By Mitch Kidd
When it comes to removing bulk construction refuse from your professional renovation, your building super is not going bag it up and put it out with the normal building garbage as he does with your regular garbage and recycling.
That said, the New York Department of Sanitation will remove small “non-commercial” waste from homeowners taking on small “do-it-yourself” projects. When it comes to the bulk and construction refuse generated by hired contractors on renovation projects it is considered “commercial waste.” In these cases, it’s the responsibility of the homeowner or contractor to arrange for appropriate private disposal.
There are a number of options available for private construction refuse disposal in New York City.
1. Dumpster rental
Most dumpster rental companies quote one flat rate for delivery, pickup, and disposal. Some may add delivery charges separately. The rental rate is often for a standard period of time (ie. up to 7 days) and includes a certain amount of weight (i.e. up to 3 tons). Extra charges may apply if the dumpster is heavier than the included “allowed” weight. Each dumpster is weighed before it is dumped. If your debris is heavier than the allotted weight included in your rental agreement, then a “per ton overage” fee will likely apply.
Pay particular attention to the amount of weight included in your price if you’re disposing of heavy construction debris like bricks, cement, roofing shingles, or demolition debris. If you’re cleaning out your home of miscellaneous household debris, you will typically not have to worry about “over weight” fees because the debris is lighter. A permit is required almost everywhere in NYC for a dumpster, and most dumpster rental companies will arrange the permit for you.
Here are some private dumpster providers in NYC:
2. Pick up services
There are companies that pickup all kinds of junk – old furniture, appliances, electronics, yard debris, renovation and construction material, office fixtures etc. Depending on the company you use, you or your contractor may have to bring the debris to the curb and loaded into the truck.
There are some full service junk pick up companies. Simply show them where it is and they will pick it up, take it out, load it up, and get it out of your way.
Try these companies for pick up services in NYC:
3. Reuse & Recycle
There are a number of facilities that accept segregated streams of refuse. These are great if you can separate the various kinds of debris your project produces. For example, scrap yards accept only metal, and ”clean fill” processors accept only concrete, dirt and other inert materials. These facilities recycle virtually 100% of the material they handle, and their fees for accepting segregated materials are much lower than those charged by mixed construction processors.
The price differs depending on material. For example, a 20 cubic yard container of metal only might be hauled away at no cost, whereas removal of the same container filled with mixed construction and demolition materials might cost $650.
Sources for recycling facilities in NYC:
- NYC Stuff – The site lets users search for places where they can get rid of or acquire used furniture.
- Brooklyn Recycler – A recycling processing center.
4. Donate - Demolition and renovation jobs may offer salvage opportunities – e.g. sinks, appliances, cabinets for resale. Many companies will actually pick up your materials for free and give you a receipt for your tax returns.
Here are some local options:
Before deciding how to dispose of your construction refuse, be sure to take stock of location, access to site, available site space, and budget. Be sure to speak with your building management to see if there is building protocol for removing debris.