Nashville Chess Center Spring Clean Up

Junk King of Nashville at the Nashville Chess Center, Photo by Caryn

Junk King of Nashville at the Nashville Chess Center, Photo by Caryn

Saturday Junk King of Nashville donated time to work along side other volunteers to haul away items from the garage, attic, and main floors of the Nashville Chess Center for an overdue spring clean up. The Center is located at the corner of Primrose and Belmont in the beautiful historic Belmont-Hillsboro district. Middle Tennessee is very lucky to have the Nashville Chess Center. It is one of a few stand alone chess centers in the United States, with the others being in St. Louis, New York City, and Washington, D.C.. The center welcomes visitors and they have three visits to make a decision whether or not to get a reasonably priced membership. Our grade schooler has had a junior membership here for the last two years, but the Chess Center isn’t just for kids. There are also adult and all ages member nights for games, education, and tournaments. It’s filled with nice and interesting folks and it is a great way to improve your game.

Junk King of Nashville at the Nashville Chess Center, Photo by Caryn

Junk King of Nashville at the Nashville Chess Center, Photo by Caryn

Bridgestone Arena Starting Cigarette Butt Recycling Project


WP-ArenaNashville’s Clean Water Project’s newest venture is to make Bridgestone Arena one of North America’s first venues to collect and recycle cigarette butts. Arena personnel will be the Cigarette Waste Brigade doing collections around the smoking areas outside after events. They have partnered with TerraCycle in New Jersey who will process the majority of the cigarette butts into recycled plastic pallets for industrial usage. Since mid-December the arena has collected 30,000 cigarette butts weighing almost 30 pounds. The Bridgestone’s involvement is only a small part of the Nashville Clean Water Project in their attempt to make a difference in getting the waterways around Nashville as clean as possible. The EPA reports that Davidson County alone has 240 impaired linear miles of rivers and streams. Please check out the Nashville Predator‘s press release which announced this great plan.

Valentine’s Aftermath – Time to Recycle!

bale of cardboard for recycling

Bale of cardboard for recycling, photo by Caryn

It’s the day after Valentine’s Day. Whether you were celebrating with others or alone your home may have cardboard and glass that used to contain chocolates and beverages. Keep the love going by recycling them. If you were neat and tidy and did not get any of the chocolates on the cardboard box that briefly contained them you may recycle that cardboard with the rest of your boxes. The accompanying photo is of the remnants of over 500 heart shaped boxes Junk King of Nashville hauled from a job. They were unused boxes. I had called to various PTOs and Girl Scout troops and they took the lion’s share which got upcycled into Mother’s Day presents a year or so back.

Responsible Hauling & Recycling

We were alerted to the illegal dumping of dozens of mattresses at our office complex late last week. As they are all queen size and of a matching make and model they are likely from an institution. Queen size rules out college or university, basically leaving the hospitality industry. Most likely a nearby hotel trusted a hauler to a) remove mattresses from the premises and b) dispose of those mattresses properly. They got half of what they were promised.

photo by caryn, abandoned mattresses

Photo by Caryn, Abandoned Mattresses, Nashville, TN

I’m writing about this to highlight why it is so important to know the professionals with whom you work. Being aware of a service’s possession of a license, insurance, bonding, what affiliations and memberships they hold goes a long way towards solidifying a relationship and providing peace of mind that jobs will be completed as promised and in an appropriate manner.

Nashville is lucky to have the flagship Spring Back mattress recycling center. It has been such a success that they have branched out to Tacoma, WA and Denver, CO. Please take a look at Spring Back and all the good things they are doing by recycling mattresses.

UPDATE 12/19/13

We heard early today that the property management company wanted Junk King to remove the mattresses as soon as possible. Turns out it is 3 trucks worth. Here is a photo of David and Norris loading the last on truck #2 of 3. They will make three trips to Spring Back Recycling today.

photo by caryn, mattress job, truck 2 of 3

Photo by Caryn, mattress job, truck 2 of 3

photo by caryn, junk king truck at dumped mattress site

Photo by Caryn, Junk King truck at dumped mattress site


Plant It LOUD! Audio Speaker Upcycling

Photo Courtesy of Chris Markferding of Chris at her workshop

Photo Courtesy of Chris Markferding of a Plant It Loud! hanging basket

Plant It Loud! is a Nashville business that takes used audio speakers and turns them in to stylish and very sturdy hanging baskets. It was through a random feed on Facebook that I found Plant It Loud!. Messaged to see if they were in need of another source for used speakers. This is how I met Chris Markferding. We discovered we are both Buffalonians and missed attending Buffalo State College at the same time by 3 months. (One thing about WNYers – we’re EVERYWHERE.)

photo by caryn of speakers donated to plant it loud!

