What are Junk Removal Services?

Junk removal services are businesses that conveniently clear out unwanted household or commercial as offices, cafes, restaurants, and construction sites debris for disposal by providing labor, transportation, and waste management services, and they haul it away so customers don’t have to.

Here are some key points about junk removal services:

  • They provide labor and trucks/equipment to haul away non-hazardous unwanted items that the customer can’t or doesn’t want to dispose of themselves. This often includes old furniture, appliances, mattresses, yard waste, construction debris, etc.
  • Junk removal crews will come to your location, load up all the unwanted junk into their trucks and haul it away to donate, recycle or properly dispose of it. This saves the customer time and effort.
  • Full service companies will even come inside your home/office to remove items and safely navigate stairs, elevators, etc. Some may provide basic cleaning/sweeping services too.
  • They are convenient and more affordable than renting your own waste removal truck and doing all the hauling yourself. Helps avoid trips to the dump or donation centers.
  • Junk removal helps quickly clear out unwanted items during moves, renovations, estates cleanouts, foreclosures, evictions, and other situations where unwanted waste piles up.
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TL;DR Factors to Look at in the Request of the Junk Removal Service

Junk removal services can be a lifesaver, especially when you have a lot of clutter and unwanted items lying around your home or office. However, not all junk removal services are created equal, and it’s essential to choose the right one for your needs. From pricing to reputation, a junk removal service ensures that you get the best results possible.

WHEN YOU MIGHT NEED A waste removal company?

Residential Needs

  • Home decluttering: When you’re finally tackling that overflowing attic, basement, or garage, a junk removal company can clear out the clutter fast.
  • Spring cleaning: Major deep cleaning projects often generate more trash than regular bins can handle.
  • Estate cleanouts: Dealing with the belongings of a deceased loved one can be overwhelming. Junk removal professionals provide sensitive and efficient cleanout services.
  • Appliance removal: Disposing of old, bulky appliances requires special handling.
  • Furniture removal: Getting rid of old couches, mattresses, or other large furniture items.
  • Renovation/remodeling debris: Waste removal helps handle construction waste safely and legally.
  • Post-disaster cleanup: Water damage as after storms, floods, or fires, dealing with waste can be challenging. Companies are equipped to handle these situations safely.
  • Yard waste removal: Branches, leaves, and other yard debris can pile up quickly, taking up valuable space.
  • Moving prep: Decluttering before a move makes your home easier to sell and reduces transportation costs.

Commercial Needs:

  • Office cleanouts: Dealing with outdated furniture, old electronics, and accumulated office clutter.
  • Business relocations: Junk removal can manage the disposal of unwanted items while transitioning locations.
  • Retail renovations: Disposing of fixtures, displays, and construction debris in the middle of remodeling projects.
  • Property management: Landlords, HOAs, and property managers frequently utilize junk removal services for evictions, foreclosures, and general property upkeep.
  • Storage unit cleanouts: Clearing out expired leases or abandoned storage units.

Other Specific Situations:

  • Hoarding cleanups: These sensitive situations require professional assistance capable of handling both junk removal and the underlying needs of the individual.
  • Construction debris removal: Contractors benefit from waste removal services to maintain a clean job site.
  • Foreclosure cleanouts: Lenders and real estate agents rely on professionals to clear out and prepare foreclosed properties for resale.

Types of Junk Removal

When it comes to junk removal, there are a few key types of junk to differentiate between from a hazard and permitting perspective:

Non-Hazardous Junk

These could generally be disposed of in standard landfills or recycled without issue. Most common junk removal requests fall into this non-hazardous category.

This is items that are safe for junk removal crews to handle without any special precautions or permitting required. Examples include:

  • Furniture, mattresses and household goods
  • Appliances (with CFCs removed if required)
  • Clothing, toys and tools
  • Yard waste like branches , brush, branches, grass clippings, twigs and more organic types of waste
  • Construction debris like wood scraps, drywall, shingles, concrete (small amounts)
  • Paper/cardboard materials

Potentially Hazardous Junk

A customer would need to disclose these materials upfront and prove proper handling. The removal crew cannot transport unpermitted hazardous materials.

