Debris removal is a common necessity. Your property may have been affected by a storm or a fire. You may have a tenant who was evicted. There may be a home which was foreclosed on. Maybe your house was condemned due to hoarding. Whatever the reason, you already have to worry about the deductible to repair the damage done to your property. Ensure your peace of mind by getting insurance which covers at least a portion of waste removal services.

DO IT YOURSELF?

There are many ways to go about removing debris. If you value your time over money, consider hiring a professional debris removal company. If you have a truck and trailer and are strapped for cash, consider cleaning and hauling the waste yourself.

Ask your local waste removal company how much they will charge if all of your debris can be removed from in front of your house. Of course, all you have to worry about is a deductible if you get insurance covering waste removal costs. This is particularly important if you plan on moving at some point and anticipate potentially toxic wastes which require a special permit to haul.

WHAT IS DEBRIS REMOVAL?

Debris removal is a service involving the removal of several types of debris from a property. It is often covered by property insurance policies if the service is not provided by your city. However, this is only the case if the need for removal has been caused by a covered peril.

There are several reasons why debris may need to be removed. A tree could fall on your property due to a hurricane, tornado, or some other act of nature. Your house could burn to the ground, leading to a massive accumulation of charred wood debris. A serious wind storm could take off part of your roof. Not only do you need to worry about the repair cost to your property such as cars, sheds and homes, you also have to worry about the cost of having the debris removed if you lack debris removal insurance.

TYPES OF DEBRIS

Household trash and general wastes include household garbage, furniture, broken toys, and packaging materials. Construction and demolition (C&D) debris may include lumber, drywall or sheetrock, wood flooring, roofing debris, renovation debris, and carpeting. Yard debris includes grass clippings, tree limbs, and bush trimmings. Appliances also need to be removed, and this includes ranges (kitchen stoves), microwaves, washers, dryers, dishwashers, and refrigerators.

burnt house

Household hazardous wastes include lead-acid batteries, fluorescent bulbs, household cleaners, motor oil, and chemicals. Recyclables, depending on your local laws, may include paper, cardboard, plastics, and metal. Food scraps and other organic wastes may include eggshells, fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and filters, clean paper and newspaper, vacuum residuals, hair and nail clippings and dirt, soil, grass clippings, dead leaves, and small tree limbs.

IS THERE A NEED FOR DEBRIS REMOVAL INSURANCE?

There is a definite need for debris removal insurance. Costs vary depending on the volume of the load, your geographical location and other factors, but here is a general overview of how much debris removal will cost you without insurance:

INITIAL HAULING MINIMUMS

demolished building

Many hauling companies will charge you a minimum of $50 to $150 to pick up a few items (four or five) if you can leave them in one spot in front of your house. At this price, you may as well drive the debris to the dump yourself. If you have a large pile of debris which needs to be removed from your driveway, a yard or a construction site, you may be looking at $100 to $650 or more depending on whether the debris is recyclable “green” yard clippings or nonrecyclable garbage.

Each state has different fees, as well. For example, California hauling companies charge $175 to $575 per load depending on the size of the truck, and they pass along any fees from the dump on to you. Check with your local regulations and local companies to learn more.

DUMPSTER RENTAL

If you rent and fill a dumpster by yourself, you are looking at anywhere from $90 to $850 to rent the dumpster for a few days depending on where you are, the capacity of the dumpster (between 10 and 40 cubic yards), and the type of the debris which you will be disposing.

SPECIALTY CLEANING AND HAULING SERVICES

Businesses specializing in hauling away debris and then cleaning up after an eviction, foreclosure, or abandoned property may charge you a wide range of rates. They may start anywhere between $500 and $2,000 for a single family home, while in some states, such as California, you may pay $2,500 to $3,500 or more. In Pennsylvania, expect to pay $440 per day for 16 man hours of work plus dump fees of $125 to $325 per load. You may also find companies who charge a flat fee such as $67 per cubic yard to remove junk from your home or yard.

old attic

Finally, you may be required to use multiple debris-removal methods. For example, you may want to remove a concrete patio to install bricks. You may pay $350 to fill a dumpster with a majority of the load of old concrete but then have to pay an additional $250 to have a hauling company remove the remainder of the bricks from your driveway.

HOW DO I HAVE DEBRIS REMOVED?

To have debris removed, call local hauling companies or property clean-out services. Ask your local hardware store, neighbors, friends and family for recommendations. If the debris is due to a remodel, ask your contractors who they have worked with in the past for the specific kind of debris you have.

Other members of your local community who can help you may include landscaping companies, mortgage brokers, real estate agents, appraisers and construction contractors. They do not cover the entire country, but 1800gotjunk.com lists hauling companies all over the United States.

young man on hauling equipment

When choosing which clean-up or hauling company is best for your needs, ask which items are included without additional fees. If you are quoted one number, but need refrigerators, air conditioners containing Freon, electronic equipment, tires, and o

ther potentially toxic items removed, make sure the business knows specifically what you need to be hauled. Do not trust a company which gives you an answer too quickly, particularly if they do not inspect the property first.

If waste removal is not covered by your homeowners association or city, check with local garbage companies to see how much they will charge to haul debris away from one spot on your property, as it may be significantly less than having it removed by a private company. If you are looking for debris removal for your property, here are several ways to go about it:

RENT A DUMPSTER

Dumpsters range in volume from three cubic yard dumpster bags to 40 cubic yard construction dumpsters. They are ideal if you are dealing with construction, bulk recycling, house cleanouts, roofing, demolition, and yard waste disposal.

REUSING OR RECYCLING

This is the ideal solution for waste disposal. It has an almost non-existent negative impact on the environment and reduces landfill waste. Reuse, donate, and recycle everything you can as donations help people who are less fortunate.

HIRE A JUNK REMOVAL SERVICE

dumpster equipment

Hiring professional waste removals is ideal for e-waste, bulk amounts of debris such as that left after a heavy storm, and wastes which are difficult to dispose of. Remember, you pay for the convenience of not having to clean up and haul the waste yourself, so call around for the best prices and do a thorough cost analysis of the value of your time versus the cash you will have to pay.

DO IT YOURSELF

If you have a friend with a truck and trailer, the most cost effective option will probably be to haul the debris off to your local landfill yourself. You will still have to pay the dump fees and maybe fuel for the truck. If there are special items, you may need a permit to haul them.

Carefully consider how much you value your time, as it may take you longer than professional waste removers to clean up your property. Ask your local landfill what kind of waste they accept. Some may only accept C&D debris but not household garbage. You may also need to get a permit to haul hazardous materials.

HHW FACILITY OR EVENT

Household hazardous waste (HHW) facilities process and recycle potentially toxic wastes safely. These include e-waste, liquids, medicines, chemicals, paint, and household cleaners. Some communities host events for HHW removal on a biannual or annual basis. Visit earth911.com to locate your nearest HHW drop off location.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Debris removal may be necessary for any homeowner throughout the course of their home ownership. Repairs are expensive enough. Make sure you are protected by investing in insurance to cover at least part of the cost of removing waste from your property. Ask friends, family and local professionals who they recommend for waste removal services if you do not have the time or ability to remove the debris yourself.

Have potential companies survey the property before offering you a quote and ask about discounts and special fees such as those for removing hazardous waste. If you cannot afford to have a professional remove the waste, ask your local garbage removal company how much they would charge and compare it to private companies or see about renting a dumpster, dumpster bags and getting friends to help you. Also, see what you can reuse, recycle or donate. This has the smallest impact on the environment.