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.
- 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, 1800GotJunk.com 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.