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We all accumulate junk, trash and waste -- whether it’s from parties, remodeling projects or the activities of our day-to-day lives. And, unless we want to be the eyesore neighbor with a smelly house, we’ve all got to purge the stuff once in awhile too. Fortunately, we have the option of hiring a waste removal service to do the dirty work. Here are a few things that factor into the cost of waste and junk removal.
Waste, Junk and Trash Services - What’s the Difference?
The difference between “waste”, “junk” and “trash” removal is an important one, as prices and professionals will differ greatly among them. Trash removal is the regularly scheduled service -- generally provided by the city in which you live -- that you include in your monthly utilities. Junk removal, on the other hand, is the one-time removal of materials that a trash company won’t haul away (i.e., major appliances, furniture, etc.). Waste removal is the removal of certain types of materials that trash and junk removal companies do not have the capacity to handle.
Waste removal takes a little more time and preparation than trash and junk removal because it involves anything from dangerous fluorescent bulbs to old latex paint and other harmful chemicals. The price of waste removal will vary greatly, depending on which of the following categories it falls into:
Solid Waste: Garbage and household clutter generally fall into the solid waste category. The cost for solid waste removed is usually around $160, unless you have specialty or excess waste that might require special attention or take longer to remove.
Hazardous Waste: The professional removal of old latex paint, mercury or other chemicals will take careful preparation and specialty equipment. Hazardous waste removal will be quoted on a per-pound basis, so you could pay anywhere from $50 to $100, depending on the volume of waste.
Construction Debris: If you recently remodeled or added onto your home, it’s likely that you have leftover materials -- most of which will need to be removed. The cost for construction debris removal averages around $200, depending on the quantity involved.
Composting: Yard and food waste can be removed and professionally composted for around $100.
Additional waste removal options include recyclable and universal waste removal. Recyclable waste removal hauls cans, glasses, paper and other reusable items away in bulk. Universal waste removal involves batteries, light bulbs and other reusable materials that do not fall into the hazardous waste category.
Junk is less dangerous than other types of waste, but it can be bulky. Generally speaking, junk waste removal usually involves the removal of large items (e.g., appliances, tires, pianos, etc.) that will require two or more people to haul away to a landfill or other specified location.
Removal prices will reflect level of difficulty, costing about:
Usually, making a trip to the dump to get rid of yard waste, appliances and smaller garbage loads is no big deal. But sometimes you need help with the bigger loads. On average, homeowners pay between $138 and $373 for junk removal, though costs depend largely on contents, volume and service policies.
Trash removal is usually offered as part of your city utilities. But there are also independent companies who sometimes offer the service at a lower price. Trash removal generally costs:
Monthly: $10 to $40
Annually: $140 to $250
These costs do not include a one-time setup fee, which may fall anywhere between $30 and $50. (Note: This cost guide and its chart DO NOT include the costs for trash removal. Please contact your local city provider or private companies for true fee schedules.)
Junk removal services will remove junk from your home or your businesses -- charging around $200 for removal from a single family home and around $250 for removal from an apartment. Waste removal from a business will cost about $400. More information on junk waste removal costs is included below.
By the Truck:
up to 60 ft.3
60 to 80 ft.3
80 to 120 ft.3
120 to 180 ft.3
180 to 240 ft.3
240 to 300 ft.3
300 to 360 ft.3
360 to 420 ft.3
420 to 480 ft.3
Fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury and are considered hazardous waste. If you decide to upgrade your home to CFL and LED lighting, you may have to have your fluorescent lights professionally removed. This will cost an average of $.10 to $.50 per foot.
Freezer and Refrigerator
Since large appliances like freezers and refrigerators contain gas freon, they cannot be thrown away without posing a threat to the ozone layer. You’ll need to hire a waste removal service to junk them properly. This will cost an average of $30 to $50 per unit.
Since latex paint cannot be recycled and must either be dried out or thrown away, it can’t just be tossed into the garbage. Most often, you’ll need to have it professionally removed. A junk removal service will charge about $10 per gallon.
You can recycle some types of tires, but there are limitations at transfer stations. A professional service will charge per four tires. With rims, it will cost $10 - $15 per tire; without rims, you could pay around $5 to $10.
Because pianos are so heavy, it’s likely that you’ll need a waste removal service to haul your old piano away. The average cost to get rid of piano is about $50 to $100, depending on the type of piano and any extenuating circumstances involved in getting it out of the home.
Planning for Junk and Debris Removal
Waste removal services may offer bulk or itemized pricing, depending on the type of waste. Usually, a professional will look at everything and determine a final price based on the materials involved, the manner in which the company charges (by truckload or by item) and your location in proximity to their company’s base and the landfill. You can save some time -- and maybe even a few dollars -- by assembling everything together prior to pick up. And, you can take easily transported junk waste to the landfill yourself.
Most junk removal services charge two fees -- one for either the type or size of the junk and one for either the amount of truckloads or the total time it takes to haul the junk. Additional charges may include fees for delivering waste to its proper place. This is because some items have special delivery needs -- paint, freezers, A/C units, fluorescents, etc. -- and cannot be left in landfills. Be sure to have a list of all of the items you need professionally removed, especially if some have special requirements.
You will also be charged for labor -- especially if the job takes more than one hour or takes more than their default number of waste removal professionals. Homeowners who pay for waste removal will:
Have all of their items sorted and delivered to a landfill or other proper delivery area.
Have their home, garage or landscape properly cleaned following the removal
Get a team that can easily remove all of the debris
It’s worth noting that:
Most junk removal services don’t take chemicals or hazardous products. You need to call your local garbage or waste collection company to address these.
If you have recyclable trash, save yourself some money and see whether a free hauling company will pick it up.
Take advantage of this service by getting everything out of your home at once.