How to Dispose of Dirt

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The Complete Dirt Disposal Guide

Whether you’re breaking ground on new construction or redoing your flower beds, you may be wondering how to remove dirt from your yard in an efficient, cost-effective way. We’ve broken down the most common dirt disposal options so you can find the best way to get rid of soil for your specific needs.

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Dirt Disposal Options

1. Rent a Roll Off Dumpster

This is a simple way to dispose of dirt from any landscaping or construction project. To rent a dirt dumpster, simply call and schedule a delivery time that’s convenient for you. Once your container arrives, you can load up the leftover dirt at your own pace and we’ll haul it away when you’re finished. This option is ideal for quickly removing dirt from your yard.

Dumpster Filled With Dirt on Blueprint Background
BenefitsThings to Consider
- No need to be home for pickup.- Best for large amounts of dirt.
- An all-inclusive, affordable rate is provided before your rental even arrives.- You’ll load the dirt into the dumpster yourself.
- Offers a guaranteed, scheduled disposal of your dirt.- Dumpster sizes and weight limits can vary depending on your location, and some dirt dumpsters can only be filled with dirt.

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2. Post a Listing Online

Posting an online listing is a good way to get rid of dirt for free. Many contractors and DIYers browse sites like Craigslist, Freecycle and Facebook for dirt and soil to use in their projects. You could list your soil as available for free pickup or offer to deliver the soil yourself, if you really need to get it off your hands.

You can also browse dirt-specific classified sites, including, and These sites will match you with local wanted ads for soil and fill dirt, usually for a fee.

BenefitsThings to Consider
- Free or low-cost dirt disposal option.

- Removal time depends on the buyers.
- Allows the dirt to be recycled. - Dirt sits out in the open indefinitely.
- Not ideal for large amounts of dirt.


Before selling or getting rid of dirt online, check your local laws on mining permits.

Some states do not allow you to sell or give away dirt for use on another property unless you have obtained a mining permit. Mining permits can cost between $200-300, but this can vary depending on your area. Check with your local government to ensure that you’re complying with city regulations.


Free Dirt Sign on Pile of Dirt With Blueprint Background

3. Leave a 'Free' Sign Out

If you’re looking for a free dirt disposal option, you can always leave a ‘Free Dirt’ sign out on your lawn to attract potential takers. Make sure the dirt is easily accessible in case an interested passerby wants to haul it away when you’re not home. If it isn’t nearby, write a contact number on the bottom of the sign so they can get in touch with you. Also, if you’re a part of a homeowner’s association, check to see if you’re allowed to leave your materials sitting out in the open before doing so.

BenefitsThings to Consider
- Free dirt disposal option.- Not a guaranteed removal option.
- Allows the dirt to be recycled. - Dirt sits out in the open indefinitely.
- Very little extra work involved. - Not ideal for disposing of dirt on job sites or public property.

4. Hire a Junk Removal Company

Some junk removal companies can provide soil removal services. The company will schedule a delivery window and send out two professionals who will determine the hauling price upon arrival. Then, they will load up your dirt and haul it away for you. Typically, junk removal services use trucks with 2-ton weight limits, meaning they can carry up to 4,000 pounds. Because of this, this option is usually better for getting rid of small amounts of soil.

BenefitsThings to Consider
- Heavy lifting is done for you.- Price is subject to increase upon arrival.
- Offers a scheduled disposal of your dirt.- You must be present for dirt pickup.
- Not ideal for removing large amounts of dirt.

5. Dump It Yourself

Finally, you can always dispose of dirt at the landfill yourself. Most landfills will accept inert waste like soil for a set per-ton cost. Search online to find a local landfill or transfer station that accepts dirt and is open to the public. Dumping debris on your own works for some projects, but larger amounts of dirt may call for a bigger disposal solution.

Pickup Truck Bed Filled With Dirt and Shovel
BenefitsThings to Consider
- Guaranteed disposal option.- Requires access to a pickup truck.
- Allows you to work at your own pace.- May require multiple trips.
- Nearest dumping site may be far away.

How Much Does Dirt Removal Cost?

