How much does yard waste removal cost?

Yard waste from home maintenance tasks such as lawn care, sweeping up leaves, tree surgery, or other things can take up a great deal of space in your yard, so working out how to get rid of it is an important part of any sort of major yard project. Yard debris removal is a major industry in the united states, from cities like Washington DC to more rural areas, and there are many different companies that can offer you a yard waste disposal service at a reasonable price. Let us take a look at how much you might expect to have to pay for various different services, from waste pickup to junk removal and removing old tree branches that are taking up space.

Disposing of yard waste by dumping

Let us get one thing out of the way before looking into other options for disposing yard waste: dumping your yard waste is illegal. In most areas, such as Washington DC, it is straightforwardly illegal to dump yard waste such as branches, leaves, and grass clippings anywhere other than designated dumping areas such as landfills. You cannot legally get rid of your yard waste by ditching it by the side of the road or anywhere on your own land, and that largely means that it is, unfortunately, impossible to get rid of large amounts of waste from your front yard for free.

Your only options for yard waste removal are to drive all of your waste to a processing facility yourself, which is affordable but can be a lot of work, particularly for yard waste like large, heavy branches or enormous piles of wet leaves, or alternatively, you could engage the services of a professional waste removal company. Fortunately, for those who do not have easy access to a truck with which they can dispose of yard waste, there are many different yard waste removal companies available to save you the time and work here, particularly in urban areas like Washington DC.

Renting a dumpster for yard waste removal

One of the easiest ways to dispose of yard waste such as grass clippings, leaves, or tree branches, is to rent a dumpster for yard waste removal. In general, and particularly in municipal areas such as Washington DC, it is illegal to dispose yard waste in a regular landfill service; you can’t legally mix yard debris with standard waste, which makes it a bit harder to get rid of waste from your back or front yard work. You will need to engage with a specialist junk removal service for yard debris, such as renting a dumpster.

When you load up your yard waste dumpster, make sure that you do not put any standard municipal waste such as building materials or household trash into the dumpster. This means that the waste pickup service can simply pick up your full yard waste dumpster, drive it off, and dump it at an appropriate processing facility for yard waste.

Make sure you research environmental laws governing your area before you start looking for a junk removal service that will rent you a dumpster. This is important, no matter whether you live in a rural area or a big city like Washington DC.

One of the big things that will affect the cost of dumpster rental for yard waste disposal is the size of dumpster you rent. Many rental companies will only allow you to rent a 20 yard or smaller dumpster for yard waste removal, which is enough for most purposes, but if you are doing very large scale yard work, you might need a larger dumpster, such as a 30 or 40 yard option, which can be harder to find. If you are unsure what a company will offer you, call their customer service helpline for advice!

Yard debris tends to be quite heavy, with dense items such as heavy logs, dirt, and wet leaves weighing a lot more than most commercial waste. That means that most removal service providers will have a waste limit as well as a size limit, and you may find that some companies that offer this service (particularly urban ones such as those in areas like Washington DC) will only allow you to put your heavier, denser waste in smaller dumpsters of around 10 yards in size. Let us take a look at the average prices for waste removal with a dumpster rental service.

On average, a 10 yard dumpster will cost around $300 to rent, a 20 yard dumpster will cost around $400, a 30 yard dumpster will cost a little under $450, and most 40 yard dumpsters cost just under $500 to rent. This cost may vary a fair bit, though, as some companies providing a yard waste removal service will charge less for yard waste than for general municipal waste removal. Costs will also vary slightly due to things like credit card fees and the length of time you need to rent the dumpster for.

Yard waste removal pickup services

Your regular weekly municipal trash collection may be able to help you with your yard waste, as long as you are only dealing with relatively small quantities, such as with a quantity of grass clippings or leaves. This service won’t work so well for larger waste situations, such as if you have a number of large, heavy tree branches to dispose of.

In general, this is one of the most affordable yard waste removal options available, but it comes with a number of restrictions. Firstly, it may not be available in your area; in urban areas like Washington DC, it is generally an option, but more rural areas can be more difficult. If you are unsure, contact your local waste collection customer service representative to find out more.

