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The History of Garbage Trucks: From Horses to Hydraulics

Written by Tri State Disposal. Posted in Uncategorized

When we think about crucial innovations that have reshaped society, the humble garbage truck might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Yet, the development of garbage trucks over the years has played a pivotal role in enhancing urban cleanliness and efficiency. Today, we’ll explore the transformative journey of garbage trucks, from the early days of horse-drawn carts to the sophisticated hydraulic powerhouses that roam the streets now.

Early Beginnings

The history of garbage collection starts long before the invention of the motor vehicle. In the late 1800s, horse-drawn wagons were the primary method of waste collection. These wagons collected waste from house to house and disposed of it outside city limits. This was a straightforward but labor-intensive process, reliant entirely on manual labor for loading and unloading garbage.

Wagons just like this were used to transport garbage in the 1800s.

Motorization Era

The turn of the 20th century brought the advent of motorized vehicles, and with it, the first motorized garbage trucks. These early trucks were little more than modified flatbed trucks, which still required manual loading of garbage. However, they were a significant step up in terms of efficiency compared to the old garbage trucks that were horse-drawn.

Hydraulic Revolution

The real game-changer came in the 1920s with the introduction of the first hydraulic garbage trucks. These trucks utilize hydraulic systems to compact the garbage, enabling them to collect more waste in a single trip. This innovation not only improved efficiency but also helped control odors and reduce the spread of pests.

From Rear-Loading to Front-Loading

As technology advanced, so did garbage truck design. The 1950s saw the introduction of rear-loader garbage trucks that featured a hopper in the back. The design is still used today because people can fill it manually or use bins lifted mechanically. The 1970s introduced front-loading trucks, which could lift and empty large dumpsters using forks, making them ideal for commercial and industrial waste management.

Modern Advancements

Today, garbage trucks are highly sophisticated vehicles equipped with the latest technology to ensure that waste collection is as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible. Modern trucks come with features such as GPS for route optimization, automated arms, and even electric models that promise a greener solution to waste removal.

Tri-State Disposal’s Commitment

At Tri-State Disposal in Riverdale, IL, we are proud to operate a fleet of modern garbage trucks that reflect the latest advancements in waste management technology. We support our commitment to providing reliable and responsible waste collection services by continuously adopting innovations that enhance service delivery and sustainability.

Wagons just like this were used to transport garbage in the 1800s.

Garbage trucks have indeed come a long way from their humble beginnings. Each advancement in their design has brought improvements not only in trash collection practices but also in public health and urban living standards. As we continue to advance, one can only imagine how the garbage trucks of the future will look and function. At Tri-State Disposal, we look forward to being part of that future, driving forward with technology and services that meet the needs of our communities and protect our environment.

This journey through the history of garbage trucks shows us how technological progress can transform an entire industry and the way we live our lives — proving that sometimes, even the most ordinary things have extraordinary stories to tell.

A Brief History of Recycling in America

Written by Tri State Disposal. Posted in Uncategorized

Recycling is not a modern-day invention. Its roots stretch back much further than most realize, intertwining with America’s history in surprising ways. At Tri-State Disposal we’re not just about managing waste; we’re about embracing and contributing to recycling’s rich history.

Recycling has always been an important aspect of American culture.

When Did Recycling Start in the United States?

Recycling in America began out of necessity rather than environmental consciousness. During the pre-industrial era, the scarcity of resources made recycling a common practice. People repurposed clothes, tools, and even food scraps for additional use. This idea of conservation laid the groundwork for the recycling movements that would follow.

The Rise of Recycling

It wasn’t until the 20th century that recycling as we know it started to take shape, especially during World War II. The war effort required vast amounts of materials, leading to widespread national campaigns encouraging citizens to conserve and recycle metals, paper, and rubber. This period highlighted recycling’s significance in resource conservation and national security, embedding the practice into American culture.