Some forms of junk may require special handing or permitting to legally transport and dispose of:

  • E-Waste like TVs, computers, Car batteries, and household batteries may require recycling permits in some areas.
  • CFC Appliances require CFC removal by certified technicians before junk pickup.
  • Vehicle parts, tires and batteries need recycling permits.
  • Medical waste has stringent disposal regulations.
  • Paint, paint thinners, pesticides, herbicides, pool chemicals.
  • Fluorescent bulbs and tubes contain mercury, so special disposal is required.

Extremely Hazardous Materials

These substances pose too much risk for regular junk disposal – specialized waste management companies handle extreme hazards with extensive safety protocols.

Highly toxic, radioactive, explosive or biochemical materials require specialized hazardous waste crews. Standard junk removal teams cannot handle:

  • Asbestos is a dangerous material that requires special handling and disposal.
  • Gasoline, oil, paint cans requiring hazmat procedures
  • Radioactive materials like smoke detectors
  • Biohazard waste like needles or bodily fluids, Medical waste such as needles, syringes, lancets and others.
  • Firearms, ammunition and explosives
  • Flammable chemicals, solvents or fireworks and explosives (Contact the authorities immediately if you find these items.)
A watercolor illustration of a junk removal service truck in front of a house.
A watercolor illustration of a junk removal service truck in front of a house.

Types of Junk Removal Services

When it comes to junk removal services, there are some key differences in scope of services offered for residential versus commercial clients, as well as between one-time pickups versus ongoing service contracts.

Residential vs. Commercial

  • Residential: Caters to individual homes and apartments. Services include furniture removal, appliance haul-away, yard waste cleanup, and attic or basement cleanouts. Often involves smaller loads and more flexible scheduling.
  • Commercial: Geared towards businesses and offices. Services may include construction debris removal, furniture disposal, document shredding, and ongoing waste management solutions. Typically handles larger volumes and requires specialized equipment for bulky items.

Residential Services

  • Focus on removing household junk – furniture, appliances, yard waste, storage cleanouts, etc.
  • Shorter jobs from a couple hours to 1-2 days
  • May offer basement or garage cleanout services
  • One-time for moving/renovating or recurring monthly with regular route

Commercial Services

  • Take away debris from offices, retail stores, construction/renovation sites
  • Longer multi-day projects with larger removal jobs
  • Offer warehouse and multi-story building clear outs
  • More heavy lifting with increased manpower and equipment

One-Time Pickups vs. Regular Service Contracts:

One-time pickups are ideal for single projects like spring cleaning, renovations, or post-event cleanup. Often, pickups are scheduled on an as-needed basis when moving houses as they have faster scheduling with flexible crews, and customers can order different-sized containers as needed.

Regular Service Contracts are perfect for businesses generating consistent waste, like restaurants, retail stores, or property management companies. Contracts may offer fixed rates, weekly or bi-weekly pickups, and dedicated bins for specific waste streams. Businesses rely on guaranteed regular removal with preferred pricing, and they can plan and keep permanent containers left onsite.

Additional Service Differentiators

  • Labor: Some companies offer “full-service” removal, including loading and hauling, while others require self-loading for lower costs.
  • Disposal Fees: Consider if disposal fees are included in the quoted price or charged separately.
  • Recycling and Donation: Check if the company offers responsible disposal options like recycling or donating usable items.
  • Hazardous Materials: Not all companies handle hazardous waste like chemicals or electronics. Verify if they require separate arrangements.
  • Permitting: Inquire about the company’s expertise in handling items requiring permits, like asbestos or medical waste.

Junk removal services pricing

A group of men from a junk removal service carrying furniture from a moving truck in front of a house.
A group of men from a junk removal service carrying furniture from a moving truck in front of a house.

Junk removal services pricing is primarily formed based on the volume of material to be hauled away, but several other factors can influence the final cost to the customer.

