Do you have junk lying around your home or workspace, but aren’t sure what category of rubbish it falls into? In this article, we’ll explain what type of junk removal or item pick up you need, or can opt for, depending on your case.
Scrap metal pick up can be different than junk removal
Sometimes, you’ll see ads around the internet offering to pick up your scrap metal for free, or even to pay you for certain types (like scrap cars). Recycling metal has economic incentives, and those who collect metal can earn from it – hence their willingness to pick up metal for you.
This type of metal would need to be worthwhile for the company that picks it up for you. So if you have a few tin cans that can go in household recycling, this may not be the service for you.
However, if you have salvage materials that contain metals like:
Or other metals, you may have a jackpot here.
But there is more to consider. The types of items that would be picked up free of charge, or sometimes paid for, need to be re-sellable. Here are some common items you may have that could qualify for free pick up by some companies:
- Fridges, stoves, air conditioners, hot water tanks, and other appliances (other environmental or handling fees may apply)
- Renovation junk, such as bathtubs, sinks, faucets, pipes, light fixtures etc. that contain metal
- A collection of tools, nuts and bolts, screws, drill bits etc.
- Car or boat mechanical parts, including batteries
- Lawn mowers and other garden tools
- Metal furniture parts
- Wires and electronic components (TVs, old computers and printers, etc.)
Now, sometimes, even when you have the above items, the scrap metal pick up service may require a minimum. Or, if the metal is mixed in too heavily with other materials (such as plastic), then they may not be eligible. If safety hazards are part of the logistics in pick up the material (usually when liquids are involved), then those also probably would be more effort than they’re worth to pick up.
And sometimes, different metal recyclers will simply not pick up certain items, for their own reasons (whatever it may be). In those cases, you’ll have to opt for a different type of service.
If some of the above can be safely reused by others, it’s possible it can be donated to charities too. Which brings us to our next option…
Charity furniture pick up: what’s eligible and how easy is it?
When you have reasonably good furniture you’d like to donate to a good cause, there are a few ways to go about it.
Firstly, you’ll need to contact the charity of your choice to find out if they accept your items. It is likely that anything in which bed bugs could live in (mattresses, couches, etc.) would not be accepted. Though, certain charities may still take these items. Check with them directly to find out. We would suggest that for those types of things, a mattress recycling company would be your best bet.
With regards to tables, chairs, dressers and other solid items, some charities will pick up your used-but-still-good furniture. They may charge a fee for the furniture pick up though, to cover their operating costs (remember, charities are not designed to make money!). You may notice some restrictions in their pick-up service, such as not being able to access your site through stairs, or heavy lifting that could injure their workers. So you might need to be part of the ‘muscle help’ in these case.
With charity furniture pick ups, you can’t expect immediate service either. Sometimes these services are volunteer-based, or any paid workers will already be occupied with other, much-needed tasks. So don’t expect a lot from them, and be nice! The payoff is that you can know your stuff isn’t going to a dump, and hopefully will help someone who really needs it. If you are in a rush to get rid of your junk, try another way to do so.
A note for if you plan on doing a charity furniture drop off: It would not be wise to just show up and drop off furniture unannounced – even at a charity. This is more-so if you plan on leaving the items on their doorstep, outside. This creates more of a problem for the charities, which may already be overburdened. If your furniture drop off gets wet from rain, or there is no room for it in their space, you are essentially putting the cost of junk removal on them. And that’s not what charities are for. So it’s important to be considerate about how you drop it off. Call them first, and make sure they’re ready and willing to accept your donation!
Full-service junk removal: the all in one solution that takes (almost) all junk, then recycles and donates it
The third option to getting rid of your rubbish is with a professional junk removal service. Of course, this is a pay option, and not a free pick up service. However, the benefit here is that if your junk is mixed, you won’t have to do the work of sorting it, or worrying about what is or isn’t acceptable. Plus, the service time can be quicker – and they’ll likely be willing to go up and down stairs or elevators, and do all the heavy lifting too.
The good thing about junk removal companies is that they don’t just take all your junk and put it in a landfill. They will also go the extra mile to donate the usable furniture to charities, drop them off at used furniture stores, or take them to appropriate recycling centres.
Even if you have items that are traditionally not taken by scrap metal or charity pick-ups, a junk removal service can likely handle it (such as mattresses, appliances or mixed-material items). However, there are limits to what they’ll take too, due to safety hazards (such as with liquids, or foods).
To conclude, getting rid of your junk can take any of the above forms, and sometimes more. If you are organized, you can separate your materials to make any free pick up service easier, and more attractive to those who offer to do it for free. There would have to be something ‘in it’ for them to want to come all the way to your home for your junk. If no one will take your junk, and you are in a rush, you may have to opt for the simplest method: professional junk removal.