The Newest Push: Reducing Carbon Footprints

Today, the focus of recycling has shifted towards combating climate change and reducing our carbon footprint. The emphasis has shifted from reusing materials to creating sustainable systems that minimize waste and energy consumption. Innovations in recycling programs, technologies, and environmental movements have increased public awareness, leading to a resurgence in recycling efforts that aim for a future with significantly reduced waste and efficiently managed resources.

From its humble beginnings to its critical role in today’s environmental challenges, recycling’s history is a testament to human creativity and our evolving relationship with the planet. At Tri-State Disposal, we’re proud to be a part of this legacy, offering services that not only manage waste but also contribute to a healthier, more sustainable world. Together, we can continue to make history, one recycled item at a time.

Reduce Food Waste with These Clever Recipes

Written by Tri State Disposal. Posted in Uncategorized

In today’s environmentally conscious society, individuals are consistently seeking out effective and affordable methods to minimize their impact on the environment. That is why food waste solutions and recipes that utilize the entire ingredient have become increasingly popular. Not only are zero food waste recipes a good way to save money, but they can also bring innovative ideas to your kitchen.

Stocks are great options for home cooks who have too many leftovers.

Great Recipes to Reduce Waste

  • Stocks: Whenever you have leftover bones, meat, or vegetable parts, creating a stock is always a good idea. Simply boil the food scraps in a pot of water with salt, and within an hour, you will create a flavorful broth that you can store and use as the base for soups or other dishes.
  • Broccoli Stem Pesto: Instead of tossing broccoli stems, you can make a delicious pesto sauce from them to use with pasta or as a spread. Simply toss the stems into a blender or food processor with garlic, parmesan, pine nuts, and olive oil to make your new favorite sauce.
  • Homemade Chips: Peeling potatoes can leave quite a mess, but all those peels don’t have to be tossed into the garbage. While the rest of your food is cooking, toss the peels into a bowl with salt, oil, and your favorite herbs. Roast them in the oven until they are crispy, and you now have crisps with a decent shelf life.
  • Banana Peel Vegan Pulled Pork: Not only are banana peels edible, but they can even be a delicious alternative to meat for your vegetarian and vegan family members. You can scrape the peel clean, slice it into strips, and sautee them with onions, BBQ sauce, and spices to create a filling for tacos and sandwiches.
  • Watermelon Rind Pickles: In the summer, watermelon can be a scrumptious snack, but the rind doesn’t need to go into the trash. You can trim off the green skin, and pickle the white flesh in vinegar, sugar, and spices for an additional treat.
  • Citrus-Based Cleaner: Food recovery isn’t the only use for fruits and vegetables. You can take the skins and peels from oranges, lemons, and limes and put them in a jar of vinegar to create a natural and effective cleaning solution.

Keep your eye open next time you head to the grocery store, as that is the best place to prevent food waste. Buying too much of one ingredient and avoiding imperfect produce can lead to tossing food in the bin. Rather than discarding food, it is recommended to seek out nearby food donation centers or explore the option of composting to reduce your environmental impact.

Tri-State Disposal is dedicated to creating a more sustainable future, and we encourage you to explore further information regarding our recycling and waste management procedures.

How to Dispose of Hazardous Waste

Written by Tri State Disposal. Posted in Uncategorized

When it comes to disposing of hazardous waste, homeowners near Chicago, IL, need to be especially vigilant. Hazardous and toxic materials, if not handled correctly, can pose significant risks to our health and the environment. But don’t worry, there are some simple measures you can take to ensure safe hazardous material disposal.

Dumped Used Batteries

Identifying Hazardous Waste

First things first, identifying what constitutes hazardous waste is crucial. Common household items like oil-based paint, batteries, cleaners, and even certain electronics fall into this category. These items contain chemicals that can be harmful if released into the environment or improperly disposed of.

Instead of tossing these hazardous substances into the bin, you should instead take them to one of these disposal facilities specified by the Illinois EPA.

