How to Dispose of Rocks

Rocks Next to Dumpster

The Complete Rock Disposal Guide

Whether you’re starting a hardscaping project or looking to remove landscape rocks from your yard, you may be wondering how to dispose of the gravel and rocks you no longer need. To help simplify your cleanup, we’ve broken down the main options for rock and gravel removal so you can determine the best route for getting rid of your unwanted project materials and debris.

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Gravel and Rock Disposal Options

1. Rent a Roll Off Dumpster

Renting a dumpster is an easy way to dispose of rocks and gravel. You can typically load a roll off dumpster with up to 10 tons of material, which makes for a much more efficient process than if you were to haul all of your rocks to the dump yourself. Since just one cubic yard of gravel can weigh up to 1.5 tons, hauling it away on your own would be extremely difficult.

To schedule your dumpster rental, call and set up a delivery time that works for you. Then, you can load the rocks or gravel at your own pace, and schedule your pickup online when you’re finished.

Dumpster Filled With Rocks and Gravel on Blueprint Background
BenefitsThings to Consider
- No need to be home for delivery or pickup.
- Best for large amounts of debris.
- Low, upfront rate is provided before your dumpster arrives.- You will need to load your own materials.
- Offers a guaranteed disposal of your rocks or gravel.- Dumpster sizes and weight limits can vary depending on your location.
- Lengthy rental period allows you to work at your own pace.

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2. Check Craigslist or Freecycle

The classifieds are a great place to look for rock and gravel removal, as landscapers, contractors and DIYers can often repurpose your unwanted materials for new projects. Check the “Wanted” section to see if someone in your area is looking, or create your own listing. You can list your items for free if the buyer is willing to pick them up, and have someone else dispose of your rocks and gravel for you – a win-win situation.

BenefitsThings to Consider
- Free rock disposal option.- Isn't a guaranteed removal option.
- Allows for gravel and rock recycling.- Not ideal for large amounts of debris.
- Debris removal time depends on the buyer.
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3. Leave a 'Free' Sign Out

If you’re wondering how to dispose of landscaping rocks for free without the effort of finding a buyer online, you can always try a “Free Landscaping Rocks” sign at the end of your driveway. If possible, make your rocks easily accessible for an interested passerby to haul them away if you’re not home. Otherwise, you should list your contact information on the sign so people can get in touch with you. If you’re part of a homeowners’ association, check that you are allowed to leave a sign and debris outside before going this route for rock and gravel removal.

BenefitsThings to Consider
- Free rock disposal option.- Isn't a guaranteed removal option.
- Very little extra work involved.- Leaves debris sitting out indefinitely.
- Not ideal for gravel and rock disposal in neighborhoods and public areas.

4. Hire a Junk Removal Company

Some junk removal companies will take heavy debris, such as rocks and concrete, though fees can vary greatly, and a set price cannot be determined until the truck arrives. The company will set up a delivery window and send out two team members who will estimate the rock removal cost. The final price will be determined by weight, and since one cubic yard of gravel weighs 1.5 tons, this method will require more labor and more trips to dump the rocks. If you have a large number of rocks and gravel to dispose of, it could get expensive, so using a junk removal service is usually best for a small amount of debris.

BenefitsThings to Consider
- Heavy lifting is done for you.- Price is subject to increase upon arrival.
- Offers a scheduled disposal of your rocks or gravel.- Must be present for debris pickup.
- Usually limited to 2 tons of debris.

5. Dump the Rocks Yourself

Finally, you could research where you can dump dirt and rocks near you. Depending on how many you have, you can likely dispose of rocks and gravel yourself at the nearest landfill. You will need to have plenty of time, assistance and a truck bed large enough to fit all of them. Some county landfills offer free dump days a few times a year, though if yours does not, your costs will increase with each trip you make. You will be charged for each load of rocks and you should also factor in the cost of fuel to make multiple trips. If you decide to dump rocks on your own, confirm beforehand that your local facility is open to the public and can accept your materials.

Pickup Truck Bed Filled With Rocks on Blueprint Background
BenefitsThings to Consider
- A potentially low-cost disposal option for small amounts of rock.- Requires access to a truck.
- Allows you to work at your own pace.- Nearest dumping site may be far away.
- Could require multiple trips.
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How Much Does Rock Removal Cost?

Your cost for rock and gravel removal depends on the amount of debris you’re getting rid of. The volume of debris will also determine which rock disposal option is the most cost-effective.

For instance, junk removal services who accept heavy debris often price disposal based on how many truckloads will be filled. With bedload pricing structures, you can only stack your materials about 1 – 1 ½ feet high in their 80-square-foot trucks, removing up to 2 tons of rocks at a time for about $600.

In contrast, a 10 yard dumpster rental can usually haul up to 10 tons of rocks and gravel at an average cost of $531. That means renting a dumpster is typically a more efficient option for disposing of landscaping rocks and gravel from larger projects.

Costs of Various Rock Disposal Options

Disposal OptionCost
Cost to Rent a 10 Yard Dumpster for Mixed Heavy Debris$531 on average, with prices ranging from $319 to $875.
Cost of a Junk Removal ServiceAround $275 for a quarter bedload to $600 for a full bedload.
Cost to Dump Rocks YourselfCosts 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.

 

Throwing other heavy materials away?

Find out their estimated weight.
 
 

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Gravel and Rock Recycling Options

Looking to put your old landscaping materials to good use? These are a few creative ways to recycle rocks and gravel:

1. Take Them to a Landscape Supplier

If your rocks are clean and in good shape, you may be able to dispose of them through a local landscaper or landscaping supply store. Depending on the quantity and quality of your materials, this can be a great way to dispose of rocks for free and allow them to be recycled.

Piles of Landscape Rocks on Pallets on Blueprint Background

2. Donate to a Charitable Reuse Store

Nonprofit resale stores, such as Habitat for Humanity ReStores, accept donations and sell home improvement items, with the proceeds supporting the community. Find a ReStore near you and see if they can accept the rocks you’re looking to dispose of.

3. Use Them in Your Own Landscaping

Finally, your own landscaping is a great place to recycle rocks. If you’re hoping to reuse your rocks and gravel, you can try a low-budget backyard project like a DIY firepit or a garden walkway.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Rock Disposal

Where can I dump rocks?

Can I recycle landscaping rocks?

Can I mix other items with rocks in a roll off dumpster?

Find the Right Dumpster for Your Project

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