Our top pick: College Hunks Hauling Junk & Moving earns our number one spot. Not only does the company offer full-service junk removal, but it also has loads of other services such as moving help, home staging, general cleanup, and even light demolition.
Best Junk Removal Companies of 2023
Best junk removal companies
College Hunks Hauling Junk & Moving—Best overall
With a slew of services aimed at making your junk removal project run as smoothly as possible, College Hunks Hauling Junk & Moving tops our list of companies that will take trash off your hands. On top of being a killer junk removal company, College Hunks also specializes in moving and demolition—which is why we ranked them as one of our favorite local movers.
Because of this versatility, we recommend College Hunks if you’re moving for the first time in years and have accumulated a lot of stuff you don’t want to take to your new home.
Why we recommend College Hunks
Its comprehensive list of services
College Hunks offers all the junk removal services you could ever need. The Hunks will haul away your rusted-out hot tub, your thrashed furniture, your retired mattress, and just about everything in between. If you’re unsure whether College Hunks will take what you’re tossing, check with the company before scheduling your service.
College Hunks also has a few unique services you might not have realized you needed:
- Packing for moves
- Home staging
- Seasonal debris cleanup (leaves, branches, etc.)
- Light demolition for home renovation
In addition to all of this, College Hunks has actual Hunks you can enlist for labor around your house, whether it’s hauling heavy boxes from one room to another or rearranging your couches and cabinets.
Its excellent recycling and donation program
Do you want to make sure your junk is handled responsibly and recycled (whenever possible) to avoid contributing to overburdened landfills? While all of the full-service junk removal companies on our list claim to recycle a large percentage of the junk they pick up, College Hunks appears to recycle the most.
College Hunks recycles or donates over 70% of everything it hauls away.1 That’s about 10% more than both 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and Junk King.
In addition to recycling, College Hunks also donates some of the belongings from each junk removal job.
Here are some of its most common donation pickup requests:
- Home furnishings and office equipment
- Nursery and baby items
- Items from garage, attic, or basement cleanup projects
Want to make sure your junk gets donated or recycled?
Is your old stuff still useful, just not necessarily useful to you? The full-service junk removal companies on this list also do donation pickups, so you can send your old furniture and appliances to a donation center where they’re sure to end up in a good home. You can also check out our list of charities that pick up donations.
With a full range of junk removal services and availability in 45 US states (and in Washington DC), 1-800-GOT-JUNK? is one of the world’s largest junk removal service companies. We think it’s also one of the best. We particularly like how convenient the company makes junk removal for its customers.
Why we recommend 1-800-GOT-JUNK?
Its commitment to convenience
1-800-GOT-JUNK? can handle everything from appliances and furniture to computers and yard waste. Essentially, it will take any nonhazardous trash and debris that two crew members can lift. The company can also clean out your garage, shed, attic, or storage unit.
Once it hauls your junk away, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? is committed to recycling or donating as much junk as possible. It donates reusable items to charities like Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Habitat for Humanity,2 then recycles what it can of what’s left.
1-800-GOT-JUNK? claims its services are so convenient that it's as simple as pointing to what you want to toss and POOF. Gone.
In fact, 1-800-GOT-JUNK?’s junk removal services rival College Hunks’, and there’s one important area where it outclasses the Hunks...
Its wide availability
1-800-GOT-JUNK? has locations in seven more states than College Hunks. This means that if you wanted to hire College Hunks for a junk removal project but the company isn’t available in your area, there’s a good chance you have a 1-800-GOT-JUNK? franchise near enough to be a viable plan B.
In addition to its impressive US availability, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? also has locations in Canada and Australia.
Looking for a junk removal company that has other services too?
LoadUp’s founder started the company in 2014 to bring “transparency and fairness” to the junk removal industry.3 From what we can see, it’s well on its way. In addition to transparency, the company also has some of the most competitive prices we’ve found, making it our top recommendation for budget shoppers.
Why we recommend LoadUp
Its upfront online pricing tool
Getting prices for any junk removal service can be difficult—and for good reason. Prices change depending on location, seasonality, and various other factors. Because of this, most companies won’t give prices online or over the phone.
But LoadUp gives you the rare opportunity to get a customized price on its website. All you have to do is provide the company your ZIP code and list which items you need hauled away. As you’re filling out your inventory, the tool will recalculate to give you an accurate estimate of what your service will cost.
Its 20%–30% less promise
LoadUp claims to charge 20%–30% less than its competitors. We wanted to verify that this was true, so we did a little digging. On average, full-service junk removal prices range from $100 to $800 depending on what you want removed.
When we filled out our LoadUp inventory, we found that the price for the first item we added (e.g., a fridge, a mattress, etc.) fell between $80 and $120—even for small stuff like microwaves.
But when we added more items, even bulky junk like treadmills and couches, each increased the price by around $20 to $40 depending on size (exceptionally large items like ATVs increased it by about $200).