These services cater to both residential and commercial needs, with pricing structures designed to accommodate the varying amounts and types of junk that need to be removed. Understanding how pricing is determined and what additional fees may apply is crucial for anyone looking to hire a junk removal service.

Volume-Based Pricing

The core of junk removal pricing is based on the volume of junk to be removed, measured in terms of truckload capacity. Most often waste removal companies define their rates based on fractions of their truck’s capacity, starting from a minimum charge for very small loads to a full load charge. This volume-based approach is common in the industry, with prices increasing as the amount of junk increases.

For instance, the average cost of junk removal ranges from $150 to $600, with full truckloads potentially costing up to $800. The size of the load can significantly impact the price.

Minimum Charges

Many junk removal businesses implement a minimum charge to ensure that the costs of operation are covered even for small jobs. This minimum charge can vary but is often around $150, which is intended to cover at least one hour of work. 

This ensures that the business can sustainably offer its services even when dealing with very small removal requests.

Average Cost of Junk Removal

The average cost of junk removal services in the U.S. is approximately $233 per job, with prices ranging from $150 for smaller or single-item loads to $641 – $800 or more for full truckloads. This average cost encompasses a wide range of services, from removing a single item to clearing out an entire property.

State-by-State Variations

  • Higher Costs in Certain States: Junk removal tends to be more expensive in states with higher living costs, such as California and Washington, and particularly in large cities like New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. This is likely due to higher operational costs, including wages, fuel, and disposal fees, in these areas
  • Lower Costs in Other States: Conversely, junk removal services are generally less expensive in states like Florida, Oklahoma, Georgia, and parts of Texas. Lower costs in these regions could be attributed to lower operational expenses and possibly less stringent regulations regarding waste disposal

Additional Fees

Beyond the base rate determined by volume, several scenarios can lead to additional charges:

  • Heavy Materials: Items such as tiles, bricks, and concrete may incur extra fees due to the added effort and cost of removal
  • Special Items: Certain items, like electronics, may require special disposal processes, leading to additional fees
  • Location and Accessibility: The difficulty of accessing the items or the need for special equipment can affect the cost
  • Rush Services and Cleanup: Expedited services or extensive cleanup requirements may also result in extra charges
  • Landfill Fees: The cost of landfill dumping, which has been increasing, also affects junk removal prices. As the number of landfills decreases and the distances haulers must travel to dispose of waste increase, prices for junk removal services may rise, particularly in areas with fewer landfill options

Hidden and Junk Fees

While not specific to the junk removal industry, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns consumers about hidden and junk fees across various services. These unexpected charges can significantly increase the total cost. Customers are advised to inquire about the full cost upfront to avoid surprises.

What does a typical invoice for waster removal includes?

An illustration of a junk removal service truck in front of a house and yard littered with waste.
An illustration of a junk removal service truck in front of a house and yard littered with waste.

A typical waste removal invoice includes the following essential elements:

Company Information:

  • Company name, logo, address, and contact details.
  • Invoice number (should be unique to each specific bill).
  • Invoice date.

Client Information:

  • Client’s name or business name.
  • Client’s billing address.
  • Client’s contact information (phone and possibly email).

Service Description:

  • Date(s) the waste removal service(s) were performed.
  • Type of waste removed (e.g., household junk, construction debris, furniture, yard waste).
  • Quantity of waste removed (measured in cubic yards, weight, or truckloads).
  • Location of the waste removal.

Fees and Charges:

  • Base service fee (hourly rate, flat fee, truckload, etc.)
  • Disposal fees (landfill or recycling center costs)
  • Transportation or mileage fees.
  • Fuel surcharge or environmental fee (if applicable).
  • Taxes (include a breakdown of tax rates if relevant).
  • Any additional fees or surcharges (e.g., heavy lifting, hazardous materials).

Total Due:

  • The subtotal of all costs.
  • Total tax amount.
  • The grand total owed by the client.