Photo by Caryn of speakers donated to Plant It Loud!

We haul a surprising number of broken speakers, whether aftermarket car speakers or stereo system speakers. Finding a place to reuse some of the components was fantastic. I wait until we get at least 3 in before messaging Chris and she pops by the warehouse for a visit. I am looking forward to a visit to her studio to deliver the next batch.

photo courtesy of chris markferding of chris working in her studio

Photo courtesy of Chris Markferding of Chris working in her studio

You can contact Chris through Plant It Loud’s Facebook page or if you are in Nashville you can see her work at 8th & Argyl on 8th Avenue South.

Guest Blogger: William Taggart, Junk King of Central Virginia

Two Old Doors; Unlimited Possibilities

As the old saying goes, when a door in life closes, another one opens. Here we have two doors wide open to almost limitless possibilities. Sure, they need a sanding and painting, but they’re solid wood and in relatively good condition, so why throw them away, when they can be converted into an attractive and useful addition to your home?

photo by william taggart, junk king of central virginia

Photo by William Taggart, Junk King of Central Virginia

Turn them sideways, attach simple wooden legs at each end, and they become a headboard and footboard for a king-sized bed.

Attach mirrors to the flat panels, turn the door sideways, attach pegs or hooks along the bottom edge, and hang it on the wall for a coatrack.

Lay flat, attach legs at each corner, and you have a coffee table. Top it off with a slab of tempered glass. Use longer legs for a breakfast table.

If you’re more ambitious and have some woodworking ability, these could be adapted into a mud room closet for kids to store their coats and boots. Or the seat and back for a bench on your veranda – or a porch swing.

Other adaptations we’ve seen: potting bench, free-standing hall umbrella stand/coatrack, chalkboard (using chalkboard paint on the flat panels), custom built-in kitchen cabinets or armoire, connect with hinges to make a room divider/screen, living room settee, writing desk, kitchen island, garden shed, garden trellis, garden gate or fence…

You can see examples of all of these at

The only limitation is your creativity!

Note from Caryn: William Taggart is the owner/operator of Junk King of Central Virginia servicing Richmond, Virginia and the surrounding area. Thank you so much for your blog, Bill.

A Vintage Girl Scout Uniform & Recycling

The main council for the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee is located on Granny White Pike in Nashville. There you can not only purchase a current Daisy, Brownie, or Junior Girl Scout uniform you can also take a step or two back in time to see the uniforms from past decades. We were happy to have the opportunity to donate a vintage 1960’s Girl Scout uniform to the Council for their collection earlier this year.

photo by caryn of a vintage 1960s girl scout uniform donated to council

Photo by Caryn of a Vintage 1960’s Girl Scout Uniform Donated to Council

When one of our customers has Junk King haul away clothing we sort the clothing into piles for donation to ThriftSmart and ATRS textile recycling. Proceeds from sales at ThriftSmart benefit other local non-profits (Mercy Children’s Clinic, New Hope Academy, The Belize Project, and African Leadership) and proceeds from ATRS textile recycling benefit MADD.

Every once in a while a special item comes through that needs to go elsewhere – like this vintage 1960s Girl Scout uniform. I sent a photo to our Troop Leader and she talked with folks at Council and they said to please send it along. I encourage any folks interested to please take a trip in to see the historical items at Council. It is a really neat collection.


Recycling Paper and Cardboard

photo by caryn of paper and cardboard on the back of the junk king truck

Photo by Caryn of Paper and Cardboard on the Junk King Truck

At Junk King of Nashville we try not to take items to the land fill. If an item is not donatable we break it down to the lowest common denominators and recycle materials. Items that are easy in this regard are paper and cardboard. If I know of someone looking for specific boxes (moving, storage) I can donate the boxes. If not the boxes get broken down and placed in the baler with other cardboard to be taken to the local cardboard recycler.

instgram photo by caryn of cardboard getting baled

Instagram Photo by Caryn of Cardboard Getting Baled

We wait until we have at least 6 bales of cardboard ready and then we line them up for photos load them on the truck and drop them to recycling. Six bales of cardboard weighs a little over a ton – that’s right, 2,000 pounds.