Additional Safety Precautions

  • Coals and Ashes – Whether it is cleaning up a bonfire or disposing of fireworks, you should ensure that the flame has been extinguished. Place material in a metal bin and cover with water to completely extinguish flames.
  • Combustible Items – Lighter fluid, propane tanks, and gas canisters should not be placed in the trash or recycling. Proper disposal of these materials would be to go to one of the hazardous collection events.
  • Be Cautious Around Garbage Trucks – The large vehicles used for solid waste disposal should always be respected and approached carefully. For those with children or pets, it is best to keep them a safe distance away from the vehicle so that the operators can safely conduct their work.

Take some time to look at the other guidelines that Tri-State Disposal has laid out on our website.

Recycling Latex Paint: A Simple and Eco-Friendly Guide

Written by Tri State Disposal. Posted in News/Events, Trash Tips

Latex paint, commonly used for its ease of application and water-based properties, often ends up partially used in many households. Disposing of this leftover paint in an environmentally responsible manner is crucial to prevent pollution and promote recycling. This guide explores a straightforward method for recycling latex paint using everyday household items, alongside alternative disposal methods for those looking to minimize waste.

The Kitty Litter Method

One effective way to dispose of leftover latex paint involves using kitty litter, a readily available and inexpensive item. This method is particularly useful for latex paint, as oil-based paints require different disposal techniques due to their hazardous waste classification. Here’s how you can recycle latex paint using kitty litter:

  1. Prepare Your Paint: Start with a can of latex paint that’s partially full. Ensure there’s enough room in the can to add kitty litter.
  2. Add Kitty Litter: Pour kitty litter into the paint can, aiming for a ratio of 1:1. If the paint can is more than half full, consider transferring some paint into a lined cardboard box before adding kitty litter.
  3. Mix Thoroughly: Stir the mixture until the kitty litter and paint are fully incorporated, achieving an oatmeal-like consistency that won’t spill out.
  4. Let It Set: Allow the mixture to sit for about an hour. The kitty litter will absorb the paint, facilitating the drying process.
  5. Dispose Safely: Once the paint has hardened, you can dispose of the can in the trash with the lid off to indicate that it’s dry.

This method is endorsed by major paint brands and local governments alike for its simplicity and effectiveness in speeding up the drying process of latex-based paints.

Alternative Disposal Methods

If you prefer not to use kitty litter, there are other environmentally friendly ways to dispose of or recycle latex paint:

  • Donation: Consider donating usable paint to local charities, churches, or organizations like Habitat for Humanity. These groups often welcome building materials for their projects.
  • Air Drying: Simply removing the lid and allowing the paint to dry naturally is another method. Ensure this is done in a well-ventilated area, out of reach of children and animals.
  • Specialty Programs: Some states participate in programs like, offering paint recycling and collection services. Check their website for availability in your area.
  • Local Disposal Sites: For larger quantities or for those without the means to dry paint at home, local transfer stations or hazardous waste drop-off sites may accept liquid latex paint for hardening and disposal.


Recycling latex paint doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By using the kitty litter method or exploring alternative disposal options, you can ensure your leftover paint is dealt with in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. Not only does this approach prevent potential pollution, but it also aligns with eco-friendly practices by minimizing waste and promoting recycling efforts.

Dumpster Rental Safety Guidelines for Small Businesses

Written by Tri State Disposal. Posted in Uncategorized

Clearing out your business space is a necessary task, whether you’re relocating or decluttering. While dumpster rentals offer a convenient solution, safety remains the top priority. Follow these guidelines to make your small business dumpster rental experience secure and hassle-free.

What Can You Put in a Dumpster Rental?

Dumpsters are versatile, but you must know what’s acceptable for disposal. Common items include:

  • Office Furniture: Desks, chairs, upholstered furniture, and filing cabinets are usually okay.
  • Paper Waste: Dispose of old documents and paperwork securely.
  • General Debris: Construction debris, broken equipment, and yard waste can go in.

