How to Get Rid of an Old Swing Set, Trampoline, and More

wooden swing set with slide in backyard

Updated June 29, 2023

Whether your kids have outgrown their outdoor play area or you've purchased a home where backyard belongings were left behind, getting rid of large play structures like swing sets, trampolines, above ground pools, sandboxes, and playhouses are more complicated than just leaving it at the end of your driveway. 

Unless you can find someone willing to come and remove these items for their own personal use, these play structures will need to be disassembled for easy transporting and will need to be hauled away to a landfill or recycling center.

We'll go over how to get rid of common background play sets quickly and affordably:

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Swing Set Removal

Swing sets are heavy structures with many different working parts, making it necessary to disassemble them before trying to move them. This is not a project that should be tackled alone, which is why we recommend hiring a professional whenever possible. Junk removal crews are happy to handle this part of your swing set removal project if you don't have the tools or manpower to tackle it yourself.

It's also important to note that the condition of your swing set will greatly impact the safety concerns of doing this type of project on your own. A rotting, structurally compromised swing set may be easier to tear down, but it also will be unpredictable and can collapse in the middle of the process. Keep this in mind when deciding whether or not DIY swing set disassembly is right for you.

The first you'll want to do when disassembling a swing set is remove as many "accessories" that have been added to the frame, like swings, slides, the roof, and any other play features that aren't part of the structure's stability. These items are usually screwed into the swing set and can be removed with a power drill. Be sure to leave the ladder attached for now.

Next, you'll want to detach the swing beam from the rest of the structure. Be sure that the surrounding area is completely clear of all other items, people, or pets, as this piece will fall to the ground once it's disconnected.

Climb up the ladder to easily access the connecting point of the swing beam and remove any brackets or screws holding the swing beam in place. Once it's successfully disconnected, the swing beam will fall to the ground. Remove any remaining screws or brackets on the swing beam to disconnect the main beam from the swing beam's leg(s). Every piece that is screwed together should be separated.

From this point, the next major part of the process is disassembling the playhouse and deck portion of the swing set. These large sections can often be the most challenging part of swing set disassembly, so we recommend starting at the top and working your way down.

Start by first removing railings or sidewalls until all sides of the deck are free and accessible. The deck is usually one of the heaviest pieces of wood on the entire swing set, so it's often best to break it up into more management pieces with a saw (unless it's being transported and rebuilt again). Removing the deck is typically the most difficult part of disassembling a swing set, so make sure you have help for at least this part of the process.

After all these steps have been completed, you should be left with just the frame of the swing set. Remove every nail, screw, bolt, nut, and bracket that is in place holding the frame together, starting at the top and working your way down. 

Once you've completely disassembled your swing set, you can prepare for disposal. Leaving these types of disassembled items at the end of your driveway for pickup can be a safety hazard and is usually not permitted, so you'll have to have a disposal plan.

If you have a pickup truck and/or trailer, you could opt to haul your swing set to the landfill yourself, but it could mean waiting in line next to a foul-smelling landfill for hours, which is not an ideal way to spend a well-deserved day off. 

Hiring a junk removal company is the fastest and most convenient way of having your swing set hauled away. You can have them haul away your swing set after you've disassembled it, or you can spend a little more and have them do all the strenuous (and potentially dangerous) work for you. 

Another popular disposal option for large swing sets or those who have many items to get rid of is to rent a dumpster. 10 yard dumpsters are a great size for a play sets and other backyard items for safe and convenient disposal.

Whether you're interested in junk removal or dumpster rental services to dispose of your unwanted play set, Hometown can help you find local services in your area

Our single quote request form makes it easy to get free quotes from disposal services near you so that you can compare pricing, customer service, and read real customer reviews. If you're unsure which service would be best for your project, get multiple quotes from both junk removal and dumpster rental companies to determine a swing set disposal plan that fits your needs and your budget.

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Trampoline Removal

Dissembling a trampoline is basically the reverse steps taken to assembling it, so if you were part of that process, you'll have a better understanding of the steps involved. Be sure to remove the ladder so that it's out of your way as your work your way around the trampoline for disassembly.

If your trampoline has a safety net, you'll want to start by removing that. The first thing you'll want to do is detach the safety net rods from the trampoline frame, laying them down on the trampoline mat as your work your way around the whole trampoline. 

Once all the net rods are detached, remove the bottom of the safety net from the trampoline mat, unthreading the net if necessary. After the safety net has been detached from the trampoline, remove each rod from the mat. If the rods consist of 2-3 different parts, detached each piece from each other for easier storage and hauling. 