The other major limitation is on size and timing, which can be a problem if you are trying to dispose of large amounts of yard waste or bulkier yard items such as branches. Municipal waste collection is generally limited to smaller amounts of yard waste or other waste and will be limited to the standard weekly trash collection days and times. That means that you could have a pile of yard waste cluttering up your yard for up to a week before it gets collected; if time is pressing, you will have to choose another option.

When using municipal waste collection options, you should make sure you follow whatever your local waste collection restrictions are. Many regions require you to ensure your waste is packaged appropriately, usually in specialized yard waste bags rather than standard trash bags. You should always check with your local service to find out exactly what types of yard waste they will accept and what the local packaging restrictions are for curb side yard waste removal as part of weekly trash pickup.

Hiring a professional junk hauling service

If you have a large amount of yard waste to dispose of but do not want to have a dumpster filling half your lawn for up to a month, you could try hiring a junk hauling company to dispose of your yard waste. In general, these companies will accept large quantities of waste, but they tend to charge based on the amount of space in their truck that your waste occupies. That means that they can’t provide more than a rough cost estimate in advance, so you cannot plan your costs particularly extensively before they arrive.

When you hire a junk removal business to take away your yard waste, they will provide a two-hour window for collecting your waste. You will need to ensure that you are on-site during that two-hour window and that all of your waste is fully prepared for pickup before they arrive. This will save you the work of loading up all of your debris, as their staff will do that for you, but it can be time consuming and expensive. If your debris takes up a great deal of space, then a dumpster is a much more practical option, as the scale at which junk removal companies tend to operate is such that this option is only economically practical for smaller quantities of yard waste and other debris.

Recycling yard waste

Some types of yard waste can be easily recycled into helpful garden products, which is a more affordable option that is often beneficial for the environment, too. This is a great option if your yard waste is primarily wooden branches or compostable material like leaves or grass clippings, but won’t work so well for old machinery or concrete!

If you have a lot of wood lying around as a result of a tree maintenance project, you could try turning it into a helpful mulch that you could use around the yard at any time. A great way to do this is to rent a wood chipper, which can be surprisingly affordable. It will take a bit of effort to cut larger branches down to size, but you can end up with a large sack of mulch that is perfect for your plants and can save you a great deal of money on both waste disposal and buying mulch!

If you find that you often have a lot of grass clippings and leaves to dispose of, then it might be worth buying a composting bin. This can be easily set up in the corner of your yard and is a great way to compost many types of yard waste. Just fill your composting bin up with waste and leave it for a few weeks, stirring it occasionally to help it break down. Once it is broken down properly, you can use your fresh compost as a fertilizer around your yard.

If you have a lot of weeds or other plants, however, you should avoid trying to compost these. The composting process does not always break down the seeds of certain weeds, and this can then contaminate the areas you put the compost on later with seeds that then grow into an infestation of weeds.

These options are ideal if you have a large yard that requires a lot of compost or mulch, two products which can become expensive if you use a lot of them. If you have a smaller yard or do not use a lot of mulch or compost for any other reason, then this could leave you with an enormous amount of mulch and compost to work through, which could be an issue. For larger yards, however, renting a woodchipper and buying a composting bin can be one of the most affordable and practical options for getting rid of yard waste, and it is environmentally friendly, too!

Burning yard waste

Burning yard waste is a valid option if you have a large amount of clean yard waste with no chemicals in and sufficient space to safely light a fire. Check your local regulations first, though, as not every area allows the burning of yard waste!

It is important to ensure that you burn your yard debris in a safe, purpose-built fire pit that is at least 150 feet from any building, and that you have someone standing by with a hose at all times.



Disposing of yard debris can be time-consuming and potentially expensive, but once you have done it once, it becomes a much easier process. Hiring a small dumpster is generally the best option for most yards, as it is often the most cost-effective option for disposing of heavy debris or larger pieces that take up a lot of space. Before you set up any dumpster rental, ensure that you have checked the local trash disposal regulations for your area, as these can vary significantly. The most important thing to remember in any situation, no matter where you live, is that dumping your yard junk anywhere other than a processing center is illegal, so you should ensure that you know where your local processing locations are and how to access them before you start to work on getting rid of your yard debris!

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