Payment Information:

  • Due date for payment.
  • Accepted payment methods (cash, check, credit card, online payment).
  • Any late payment penalties.

Types of Removal & Services

  • Residential Junk Removal: Removal of general household junk, including unwanted furniture, appliances, and clutter. (Pricing will vary widely depending on the amount of junk)
  • Commercial Junk Removal: Removal of debris and old equipment from businesses and commercial spaces. (Pricing will vary widely depending on the amount of junk)
  • Furniture Removal: Targeted removal of unwanted furniture items. (Typical Average: $50 – $150 per item)
  • Garage Cleanout: Complete decluttering and junk removal from garages. (Pricing will vary widely depending on the amount of junk)
  • Storage Unit Cleanout: Removing all contents from a storage unit for disposal or relocation. (Pricing will vary widely depending on the amount of junk)
  • Hot Tub Removal: Demolition and disposal of old hot tubs. (Typical Average: $300 – $600)
  • Shed Demolition: Demolishing and hauling away sheds. (Typical Average: $150-$600 depending on size and complexity)
  • Deck Demolition: Demolishing and removal of decks. (Typical Average: $25-$35 per square foot)
  • Yard Waste Collection: Removal of leaves, branches, and other yard debris. (Typical Average: $50-$500 per load)
  • Dumpster Rentals: Provision of dumpsters for DIY junk removal or construction projects. (Pricing likely based on dumpster size and rental duration)
  • Contractor Debris: Removal of debris after construction or renovation work. (Typical Average: $100 – $600 per truckload, depending on material)
  • Heavy Load Hauling: Transporting oversized or particularly heavy items. (Cost likely dependent on item size, weight, and distance)


The company provides fixed pricing for some services:

  • Single Item Pickup: $150
  • 1/4 Truckload: $225
  • 1/2 Truckload: $425
  • 3/4 Truckload: $520
  • Full Truckload: $600

Important Notes:

  • The provided averages are estimates. Actual costs can vary depending on your location, the specific items, and any added labor costs.
  • Always discuss pricing with the company beforehand to get clear estimations tailored to your situation.

How to Select and Hire Waste removal company?

TALLBOX’s suggest to select the right junk hauling provider, first review licenses, insurance and permits to validate legal and safe transportation capabilities, then prioritize experience. Companies with several years of experience (5+ years is ideal) often have established practices and a track record of reliable service.

Then get quotes from multiple companies to compare pricing models and service scopes aligned to your specific removal needs.

Before hiring the best junk removal service near you for heavy load hauling or single furniture or yard waste, one has to look at its reputation and reliability. 

Here are some helpful tips for selecting and hiring a waste removal company:

Ask Around Locally – Word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied customers can quickly identify the quality providers in your area. Check reviews too. Explore local junk removal companies on platforms like Yelp, Google Reviews, and the Better Business Bureau. Pay attention to overall ratings, the content of reviews (both positive and negative), and whether the company responds to feedback.

Vet Licenses & Insurance – Confirm they have valid hauling permits, waste disposal licenses, and insurance certificates to operate legitimately and safely.

Compare Pricing Options – Get quotes from 3-5 junk haulers and weigh pricing for hourly, by truckload or by weight options. Understand any extra fees too.

Assess Responsive Service – A helpful, communicative provider working closely with you indicates better overall customer care.

Check Equipment & Capabilities – Do they have trucks, tools and manpower matched appropriately to your removal needs?

  • Dedicated project management: Seek out companies with assigned project managers, ensuring a smoother process with single-point accountability.
  • Favor full-time employees: Choosing a company with its own dedicated crew often provides better consistency and a sense of responsibility compared to those that subcontract to third parties.

Evaluate Safety Record – Look for safe worksites and protocols for safe handling of any hazardous junk items you’ll need removed.

Choose Sustainability – Do they emphasize recycling and landfill waste reduction in their operations? Green removal aligns values.

Nail Down Logistics – Will their availability match your timing needs? Understand how billing/payment works too.

