Going To Start Hauling My Own Trash To The Landfill To Save Money.

*Update – I talked to the people at the landfill, and the price is actually $.35 for every 20 pounds of trash you bring in. That would be way less than $5 a month for us, which makes it even more of a deal. When we first moved into this new house, I automatically signed up for trash pickup because, well…it’s what you do here. At least that is what I thought, until I was having a conversation with a local about the landfill allowing people to haul their own trash for $5 instead of paying Waste Management to do it for them. I guess I can see the draw of having a truck come around and pick up your trash for you, but we put out about 1 bag of trash a week, and realistically that truck would not have to stop at my house but once a month to get it all. However, because he comes by my driveway every Monday morning, I always put the bin out with a single bag of trash in it. Seems kind of dumb, but what seems even dumber is that I pay $27 a month for this service and I could have been doing it myself all this time for only $5 a month.

With the tiny amount of trash that we send to the landfill, paying a giant truck that much money to pick it up seems like a total waste of $22 dollars every month. I could store each bag in the garage and go once a month in my Jeep, or I could go every week with each bag; either way it is cheaper than what I pay now for trash pickup. That’s $264 a year spent on trash pickup that could go towards our car loan, my wife’s student loans, or just into savings. If only I had known we could have been doing that for the last 8 months!

$22 a month is not going to make or break our budget (or lack thereof). But every little bit helps, and if I have to lug a few bags of trash 2 miles to the landfill once or twice a month to save that $22, I am all about that. I have much more important things to spend that money on! This concept got me started looking for other mundane things we pay for without even thinking about it, so maybe I will find a few more bucks somewhere. What about you? Have you ever had a moment when you wonder why you are paying money for something that would be so simple to do yourself? If so, let us know!

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Comments (15)

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  1. We live in a rural area where there is no trash pick-up, so we have been hauling our own trash to the landfill for years.

    I think hauling your own trash makes you realize how much stuff people throw away. Since we’ve been hauling our own trash, we recycle and compost more than ever. I think we throw away much less stuff now that we have to haul our own trash than when we lived in town and the city picked it up.

  2. What a great idea! Unfortunately, our family does have a large amount of trash, so we cannot do similarly. You have certainly gotten me looking for similar things though.


  3. Miranda says:

    Our trash pickup (and recycling) isn’t nearly that expensive. I think we pay $10 a month for both. Of course, it’s done by the city here and not contracted out to a company like Waste Management. We get a discount because we use a smaller bin. Taking it to the landfill costs more here. Kudos, though, on finding out how much it costs — and the saving money!

  4. michele says:

    Thats some seriously expensive trash pickup. We pay about $36 every 3 months here, but it is mandated by the city we live in that you have to have trash pickup. If you have the option to take your trash to the dump, I would do it. Take advantage of recycling, mulching and fireplaces/woodstoves/firepits to reduce the volume of what you put out.

  5. Courtney says:

    Is there a limit on the number of bags you can have? Maybe going halfsies and sharing with your neighbor could work? Then again if you don’t mind doing it, $5 is the way to go. I just think of the bags leaking all over my backseat :-\ yuck! 🙂

  6. Clever Dude says:

    I think we pay about $90 every 3 months, but our city (Rockville, MD) has 2 pickups each week, and single stream recycling once a week (we don’t need to sort recyclables). They also have free ad-hoc pickup of larger trash items. You just call them to schedule it.

    While the transfer station is right up the road from us, and we only toss about 1-2 bags per week, I might consider dropping it too, but I bet our city has a requirement for trash pickup (to reduce chance of people not removing their trash and blighting the neighborhood). That would be a nice savings, and will let me use my truck 🙂

    However, have you considered the environmental impact of driving separately? There’s an economy of scale in force with the trash truck just adding your house to the route; it’s driving by anyway. But if you go separately, you’re adding your carbon emissions to the mix. While it’s negligible, imagine if half your neighborhood took up the same idea! Just being a devil’s advocate because I also agree with doing what helps your own household finances.

  7. david says:

    Courtney – maybe, but I have an old Jeep. The seats are safe 🙂

    Clever Dude – I completely agree and something I did think about. However, the landfill is 1.8 miles from my house, and even if everyone on my street drove the trash themselves, it would be less emissions than those hulking broken trucks that Waste Management drives. They say they are concerned for the environment, but every truck in their fleet is a polluting nightmare, spewing black smoke everywhere they go. They also don’t do any recycling for us, and we all have to take that on our own if we want to recycle.

  8. Enrique S says:

    When we first bought our house 2years ago, we had a private company that picked up the garbage. Unfortunately, the town government took over the garbage collection after a few years, and the pickup cost tripled. Some of the increase was tied to bonds for the new incinerator. I could haul it myself, but the pickup expense is part of my local property taxes.

  9. Lee says:

    How do you recycle if you’re taking trash to the dump? Do most landfills take recycling?

  10. david says:

    Recycling is different – I take that to the recycling facility.

  11. Lee says:

    So two trips…not so bad when fuel prices are low and the facilities are close together.

    I’ll look into it though. thanks

  12. fathersez says:

    Our landfills are miles away, so this option may not work out for us.

    But one of our cities did try out a way where they paid people a certain amount based on the weight of trash brought in. The trash was collected at certain points in the city.

    The city was cleaner. The Municpality had their payments to the trash companies lowered. People who did not want to cary the trash had other “volunteers”. A win-win for all, I think. Not sure if this is still being carried out.

  13. David says:

    That’s a great idea, I think more cities should do that. I know our town would be a lot cleaner if they did that!

  14. Carole Ann says:

    I had been paying approx. $57.00 a month for trash service that comes twice a week. I have so little trash as I recycle and compost, I would only have 1 bag of trash a week. So I am currently looking for an option to take my own trash to the dump to save myself money. As a single parent I count every dollar.

  15. A-Yo says:

    I love this idea. We actually stopped our trash service for a year when the price reached $65 every three months. Recently they have hiked it to $90/3 months which is absurd. We are a family of 3 with 2 dogs and generate one 10 gallon bag of trash a week, due to all the composting and recycling I do.
    Seeing that it only costs $.35 for you to take your trash is has got me thinking. May need to call the landfill…