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How to Dispose of Dirt

dirt bags for disposal


Yard renovations, pool installations, and construction projects are just some of the undertakings that can leave you with excess fill dirt or topsoil. If you’re wondering how to dispose of dirt properly (and easily), keep reading to learn about dirt disposal options and regulations around dirt disposal.

Can I Throw Away Dirt?

Uncontaminated dirt is considered a type of construction and demolition waste and cannot be thrown away in the trash with household garbage.

The good news is there are several other ways that you can get rid of extra soil, including reusing your soil and dirt recycling. The best way to get rid of dirt depends on the amount and condition of your soil.

How Much Does Dirt Removal Cost?

The price of dirt removal is based on a few different factors, including the weight of the soil and the type of service you use. The weight of dirt is based on how moist it is. For example, a cubic yard of dry soil weighs almost a ton, but a wet cubic yard of soil will weigh almost 2 tons.

Additionally, the type of service you choose to handle your dirt removal affects the cost. Dumpster rentals will range from around 300 to 600 dollars, while a junk removal service will charge on average 250 to 600 for their services.

Cost Of Dirt Disposal Options

Disposal OptionCost
Dirt Dumpster Rental$400 on average for a 10-yard dumpster for dirt
Junk Removal ServiceAbout $250 for a quarter truck-bedload to $600 for a full bedload
Self-Hauling$32 to $40 per ton at most landfills, excludes pick-up truck rental costs, gas, and time spent hauling

Estimating the weight of soil can be challenging, making budgeting difficult. Junk removal trucks usually have a maximum load capacity of 2 tons, which typically costs around $600. If the weight of your materials exceeds this limit, you'll need to schedule a second pickup, doubling your costs to $1,200.

On the other hand, renting a 10-yard roll-off dumpster offers a more cost-effective solution. The average cost for such a dumpster is around $400, and it often includes a weight limit of up to 10 tons. Large projects involving soil can be particularly tricky to estimate accurately, making it a better idea to rent a dirt dumpster or handle the hauling and disposal yourself.

What To Know Before Dirt Disposal

Before you attempt to get rid of your dirt, you should first:

  1. Determine the soil type:

    Depending on where your dirt was taken from, it may have different types of debris mixed into it. Construction and demolition sites will typically have dirt with insulation, concrete chunks, sand, or other C&D waste mixed in. Soil from a garden will typically be clear of toxic substances and dirt from an excavation may have oil or other hazardous materials mixed into it.

  2. Estimate the amount of soil for disposal:

    Dirt is surprisingly heavy, and its moisture contents change the weight. A dry cubic yard of dirt will weigh around 1 ton, while wet dirt will weigh double that.

This information is important to know before you start your disposal since certain disposal methods work better for different amounts and types of dirt debris.

Responsible Dirt Removal Options

Clean, contaminate-free dirt can be recycled, reused, and disposed of in many different ways, including:

dirt dumpster for disposal

1. Dirt Dumpster Rental

Roll off dumpsters are one of the most convenient ways to handle dirt removal. This is the best dirt disposal method if you have a large and heavy amount of dirt you cannot haul yourself, like after a landscaping or construction project.

To set up a dirt dumpster rental service, simply place an order for your rental online, wait for its delivery, and then fill the container. Once you’re done, it will be picked up and dumped for you.

Waste management companies work hard to ensure that your dirt gets recycled properly, and many contractors have connections with local dumpster companies and other businesses that recycle dirt.

BenefitsThings to Consider
Receive your all-inclusive rate before the rental even arrivesMust load dirt into dumpster yourself
Reliable, scheduled disposal of dirtBest for larger amounts of dirt like from construction or landscaping projects
No need to be home for pickup Most dirt dumpsters can only be filled with dirt or sometimes dirt and C&D materials
recycling with landscaping companies

2. Recycling Dirt

Several places accept dirt for recycling, such as landfills and landscaping facilities. Before bringing your dirt to them, call and see if they are accepting dirt waste at that time. Transfer stations will also accept fill dirt and topsoil. To find one of these stations, look up the nearest transfer station that accepts dirt near you. 

Additionally, you can look into landscaping suppliers and construction and demolition recycling facilities in your area. If you only have a small amount of soil, you can bag it up and haul it to one of these facilities yourself.

Facilities that accept dirt for recycling: 

  • Landfills and transfer stations

  • Construction and demolition recycling centers

  • Landscaping supply companies

BenefitsThings to Consider
Eco-friendly option for dirt disposalYou have to find a location that accepts dirt waste yourself, may take some research
Affordable way to get rid of dirt You have to bring the dirt to the recycling location yourself
Can help someone in need of soil or dirtWorks best for a small to moderate amount of soil
raised garden beds for extra dirt

3. Reusing Dirt

Reusing excess dirt is a great way to be sustainable and save money on your next yard project. To do so, all you need is some type of soil storage. The best containers for storing dirt are airtight, waterproof bins. Make sure to keep the bins out of direct sunlight and away from the elements.

Dirt can be reused for many projects, including:

  • Creating a raised garden bed 

  • Redoing an existing flower bed

  • Building a fire pit 

  • Filling in low spots in the yard

  • Creating a berm 

These are just a handful of projects that can put that excess dirt to use.

