We all know what the trash companies do with your trash – they haul it to the local dump. Obviously when they do it, they take a huge truck of stuff at a time.

But did you know you can also take stuff there yourself?

For week-to-week trash pickup it’s not worth it, because the dump’s minimum fee is around $80. But if you have a big load of stuff you need to get rid of, it can add up quickly. Trash companies will frequently charge $50 or so per large item for curbside pickup, which means that two large items and you’re money ahead if you can just haul it yourself.

In fact, that $80 covers the first ton of stuff – so unless you’re getting rid of something like a big pile of old free weights from a gym or a pile of concrete blocks, it’ll probably cover everything you can fit into even a large pickup or van.

So how do you make the most of your trip to the landfill?

First, separate your stuff.

Think about things that are in good enough condition to be donated. Anything that a store like Goodwill or Hope Gospel Mission will take can go to those places for free. Bag or box up the smaller stuff, load that stuff up and give it to the thrift stores. They’ll be happy to have it, and you’ll have less stuff to haul off to the landfill.

Also think about things that can be recycled – especially things that can be put curbside for single-stream recycling. If you’re clearing out Aunt Ethel’s back room and she has piles and piles of newspaper, you don’t have to pay to haul that off – just bag it up in paper bags and put it out with your recycling. If there’s a large amount of it, maybe give your garbage company a heads-up that you’ll be putting it out – but garbage companies almost never charge extra for more recycling.

Second, find a vehicle.

If you already own a minivan or a pickup truck, you probably have this covered already. If you don’t, borrowing a vehicle from a friend can be useful. If you have enough stuff, it might even be worth renting a truck for the day and loading it up. Remember, that $80 dump fee covers quite a bit of stuff, and if you go over it’s not that much more – so you could probably clear out almost all your junk in one trip!

Third, load up your vehicle and head out to the landfill.

The people at the landfill will weigh your vehicle coming in and going out. You pay for the difference in weight, with the minimum charge being that $80 we mentioned above. If you’ve never been to the landfill before, don’t worry – the people there will let you know where to go and what to do.

Is it worth it?

If you have a good back, a big vehicle available, and a lot of stuff to get rid of, absolutely. This is the ultimate DIY junk removal strategy, and it’ll save you the most money.

If you don’t have a good back, a big vehicle, or enough stuff to make the trip to the dump worthwhile, that’s what a junk removal company like ours is for. That process we described above? That’s exactly what we do. We load everything up, pull out the stuff that can be recycled or donated, and haul the rest off to the landfill.

If you’re the sort that’s inclined to DIY, we hope this article was helpful. We wish you success on your next (or first!) trip to the landfill. But if your thinking is less “DIY” and more “D-I-Why?”, we’re here to help – just give us a call at (715) 598-3677 for a fast, free estimate!

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