What to do with yard waste?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by rivercitypappy, Oct 17, 2003.

  1. rivercitypappy

    rivercitypappy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Hi guys, I'm new and trying to figure things out before I jump in. So far I've gotten a lot of great information. But what do most of you do with yard waste that you run across? Not trash, but fallen limbs and the like. Do you set it off to the side for the homeowner to deal with? Or do you take it with you - and then what? Also, what about bikes, skateboards and other crap laying around the yard? If it's not removed as requested by the time you get there, do you charge more for dragging it around, or is this just part of good customer service? Finally, what about weeds in your customer's landscaping? You know, the stuff pushing through their flowers and bushes, making their overall yard looking rough, even though you have just manicured their lawn for them. If I were to offer to pull them as needed, what would you charge? Thank you in advance for any input. Also, please check out my other thread in this forum. Looking for any response to that as well.
  2. BW4486

    BW4486 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    Dont do residential, so we dont have to deal with scateboards ect. but as far as limbs, trash, leaves, palm fronds, ect. we load in back of truck, and have a burn pile for burnable, and take rest to the dump when we get a load.
  3. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,725

    The clippings or leaves or branches and all that is cost of doing business and we take all that with us. I can dump all but the sticks at the farm next door for free so that’s a nice feature in fall and spring clean ups. The toy problem is not that common I do run into it on a few lawns if it is really bad you may need to warn them that if it keeps up you will need to charge them for it but not for 1-3 mins of toys just conceder it public relations.

    As for the weeds in their beds unless I did the bed work I don’t even think on it if they want it great ill happily have some one weed their beds. Or if its really bad I may even leave a note or call them on the matter but when they say no that’s it. Allot of home owners cant afford the lawn cuts but still keep us you gota understand not every one has a few hundred or thousand dollars of disposable income at the end of each month.
  4. DJL

    DJL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 237

    For my situation:

    If I have to haul any organic matter away (i.e. grass clippings, leaves, sticks, etc.) then their is a charge per cubic yard. I charge a removal fee per cubic yard and add in the expense of my time and truck wear and tear. Now, if it is a bag here or a few sticks their I'm not going to charge, no big deal, but for those that insist every week needs to be bagged, I either charge them more or I leave it at their site.

    FYI, in the town where I live the law states something along the lines of "If you have a contractor performing lawn maintenance that company must take all debris they generate with them." In other words, if they cut the grass and bag it, they must haul it away or dump it in the owners yard.
  5. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 911

    It's so interesting that even though we are all in the same business doing pretty much the same thing, different parts of the country result in different challenges and obstacles.

    Here in the Northwest, everyone recycles everything. That includes lawn and landscape debris. Here in Vancouver, Washington we have an organic recycler. They take in all of the countys organic debris, grind it up, compost it, mix it and re-sell it as various soil blends. I pay $6/yd to dispose. Oh, and because of our relatively wet climate, we bag all grass clippings. My disposal expense last year was $1000 - thats 166 yds of debris!
  6. Green Gopher

    Green Gopher LawnSite Member
    Messages: 105

    I too work in the northwest, Most of my clients use their own recycle bins and I just fill them. On the accounts that want me to take it, I charge an extra $10 per mow and that covers my disposal plus a little extra for the time. For the client it's usually a better deal to recycle it them selves because it's only about $10 per month. Some people though have more money then time and would rather have me hall it away.

    As for toys, it's no big deal to move them (I walk the place first anyway). I do charge an extra $5 if animal feces becomes a problem, but those properties are few and far between, and I give them plenty of warning before charging.

  7. WeatherMan

    WeatherMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 692

    For yard waste he haul back to the shop and dump in a big valley, Bikes and other crap oh ya and dog crap. We add an extra $5.00 per peice to the bill you will be shocked how fast they clean up the yard after that. Weeds in the beds dont touch unless they pay us too
  8. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 911

    What a great idea about charging extra for the dog crap! Sure, it's only a few people but as we all know, nothing worse than having to mow a yard filled with the stuff. A little extra charge is a great deterent! I put out a monthly newsletter with my invoices and always tell people we have to handle equipment and debris all the time and dog crap is not only unpleasant but downright unhealthy to have to deal with.

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