Nationwide Junk Removal Services
26 Aug 2016

Dumpster Rental vs. Junk Removal: Pros and Cons

Want to trash the old junk around your house? Find out whether a dumpster or hauling service fits your junk-hauling needs.

Many home improvement projects produce large amounts of waste.

Few homeowners are equipped with the proper tools and knowledge to haul the waste off to the proper facilities on their own. It requires a large, weight-bearing vehicle that in many cases they’ll need to fill and empty several times, the fuel for multiple trips to the correct disposal facilities, and, in some cases, the permits to drop off waste at those facilities.

It can be a lot of backbreaking work that costs more than you save by hiring a company to dispose of everything properly.

Depending on how hands-on you want to be, there are two main choices when it comes to disposing of large amounts of waste: junk removal services or dumpster rental.

Junk removal pros and cons

Junk removal services typically advertise that they’ll do all the work for you — including getting that freezer out of the basement and hauling it away.

Keep in mind that you’ll most likely pay for additional trips, if necessary. It could add up if you have to call them back because you found more waste after they left or if they need to return after filling up their vehicle one or more times.

Dumpster rental pros and cons

Dumpster rental businesses require the renters to fill the container on their own instead of hauling items out for them.

Because dumpsters are generally rented by the week, they’re best for projects the last several days or longer.

You can take your time filling the dumpster as you go, and the larger rental window also allows room for projects that take longer than originally expected as you are in charge of the pickup day.

For smaller jobs, another option is purchasing a Bagster from a home improvement store like Lowe’s, Home Depot, Menards or even Walmart. Bagsters are heavy-duty bags with a 3,300-pound capacity designed for jobs that are too big for trash bags, but too small to require a dumpster.

Cost considerations

There are a couple other specifics to consider when making the choice between a junk hauler or a dumpster rental.

Your location may affect pricing, as costs vary depending on the municipality and available disposal facilities. Every municipality is different and you should check in with them first, but your location and dumpster placement may require a permit. A local dumpster rental company should be able to guide you to the correct channels and authorities to secure any necessary permits.

Renting a dumpster for three to four days can cost anywhere from $90 to $850, including dump fees, according to Angie’s List members reported paying anywhere between $385 and $500 for a dumpster rental and pickup. Be sure to ask about the weight limit, since you can get hit with additional fees if you overfill your dumpster.

Depending on where you live, for around $170, you can purchase a Bagster, fill it up and have Waste Management haul it away.

Junk removal services are fast and, as long as they are parked legally and not for longer than local street laws allow, they typically don’t require permits and the fees that go with them.

Junk removal fees depend on the job, and most hauling companies charge a minimum of $50 to $150 for pickup on a smaller job, according to CostHelper. For larger jobs, such as hauling away yard or construction debris, fees can range from $100 to $650. Angie’s list members reported paying around $85 for small junk pickups and between $250 and $500 for bigger jobs.

Material, size matters

Finally, the size, type and amount of waste you are disposing of are the most important factors to consider when it comes to comparing prices between the two services.

If you have only a couple of large items and they’re too dangerous to move on your own, junk removal services may be your best bet.

However, if you’re dealing with a large amount of waste that includes a mixture of items, such as concrete and construction waste, storm and yard debris or multiple pieces of furniture and appliances, a dumpster rental is probably more cost efficient.

You can put almost anything other than hazardous materials, such as oil, paint, and toxic chemicals. Junk removal companies sometimes have a longer list of “do not take” items, depending on their size and abilities.



16 Aug 2016

Debris Removal Cost

The need for debris removal may be prompted by removing overgrown landscaping; remodeling that includes ripping out existing building materials (such as wallboard, shingles); fire, flooding or other disaster which leaves extensive debris behind; a tenant leaving a rental property filled with unwanted junk; or simply clearing a house of many years’ accumulation of unneeded items.

Typical costs:

  • If you have only a few items (usually less than 5 or 6) to discard and can leave them in one spot in front of your house, many hauling companies will pick them up for an average minimum charge of about $50-$150 — although prices vary considerably in different parts of the country. Having a larger pile of debris picked up from a driveway, yard or construction site might run anywhere from $100-$650 or more, depending on the total amount of debris and whether it’s clean recyclable materials, “green” yard clippings or garbage. Depending on the size of the truck, a California hauling company charges $175-$575 per load, plus any fees charged by the dump.
  • Renting and filling a dumpster can run anywhere from $90-$850 for a few days rental depending on location, dumpster capacity (10-40 cubic yards) and the type of debris.
  • Some companies specialize in hauling away debris and then cleaning up eviction, foreclosure or abandoned properties. Costs vary considerably between regions and depend on the amount of work needed, but start around $500-$2,000 for a single family home and can be $2,500-$3,500or more. One company advertises a flat fee of $800 to remove up to 12 cubic yards of debris from a 1,600-square-foot home with a 1/4-acre yard. A Pennsylvania company charges $440for two employees working an 8-hour day, plus dump fees of $125-$325 per load.
  • Sometimes homeowners use more than one debris-removal method. When removing a concrete patio to install bricks, a homeowner paid $350 to fill a dumpster with the initial load of old concrete, but later placed the last of the debris in the driveway and paid $250 to have a hauling company take it away.