Outline Everything in Writing – Have a signed service agreement detailing scope of work, pricing and timeframes before work starts.

Types of Insurance and Registrations for Waste Removal Companies

Waste removal companies face unique risks due to the nature of their work, which involves handling potentially hazardous materials, operating heavy machinery, and dealing with various environmental concerns.

To mitigate these risks, waste removal companies must have specific types of insurance and registrations in place.

Insurance Requirements

  1. Public Liability Insurance: This covers injuries or property damage caused to third parties due to the company’s operations
  2. Employer’s Liability Insurance: Required by law, this insurance protects employees who may get injured or become ill as a result of their work
  3. Professional Indemnity Insurance: This protects the company in case of financial loss suffered by a client due to the company’s advice or services
  4. Financial Loss Insurance: Although not mandatory, it provides a safety net against losses caused by events beyond the company’s control, like natural disasters
  5. Contractors All Risks (CAR) Insurance: This is important for both construction and waste removal companies, covering damage to property and the works in progress on a construction site
  6. Defective Workmanship Insurance: Covers claims arising from workmanship issues, which is crucial for companies dealing with hazardous materials
  7. Plant and Equipment Insurance: Protects owned and hired plant equipment and employee tools against damage

Registration Requirements

  1. Waste Carrier’s Licence: Any business that transports, disposes of, or arranges the disposal of waste must be registered as a waste carrier to avoid criminal prosecution
  2. Environmental Permits: Depending on the activities, companies may need to apply for permits to operate legally, such as for landfills, scrap metal yards, or processing plants
  3. Waste Exemption Licence: If a company qualifies, it can operate without an environmental permit but must adhere to strict conditions regarding the amount and type of waste stored

What is the Junk Removal Process?

Here is an overview of the key steps in the standard junk removal process:

  1. Initial Inspection and Assessment
    The client reaches out to provide details about the items and quantities needing removal. This allows the junk hauler to understand the scope of work and recommend services.
  2. On-Site Estimate
    The junk removal company may schedule an on-site visit to inspect items, take measurements, identify access issues and provide a written estimate for the project.
  3. Scheduling & Preparations
    Once estimate is approved, a removal date is set. Client prepares items for pickup by the crew – moving furniture, clearing access paths, discarding garbage beforehand.
  4. Protective Measures
    The removal team takes protective steps – laying floor coverings, erecting barricades – to safeguard building access routes during debris extraction.
  5. Loading & Transport
    Crew foreman oversees actual junk loading, leveraging equipment like dollies, lifts and trucks to efficiently extract waste items from the property onto the hauling vehicle(s).
  6. Unloading & Processing
    Trucks offload waste at designated facilities for sorting, recycling, donation reclamation or disposal based on material composition and client preferences documented.
  7. Site Review & Invoice Client walks site upon completion to ensure area meets expected cleared out conditions. Removal firm then issues invoice for services outlining project charges.

Service Area Coverage

When selecting a junk removal company, it is important to confirm they provide service in your specific area before proceeding. Some key pointers.

Location Check – With numerous franchise locations or smaller independent haulers, removal company operating territories can vary widely. Don’t assume national reach; verify they cover your exact city/town location upfront.

State Licensing – Interstate waste transportation needs proper state licensing. Hiring a registered hauler who meets your state’s junk collecting and trucking permit requirements avoids violations.

Commercial Zones – For business removals, many municipalities havedesignated commercial pickup zones with approved providers. Check your business address fits their allotted region.

Local Knowledge – An experienced neighborhood removal outfit with years serving residents often best navigates streets and building intricacies vs. outside entrants.

Taking a few minutes to validate area coverage aligns to your property saves the hassle of last minute provider scrambling upon arrival. Know their exact service territory or risk assumption gaps once loading commences.

For smooth junk extraction, location compatibility checks matter.

How to prepare for Junk Removal?

