Did you know that most people have no idea that junk removal is even an industry?
Yes, that may be surprising for most as the conception people often have of this industry is, “That’s what my waste-removal company does for me every week”. However, it’s a lot more different than that.
The goal here is to break down every concern you may have about how junk removal works, what the most common questions and misconceptions are, and even give you some important benefits of getting this service done (some might be obvious, while others not so much).
Table of Contents
Junk Removal Service [A Guide]
Junk removal is the process of getting a person or a group of individuals (usually a business) to come to your home or office and physically remove some or ALL unwanted items you outline.
This can vary from very easy items to remove such as household trash or an old couch. The place where costs can really skyrocket is where the removal of the item gets more difficult, or there’s a lot to remove. As I continue the discussion this further down, you’ll have a better understanding in just a few minutes.
In almost all cases, junk removal costs money and the price can vary greatly.
What Makes Junk Removal Services Different?
Junk removal services can be considered “a dime a dozen”, that’s because anyone with a truck and trailer can go out there and remove trash or appliances from someone’s home, make anywhere between 20 and 200 dollars (on average) and go buy a six-pack.
When you call a more professional company that may still come with a trailer or a dump truck but seems to charge quite a bit more, this is where you will often see a professional service. Companys like 1800 Got Junk and College Hunks charge some of the highest prices in the industry for their junk removal services.
Many other local haulers can also provide identical service and professionalism but at a reduced rate due to operating a much smaller enterprise. The best bet for an average price in your area is to call a dozen haulers and see what each charge.
Are Dumpster Rentals the Same Thing?
Junk removal is pretty much an all inclusive service where single or multiple people show up and they start to remove your unwanted junk from your property.
Where dumpster rentals are different is that the company will give you the option to pick the size of your dumpster (depending on the size of your job) and let you fill it up yourself. Once it becomes full, you call the company and they will haul it away for you and dispose of the content.
Dumpster rental prices will often provide you a bigger BANG for the BUCK, but they require YOU to provide all the labor.
What kind of items do they usually take?
Junk removal company in almost all cases take just about anything. From construction debris removal, two hot tubs and concrete. The more important thing to note is what do junk removal companies NOT take? That’s a tricky one and I answer it below.
What kind of items are often NOT taken?
The types of items-junk removal companies often NOT take is usually across the board very similar, the following are some of the most common items:
- Paint (DRY PAINT is OK)
- Incandescent bulbs
- Motor oil
- Hazardous liquid chemicals of all types
- Car Batteries
While those are often labeled as items junk hauling companies cannot remove, a few other items below often can be removed, but for an extra fee.
- Computer components
- Construction debris
just to name a few.
Fees for the items mentioned above may vary significantly, especially if you live in regions with strict environmental and recycling regulations.
Where Does The Junk Go?
When a junk removal company comes over, loads up their truck or trailer and then heads out, where does it all go?
That’s a great question and in almost all cases, the easiest answer is the right one. The landfill. Surprising, no?
Most landfills take all types of junk for both residential and business clients. This varies from areas where they just pile everything on a trash mountain cover over with dirt and move on from there, to more advanced facilities that manually separate trash and other various debris with heavy-duty commercial equipment and then dispose of them in designated containers. The latter facilities are called Transfer Stations.
NOTE: In Lee and Collier county, we have both a giant landfill (in Naples) and a transfer station (in Fort Myers).
Does Anything Get Donated or Recycled?
Recycling often only applies to metal scrap and metal appliances that place can tear apart and resell. When it applies to having items donated, we are happy to do so. Often times if items are requested to be donated to Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, or any other charity of choice (that is local), we can provide receipts of proof and the ability for you to claim some possible tax write-off.
How Expensive is Junk Removal?
Junk removal pricing varies across the board, from the business owners and the location. A 10-year truck and trailer located near Miami, Florida will be charging 25 to 50% more for the same load that they could get in Fort Myers, Florida largely due to:
- Higher landfill dump fees
- Higher local taxes
- Higher local wages
The best way to get some accurate pricing in your area is to reach out to some local haulers with a few pictures, tell them the exact same details across the board and see what they reply with an estimate.
Typically, a price estimate will be based on what type of junk you have and how much of it. For general junk, furniture, and appliances, junk removal companies price by the load. A minimum for example might be $100 (For a few small items) and 25% (1/4 quarter) might be around 225 dollars. From there, a half load might jump up to $325, and if they are to load a full trailer, they might charge somewhere around $525 dollars.
Top Things to Look For in a Junk Removal Company
One would think junk removal companies are largely created equally, but they aren’t. As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, you can easily find someone who can do a job for cheap but at the same time, risk damaging some property and not be insured, disappear and not be found again for a reimbursement.
Here’s a few MAJOR things to look for in a junk removal company:
Are they locally licensed and insured?
This can be an easy thing to miss because junk removal seems so basic, those things might not be necessary (after all, you just want your old fridge removed). However, being locally licensed makes the business owner on the county’s radar, they become official and this can help narrow down individuals who are a bit more serious about their job.
Being insured is just as important, if not more. Insured junk haulers are far more likely to fix a problem they cause due to some kind of accident (hole in your wall, a scratch on your car, etc). In some cases it is critical to ask for this info, depending on the type of job you want done. You be the judge.
Do they high customer review ratings on places like Google, Facebook, or Bing?
This is an area where reviews are gained from years of experience and being around customers. Look at both 5 stars and 1-2-star reviews from all review platforms, see the commonality and try to isolate if those negative/positive reviews are one-off or something the company consistently does.
Are they charging a fair rate compared to local competition?
Again, call around for price comparisons. Some local companies can take advantage of their customers due to some of their equipment being new and having the latest and greatest software tech, while at the same time, getting the job done for around the same time as a smaller hauler that aims to provide same or even better service, for 3/4 or even 1/2 price.
NOTE: At 239 Junk Removal, we price our junk removal services anywhere between 20 to 30% less than big corporate companies.
I Need Junk Removal, How Do I Hire from Start to Finish?
First of all, if you are located in Lee or Collier county Florida, call us (239-330-5544). However, if you are located anywhere else, here’s the simple process from start to finish.
Get on Google or Bing and search for “junk removal near me” or “junk removal” + “city name” (whichever city or town you’re in). From there, if you want to price shop, call a few companies around and provide descriptions and PHOTOS of the junk you want hauled away. Be specific as to where the items are, how many flights of stairs there area (ask if they are any extra charges for anything you mention), is it easy or difficult to get to them, etc.
Ask also for their availability, this can be crucial if you have an urgent need. Many times lower cost junk removal companies can be booked out in advanced for a few days to a few weeks.
Once you decide on which company to do business with, schedule an appointment… but have a backup plan in case they cancel on you or something comes up.
What happens after your junk has been removed?
Whether it was due to a move or you finally decided to free-up space in an area where things have been piling up for quite some time, once you have the area cleared away:
- You’ll feel like your house (or living space) got bigger
- You’ll have the urge to more stuff there (resist this urge)
- It may give you a reality check of just how much you can live with and without
- You’ll now know someone locally has your back if things get out of hand.
NOTE: Here’s how 239 Junk Removal & Hauling Operates in Lee & Collier County
About Ivan Gordiyenko