Humans produce a lot of waste. And over 146 million tons of it end up in landfills each year, according to the EPA. However, not all that garbage will be able to fit in the curbside rubbish bin. So, what is the average person to do with their oversized junk? One popular solution is to use a junk removal service. This industry has seen an explosion of growth in the consumer-facing haul-away or junk removal service. Ads for the industry leaders are likely still stuck in your head. But is getting into the junk removal game profitable?
Many factors can impact the profitability of a junk removal business. Costs include municipal disposal fees, employees, equipment, and insurance. Keeping these costs down is essential to making any refuse-related business profitable.
Still, there is more to the topic than can be briefly touched on above. So, if learning more about the world of waste hauling sounds intriguing, be sure to read on as we get into all the nitty-gritty details of building a profitable junk removal business.
Costs to Consider for Junk Removal Services
Many cyclical costs come with running a junk removal service. Some of the most basic costs that business owners can expect to pay include items such as rent, disposal fees, insurance, employees, and equipment. Getting a handle on the pricing for these items is a necessity. The lower the price for such expenses, the lower the business’s overhead.
For example, consider the cost of insuring a junk removal business. Between the company’s location, the work it does, and the number of employees, a lot can impact the final cost of debris removal insurance prices. Some basic considerations will be what type of policies the company has and what coverage limits are in place. Most waste removal services will have typical policies such as workers’ compensation, commercial property, tools & equipment, and general liability—and bundling such policies together from a single provider can be an excellent way to save.
Types of Junk Removal Businesses
Any waste removal service’s profitability will primarily depend on what sort of skills it provides. What services the business can render will go a long way in helping the company stand out from the competition. For example, a homeowner will pay much more for a company that is able to salvage some materials and divert items from a landfill versus one that simply bins everything.
Of course, ordinary waste removal companies have even more prosaic differences. And which niche you go into can end up impacting profitability significantly. Three of the most basic forms of junk removal businesses have been outlined below. Check out the details of each to see which one may appeal to you the most.
All-Purpose Junk Removal
· These sorts of trash elimination businesses will take almost anything, bathtubs, sofas, mattresses, building materials, and more. While they will take larger and smaller items, such enterprises will typically charge for the space that a consumer’s item will take up on a truck—so having fewer larger customers is the underpinning to profitability. On average, noted handyman Bob Villa estimates that a customer can expect to pay around $150 to $275 per cubic yard of refuse.
Nonprofit Haul Away Services
· Charities may be interested in taking away certain items, especially if they have some underlying value—but not much. One of the most famous examples would be donating a used vehicle to the Kars4Kids, a youth and education-focused nonprofit with an earworm for a jingle. The central consideration for these sorts of businesses is that they aren’t chasing profits. The most that they can offer their customers is a free haul away and the accompanying tax benefit.
· Some junk removal businesses have taken a different tack from the industry’s typical full-service business model. Instead of sending trucks and personnel all over to pick up customers’ junk, dumpster services will leave a receptacle for clients to fill themselves that is later hauled away. The savings associated with self-service can be immense for businesses and customers. How cheap? Forbes estimates that renting a standard 10-yard dumpster would cost customers around $100 to $350 a week.
How Much Can a Junk Removal Business Make?
Various factors will ultimately dictate the profitability of a junk removal service, the company’s location being chief among them. Why does location make such a big difference? Well, consider the following examples. A junk removal service in New York City will be able to charge some of the highest fees around, perhaps as much as $600 per cubic foot of waste. However, disposal fees, equipment, and employee costs are all likely higher and will quickly cut into that higher price.
Alternatively, a junk removal provider in Iowa City will likely have much lower cyclical costs in terms of employee costs and disposal fees. Still, that doesn’t mean that the Iowa City operation will automatically be more profitable. Potential customers will be more spread out in less densely populated areas, making each pickup more expensive in terms of time and gas. Needless to say, there will be fewer potential customers in a college town of 75,000 versus a mega-metropolis of eight million.
Bottomline, nationwide, a truck filled to the brim might represent a little over $500 for a business. (This is just the amount charged to the customer before the business handles any expenses or taxes.) How much profit a company can realize from that will depend on how many trucks it can fill and at what cost. Smaller firms with a couple of employees and a single rig may only be able to haul a single load in a day. Larger companies will have fleets and crews that may do up to a dozen pickups daily.
Make Taking Out the Trash Your Full-Time Job
And there you have it, almost everything there is to know about the junk removal business. Of course, nothing is guaranteed, but we hope you’ve come to see the many ways in which hauling away trash can be lucrative. While this line of work certainly isn’t for everyone, for anyone that values good profit potential, getting into the waste removal business may be a career change worth its weight in gold.