  • How to Prepare: Provide a checklist for homeowners and businesses to prepare for the junk removal service, including segregating items, ensuring clear access, and marking items not meant for disposal.
  • What to Expect: Describe the process on the day of junk removal, including typical timelines, interaction with service personnel, and post-service cleanup.

How to make a checklist for waste removal?

Planning beforehand makes waste removal smooth and efficient. The checklist below should work for most scenarios if you are looking for same-day service or full-service waster removal with an appointment.

Adjust timeline as needed for your specific removal situation.

Here is an example checklist for waste removal planning that covers the key steps day-by-day:

2 Weeks Before:

☑️ Inventory all waste and debris needing removal
☑️ Separate into hazardous vs non-hazardous categories
☑️ Get quotes from removal companies
☑️ Book waste removal company

1 Week Before:
☑️ Finish separating different waste types
☑️ Label any potential hazardous items
☑️ Ensure permits/approvals required for hazardous wastes
☑️ Confirm date & times with removal company

1 Day Before:
☑️ Re-check hazardous waste permits/approvals on file
☑️ Clear debris pickup access paths
☑️ Move vehicles from pickup area
☑️ Prepare ground floor items first

Day of Removal:
☑️ Review the scope of work with the foreman
☑️ Provide access to locked rooms/gates
☑️ Guide removal crews as they work
☑️ Supervise any extra requested pickups
☑️ Get invoice upon completion

Post Pickup:
☑️ Review spaces to ensure all planned debris are removed
☑️ Report any missed pickups
☑️ Cancel permits once certified disposal receipts provided
☑️ Pay invoice within terms

Additional Tips:

  • Involve Family/Helpers: Delegate tasks based on strength and ability to make it a collaborative effort.
  • Consider Recycling Rewards: Some programs offer incentives for recycling, making it environmentally and financially beneficial.
  • Repurpose or Donate Usable Items: Give pre-loved items a second life instead of throwing them away.
  • Stay Organized: Maintain a designated storage area for future waste collection to avoid last-minute scrambling.

How to deal with neighbours if you share a common path?

Proactively communicate your removal plans, try to mitigate disruptions, and showing gratitude for neighbors’ understanding lays the groundwork for good ongoing relations even after you have cleared out the junk. If the removal crew damages parts of their property or leaves debris, clean them and offer your help next time when your next door has their waste removed.

Here are some tips for dealing with neighbors if you share a common path and have a junk removal scheduled:

  1. Give Advance Notice
  • Tell neighbors well in advance about the date and timeframe you have a junk removal planned. Provide details on increased traffic or blocked access expected.
  1. Distribute Schedule
  • Hand deliver or post a printed notice that outlines the removal day(s), hours and a contact number for questions.
  1. Offer Alternate Access
  • If the shared path will be completely blocked for a period, guide neighbors to a temporary alternative route they can take during that window.
  1. Manage Noise/Dust
  • Time noisy demolitions or dusty activities for least disruption. Use tarps to contain debris. Have a number to call.
  1. Speed Up Work
  • Request removal teams tidy up shared paths promptly after hauling items from them to minimize obstruction times.
  1. Show Appreciation
  • Small gestures like flowers or gift cards along with thanks go a long way for cooperative neighbors inconvenienced.

Recycling and Disposal Practices

Recyclable and environmentally friendly options in handling waste: This spells out that the company cares for the environment.

Hence, it should be put on the list of those to be considered. An excellent junk removal service will have their minds on how the removal can be done with recycling and donating items to reduce waste in landfills.

Ask about their relations with local recycling facilities or charity organizations to ensure the items are recycled and donated, not only disposed of at the landfill. 

For most people, selecting a company that is dedicated to sustainable practices will help with the reduction of carbon footprints and will foster efforts toward protecting the environment.

Junk removal vs Moving company

To differentiate junk removal firms versus moving companies, recognize that junk removers specialize in large volume extraction and disposal of items customers no longer want while professional movers handle safe transportation of possessions customers wish to relocate.

The core benefit a junk hauler provides is efficiently clearing out waste debris a customer explicitly wants discarded through responsive scheduling, transparent flat-rate pricing, and waste diversion from landfills when possible.

