Where Do I Take Garbage If I Don't Have Pickup Service?

By Roxy FavrettoLast Updated September 3, 2020
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Trash pickup is a convenient and helpful service that makes it easier to keep your house clean and prevents garbage from building up around your home. But it can be expensive in some areas, and it's not always available in every community. If you don't have access to normal, citywide refuse pickup, you don't want to let your trash pile up at your house. 

Fortunately, you have several options when it comes to getting rid of things you don't need. Some of them are easier to access and use than others, and some require more effort than the others. But all of them will help you find a place for every bit of your unwanted items and trash.

Take It to a Landfill

The easiest and perhaps the most accessible option may be to take your garbage to a local dump or landfill. But not all of them are created equally, and the items you're getting rid of may dictate whether this can work for you. Every facility has different rules about what you can and can't bring, some of which may be regulated by state and local laws. 

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You'll also have to pay a fee when you visit. And depending on the type of trash you have — such as hazardous materials, construction waste, tires or yard debris — you may have to pay a higher fee, though some landfills offer a discount if you can recycle certain items. 

It's also important to find out who can bring their garbage to a particular landfill. Some landfills only accept trash from residents of the city or county where they're located. You may need to show ID or something like a utility bill that includes your current address so the staff can verify that you live within the appropriate boundaries.

Recycle It

If you're concerned about the environment or want to save a little money, you may also want to look into recycling the items that are accepted at recycling centers and bins in your area. Your community may have spots around town where you can recycle items like plastic containers, glass, newspaper, plastic bags, cans, cardboard and paper. However, some items that are more difficult to process, such as batteries, ink cartridges, books and old electronics, may need to go to a specialized recycling center. It might be at your local landfill — but rest assured that they'll process the items separately. 

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By recycling, you're keeping waste out of landfills and lightening your load so that you can take more of your non-recyclable garbage at one time to the dump. Remember, some dumps and landfills offer a discount for recycling, and it's worthwhile to check on these policies ahead of time before you load up your car.

Compost It

When it comes to food waste and organic materials, consider composting. This can save a great deal of space in your garbage cans. You can then use the compost for gardening or give it away to someone who can use it in their yard. It's even a good fertilizer for lawns and other plants around your home. You can start a compost pile on the ground in your yard or use a container, like a bucket or garbage can, but you'll need to put some dirt in it first.

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Once you have your composting area set up, you may be surprised to learn what you can add. You can compost fruit and vegetable scraps, of course, but you can also add things like old bread, tea bags, coffee grounds and pet food to the pile.

Donate It

When you're dealing with household items you no longer want, don't think of them as garbage if they're still in good enough shape for other people to use. Donate them to a local charity instead, like the Goodwill. These items might include everything from clothing to old (but still working) appliances to sports equipment. Many even take old vehicles. 

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You'll want to check with your local charity or donation center to find out exactly what it does and doesn't accept and what kind of condition items must be in. In some cases, the charity may even pick up your donations from your home, such as if the items are larger or heavier things like beds or refrigerators.

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