Category Archives: Tips

4 Insanely Simple Ways To Give Back To Your Community

4 Insanely Simple Ways To Give Back To Your Community

Finding the perfect way to give back your community isn’t always easy . . .

Many business owners take pride in the neighborhoods where their businesses flourish. With that pride comes the desire to help to same community. In fact, this desire is driven by the same passion used to propelled their company to success.

But finding the perfect way to give back their community isn’t always easy, so we’re giving you four ways you and your business can give back to your community.

“Charity Begins at Home”

The adage is an apt one. If your business has public space, you should make sure that your own outdoor furnishings are in order. This means that recycle and trash bins are fully functional; picnic tables and park benches, easily accessible; and everything looks good and well kept.

This might require replacing some items — a hefty cost, in some cases. But it’s a cost that can be offset in the future by finding alternative, low-maintenance solutions.

Unsightly Rusted Steel Tree Grate - Try Recycled Plastic InsteadIn our last blog, for example, we compared tree grates made from steel and those made from recycled plastic. Steel tree grates look great, but they rust and are costly (and difficult) to replace. Try replacing rusted out steel with cost-efficient, low-maintenance recycled plastic.

Maintain a clean, accessible, and inviting environment in and around your own site goes along way in showing just how much you value the neighborhood where you do business.

Donate Furniture to Organizations, Schools, or Parks

A well-kept public space can keep crime-rates down even as it attracts tourists and business investments. And quality outdoor furnishings provide a welcoming environment for people gather with friends and family while enjoying the outdoors.
Friends enjoying a donated park bench from OCC Outdoors
But a local park may not have the funds for replacing dilapidated furniture. Donating site furnishings is an easy way to help promote community pride. Benches for parks. Recycle bins for river walks. Bike racks for schools.

These are just some of the commercial furniture your business could donate.

Help Create Quality Public Spaces with Local Agencies

The Project for Public Spaces lists ten benefits to creating good public spaces, from lowering crime rates and attracting tourism to improving public health and building community pride. Studies have explored how low-income urban neighborhoods are more likely to lack features that support walking, such as clean and well-maintained sidewalks, trees, and attractive scenery.
Coordinated Bench and Waste Bin Combo from OCC Outdoors
Placemaking projects have successfully addressed these issues, generating a list of positive community outcomes — increased social capital, opportunities for civic engagement, local economic development, and improved safety and crime reduction, to name a few.

Engage with the agencies that handle local parks or public safety in your area to find opportunities where your business or expertise can help.

Remember Local Community Leaders

Nothing brings people together faster than remembering a beloved neighborhood leader. From a backless memorial park bench to custom-engraved plaques and signage, OCC Outdoors has several options your business can take to help keep a local leader’s memory alive.

Donate a Memorial Plaque or Signage from OCC OutdoorsDonate a sign to the school or a commemorative plaque to local playground will provide a long-lasting service to your community.

There is no one right way. We encourage you to find your own unique way of building community pride.

“The Business That Gives, Prospers.”

Friends spending time on a donated park bench from OCC Outdoors.

These are just four easy ideas on how you and your business can give back to the community that helped your company flourish — but there is no one right way.

We encourage you to find your own unique way of building community pride. Let us know in the comments what you come up with!

It’s vital to show support for the residents and community that supported your business and helped it grow. You’ll find that doing so will prove favorable to your company, while improving the area you live in.

And truth be told, it just feels good!

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7 Tips to protect yourself from Freight Damage Claims

Headache-Free Freight Claims

7 Tips to Ensure Your Freight Claim Gets Paid-In-Full

From the bigger stores like Amazon to the more niche markets of Etsy, more and more consumers experience the satisfaction of finding something wonderful online and having it delivered straight to their home or office. With this new convenience, however, comes new potential headaches: freight claims.


The Headache of Transit Damage

iPhone 7 Damaged in TransitReddit user kroopthesnoop posted about one such headache when they received their shiny new iPhone 7: transit damage. You can view the original images here.

Kroopthesnoop eventually received a replacement iPhone, and all is right in the world. But his story illustrates the importance of working with companies to report shipping damage at the time your order is received.

“Something happened between the factory and delivery,” is all the phone’s owner had to say. We agree. That ‘something‘ is transit damage.

Statistics show that approximately 1-2% of freight is damaged during transit. The Internet is littered with horror stories of people receiving damaged packages. Check out this video of a major shipping carrier, throwing packages around and kicking them with his feet.