Moving companies alternatively ensure valued household and office goods stay fully protected with padding, straps and specialist maneuvers during transit so cherished items successfully reach intended destinations intact.

Safety and compliance also favors utilizing companies matching needs – junk removers safely handle hazardous debris through licensing while reputable movers provide valuables protection guarantees.

Even sustainably, junk recyclers give discarded items second lives whereas long-haul movers concentrate on lowest carbon footprint routes to customer destinations.


Here are 5 common types of junk removal scams you should watch out for:

Unprofessional person pretending to provide the best junk removal service.
Unprofessional person pretending to provide the best junk removal service.

1. The Bait-and-Switch

  • How it works: The company lures you in with a super low quote over the phone or online. But once they’re on-site, they suddenly have tons of “unexpected” fees, claiming things were heavier than mentioned, you had more junk than they thought, or charging bogus fuel and environmental surcharges.
  • Protection: Get a detailed written estimate before they arrive. Insist it includes any potential additional fees that they can transparently explain.

2. The Fly-by-Night Operator

  • How it works: These are often unlicensed and uninsured companies offering unbelievably low rates. They may seem friendly and professional initially, but they take your items and illegally dump them rather than taking them to a landfill or processing center.
  • Protection: Always verify the company’s license and insurance status. Read online reviews to gauge their reputation and professionalism.

3. The Hold-Your-Stuff-Hostage Scheme

  • How it works: After loading your junk, the company dramatically inflates the price from their original estimate. They hold your belongings hostage until you pay the unreasonable extra cost.
  • Protection: Get a binding written estimate upfront. Be wary of “estimate ranges” without set maximum cost limits. Never sign blank contracts or agreements.

4. The Disappearing Act

  • How it works: This involves companies that collect your deposit or full payment upfront, then magically disappear. They are either completely fraudulent or just extremely unreliable.
  • Protection: Don’t pay large sums upfront unless you know the company very well. Use credit cards for potential chargeback options if there is a problem.

5. The Hidden Damage Scam

  • How it works: Lack of training combined with breakneck work pace leads some removal teams to recklessly damage walls, floors or valuables. Vet crew professionalism and safe practices thoroughly beforehand.
  • Protection: Choose only well-reviewed, insured companies. Supervise workers if possible, documenting your home’s condition beforehand with photos/videos.

6. Improper Waste Disposal

  • How it works: Instead of paying landfill/recycling center fees, illegal companies dump junk illegally along roadsides, waterways or vacant lots putting communities in jeopardy. Scrutinize track records thoroughly upfront.
  • Protection: Trust your gut, if a deal feels too good to be true, it probably is.

7. The “We Need A Permit” Scam

  • How it works: After showing up, the company suddenly claims they require a costly, specialized permit to haul your junk. This is rarely valid, and just a way to extort more money from you.
  • Protection: Check if your area has special permits for large-scale junk disposal before calling a company. Reputable companies should know which permits, if any, are required up front.

8. Dumping on your Property

  • How it works: Shady or unlicensed companies may simply dump your junk in a hidden area of your property after pretending to leave. Not only are you stuck with the items, but it can land you in trouble with local regulations or a homeowner’s association.
  • Protection: If you cannot supervise the loading, take photos or videos of your entire property (with timestamps) before they pick up the junk. If possible, follow the truck to make sure they head to a proper disposal facility.

9. Price Increase by Weight

  • How it works: The company estimates your load by volume, offering a reasonable price. During pickup, they may have a “conveniently broken” scale at their disposal, suddenly charging you much more based on a mysteriously inflated weight.
  • Protection: Specify in your contract that the load will be estimated by volume. Insist on alternative price verification through another weigh scale if they claim issues with their equipment.

10. Theft of Valuables

  • How it works: Disreputable crews may pocket valuable or salable items they find among your designated junk.
  • Protection: Carefully remove everything valuable from the items you want discarded. Supervise the removal process with particular attentiveness to items containing jewelry boxes, documents, and electronic devices.


