According to the EPA, the average American produced 4.40 pounds of municipal solid waste in 2013. That’s equivalent to 1,606 pounds of trash annually per person. Now, when someone says to you “You're full of trash”, we can finally understand where they are coming from. Though the EPA has not taken any recent polls, one can only speculate how much trash we produce today. Life was not always like this, and trash was mostly kept in check. In the past couple of decades, the increase in consumer demand for packaged goods, has caused the trash issue to explode.
Municipalities had to figure how to collect all this waste and where to dispose of it. This meant local township authorities meeting with contractors to decide if it made economic sense to build a public sanitation station, addressing the trash issue at hand. If they chose to create a sanitation department, the expense would be deferred to the taxpayers. According to Waste360, 62 percent of the top 100 cities in the United States have it’s trash handled by an exclusive municipal service. Another 18 percent must hire an independent trash pickup service and are typically billed quarterly. Garbage pickup service companies will then provide a large trash bin which can hold half a week's worth of garbage for a family of six. Each provider will attempt to sell you its services claiming that they are the cheapest and most reliable.
We will provide an in-depth analysis of the cost and qualities of select garbage services. At the same time, we will address weekly challenges of residents that are in contract with a local trash pickup company. Keep in mind that based on government taxes for fuel and environment location pricing may vary. Therefore, we are going to set Jackson, New Jersey as our residential pickup point and review pricing based on twice a week pickup with a 96-gallon trash container. Though monthly pricing may be available, most trash services bill out monthly.
Disclaimer: The author has no affiliation to any of the trash collection companies below and is providing service and cost analysis as a local resident from Jackson, NJ. This area is suburban and not a city setting. Often pricing may vary depending on how easy it is for the garbage trucks to maneuver around town.
Waste Management Pickup
Waste Management was founded by American businessman and entrepreneur, Wayne Huizenga, in 1968. The Waste Management company provides garbage pickup services to 20 million residential and over two million commercial customers in the United States. Its founder is well known for “Making Millions from Garbage” and is also the current owner of the Miami Dolphins. Waste Management is by far one of the biggest waste hauling companies in the U.S.
Cost of Waste Management
After speaking to a nice customer service agent about lowering my quarterly residential trash bill, I was given a price of $119.78 per quarter. I requested to see if there were any new customer promotions and she came back to me with a price of $72.51 per quarter for the first two years and first month of pickup free. Let’s sum that up in service annual cost. For service I will be receiving a 96-gallon trash container with twice a week pickup. The cost for year one will be $265.87 (one month free), the cost of year two will be $290.04, and the cost of year three will be $479.12.
Waste Management Review
I love the squeaky-clean 96-gallon garbage cans and how the brand was founded by Wayne Huizenga, I still feel the jump from the first couple of years of service to year three; it’s a bit steep. As a matter of fact, it’s a sixty five percent increase from year two to year three. If you’re the type that loves brand names, I would tell you to hire Waste Management as your waste hauler.
Tri-State Carting is a local waste hauling service which provides garbage pickup throughout New Jersey. They provide trash pickup in my area and its surrounding counties which include, New Gretna, Manchester, Whiting, and New Egypt. Tri-State is a no-frills garbage pickup company with no promotions and just pickups your trash twice a week in a 98 Gallon Robo-Can. When their robotic garbage trucks are not available, the regular trucks will do the manual pickup. The garbage men are nice and courteous and will give you a hello occasionally.
Cost of Tri-State Carting
As I said before, this is a strictly no-frills waste hauling service. They will not keep you on the line or take your information and insert you in their “sales lead database”. All they provide is garbage pickup which is all you need. Tri-State will charge you $84 quarterly for the first year and every year after. This comes out to $336 annually for a 98-gallon garbage can for twice a week pickup. If you are doing a fall or spring cleanup and you have big contractor garbage bag, it’s $3.60 a bag.
Tri-State Carting Review
I like this company for the fact that they don’t push you into signing up for their trash pickup service. In addition, if you ever need them to pick up additional trash, their pricing is rather reasonable. On top of that, there is no trying to figure out “What will be my pricing after year two?”. Pricing is not cheap, but the service is reliable and relatively good. Yes, my can is from the previous owner and is chewed up by squirrels. I am relatively happy with the service.
Republic Trash Services
Republic Services was incorporated in 1996, and like Waste Management is a Fortune 500 company, and publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Its predecessor was a company by the name of Allied Waste Industries founded in 1988. Though the number of customers is not verified, Republic Services had a total number 16,000 trucks in 2017. They are a big company and have a significant number of both residential and commercial customers. Residential garbage pickup is done via a garbage truck which has a robotic arm and gets through the neighborhood rather quickly.
Cost of Republic Services
The cost of using Republic garbage services is a bit interesting. Like Waste Management, they offer a special promotion for the first year of service at $68.10 per quarter. For the first year this will cost you a total of $272.20. Sounds pretty good in comparison to the other two garbage pickup companies. However, after the first year Republic trash pickup can raise your price by eight percent. This means that your second-year price will be $73.54 quarterly and $294.19 annually. In year three, the price may go up to $79.42 quarterly and $317.69 annually.
Review of Republic Services
One of the caveats I did not mention was the fact that the Republic Services garbage can is slightly smaller and has a 95-gallon capacity. Though its low price is highly attractive, and I would probably sign on, I still don’t like the steady eight percent increase. I like to lock in and know my cost with no increase percentage. It may be that by year four you might be paying $343.15 cents. For a resident who keeps an eye out on their bills, it’s a great deal. But if you’re a person like me that signs on and never looks back, you might think twice.
|Service Provider||Introductory Offer Per Quarter||Year 1 Cost||Year 2 Cost||Year 3 Cost||Year 4 Cost|
Keeping your large waste can clean
Once you have settled on a residential garbage service, the next challenge is keeping the big can clean as possible. During the summertime trash bins get smelly and full of maggots and it can be quite nasty retrieving your trash bin from the street. One solution which I like best is to line your trash container with a pack of 100-gallon garbage bags. This will function as a trash liner which you can then place the smaller tall kitchen garbage bags in. Any leakage will be contained by the outer garbage bag. The night before garbage pickup, tie the top of the trash liner and your hauler will pick up one huge garbage bag. If you're worried about not being able to tie such a big bag, there is no reason for concern. The trash liner is large enough that a significant amount of plastic goes beyond the bin lip, allowing you grip it and bring it together in a secure tie. If you still think that you won’t be able to close the bag, try using another option by closing it with a jumbo rubber band.
Whatever local trash hauling service you choose it may be worth your while to pick up the phone and give them a call. Throughout the year, these companies may offer unique promotions which may be better than the pricing review above. Give yourself an hour and identify what trash collection service works best for your budget and household. And to all those city folks who are blessed with local municipal pickup, count your blessings for no garbage disposal limit.