What can you do to protect your investments from freight damage? If you have to make a freight claim, how can you be assured that your claim will be paid in full, 100%?


OCC Outdoors’ 7-Step Guide to a Headache-Free Freight Claim

Only the freight companies can know exactly when and where a freight is damaged. The best thing you can do as a consumer is protect your investment. We put together a handy guide to help mitigate any potential headache from transit damage:

1) Inspect every item in your order before signing anything and unloading it.

Note any damage of any kind on the driver’s Bill of Lading. You can be specific (e.g., “3 pieces bent”) or simply write “DAMAGED”.


2) Determine what exactly is stolen, missing or damaged.

Don’t be intimidated by the driver and do not allow the driver to talk you out of inspecting your shipment before signing. The driver may claim he or she is in a hurry for the next route, but you have a right to record all details as necessary.


3) Take photos of the shipment and damage. Have the shipper take photos as well.

We cannot repeat #2 & #3 enough; it’s vitally important! Failure to inspect the shipment will result in the carrier refusing to pay for or replace damaged product. (If, however, the driver will not allow you to inspect the shipment, write “POSSIBLE DAMAGE – DRIVER REFUSED INSPECTION” before signing.)


4) Do not refuse a shipment and never discard damaged freight.

If shippers get rid of the freight, you will have no way to verify damage, which means you might not be paid the full freight claim amount. Keep all freight and packages intact if possible.


5) Pay the freight bill as soon as possible.

You are still responsible for payment of goods’ transportation, even if there is damaged, lost or stolen freight. The claim will be processed by an insurance company.


6) Report the damaged/lost freight — the sooner the report, the better!

Try to report damages and shortages to the carrier within five (5) days of receipt of the load.


7) Keep all necessary documents:

These can include, but are not limited to:

+ A copy of the bill of lading
+ A copy of the paid freight bill
+ A copy of the invoice showing the amount paid for the goods
+ A copy of the packing slip
+ A standard claim form or a letter identifying the shipment and claim amount
+ Photos of the damage

And it goes without saying: if you are not the person that will be receiving the shipment, please pass this information to the correct person.

We’ve already talked about how we help our customers save money with shipping costs. On our end, OCC Outdoors does everything in its power to reduce the chances of transit damage by packing products with expert care and precision. And we’re constantly evolving our packing process, continually researching the market and choosing the shippers with the lowest percent of claims.

Once your items are sent to the shipper, however, it’s out of our hands. This is where we need our customers to work with us when receiving our products. Freight companies will rarely pay for damaged shipments that are not checked and noted prior to signing. It’s worth noting that, as a company policy, OCC Outdoors does not pay for the replacement of items that are damaged in transit.

Still, in our experience, following our those seven tips is the best ways to safeguard your investment and save yourself time, money, and a whole lot of headache!

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Save Money Shipping with OCC Outdoors

Save Money on Shipping with OCC Outdoors

“How much will it cost to get this delivered to me?” This is why OCC Outdoors works very hard with every customer to get the very best value. That includes helping you save money on shipping. After all, shipping cost often has an immediate effect on whether a purchase has good value. It’s also the question that often decides whether a purchase is made at all.

OCC Outdoors takes lowering shipping cost for our customers very seriously — even though it’s not always easy to do.

The shipping industry has many regulations that they must follow. Not only are the size of the pallet, size and weight of the shipment, and the distance the product ships affecting its delivery cost, but the point of delivery and quantity are also key factors. By understanding the points below, however, a customer can work with OCC Outdoors to maximize value and save money on shipping costs.


What Affects Shipping Cost?

The palette size of a shipment will affect whether you can save money on shipping

Pallet Size. Will handling the product be difficult for the warehouse and the shipper with a standard forklift? Is its size or size take up too much space when it’s packed in a trailer? If so, its shipping cost can be affected — sometimes greatly.

The weight of a Unit. If an object weighs more, then it costs more to ship. This is a no-brainer. For ease of processing, the shipping industry developed a Class system for determining shipping cost. The higher the class number, the lower the product’s weight.

For example: A recycle bin that weighs 4 pounds-per-cubic-foot is considered Class 250. A bin that weighs 9 pounds-per-cubic-foot is considered Class 85. But shipping class represents a range.

A receptacle that weighs 4 pounds-per-cubic-foot is Class 250; a second receptacle that weighs 4.25 pounds-per-cubic-foot would be considered Class 150 for shipping. That second receptacle might not be much heavier than the first, but its shipping cost could be very different.