Two thousand pounds not going to a landfill. Two thousand pounds of cardboard living another day as a moving, bankers, or cereal boxes, corrugated coffee cup sleeves, or paper.

photo by caryn of cardboard bales ready for the recycler

Photo by Caryn of Cardboard Bales Ready for the Recycler

According to 2,000 pounds of recycled cardboard saves 390 kWh hours of electricity, 46 gallons of oil, 6.6 million Btu’s of energy, and 9 cubic yards in the landfill. Recycling cardboard takes 24% less energy and produced 50% less sulphur dioxide than making cardboard from raw materials.

Volunteering With Reverb

I don’t follow a lot of musicians on Facebook, but I do follow Guster. This Spring they posted about volunteer opportunities with Reverb on their upcoming tour with Ben Folds Five and Barenaked Ladies. This was the first I’d heard of Reverb. At each venue, mostly outdoor, Reverb works with the musicians to make the negative impact on the environment as small as possible, i.e. reducing the carbon footprint. Among other things (see hyperlink above) they have compostable plates and cutlery made of potato and corn starch, extensive recycling stations, solar power where possible, and the use of bio-diesel for all the trucks and buses.

reverb tent and solar stage at the woods at fontanel

Photo by Caryn of Reverb Tent & Solar Stage at the Woods at Fontanel

I applied to be a volunteer in the Eco-Village before and during the first part of the show at the Woods Amphitheater at Fontanel and was accepted within a few days. Volunteers were not just there to educate about recycling, they were also there to talk about the Lacey Act, which prohibits the trade of plants and wildlife illegally taken, transported or sold. We gathered signatures from people wishing to keep the Lacey Act

photo by caryn of the solar stage at reverb nashville

Photo by Caryn of the Solar Stage at Reverb Nashville

(in place since 1900) strong and encourage elected official to not let special interests weaken it. There were some interesting conversations with concert goers about this because Gibson Guitars, one of Nashville’s prized businesses, ran afoul of the Lacey Act a few years ago.

Volunteers received a t-shirt, training, and, after Guster’s opening act, free range to go in and enjoy Ben Folds Five and Barenaked Ladies performances. But, we got a preview on the ‘Solar Stage’ with Ed Robertson and Jim Creeggan from BNL and Reverb co-founder Adam Gardner from Guster playing a few songs. They were delightful and engaging and hit it out of the park with the Talking Heads ‘Psycho Killer‘.

photo by caryn of slow and low bbq bistros food truck

Photo by Caryn of the Slow & Low BBQ Bistro’s Food Truck

Also there were East Nashville’s non-profit Urban Green Lab and food truck Slow & Low BBQ Bistro. I enjoyed learning about Urban Green Lab and Slow & Low’s brisket was so good that I dragged the Junk King and Princess to their restaurant on 54th Ave North the next day for lunch. This KCBS BBQ judge thinks it is the best barbecue restaurant in Middle Tennessee.

So keep an eye out for the release of Reverb volunteer opportunities across the country for the 2014 season. 2013 saw opportunities to also see Fun., Maroon 5, Dave Mathews Band, John Mayer, Yo Gabba Gabba Live, Phish, and Jack Johnson.

4 Table Legs + 1 Vintage Suitcase = Table

photo by caryn of parts to make table

Photo by Caryn of parts to make table

My job is to sort through items that we haul to see what needs to be recycled and what can still be used. I was excited to see this vintage 1960’s suitcase and four lonely table legs come in within the same week. Both trucks were on jobs and I had a few minutes. The table legs had screws already attached to the ends so I only needed a measuring device and a drill.

photo by caryn of the finished project and tools

Photo by Caryn of Finished Project and Tools

Could not readily find a yardstick so I used a musket loader that was handy. (If you saw our warehouse you’d realize that many things are within reach – except yard sticks.) I used the straight piece of metal to measure equally from each corner and drilled a pilot hole for the screws already on the table leg, screwed in the legs and adjusted tightly until the suitcase top was level. Done.

Note these are not the sturdiest of tables. I’d put a few books and other non-breakables on top, but even a small dog or large cat with the right determination could topple it and any breakables would meet the floor. Four horizontal reinforcements between the legs would make Granny’s favorite lamp a bit more safe.

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