies Kit

Put together a basic disaster supplies kit and consider storage locations for different situations. Help community members do the same.  Communities are strongest when we work together.

Health & Environment

Review the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) health considerations before, during, and after a storm.

Remember to follow the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) food and water safety guidelines during disasters.

Review the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggestions for health and environmental safety in disaster preparedness.

Evacuation

Review the FEMA Evacuation Guidelines to allow for enough time to pack

FOLLOW instructions issued by local officials. Leave immediately if ordered!

Consider your protection options to decide whether to stay or evacuate if you are not ordered to evacuate.

Be alert for:

  • Tornadoes – they are often spawned by hurricanes.
  • The calm “eye” of the storm – it may seem like the storm is over, but after the eye passes, the winds will change direction and quickly return to hurricane force.

Recover

  • Wait until an area is declared safe before returning home.
  • Remember that recovering from a disaster is usually a gradual process.

Please know that no matter what you need, SLM is here for you. We are here to get you through this storm and will help you get your business back up and running as quickly as possible. All you need to do is ask. One phone call, that’s all it takes.

Always at your service,
~ Your SLM Team

Source: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.php

How Important Sustainable Lawn Care can be

Landscaping

It’s hard to know if a landscaper shares your commitment to sustainability, because once they haul away the lawn waste from your facility, what happens to it is a mystery. It’s important for your sustainability-minded company to properly vet its lawn maintenance vendor, as proper lawn care has a lot of implications on the environment. NASA estimates that lawn grass, (or turfgrass) is the most irrigated crop in the United States. Other studies estimate that in the United States, 40 million acres of land is devoted to turfgrass (University of Minnesota). SLM Facility Solutions Nationwide has a strong commitment to both keeping your lawn looking tip-top, as well as doing so with a minimal impact on the environment.

Your lawn maintenance team should be selecting the grass species best suited for the land that your facility occupies for the best results. The healthier that your lawn is, the healthier your community is, as a well-kept lawn benefits the local environment and water quality.

People often overlook lawn care when they think about what practices to make more sustainable, but it sure is an important one. Small engines like those used in lawn mowers, contribute 5 to 10% of the nation’s lawn pollution. The EPA has determined that used for an hour, a gas lawn mower emits the same amount of hydrocarbons as an SUV driven 23,600 miles! Given this, it is critical that lawns are mowed as efficiently as possible to mitigate lawn care’s effect on the environment.

Not only does SLM believe in saving the environment, we also believe in saving your business money. Lawn care services are included in our single cost facility maintenance package. You can be certain to not only be happy saving money but also knowing your lawn care is constantly being checked for quality and optimal health.

Source: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-09/documents/banks.pdf

Cleaning Up After America’s Biggest Stampede

Bulk Pick Up

Black Friday. You know when it’s coming, and you know what happens. (If not, here’s a reminder.)

The Friday after Thanksgiving is considered the starting gun for stampedes, hordes and, judging from the damage that often ensues, rabid elephants, buffalos, and rhinos. Some stores get it worse than others, but the bigger the store, the bigger the stampede. And the more crazed shoppers racing to find Black Friday markdowns there are, the more damage is done to each store’s stock.

When the Black Friday madness cools down, staffers mark the casualties off as a loss and take the damaged goods out to the dumpsters behind their stores. Complete bedroom sets, refrigerators, sectional couches, ovens, mattresses, dining room tables and chandeliers are dumped, eventually swamping the capacity of the store’s dumpsters.

“This is only part of the phenomenon,” notes one SLM staffer. “In January, deja vu. All sorts of damaged items are returned to the stores, and many of them wind up overloading these dumpsters. But whatever it is, one call to SLM’s Bulk Pickup service can get rid of it.”

SLM, which manages facilities across the US, began as a waste-management company, so the mountains of trash and their ultimate removal are imprinted into SLM’s DNA. “Everybody has junk,” the staffer points out. “We see huge piles of trash after stores and businesses do their fall cleanups in late August or early September. But nothing beats Black Friday for sheer volume.”

“SLM’s message to retailers is simple: get the junk into your dumpsters or behind your store, and we’ll handle the rest, no matter how much junk there is,” says the staffer. “At SLM, we do it all so you don’t have to.”

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