What should be included:

  • Some hauling companies will not accept tires, household appliances (such as refrigerators or air conditioners, which contain Freon), electronics or other potentially toxic items; many firms will accept these items but charge additional fees. The type of debris will have a big impact on the cost. Hiring someone to haul away piles of green waste (such as branches and clippings from extensive landscape removal) is a lot less expensive than roofing materials, which can be extremely dense and heavy.
  • Services provided by a clean-up company can include putting an evicted tenant’s property into your storage facility; removing all trash both inside and outside a home, including abandoned vehicles and appliances; sweeping clean all rooms including the garage; vacuuming carpets and mopping floors; and mowing the grass, trimming shrubs and other landscape maintenance, then hauling away the clippings.


  • Check with your local waste management (garbage) company to see if they will agree to haul away items placed in one spot on your property; sometimes the fees charged by these agencies are cheaper than private companies.

Shopping for debris removal:

  • Check with family, friends, neighbors and at the local hardware store for recommendations for hauling companies or property clean-out services. If you’re using local contractors for portions of a remodeling project, ask them for recommendations for someone to remove your specific type of debris. Real estate agents, mortgage brokers, appraisers, construction contractors or landscaping companies may be able to recommend local property-cleanup and debris hauling services. And while they don’t cover all areas of the country, lists hauling companies throughout the US.
  • When hiring a hauling or clean-up company, be clear about what types of things are included and ask about any additional fees on specific items such as refrigerators or air conditioners (which contain Freon), electronic equipment, tires or other potentially toxic items. Most clean-up companies will need to see the site before giving a quote. Whether it’s hauling or clean-up, get several estimates because prices can vary widely even within a small community. Check for complaints with the Better Business Bureau.



06 Aug 2016

How to Price Your Junk Removal Services

In a junk collection business, how to price your junk removal service right can mean all the difference between success and failure. Pricing too high can leave your potential customers looking to give their business to a competitor, and inversely, overly aggressive pricing can find you spending too much time taking on unprofitable or money-losing engagements.

When comparing pricing, look at providers that have been in business for years and have a proven track record of success.
There are often new entrants who offer their services at low rates that are unsustainable to business viability, and you do not want to follow that path. That’s why it is so important to understand your costs in relation to pricing.

Factors to Consider
Vehicle operating cost and overhead. Your charge should capture not only the operational cost of running your truck but also a portion of payments, insurance, and maintenance. Consider the distance and time involved in going to and from a job. Obviously, if you have to travel further, or anticipate sitting in traffic for extended periods, reflect that in your pricing. Will there be multiple stops at charities, recycling centers, and the landfill to unload the customer’s junk or more than one trip required? Additionally, you should not only factor in your hourly rate but a reasonable percentage for non-billable hours related to record keeping, marketing, and administration.

One person job or two? Some jobs may be appropriate for a single person while others will require a two (or more) person crew for lifting appliances or other heavy items. For extremely heavy items such as old pianos, it may make sense to develop particular expertise before attempting to handle these items.
Piano moving in itself is a specialized niche that you may be interested in exploring.

How long will loading take? Depending upon the nature of the junk to be removed, it may be as simple as loading an old sofa at the curb, or as tedious as picking up litter at a housing project cleanup. Sweeping or hosing down a driveway will add extra time. A quick check of quoted prices ranges from $20 to $30 per hour for excessive time spent picking up the load. Ask the right questions before taking on a job to limit the surprises. If possible, provide a price range rather than a hard quote to allow for unanticipated costs.

Consider drop-off fees. You will soon become familiar with fees. For instance, your area may have recycling centers that take such items as old paint for a charge, or other goods such as old computers, mattresses, and box springs or stuffed chesterfields and chairs. Again, be sure to incorporate these additional fees and mileage in your pricing.

Restricted items. There may be some items that are restricted, and which you might not be able to dispose of legally.

Get to know if there are any restricted items in your market area that you will not be able to take, such as drywall, solvents, asbestos, old paint or other items.

Residual revenue from junk. Be aware that pricing on some items may be more competitive, especially if there is apparent value to the junk removal service provider. Items such as washers, dryers, stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, hot water heaters, air conditioners, metal shelving, or scrap metal may provide an income opportunity. Aside from scrap, old appliances may be sold on Craigslist, or to appliance dealers. Providers or charities in some areas offer free appliance pickup. Again, do your due diligence and understand how to get the best value for appliances or scrap metal, and to understand what the competition offers in this regard.

Reality Check
Due to the competitive nature of the business, in many respects, you might expect to be a “price taker” rather than a “price maker.” Having said that, you do not want to take on business that is unprofitable. If you find that you will have to charge above the going rate to generate a profit, take a close look at your operating model versus the competition. Can you change your approach to reducing costs, for example? Once again, be reminded that due to ease of entry into the junk business, there will often be new entrants who offer pricing that is unsustainable for long-term business viability, and that it will make no sense for you to match them.