After the safety enclosure is completely removed, you'll want to remove the trampoline pad that covers the springs. This part is very simple and straight-forward. You simply untie the padding from the frame to remove it.

The next and most complicated step is spring removal. Having a spring puller handy is very helpful, and we highly recommend using gloves during this process. If you're working with rusty springs, gloves are not optional and you should heavily consider paying a professional to handle this for you.

Using a spring puller, pull a spring hook at the mat end and pull towards the center of the trampoline. Once the spring end is extended/loosened enough, it can be removed from the trampoline mat. Do the same process to separate the same spring from the trampoline frame, and continue this process until all springs are detached. Be sure to collect all springs in the same spot so that there aren't loose springs on the ground causing safety hazards. 

This part of the process takes the most time, energy, and certainly requires the most patience, so don't hesitate to take a water break if you need one. Once you've removed all the springs, you can fold up the mat and focus on disassembling the trampoline frame.

Using a power drill or Philips head screwdriver, unscrew all remaining screws holding the trampoline frame in place. Detach the legs from the outer rings, and then remove the pieces making up the circular part of the frame. 

Junk removal crews can haul off these parts and recycle your unwanted trampoline on your behalf if it's still in condition. If not, they will be able to take the scrap metal to the appropriate recycling center for the most eco-friendly disposal.

Above Ground Pool Removal

The very first step you should take before beginning your above ground pool removal is to disconnect any electrical connections from filters or lighting. 

Once you know there is no running electricity in your around your pool, you'll use a submersible pump to drain all the water from the pool.

After you've fully drained all water from the pool, you'll need to disconnect the pump and hoses, drain the pool filters, and remove any residual sand or silica.

Depending on the type of above ground pool you have, the process of tearing it down will vary, but usually involves cutting the liner into more manageable sections, unscrewing bolds, disassembling the wall posts around the pool, and ripping out the wall panels.

Once your pool is completely disassembled, the remains can be hauled away via a dumpster rental or by hiring a junk removal company. Recycle any parts that you can to save on costs and help keep debris out of landfills.

Demolition contractors that offer light residential demolition and pool removal is another great choice for having this type of project done quickly and safely. A qualified contractor will carefully consider how to best approach the disassembly, including how to gain access to the pool and which type/size equipment is best for your particular pool and yard.

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Sandbox Removal

Whether you're getting rid of a plastic sandbox or a heftier wooden sandbox, the first part of the removal process is to remove all of the sand.

Using gloves, a shovel, and contractor trash bags, shovel all of the sand into the trash bags. 

If it's a plastic sandbox, it's usually ready to be transported after all sand is removed. If the sandbox is wooden, remove any nails or screws holding the different pieces together and disconnect each piece. 

Some places allow sand donations for drainage or recycling, so see if there are any sand recycling or donation centers in your area. If you don't have the time, strength, or desire to haul your unwanted sand to one of these centers on your own, a junk removal company would happy to recycle or donate these items on your behalf.

If these options aren't available in your area, you can make a post on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace advertising free sand for pickup. Sand can be reused in gardens, bird feeders, drainage systems, craft projects, and more, so you may get lucky and find someone near you who can put your unwanted sand to good use. 

 If none of these options are available in your area, you can choose to haul your sand and sandbox to a landfill yourself, or you can hire a junk removal crew to do so for you. 

Renting a dumpster might be overkill if that's all you have to get rid of, but if you're cleaning out your yard, garage, shed, or pole barn and have accumulated a good amount of items to dispose of, renting a dumpster could be the most cost-effective option.

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Playhouse Removal

Deconstructing a playhouse is similar to disassembling a swing set—remove all accessories like doors, play features, and the roof, then start from the bottom and work your way down.

If you have a traditional wooden playhouse, deconstruction can easily take up a whole afternoon and should be done with a pair of helping hands. Be sure to keep children and pets away from this project for any loose nails, screws, and splitters that can fall to the ground. 

Larger playhouse that are closer to the size of a shed may be a better job for a light demolition contractor. You can easily find light demo contractors here.

Plastic playhouses take a little less elbow grease and isn't typically as heavy or labor-intensive, but you should still recruit help to decrease the chances of a side wall falling and causing an injury.

Unless you plan on selling your playhouse, your options are to donate it, give it away for free, recycle it, or have it taken to a landfill. 

Hiring a junk removal company allows you to sit back and have your unwanted playhouse deconstructed and donated, recycled, or thrown away on your behalf. 

Find locally-owned and operated junk removal and dumpster rental companies by searching your zip code on Hometown. Read more about each company, including reviews from verified real customers, and compare the different free quotes you receive to choose the best provider with the best customer service, price, and availability. 

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