How to Do a Junk Removal Job: The Ultimate Guide

How to Do a Junk Removal Job: The Ultimate Guide

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When you think about it, junk removal really isn’t that complicated. It’s just a business transaction, right?

You have junk and someone else has a truck. So for a fee — perhaps with an upfront deposit to cover the cost of disposal — you give your stuff away and they take it to the dump (or wherever they are licensed to take it). Lucky for you and the readers of this blog post, the process is not quite as simple as we've just outlined it.

There are a million little details involved in getting junk removed from your property. How do you get quotes before agreeing to anything?

How do you deal with queasy neighbors who don’t want some stranger driving their trash away in exchange for money?

What documents do you need to protect yourself from liability and theft?

What to Dispose of and What to Sell

That said, let’s start with the basics. If you are looking for a junk removal or hauling service, there are three main categories of stuff you might have: If the item is small enough to fit in the back of a truck, and you can unload it yourself, they will probably charge you per item.

This is a very common and fair pricing method. If the item is small but you can’t unload it yourself, they might charge you a per-hour rate for labor. If it’s large, they might charge you by the hour and by the piece. If it’s large but you can’t unload it yourself, or it’s hazardous, they will charge you an hourly rate for labor and a per-item rate for anything that goes into the truck.

Choosing a Junk Removal Service

The easiest way to find junk removal services in your area is to do a Google search for “junk removal” followed by your city. You may have to adjust your search parameters to “all services” (click on the “more” button) to make sure you are seeing both licensed, insured junk removal companies and also service providers that may not be licensed but who might do the job anyway, such as a friend or a family member.

If you want to take the extra step of vetting your chosen providers ahead of time, there are a few things you can look for.

First and foremost, make sure they are licensed, bonded, and insured. A quick Google search should give you the name of the company and the license number.

How Much Does Junk Removal Cost?

The first thing you need to do is decide how much junk you have. The best way to do this is to create a “junk inventory” spreadsheet that lists the item, the quantity, and the approximate weight. If you are just getting a few quotes to get an idea of the junk removal cost, it is not necessary to create a formal inventory. You can simply Google “junk removal cost” and get an idea of the going rate in your area.

Get a Written Estimate and Write up a Contract

Whenever you hire a service provider to do work on your property, you need a contract. This is especially true if you are dealing with a junk removal company that will be driving their truck onto your property. You should insist on a written estimate that itemizes their services and includes their rates.

Make sure that the estimate includes the removal of all items, not just the stuff they will take away. Many junk removal companies will leave behind the smaller items that they don’t want to take away themselves.

Finding the Right Recycler

Finding the right recycler is probably the most important step in the whole process. To make sure you are dealing with a legitimate recycler, the first thing you should do is ask them what they do with your stuff. If they can’t tell you anything about the process, they probably don’t know.

If they tell you that they send it overseas to be recycled or reused, they are legitimate. All of the stuff you are trying to get rid of is valuable and can be reused or recycled in some way. If they tell you that they send it to a landfill or a boiler, they are not legitimate.

There are too many laws against just throwing things away now. If they tell you they send it to China, they are not legitimate. There are so many laws against importing contaminated waste that it is not worth the risk.

Protecting Yourself from Liability When Hiring a Junk Company

If you are hiring a junk removal service to handle a one-off job, you have relatively little to worry about. However, if you are hiring a junk removal company regularly, you want to protect yourself from liability. There are several steps you can take to do this.

  • Ask them to sign a contract. If they will only agree to a verbal contract, you need to find another company.
  • Ask for proof of their insurance. If it is not in writing, it does not exist.
  • Ask for a copy of their permit to operate in your state. If they can’t produce it, they don’t have it.

Selling the Rest

If you’ve done a good job weighing, measuring, and pricing your junk, you should be able to sell the bulk of it for a pretty decent profit. Craigslist is a great place to advertise your leftovers, so long as you are comfortable with the risks. - You will probably have to deal with a ton of low-ballers and time-wasters. - You will have to deal with a lot of tire kickers who have no intention of buying, and a few people who will try to lowball you. - Some people will try to scam you. - You will have to deal with all of the above while also taking care of your family and your job.


The good news is that, with a little prep work, junk removal is easy. You just need to make sure that you know what you have, how much it weighs, what condition it is in, and what you want to do with it. If your home or business is overflowing with junk, you may be wondering: how do I get rid of it all? The good news is that you have options for getting rid of almost any type of junk. From furniture to old appliances, yard clippings to broken appliances, there are a lot of ways to get rid of your stuff. Depending on what you want to get rid of, and what your limitations are, there is likely a way for you to get rid of it.