Of course, appropriate dumpster waste depends on local regulations and ordinances. Only toss suitable waste when renting a dumpster to avoid additional fees. General office supplies are okay to throw in a dumpster, but you must separate any flammable materials or safety hazards.

What Can You Not Put in a Dumpster Rental?

To maintain safety and comply with regulations, avoid placing hazardous materials in your dumpster, like

  • Chemicals and Solvents: Dispose of these properly through designated channels.
  • Electronics: Recycle electronics separately to prevent environmental harm.
  • Medical Waste: Follow proper procedures for the safe disposal of medical materials.
  • Automotive Parts: Car batteries, motor oil, and other automotive parts are generally prohibited.

Always check with your dumpster rental provider for specific guidelines on acceptable items.

General Dumpster Rental Safety Tips

Follow these additional safety tips to avoid injuries or accidents:

  • Weight Limits: Avoid overloading the dumpster to prevent accidents during transport.
  • Proper Loading: Distribute weight evenly to maintain stability.
  • Clear Pathways: Clear the area around the dumpster to facilitate safe loading and unloading.
  • Wear PPE: Wear steel-toe boots, gloves, goggles, and other personal protective equipment for safety compliance when tossing large amounts of materials.

Call Tri-State Disposal for Dumpster Rentals for Your Small Business!

When it’s time for a dumpster rental, trust Tri-State for your small business needs. Our reliable service ensures prompt delivery and pickup, making waste management a breeze. At Tri-State, your safety is our priority. Our waste management technicians have the tools, skills, and training to properly dispose of your commercial waste.

Contact us today for affordable dumpster rentals tailored to your small business requirements. As a dumpster rental company, we make clearing out as safe and stress-free as possible!

Tri-State disposal dumpster rental

Recycling Myths that Need Some Clarification

Written by Tri State Disposal. Posted in Uncategorized

Thanks to recent movements toward a more green mindset, recycling has become a common occurrence and is regularly practiced by a third of the United States. However, many of those who mean well may be causing difficulties at recycling facilities because of myths and misconceptions about the recycling process. Below are some of the most common myths about recyclable materials and recycling guidelines that you should consider.

Clarifying Recycling Myths

Recycling Myths

Do You Need to Rinse Recycling?

While it is important to ensure recyclables are dry and clear of residue, a simple wipe with a napkin or paper towel is better than spraying it with water constantly. Liquids can degrade other raw materials in the recycling bin, such as paper products, and render them useless.

Anything With the Recycling Symbol Goes in the Bin

The numbers in the symbol correlate to the type of plastic used in the item, and items like #6 plastics or hard reusable plastic bottles are not accepted in Chicago.

You Can Recycle Pizza Boxes

Grease and food residue contaminate paper and cardboard items, so they will not be accepted at recycling centers. Pizza boxes with grease should be instead composted or thrown into the garbage.

Paper Towels are Recyclable

While brown paper bags and other paper products are perfectly recyclable, paper towels are not, and should be composted whenever possible.

All glass is Recyclable

Broken glass and panes from windows are not allowed in recycling programs, as they pose a risk to worker safety for those who sort through materials.

What is Commercial Waste, and How Do I Dispose of It?

Written by Tri State Disposal. Posted in Uncategorized

Factories, warehouses, and construction sites generate significant amounts of waste after completing their work, often referred to as commercial waste. Whether it’s bricks, concrete, or hazardous materials, these items cannot be simply discarded. Proper disposal is essential to prevent health, environmental, and safety hazards.

But what do you do with this waste? Read these tips on how to know what commercial waste is and proper disposal techniques.

Curbside Recycling Made Easy

Written by Tri State Disposal. Posted in Uncategorized

Curbside Recycling Made easy with Tri-State Disposal

Recycling as much of your garbage as possible is the right thing to do for the environment and for future generations. Knowing what and how to recycle seem challenging at first, but generally the process is quite simple once you know what types of recyclables are accepted in your area.

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