What Junk Removal Companies Will and Won't Take

junk from house sitting curbside

Updated February 23, 2024

It’s important for multiple reasons to do a deep cleaning at least once a year to get rid of items that are no longer being used. 

Whether you need to clean out your garage, basement, attic, or entire home, junk removal services are a fantastic way to get rid of unwanted household items

Understanding which items junk removal companies consider acceptable and unacceptable can save you time and money in the long run.

It’s important to understand before you hire a junk removal company what exactly they will and won’t take. 

In this article, we’ll discuss…

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acceptable and unacceptable junk removal items infographic

Commonly Accepted Items

Junk removal services are often associated with estate cleanouts, hoarding cleanups, office cleanouts, and other cleanup jobs that are too large for your regularly scheduled municipal waste pick-up services. 

These removal services are often willing to pick up large, heavy items in small quantities, too, like appliances and furniture. 

While this is not an all-inclusive list, it will help give you an understanding of the types of items that junk removal companies are likely to haul away on your behalf.

Items that junk removal companies typically accept:

  • Air conditioners
  • Appliances (microwaves, refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, washers and dryers, etc.)
  • Boxes, storage containers, and miscellaneous household trash
  • Clothing
  • Construction and demolition debris
  • Electronics (computers, TVs, radios, etc.) 
  • Exercise equipment
  • Furniture (couches, chairs, desks, tables, dressers, etc.)
  • Hot tubs/Spas
  • Mattresses
  • Toys and books
  • Yard waste

Commonly Refused Items

large pile of used car tires

Assuming that junk removal providers will accept and remove anything you ask them to is a mistake that can end up wasting your valuable time and money, not to mention leave you feeling frustrated.

Sometimes items are not accepted due to safety concerns or lack of PPE for employees, but usually, the reason is due to these items not being accepted at landfills and dumpsites. 

The following list showcases items that are largely unaccepted by junk removal companies throughout the U.S.

Items that junk removal companies typically do not accept:

  • Asbestos/mold
  • Bleach
  • Car batteries
  • Car tires
  • Fertilizer
  • Household cleaners
  • Medication
  • Motor oil
  • Paint cans
  • Pesticides
  • Pool chemicals
  • Stain
  • Varnish

Similar to our list of accepted items, this list of items that junk removal companies will not take is not definitive and can vary from company to company.

If you’re speaking with a junk removal company over the phone to book services or get a quote, it’s crucial to be as detailed as possible about your project so that there is no confusion or disappointment on the day of your scheduled service.

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Alternative Disposal Options

When you have items to get rid of that aren't accepted by local junk removal services, you'll have to find an alternative solution. 

For some items, renting a dumpster may be an option. Not all dumpster companies will accept items like tires or paint cans, but some will for additional disposal fees. The key is to be as transparent as possible when calling around for quotes. 

You can save time by filling out a single quote request form on Hometown and then select up to 3 local dumpster companies to send your quote request to. Compare pricing, customer service, and rental availability for multiple services, all in one convenient place.

If you can't find a dumpster rental or junk removal company in your area that can help with your project, it's likely due to the fact that the items won't be accepted at local landfills or recycling centers, so hauling to the landfill yourself won't be a viable solution. 

Instead, you'll likely have to find a drop-off center or pick-up service that specializes specifically in what you need to get rid of. 

Most energy companies now provide appliance recycling programs and may even incentivize you to do so with special promos or energy bill discounts. 

Vehicle tires are another type of material that can be hard to get rid of, so you'll need to find a recycling center or local automotive place that specializes in tire recycling.

Items containing asbestos or medical waste should be handled by a hazardous waste specialist, while chemicals may be handled by a different type of waste specialist. 

Where you live will have a great impact on the resources available but a little research and calling around will help guide you in the right direction. The fastest way to figure this out is to contact companies that sell the types of products or material you need to dispose of, as they'll likely have contacts for solutions or may even offer programs to help consumers dispose of their products responsibly.

Keep reading: Appliance Removal Safety: Tips for Handling Heavy and Bulky Items

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How to Find the Best Junk Removal Service in Your Area

kitchen fixtures and debris from interior demolition placed on residential lawn

Like so many other goods and services, you’re more likely to receive the best customer service from a junk removal company by hiring one that is locally owned.

Unlike national chains, locally-owned businesses rely on the support of their community to stay in business, which means they’re likely to go the extra mile to make sure their customers are happy. 

Hometown’s database of small, locally-owned junk removal and dumpster rental companies is a convenient resource to find vetted service providers in your area

You can read reviews from verified real customers and request quotes from as many companies as you like, free of charge, and free of any commitment. 

We recommend getting at least 2-3 different quotes to ensure that you’re getting the best price, customer service, and availability to best suit your needs.

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