To address being scammed by a junk removal company first, gather evidence by taking photos, videos and detailed notes about the removal process, interactions and any damages or overcharges. Notify the company in writing right away providing the documentation and give opportunity to resolve issues transparently.

  • Document everything: Take detailed notes on conversations, agreements, receipts, and any suspicious behaviors from the company. Include photos or videos of any damage caused.
  • Save communications: Save emails, text messages, voicemails, and any contracts signed.
  • Track payments: Obtain clear payment records including bank statements and credit card bills, highlighting any unauthorized charges.

2. Attempt Resolution:

  • Contact the company: Reach out directly to address the issue, referencing your documentation. Be firm but polite, outlining the problem and potential resolutions.
  • Demand a refund: If they overcharged or failed to provide service, demand a partial or full refund in writing.

3. File Formal Complaints:

  • Better Business Bureau (BBB): File a complaint with the BBB in the company’s region (https://www.bbb.org/). The BBB can mediate and pressure the company to respond.
  • Local consumer protection agency: Contact your state or county’s consumer protection agency to report fraudulent activity.
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): If the scam seems widespread or across state lines, file a complaint with the FTC (https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/).

4. Legal Recourse:

  • Small claims court: If the amount you were scammed is relatively small, explore small claims court for your region. It’s designed for individuals to represent themselves without an attorney.
  • Seek legal counsel: A lawyer can help you assess your options, potentially recovering losses beyond the scammed amount if there’s a violation of contract.

5. Spread Awareness:

  • Online reviews: Leave informative reviews on sites like Yelp, Google Reviews, and others, warning potential customers about the company’s practices.
  • Social media: Share your experience via social media platforms to help others avoid similar situations.

Additional Tips:

  • If threatened: If workers feel threatening or attempt to hold your belongings for higher payment, contact the police immediately. Your safety is paramount.
  • Credit card companies: Notify your credit card company if you spot unauthorized charges and request a chargeback.

Should contractors clean after themselves?

Yes, contractors should absolutely clean up after themselves once their work is completed. Leaving behind construction debris, tools, leftover materials, dust, and general disorder should not be acceptable.

Here are some of the key reasons contractors need to clean up:

  • Professionalism: Proper job site cleanup reflects professionalism and respect for the client. It sends a clear message that the contractor takes pride in their work and values the client’s home or workspace.
  • Safety: Construction areas can be littered with debris, hazards, and sharp objects. Cleanliness minimizes the risk of accidents for both the client and any other workers on-site.
  • Client Satisfaction: A tidy workspace builds trust and is essential for positive customer experiences. It leaves a great final impression upon project completion.
  • Efficiency: Leaving debris and tools scattered hinders movement and slows down progress on the project. Keeping the work area clear ensures better focus and productivity.
  • Damage Prevention: Dust, dirt, and debris can potentially harm floors, paint, or existing furnishings. Regular cleanups limit potential damage.

The Degree of Cleanup Matters

  • Daily Broom Clean: At a minimum, a basic sweeping should happen daily to keep walkways clear, reduce dust, and maintain a safe and productive workspace.
  • Post-Project Cleaning: Beyond the daily tidy up, contractors are typically expected to provide a more thorough cleaning once their work is completed. This can include:
    • Vacuuming and dusting
    • Removal of empty boxes and construction materials
    • Wiping down surfaces
    • Disposal of all waste (sometimes through separate dumpster rentals)

The Role of the Contract

It’s always best to have clear language within the contract outlining cleanup expectations. This establishes what level of cleaning is included in the cost and avoids later miscommunication or dissatisfaction.

The Cost of Negligence

Failure to implement basic cleanup practices can result in unexpected (and unwelcome) expense for a homeowner. Inadequate safeguards often factor into common reasons for insurance claims against builderst. This may force you into the stressful process of filing a claim to recoup repair or replacement costs that shouldn’t have been necessary in the first place.