The point of delivery. Where an item is shipped to can also affect its shipping cost dramatically. The easier it is to deliver the park bench, for example, the lower the shipping cost.

Historically, a business with a shipping dock or fork lift will have the lowest point-of-delivery cost associated with it. These business are typically designed to receive large vehicles for easy delivery and unloading.

But a business without a shipping dock or fork lift will require a lift gate delivery, typically increasing cost by $50-$125. Shipping companies have historical data that helps them pre-determine if a venue will have this easy delivery access or not.

Residential areas with limited access or constructions sites are also more expensive because of the increased difficulty in getting the semi in and out and often the need for a lift gate.

Small Shipments. Shipping one of two small items can sometimes have a pick-up and drop-off cost that’s nearly as much as a larger shipment. This can be especially true if the shipping company has a minimum charge for shipping/delivery.

Example: Product A should cost $20 to ship, based on its weight, size, class — all of the criteria we talked about earlier. But the shipping company has a $100 minimum shipping charge.

If you only only one (1) Product A, it’ll cost you a minimum of $100. If you order three (3) of the same product, it’ll still cost you $100. If you order five (5) of the same product . . . you get the idea. Volume orders benefit greatly from this, which is why OCC Outdoors offers the best volume discounts in the industry!


How You Can Save Money on Shipping.

As the end-customer, there is little you or OCC Outdoors can do about the pallet size, quantity and the weight of the unit — the major factors of shipping cost. But all’s not lost!

You can save by picking up the products at the shipping terminal or working with a local business to receive your shipment. But this might not be a viable solution for everyone.

OCC Outdoors designs its products with the idea that a solution might not be the best for every customer. Through our wide array of selections, you can find the commercial furnishing that best suits the needs of your facility. A particular 36-gallon recycling bin might weigh over 300lbs, while another 36-gallon bin might weigh 195lbs. And both might have significant differences in dimensions.

36-Gallon Dual Colonial Recycling Bin 36-Gallon Steel Top Dual Recycling Receptacle
The Dual Colonial Recycling Bin and Steel Top Dual Recycling Receptacle are both 36-gallon, but their weight is drastically different, affecting the shipping cost.


Because we design most of our products in-house, we’re able to fine-tune your needs and pinpoint the absolute most perfect furnishing for your outdoor facility, park space, or commercial business.


OCC Outdoors Can Help You Save on Shipping!

If you have questions, feel free to ask any of our sales agents. By helping you find the perfect commercial furnishing solution for your park or facility based on your needs, we can almost guarantee the lowest shipping cost for you.

Park Benches Commercial Trash Bins Message Centers & Kiosks

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The Cost of Custom Color & RAL Color Chart

OCCOutdoors offers the most popular colors requested on site furnishings. We also offer the full range of RAL colors and architectural colors. We do prefer to stay with the super TGIC powder coats rather than the standard TGIC powder coats due to them having much better all-around durability.

If a non-standard color is requested the price of the unit of units are affected only by the additional paint cost. The following explains the additional cost.

The follow are basic guide lines but can vary depend on witch product is being painted.

The average 6-foot bench takes about 3 pounds of TGIC powder paint and a trash receptacle takes about 2 pounds.



TGIC powder paint comes in 5-, 25-, and 50-pound lots.

» One (1) 5-pound box cost $100.00 with shipping and will paint one 6-foot bench or two trash receptacles.

This means that a flat $100 needs to be added to an order for custom paint for one bench or 2 trash receptacles.

» Two (2) 5-pound boxes cost $200.00 with shipping and will paint three 6-foot benches or up to 5 trash receptacles.

So a flat $200 needs to be added to an order for custom paint for 2-3 benches or 3-5 trash receptacles.

» (1) 25-pound box cost $350.00 with shipping and will paint 8-10 benches or up to 12 trash receptacles.

A flat $350 needs to be added to an order for custom paint for 4-10 benches or 6-12 trash receptacles.


Volume Orders

Volumes greater than ten (10) benches or twelve (12) trash receptacles normal price will not have a charge for custom paint.

These are only averages for TGIC powder paint used on 6-foot benches and single-trash receptacles. If larger products are sold, such as the Madison trash receptacle, 8-foot benches or dual or triple recycled bins, the amount of TGIC powder paint will need to be adjusted accordingly.

While the colors on a computer monitor may vary from the actual color (depending on the settings on your monitor), you can see the full range of RAL colors here.