The cost to remove dirt is based on a few factors, including the weight of the soil. Unlike concrete and asphalt, the weight of dirt can vary greatly based on its moisture content. For instance, 2 cubic yards of dry soil weighs almost 2 tons. But if wet, the same amount of soil can weigh around 3 tons. This variability can drastically impact the cost of dirt disposal, so keep that in mind when choosing the right disposal solution for your project.

Costs of Various Dirt Disposal Options

Disposal OptionCost
Cost to Rent a 10 Yard Dumpster
$394 on average, with prices ranging from $227 to $579.
Cost of a Junk Removal Service
Around $235 for a quarter bedload to $600 for a full bedload.
Cost to Dump Dirt Yourself
Dirt disposal costs between $32 - $40 per ton at most landfills. This does not include the cost of a truck rental, gas and time spent hauling the materials.

Because the weight of soil can vary so greatly, budgeting can be tricky, especially when using a smaller dirt disposal option like a junk removal service. Junk removal trucks are typically limited to a 2-ton load, which costs around $600. If your materials end up weighing more than this, they’ll have to schedule a second pickup, which can end up doubling your costs to $1,200.

In contrast, the average cost of a 10 yard roll off dumpster is $394, which can include up to a 10 ton weight limit depending on where you live. Because it can be hard to estimate the weight of dirt on large projects, it’s typically more cost-efficient to rent a dirt dumpster or haul and dump the materials yourself.

Dirt Recycling Options

If you’re interested in recycling some or all of your leftover dirt, here are a few ways to put soil to good use.

1. Store It for Reuse

You can keep leftover soil for use in future backyard projects with a few sturdy soil storage bins. Be sure to use waterproof bins and keep them out of the elements and direct sunlight. Some backyard projects you can reuse soil in include:

Flower Bed With Plants on Blueprint Background

2. Take It to a Landscape Supplier

If you have a truck and some time on your hands, you can recycle dirt by taking it to a landscape supplier. Some local home and garden centers will accept dirt and soil for a small fee. From there, they can mix the dirt into compost to bed their own plants or, if the soil is high-quality, sell it on their own shelves.

3. Find a C&D Recycler

Some recycling companies can accept dirt as construction and demolition, or C&D, waste. To find a C&D recycler near you, check out the Construction & Demolition Recycling Association’s facility locator.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Dirt Disposal

Where can I dump dirt?

Dirt can be dumped safely at the following locations:

  • A nearby landfill or transfer station.
  • C&D recycling centers.
  • Clean fill dump sites.
  • Landscape or building suppliers that accept dirt.

Dirt should not be dumped on:

  • Public property, including parks and wildlife preserves.
  • Private property, other than your own.

Remember, you should not dump, sell or give away dirt without obtaining the necessary mining permits required in your area.

How much does dirt weigh?

The weight of dirt can vary greatly based on its moisture content. For instance, 2 cubic yards of dry soil weighs almost 2 tons. But if wet, the same amount of soil can weigh around 3 tons. This variability can drastically impact the cost of dirt disposal, so keep that in mind when choosing the right disposal solution for your project.

What is contaminated soil?

Contaminated soil is dirt that has come into contact with or been mixed with hazardous, flammable or toxic materials, including oil, fuel, chemicals or heavy metals like lead or arsenic. Dirt most commonly becomes contaminated by coming into contact with paint or wood preservatives from older structures that has leeched into the ground due to rainfall. If you suspect that your soil is contaminated, you can have it evaluated by a qualified soil engineer.

How can I get rid of contaminated soil?

Dirt mixed with rocks, leaves and other inert or biodegradable waste is not Contaminated soil is tricky to get rid of because so few places can properly treat and dispose of it. Dirt that is contaminated can be remediated and reused or disposed of at an approved soil treatment center. Search online to find a soil recycling center near you that is equipped to handle your materials.

Can I dispose of soil that is mixed with other materials?

Dirt mixed with rocks, leaves and other inert or biodegradable waste is not considered contaminated. It can typically be thrown into a roll off dumpster, but call ahead if you’re uncertain about your debris or area restrictions. Note that dumpster services cannot dispose of contaminated dirt, or soil that has been mixed with any other prohibited materials. Make sure your dirt is clear of these materials before throwing it away in a dumpster.

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