Get carried away: Tips from expert haulers

Get carried away: Tips from expert haulers

We asked several highly rated haulers on Angie’s List what people need to know when hiring a hauler.

Teets: Homeowners hire us for any and everything: Junk removal, lot clearing, moving and yard debris.

Thompson: The most common job is clearing out a garage, basement or attic that’s been filling up for years. Right now, we get a lot of calls to clean out foreclosed homes for banks.

Shockey: Most of our customers are remodelers. We also do warehouse cleanouts and garage cleanouts when people are moving.

What’s the most common item you haul away for homeowners?

Teets: We pick up a lot of electronic waste and mattresses. We break the mattresses down – the wood goes to the wood recycler, the metal goes to the metal recycler and the fluffy stuff goes to the San Francisco Recycling Center.

Shockey: It’s a toss-up between old furniture and appliances — just people’s accumulated crap. Our specialty is bulky, hard-to-get-rid-of stuff.

What’s the average job cost?

Thompson: My price is a flat rate of $110 per load for a full-size pickup truck bed or $220 per load for a 16-foot trailer.

Teets: It depends on the load — what material, how far to the truck, whether we have to sort it, etc. Concrete is more expensive to get rid of than cardboard. Companies that charge by volume are ripping you off.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever been asked to haul away?

Thompson: I’ve run across a few prosthetic arms and legs. People get new ones and just throw the old ones out.

Shockey: Nine dump-truck loads of black Spanish olives for the FDA. They were in a food distribution warehouse. The FDA official wouldn’t say how they were tainted, but they had to be destroyed.

Do hauled-away items end up in landfills, recycling or charities?

Teets: We recycle as much as humanly possible. We have to recycle 75 to 90 percent of everything – cardboard, paper, metal, dirt, wood scraps. The wood is sold to a power plant. Taking stuff to the dump is the most expensive way for us to get rid of it.

Thompson: A lot of times, it’s all destroyed, but if it’s in good condition, I try to make sure it goes somewhere it will be used.

Shockey: We recycle 30 percent of everything we haul each year. We recycle items to about six places, such as charity reuse stores, an electronics waste recycler, paper and cardboard recycler, and a place that turns construction framing into landscape mulch. My favorite form of recycling is finding a home where the stuff can be reused.


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