BenefitsThings to Consider
Most sustainable dirt "disposal" optionSome soil cannot be reused, such as contaminated dirt or dirt mixed with inorganic materials
Can help you save money on yardwork and landscaping projects Need to have some use for all the soil or dirt you have
garden centers accept dirt donations

4. Donating Extra Dirt

Garden centers are one location that may accept your dirt donations. These companies usually charge a small fee for accepting your dirt. Garden centers will use the soil donation in their own garden beds or potted plants. If the topsoil is of high enough quality, they may even resell it. Local landscaping companies may also accept your dirt donations, just call beforehand to make sure they will take it.

Places that accept dirt donations:

  • Nurseries and gardening centers

  • Landscaping companies

  • Construction companies

  • Local farms

BenefitsThings to Consider
A sustainable way of dirt disposal Will be charged a small fee for dropping the dirt donation
Can do a social good and help people in need of dirt, such as community centers and schoolsCan be difficult to find a garden center or other location that accepts dirt donations
Dirt typically needs to be of quality and clean to be accepted
junk removal truck for dirt removal

5. Junk Removal Companies

Junk removal companies may offer dirt removal services as well. The cost of their services depends on how much dirt you have, as they either charge by weight, or by how much of their truck is used (1/8th of a truckload, 1/4th of a truckload, etc). The typical weight limit for junk removal services is 4,000 lbs, making this option more suitable for smaller dirt removal jobs.

BenefitsThings to Consider
No heavy lifting for you Rates are subject to increase upon arrival of removal specialists
Offers a scheduled disposal of dirt Must be present for the pickup
Best for moderate-medium amounts of dirt
Prices can quickly increase depending on the amount/weight of your dirt

Additional Dirt Removal Options

Online listings

Online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are good places to list your leftover soil if you don’t have other uses for it. You can list your dirt for free or for a small price.

There also happen to be online marketplaces just for dirt, such as,, and You may have to pay a small fee for a listing on these sites.

Haul it yourself

You always have the option to haul your leftover dirt to a landfill yourself. Many landfills accept uncontaminated waste such as soil from the general public, charging a fee per ton. You'll have to locate waste management facilities that accept dirt near you online. While self-dumping may work for smaller projects, larger quantities of dirt usually require a dumpster rental or junk removal service.

Place it curbside

The easiest way to get rid of a small amount of dirt is to place it on the sidewalk with a “free” sign. Passerbys may haul it away from your property for their own use. Before placing it on the curb, check with your city or homeowner’s association to make sure you’re allowed to leave items on the sidewalk in your neighborhood. Also, make sure to contain the dirt in bags or bins before you place it outside.

Finding Dirt Disposal Services Near You

The easiest way to find dirt disposal services near you is to do an online search. You will have to call to make sure dirt is accepted at a location, but you should be able to find a dirt disposal option near you. Look for dirt recycling centers, transfer stations, and landscaping supply companies. You can also call your local waste management facilities to ask them for assistance.

When to Hire Professionals for Dirt Removal

When you’re dealing with large quantities of dirt, hiring a professional for dirt disposal could save you time, sweat, and money. If you're dealing with contaminated dirt, it's required you let a hazardous waste specialist deal with your dirt debris.

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FAQs About Dirt Disposal

When getting rid of dirt, a lot of questions can arise. Below are answers to some of the most common questions about dirt disposal.

Dirt can be responsibly dumped at:

  1. A landfill or transfer station.

  2. C&D recycling centers.

  3. Clean fill dumpsites.

  4. Landscaping companies and gardening centers that accept dirt.

Dirt should never be dumped on:

  1. Public property, including parks, the woods, or curbs.

  2. Private property of others like your neighbor's yards.

Keep in mind that you may not be allowed to dump, sell, or give away dirt without mining permits.

1 cubic yard of dirt typically weighs about 1 ton. However, the weight of dirt depends on its moisture levels. For example, 1 cubic yard of wet dirt weighs almost 2 tons.

Contaminated soil is dirt that has been mixed with hazardous, flammable, or toxic materials such as fuel, paint, oil, chemicals, or heavy metals like lead or arsenic. Dirt is usually contaminated by paint or wood preservatives that have been carried into the ground via rainfall. To test your soil for contamination, reach out to a soil engineer.

Dirt that is contaminated is hard to get rid of, but not impossible. You'll have to look online for a soil treatment center that is able to handle your dirt.

Soil mixed with rocks, leaves, or other biodegradable waste is not considered hazardous and can usually be thrown into a dumpster. If the dirt has been mixed with prohibited materials, it cannot be disposed of in a dumpster.

The easiest way to remove a large amount of dirt is to rent a dumpster. This way, you don't have to worry about hauling or dumping yourself. Junk removal specialists are another easy dirt disposal option if you have a moderate amount of dirt.

The cheapest way to get rid of soil is to either place it on the curbside or to find a recycling center that will take your dirt for a small fee.

The best way to get rid of dirt in your area depends on how much dirt you have to dispose of. If you have a large amount of dirt, a dumpster rental will help you get rid of dirt easily no matter what your location is. Otherwise, look into local C&D collection centers in your area,

Have a Ton of Unwanted Dirt?

A dirt dumpster rental is the perfect solution for your excess dirt problem. If you have a ton of fill dirt or topsoil you need to get rid of and can't haul it yourself, contact us to book a dirt dumpster rental today.

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