Sometimes small jobs don’t warrant a trip to the dump. While cleaning up a client’s property, does your crew place yard waste at the curb for pick up by the trash service? Or do you haul it away to the next property or the shop no matter what? These LawnSite members debated how to properly deal with yard waste and trash pickup.

Ready to Mow: Depending on the city, some trash collectors won’t pick up branches unless they are in neat 3-foot bundles. Branches are rarely straight, so it can be difficult to put into bundles. One time I did a small job and put three bundles of branches out to the curb. Both times I was at the property and trash collectors drove right by. What do you guys do on small jobs like this? If I throw the stuff in the trailer, the dump fee is almost as much as the job itself, probably more, if you factor in time spent to drive there.

Kelly’s Landscaping: For really small waste, I’ll just mow over it. Bigger branches that are an inch thick or more, I toss on the truck with grass clippings. I don’t charge for a few branches. If it’s a lot of branches, then it’s a separate charge.

yardsmowed: Around here, trash service will not take limbs or yard waste. I have a large burn pile at my shop where I burn leaves, grass clippings and limbs.

rlitman: Every sanitation district has its own rules. Around here, homeowner yard waste collection is taken on Wednesdays, garbage is two other days a week and recycling is on Thursdays. Lawn companies or contractors must pick up their own waste and pay commercial dump fees. So, in my area, if they saw a commercial vehicle leaving waste at the curb, you’d get a ticket.

Darryl G: I pay the disposal fee and charge my customer a hauling and disposal fee. I charge a minimum of $30 for any waste requiring a dump run. My book rate for hauling and disposing of a full load in my 7 x 12 dump trailer is $90, but I’ll often only charge $75. My fee for disposal ranges from $5 to $20 generally. Some municipalities require a form signed by the property owner verifying that the waste was from their property and may have restrictions on the diameter and length of the wood.

Mark Oomkes: Most of our work requires us to dispose of it. It’s always included in the price. It’s against our state law for yard waste to be disposed in a landfill.

whiffyspark: You should see our disposal fees. Thankfully most customers have woods.

knox gsl: If there isn’t an appropriate area to toss debris on-site, I’ll haul it off for a fee that’s included in the price of the job.

JLSLLC: Anything I create, I take.

KUMA01: In my city, trash people refuse yard waste. I have a burn pile and have a compost pile for grass and leaves and resell it to people for their gardens.

OakNut: I will say that I’d be pissed if I was a trash guy and saw a landscaper putting his job site debris out for me to haul off — legal or not. Even if a client asks you to leave it, you really should plan to haul it.