This means that LoadUp’s transportation costs—the cost of getting a truck to and from your location—are about average, but once the crew is at your house, they’ll haul away everything for a relatively small additional cost.
Bottom line: when we filled out an inventory with an entire truck’s worth of stuff, it was definitely 20%–30% cheaper than the average price of a full truck at another company.
Looking to save upwards of 20%–30%?
If you like the sound of LoadUp’s prices but want to shop around a bit more, we recommend Junk King.
Junk King’s price-matching policy means they’ll match a quote you get from another company, so if you’re willing to collect multiple quotes, you might get Junk King’s first-rate service for a fraction of the price.
Waste Management—Best for DIY junk removal
Waste Management is America’s largest garbage disposal company, and it’s been a pioneer on the recycling front for decades.4 While the other companies we’ve mentioned are better for full-service junk removal, Waste Management is far and away the best if you’re ready to rent a dumpster, roll up your sleeves, and do most of the work yourself.
Why we recommend Waste Management
Its Bagster bags for smaller projects
Waste Management's Bagster bags cost only $25.99* and are available at most major home improvement retailers—and can even be delivered to your door from Amazon. The bags measure 8 ft. x 4 ft. x 2.5 ft. and are constructed of high-strength polypropylene to hold up to 3,300 pounds of material.
Once you fill your bag, you can schedule a collection from Waste Management. Collection pricing varies from location to location, and service isn’t available in select areas, so be sure to visit Bagster’s site to see if it offers collections near you.
The collection fees we researched ranged from $140 to $300 for a single bag (depending on the pickup location), which is well below what you’ll pay for a large metal dumpster.
* Amazon.com Price: $25.99 (as of 12/20/22).
Its dumpsters for larger projects
If you need to get rid of more than a Bagster can handle, try one of Waste Management’s metal dumpsters.
Waste management dumpster size
|10-yd. dumpster||15 ft. x 8 ft. x 2 ft.|
|12-yd. dumpster||10–12 ft. x 8 ft. x 3 ft. 5 in.|
|15-yd. dumpster||10 ft. x 7 ft. 11 in. x 4 ft. 7 in.|
|20-yd. dumpster||21 ft. 11 in. x 7 ft. x 3 ft. 6 in.|
|30-yd. dumpster||21 ft. 11 in. x 7 ft. x 5 ft. 2 in.|
|40-yd- dumpster||21 ft. 11 in. x 7 ft. x 7 ft.|
Data as of 12/20/22.
Each of these options eclipses the Bagster bag in terms of both capacity and durability, meaning you can dispose of much larger and heavier items without worrying about whether or not the container can handle it.
Although these dumpsters are far more expensive than a Bagster bag, they’re well worth the cost if your project requires a solution of this magnitude.
Looking for the best dumpster company on our list?
Once you get a quote for dumpster rental from Waste Management, you can compare it to rental prices from other companies.
College Hunks’ long list of moving and junk removal services paired with its commitment to the environment make it our top recommendation for anyone who lives within its service area. If you're interested in pricing, visit their website.
With unmatched availability, all the standard services you could want from a junk removal company, and a dedication to convenience, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? is the company we recommend to anyone who doesn’t have a College Hunks location nearby. For more information, visit them online.
If you’re on a tight budget and you need the cheapest junk removal services available, we recommend checking to see what LoadUp can do for you.
Going with a dumpster rental instead of full-service junk removal takes a lot more effort on your part, but if you’re willing to do the work of filling the dumpster yourself, we think that going with Waste Management’s Bagster or dumpsters can save you money (at the cost of some convenience). Visit Waste Management online for more information.
Junk removal FAQ
Full-service junk removal vs. DIY: which is best?
While renting a dumpster and throwing your stuff away yourself can save you some money, that’s pretty much the only benefit of DIY junk removal. Overall, we almost always recommend going with a full-service junk removal company. It's much more convenient, safe, and quick than trying to lift a busted sofa into a dumpster, lug splintery fencing across your yard, or empty out your garage with your own two hands.
Is dumpster rental cheaper than full-service junk removal?
Removing your junk yourself with a rented dumpster can be a bit cheaper than hiring a full-service company to take it for you—but not always. It depends on how much you’re throwing away. If all you have to get rid of is a mattress or a sofa, then renting an entire dumpster for one item is far less cost-effective than full-service removal.
However, if you’re throwing a lot of junk away, dumpster rental can save you at least a little bit of money.
What can junk removal companies take?
Because every company is different, it’s impossible to guarantee what items a specific junk removal company will take. What we can tell you is that most companies take common household items like mattresses, sofas, and appliances, but very few collect hazardous materials like batteries and lead-based paints.
Luckily, every company on this list has a “What We Take” list online so you can check before scheduling an appointment.