If you would like to learn more about TGIC powder paint, the following links are both a great source of information:

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Selecting Trash and Recycling Receptacles That Fulfill Your Requirements

There are several factors to consider in choosing the appropriate trash and recycling receptacles for your city or town. The follow are concerns or factors that we have heard from customer over the years; style, shape,Physical size, capacity, color, durability, serviceability, security, wind, precipitation, location, price, recycled content, liner, replacement components and shipping.



Style can be very important to your streetscape. A receptacle style that matches and adds to the areas style or scheme should be considered.



Shape may need to be considered for the location and other site furnishings in the area. Modular — or “universal” — receptacles and bins would be perfect for a corner-spot, where other more traditional bins can’t reach.


Physical Size

Physical size is very important for several reasons. Depending on the area the receptacle will be located. Factors to consider are the amount of foot traffic and maintenance such as snow removal, cleaning and parked vehicles doors.



One of the most important factors is capacity. The receptacle needs to be sized to the amount of foot traffic and the proximity to businesses that product more trash, i.e. fast food, coffee shops, etc.



Closely related to capacity is location. A receptacle needs to be in areas of high foot traffic. The receptacle can also be close to a business that produces large amounts of waste so long as it doesn’t interfere with foot traffic or impedes the accessibility of any other service, e.g., wheelchair ramps.

Capacity is also critical to the department of Public Works scheduled maintenance. The real challenge is using a large enough receptacle to prevent overflow and not create a weight issue for those how must empty the receptacle. One solution is a dual receptacle with recyclables and trash or both trash receptacles.



The color of each receptacle needs to accent other area items, such as your benches, light posts, and planters. You should consider a color that does not show dirt. Black is by far the most popular color for receptacles; however, as we mentioned before, you should take in consideration any universally accepted color codes, such as blue for recycle bins.



Durability can be critical depending on where and how the receptacles are to be used. If the receptacle is to be anchored down or depends on its weight to keep in in place. What type of abuse the receptacle may see over its expected life.



Serviceability is extremely important on so many levels. The location can dictate the need capacity however weight must be considered when emptying the receptacle. If a location calls for a very large capacity receptacle a side access unit can greatly reduce the effort needed to empty the unit making for happier workers and less injuries.



Security of the receptacle and components as well of the contents in certain applications need to be taken into consideration. The receptacle is typically anchored and the top cabled to the receptacle. In some areas anchoring theliner or using a lockable side access receptacle can help with the issue.



Wind is typically only a concern with very light duty receptacle, such as the expanded metal units, or in extremely high wind areas. Anchors can be used in both cases to overcome this problem.



Precipitation needs to be considered for several reasons. The weight when emptying, and spilling during handling and compacting onto the sidewalk and street. Also a concern is water filling the receptacle allowing the waste to float out onto the street.



Price is always a key factor with any public purchase. When purchasing a city receptacle every key point noted in the article should be considered.


Recycled content

Recycled content is very important to all of us for the future of our cities and towns. When we think recycled content most people think of plastic and it true most recycled plastic is made of plastic bottles and jugs and a very good choice. However it is not commonly known that steel is the most recycled material in the world.

Latest studies from the Steel Scrap Institute reports 67% of produced steel in the U.S. is from recycled materials.



Linersare the inner receptacles that typically contain the waste or recyclables. Many liners are thin walled plastic units. These are easily broken in cold temperatures and tend to wear out quickly. The OCCOutdoors rotary molded liner is typically twice the thickness and rarely needs to be replaced.


Replacement components

The availability of replacement components should also be considered if a component is damaged, or stolen. OCCOutdoors has a stock of all receptacle components.



Shipping can get expensive because of the size and weight of receptacles. Thinks that affect shipping cost are:

» The number of units order. There is minimum pick up and drop charge from the fright companies. The more you order the more this cost is distributed.
» Shipping location, the lowest cost is a business with a dock of fork lift; otherwise a lift gate charge is common. Also residential and constructions sites are considered limited access and result in addition charges.

OCCOutdoors sales engineers are heavily trained and they work diligently to help our customers with all of the factors mentioned to insure their happy with our product and save as much on shipping as possible. We have not automate the shipping on our web site because of there are infinite ways to stack and nest our heavy receptacles that can save the customer money. Only the personal touch can insure you are receiving the best shipping method and minimize any damage

Need Durable, High-Quality Trash & Recycling Bins?

Visit the links below and find the perfect one for your outdoor/commercial facility! MAde in the U.S.A!


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