One of the nice things about having your own roll-off dumpster is that you can dispose of the big stuff. We’re talking couches, water heaters, (drained) refrigerators, and piles upon piles of random junk. And once its filled to the brim, its all hauled away for you. It’s hard to improve on that kind of convenience. Unless you live in Oakland, CA, which offers free disposal of bulky trash items, four times a year.

The event is called the Bulky Item Drop-Off Event, where residents from all over the city can come and dispose of the hefty debris that’s been accumulating in their homes. The Drop-Off Event is hosted at a local recycling center which provides more than enough space for the trucks and dumpsters the crew uses to collect all of the refuse. The event is co-sponsored by the Oakland Public Works Agency and Waste Management of Alameda County. Together, the two organizations put on this Drop-Off Event four times a year, so that residents can remove the clutter from their homes throughout the year. After all, not everyone has time to do their spring cleaning.

Waste Management workers are on hand for every event. They help residents unload mattresses, appliances, upholstered furniture, and storage bins from their trucks and U-Hauls. Everything that they collect is carted off to different facilities depending on whether the refuse can be reused or recycled. Anything that can’t be reused is hauled to the nearest landfill for disposal.

The program has been popular with residents and the city government, though participation has not been as high as they had hoped. Many are accustomed to using one of Oakland’s dumpster rental services or simply leaving their trash on the curb. The latter is actually a growing problem for the city, as more and more people simply dump their stoves or mattresses on the sidewalk. The city continues to co-sponsor its Bulky Item Drop-Off event in hopes of curbing this growing trend.