Throw Your Junk Away

Haul away your household clutter, or hire the job out. Here’s a guide to help you decide.


Whether it’s years of accumulated clutter, old appliances, or household chemicals, it has to go. Is it a DIY job? Or do you need to call in the professionals? Here’s what you need to know.

Identify the different types of trash in your home. Your household waste falls into three categories, and each has its means of disposal.

  • Household trash is your everyday waste: food packaging, food scraps, and more. Your weekly trash pick-up handles this.
  • Junk includes old furniture not worth selling or donating, worn-out appliances, and household accessories. Tops on this list are old mattresses and box springs, barbeque grills, refrigerators, washers, and dryers. When buying a new appliance, always ask if the merchant will haul away the old one. Remodeling construction debris also is common, but your contractor should dispose of it.
  • Hazardous waste includes paint, cleaners, oils, and pesticides. Please do NOT put it in the trash or pour it down the drain. Refrigerators are both junk and hazardous material since they contain refrigerant gas and a small amount of oil. Old fluorescent lights have gasses that make them dangerous.

Before you hire a professional service, check your city or county website to see if it offers extra services, such as pick up of large appliances or old furniture, for a small fee. Sometimes municipalities will schedule special days a couple of times a year to pick up large household items.

The same applies to household chemicals. Many cities or counties have facilities where residents can drop off old paint, pesticides, and other household hazards.

Junk removal services. The most incredible thing about hiring a junk removal service is having a crew do all the work. Be sure to ask in advance if the service will properly dispose of hazardous materials. Some services don’t take them, and you should make separate arrangements. The service should recycle as much as possible, putting what is necessary for a landfill.

Renting a trash bin. In this scenario, a waste disposal company will deliver a large container to your driveway. Once filled, the waste company will haul it off. Remember to dispose of hazardous chemicals separately and properly. You can try purchasing a large bag at home improvement stores that can use for smaller amounts of waste and can be hauled away by a waste disposal company for a fee. These so-called Bagsters hold up to 3,000 pounds.

Prices. Large garbage bins are rented by the day and can run a few hundred dollars for about five days. Junk removal services start at $200 and go up to $600. A Bagster filled and hauled away runs about $200.


Published by Jeff Anderson

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