Garbage Pickup Cost

How Much Should the Monthly Garbage Bill Be?

The Environmental Protection Agency states that around 4.4 pounds of trash are produced by the average American every single day. And as you know, all this trash, both from around the house and from your day-to-day activities will have to be taken care of in some way or form. Most people will go on the easy road and just hire a collection firm or service to take care of the trash.

What’s important to keep in mind is that the actual costs of the trash removal service will depend quite a lot on some factors like the local competition, the actual size of your containers, and the place where you live. Some special services like removing hazardous waste or unwanted appliances will also enquire additional costs. The next part of the article will give you all the information you need about the monthly garbage bill you should expect, along with any extra charges you might be required to pay for additional services and some interesting strategies to cut down these costs.

What is trash?

Not everything you might believe is trash, really is trash. For example, whatever you have in the garbage bag inside your kitchen will not be classified quite the same as the sofa you have left from your college years and you keep in your basement. Your trash will be picked up and priced depending on how it is classified at pick-up.

Hazardous waste: These materials are those considered hazardous and include anything from paint products to pesticides, garden chemicals, fluorescent light bulbs, electronics, batteries, and automotive products and fluids. Also on the hazardous list are syringes and other sharp items. You can arrange for the pickup of hazardous waste for a fee because it can only be disposed of at very specific locations.

Junk: On the other hand, heavy stuff that you won’t be able to fit in traditional garbage containers like non-working freezers or damaged washing machines, are called junk. And I’m talking about the really bulky stuff. When it comes to very large items, most collection services will have their own designated days for pickup, and won’t charge you additionally to have these picked up. There are some, though that will have a fee or require you to book this as a special service.

Yard Waste: Yard waste is a classification for everything from tree branches to plant trimmings, leaves, and grass. Most collection services will require an additional fee to pick up yard waste and this can range between $5 and $15 per month.

Recyclables: Depending on the collection company you’re working with and the place where you are living, the items that you will be able to recycle will differ. Most of the time, cartons, some plastics, glass, food cans, soda cans, cardboard pieces, magazines, newspapers, and paper, in general, can be recycled. When you recycle materials, most companies won’t charge you extra for this service.

Trash: This is the usual garbage you will generate around your house daily. These can be anything from sports items, broken pens, dryer sheets, pizza boxes, and whatnot. These items are usually put in trash containers after being gathered in bags and then collected by your service provider weekly.

How Do Collection Services Work

If you live in a large town or city, then you might already be provided with trash collection services by local authorities. There are also areas that need the help of big names like Waste Management or Republic Services. There are also people that live in highly populated areas, that have the possibility of choosing between a few different collection services. Of course, if you live in an area with different services competing, you will spend less on these services.

Collection services will usually have designated days each week for picking up regular garbage from households. If the same company also provides yard waste and recyclable services, they might have a pickup for these on the same day or in a different one. There are also collection services that would enable their customers to take large junk items outside for bulk pickup without an additional charge, but only on designated days. Of course, these services are pretty rare, and most companies will have a fee for large items, due to them occupying a lot of space. When it comes to hazardous waste, you will have a pickup fee to pay and will most likely have to schedule the day of pickup.

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It might be pretty expensive to dispose of some special items. For example, if you want to dispose of lightbulbs with mercury using the services provided by Republic Services, you will be required to get the small bulb kit, which costs $91. You will also spend around $120 for a box of medium size that will be able to hold around 18 pounds of electronics that need to be recycled. If you need a 10-yard dumpster in which to dispose of all kinds of construction debris, you will spend around $611 to rent one for the next 9 days. Depending on where you are, these prices will differ considerably.

What Does Monthly Service Cost

There are trash collection services that charge quarterly fees, although most of them will require monthly payments to continue providing their services. Depending on where you live, you will be required a minimum of $20 monthly, although there are services that charge over $80 per month, regardless of whether the company will charge on a monthly basis or not. Keep in mind that people living in rural areas end up paying slightly more because their providers will have to drive all the way to them to pick up the trash. This means additional working hours and more fuel for the garbage truck.

Full Trash ContainersIn this same regard, simply living in a bigger city won’t mean you’re getting a better deal. Consider the excessive traffic on certain parts of the city that might place you on the higher end of the price due to how long it takes for trucks to reach you. You’ll probably be the luckiest when it comes to low garbage bills if you live in metropolitan areas, in residential neighborhoods.

Another important factor that will influence the prices is competition in certain areas. When there is strong competition between multiple companies inside the same area, the market will bring all of the prices down. On top of this, you should also consider gas prices, dumping charges, and local taxes, all of which have a strong impact on the final price.

The final fee you’ll have to pay will even be influenced by the size of your trash container. You’ll find that a lot of companies have different sizes for containers. For example, The 96-gallon container will be able to hold around 7 bags, while the 64-gallon one will only be able to keep three. The smaller alternative, the 32-gallon container, will be able to hold two trash bags. Now for the prices. In the San Francisco area, for example, the 96-gallon container will cost around $150 per month, with the 64-gallon one priced at around $90, and the smallest one at about $50.

You will also be required to pay a one-time setup fee with most companies, after signing the contract. This fee shouldn’t be more than $75, although most companies charge around $50.

How to Spend Less

There are some very simple ways of saving some money on garbage pickup. The first thing you need to do is analyze your options when it comes to container size and different pick-up schedules. You will then have to inquire about bulk pickup and other types of special services you might need. The next thing you should do is figure out what are your exact needs. Do you actually produce enough yard waste to need a separate container at your curb for this type of trash? Would you actually need the biggest container, i.e the 96-gallon one for your medium-sized family?

As soon as you know exactly what you need and when you need everything, you will be able to make some adjustments to spend less on the garbage bill.

  1. Limit the number of pickups. There are collection services that will allow you to have your trash picked up monthly or two times per month. This might bring down the price of the contract, even if not necessarily by a lot.
  2. Compost the trash. When it comes to yard waste, even if you’re only paying around $10 additionally every month, as long as we’re talking about small amounts, getting a container really isn’t worth it. What you can do instead is simply compost the yard trimmings and grass clippings so you don’t have to use a yard waste removal service.
  3. Reduce the trash. With less trash comes the need for a smaller container. A few things you can do is repair items instead of just throwing them away and getting new ones. You can also take reusable bags when going for a grocery run and stop buying so much bottled water and just use reusable containers for your water needs.
  4. Go small. When having the choice, always go for a smaller container, so that you are somehow forced to gather less trash so it fits in it. Your savings will be more visible the smaller the container is. You might spend even $20 less on monthly trash bills alone if you switch a 96-gallon container with a 20-gallon one.

Doing This Yourself

You might think that taking on this job yourself and carrying the trash to the dumpster alone, with no help, will help you save a lot. But will it? Let’s do some simple math: Standard trash collection services will cost around $35 per month, while the local dump will charge you around $25 to throw any amount of trash under a ton. This means that you’ll only spend less if you gather the trash for a month and then go throw it all out in a single go.

Keep in mind that storing trash for a whole month won’t be either easy or sanitary and of course, by the time you can throw it away, the smell will be almost unbearable. And what about the whole work of moving and throwing out the trash yourself?

When you consider all of these issues, doing this job yourself won’t be worth it most of the time.

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