Why do I have to pay so much for junk removal?

31 July, 2019


You're probably asking this question because you have just been surprised by the quote you received from a company to get rid of junk. It is easy to assume that junk removal would be cheap because... it's junk, but this is not the case. Indeed, the industry-standard cost for the service starts at $150+ and most household removals will average in the $250 range, while businesses pay well beyond $500. It depends on how much debris you have, the time and difficulty to remove it plus the overall weight. To understand why junk removal is priced this way, it's best to look at it from the perspective of a company that does the job.



1. Staff payroll

The main expense incurred when getting rid of junk is paying for the staff who take the actual junk out of a home or business. Junk removal is a physical business that requires a lot of labor to get the job done. Plus, one person cannot do the job, especially when hauling large items like a piano, hot tub, or couch. Even f they could do it alone, it would mean lugging the item around and perhaps even damaging it. Thus, removers usually work in pairs or even more, so the labor costs go up.

While these labor costs could be reduced by hiring anybody willing to do the work, it is important to pick the right people through a screening process to ensure professional and quality services to the clients. This means paying them well for their service and that is one of the highest expenses. Not only does this ensure that the job is done properly but also improves morale by the staff during every appointment. 

It is important to note that some junk removers may charge less, but that is only because of their business structure. For instance, a group of people or even individuals may be doing the business just to complement their income through a side business. However, hiring such a company would not give you the level of service you get from a dedicated junk removal company. The latter hires full-time employees who work long days to ensure your job’s completion. This time is spent on appointments as well as travel from one client to another. There are other compulsory benefits included in the job such as insurance, business liability and more. Remember, cheaper isn't always better!

Also, remember that more staff members in the office answer calls and coordinate trucks and assign appointments. That also means rent has to be paid for the office space as well as telephone bills, website maintenance, and other running costs. 



2. Equipment purchase and replacement

Junk removers don't have the luxury of showing up to work in jeans and a t-shirt just because they are hauling junk. For their safety, they have to be dressed in the proper attire for the job. Consider removing hazardous waste containing mercury, asbestos, feces, mold and more! For this reason, the removers have to be dressed in Tyvek suits and even respirator masks for such jobs. These costs are swallowed by the company for the safety of the employees, which thus increases the cost of the service overall. 


Tyvek at it's finest.

3. Transportation costs

Whenever you need to get rid of your junk, all you need to do is make a call, book an appointment and be ready to open the door when the removers knock on the door. Now imagine that a company has appointments all over the city, which is not too difficult to imagine. A lot of time is therefore spent on the road and this means a lot of money spent on the fuel pumps. Keep in mind that the trucks doing the hauling have to be insured and maintained to keep running all day. You may think that these are negligible, and while they are not the biggest expense, junk removal companies still need to make a profit. 



4. Disposal fees

There is a reason you're not allowed to leave your TV, refrigerator or couch by the curb and hope the city or county will dump it for you. By law, landfills and disposal sites turn away hazardous wastes such as those containing mercury, electronic appliances, scrap metal, tires, etc. To get rid of such waste, companies have to find alternative disposal methods, and these cost a lot more. Fortunately, most of these costs are fixed and can be anticipated, but the company still needs to make a profit, nonetheless. 

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