Why You Need to Know About Your Neighborhood’s Bulk Trash Day

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Turn trash into treasure with everything you need to know about bulk trash day.

recycling bin and mattress outside on curb for bulk trash day

Get the most out of your trash.

It’s true. One person’s junk is another’s treasure. If you’ve never participated in bulk trash pickup day in your area you could be missing out big time! Let’s dive more into this community-led initiative…

What is bulk trash day?

trash truck on curb picking up trash can

Bulk trash pickup day is when you can place large items outside that don’t fit in traditional trash cans. While accepted items will vary depending on your area, most include things such as appliances, furniture, mattress, and yard waste.

*Head to your local township’s page to find out when and what your area accepts on bulk trash day and how you will need to prepare your items.

Did you know bulk trash pickup is a great opportunity to score amazing finds?! 🤩

before and after of wooden playhouse makeover from bulk trash day

Being knowledgeable about your neighborhood and surrounding areas’ bulk trash pickup can really pay off! Not all bulk items may be salvageable, but if you walk or drive around to scope things out, you may find tons of hidden gems.

Remember that time my neighbor had this playhouse out for bulk trash pickup and I totally transformed it with a simple powerwash?! 🤩 Proof that trash can be magical, my friends. 😏

Here are some tips for scoring finds on bulk trash day:

1. Know when bulk trash pickup in your neighborhood happens. 

car driving by green sofa and trash on curb

Call your local town hall or look online to find out when your neighborhood has bulk trash pickup. You’ll also want to note how early you’re able to put items out on the curb. Some areas allow for several days in advance, some are just the night before. Knowing this will help you plan to scour every block to get first dibs on the best items.

2. Travel to nicer neighborhoods to potentially score higher quality finds. 

loveseat and sofa sitting outside in front of garage for bulk trash pickup day

Any professional seeker on bulk trash day knows some of the best items can be found in your area’s nicer neighborhoods. Maybe you already live in the best neighborhood, but if you need to drive, plan a trip during their bulk trash day to possibly scoop up the best free finds.

3. Utilize online sources to score free items. 

hand holding phone with Facebook marketplace free listing

Don’t limit yourself to driving around your block and walking around on foot. By utilizing your online sources you could score stuff you need even quicker and before the trashman scoops them up.

Here are some great ways to potentially score great finds on bulk trash day:

  • Search “Free” in your local Facebook Marketplace and set notifications for future listings that will pop up.
  • Sign up for Nextdoor.com and join your local neighborhood community where people often post freebies.
  • Join a local neighborhood Facebook group to be notified when people in your area have free items available.

4. Add the dates for bulk trash pickup to your calendar. 

woman holding phone with calendar dates circled on screen

This may be a no-brainer for some, but it’s easy to forget bulk trash days if you’re not thinking about it. Even more so if yours aren’t as frequent throughout the year. As an example, some of my Hip sidekicks only have theirs 3 times a year whereas mine happens once a week!

Most town municipality websites will list these pickup days so make sure to save them and set yourself a reminder for when to start bringing items out or when to start scoping the neighborhood.

5. Know the rules.

white front load washer sitting outside in grass by water

Every area’s bulk trash pickup rules are going to vary so it’s important to know what you can and can’t place outside if you’re looking to participate yourself or are looking for something specific.

As an example, older appliances containing freon typically need to be scheduled ahead of time for proper disposal or some areas may require mattresses to be wrapped in plastic. For my area, you also can’t put items outside that require more than two people to lift and certain locations only allow one item at a time.

Knowing the important ins and outs of bulk trash pickup will allow you to avoid getting stuck with bulk items sitting outside on your curb.

6. Come prepared for hauling. 

white car parked on country road with trunk open

The thing about bulk trash day is that you never know what you’re going to find so always be prepared for anything! If you’re on the hunt for larger items be sure to clean out your trunk beforehand, drive a truck, or even bring a trailer if you expect to find numerous items.

Walking around the block instead?

kids playhouse with lights on

Bring a wagon with you! If you spot a hot item it will likely be gone by the time you get back with an extra hand or a car.

I have first-hand experience with this from when we scored my daughter’s playhouse. We would have just missed it had we not had our wagon with us. Of course, it didn’t fit in the wagon, but we were able to prop it up on top and wheel it down the street to our house with the help of some neighbors. While loading two other people came to get it so we definitely would have missed out if we weren’t able to act fast.

7. Befriend your neighbors and it will pay off in the long run. 

close up of basketball hoop outside by house

By letting neighbors know specific items you’re looking for, they’re sure to think of you first when getting ready for bulk trash day. As an idea, talk to neighbors with slightly older kids who may not need certain items anymore if you’re looking for a baby item.

Since I have two boys, my neighbor once gave us their basketball hoop after their youngest went off to college so it definitely pays to be friendly with your neighbors!

8. Have patience and know not every week will come with great finds. 

woman holding phone looking at screen

It could take months to find the perfect items you’re looking for and sometimes they find you, so it’s important to go into bulk trash day with no expectations. Besides, if everyone scored awesome finds every time the big day rolled around, everyone would be doing it!

One thing’s for sure, when you do find it, it’ll totally be worth the wait! 🙌🏻

Have you ever scored an amazing find on bulk trash pickup day?! Share it with us in the comments! 🤩

Too antsy to wait? You won’t want to miss these home deals.

About the writer:

Sara is a self-taught blogger & photographer and brings 9+ years of experience to her craft. Her work has been featured in numerous esteemed publications, spanning building, travel, and fashion. Beyond her creative pursuits, Sara’s primary mission is to empower others to embrace a toxic-free & sustainable lifestyle.

Join The Discussion

Comments 20

  1. jat54979

    Unfortunately my city stopped doing bulk pickup back in the early 2000’s. They made an exception in 2008 when our city flooded. But I don’t think they’ve done one since. Now you have to haul it down to the municipal building yourself and pay them to take the stuff or schedule a pickup by them and pay even more.

  2. Liz

    A few things to ad to this post (great ideas BTW). Ensure you do not forget to check with your electrical provider to see if they will give you a credit to your bill for an old refrigerator/freezer (you know, the ones sitting in your basement or garage that probably shouldn’t be there!). The only stipulation (usually) is that it run — okay, the motor just needs to engage. Also, ensure you also check with your utility provider if you might need mulch. A neighbor checked with a local utility provider for free mulch delivered straight to his driveway. You know when you see the utility companies chopping down brush/trees in the area to free poles/lines, they will deliver it to your door if they are in the neighborhood. It is not the greatest mulch, so do not have high expectations, but it certainly looked perfectly fine for being free and delivered.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for the helpful tips, Liz! I never knew about these! 🙌❤️

  3. acgold

    NYC people always know the garbage pickup schedule for just this reason! There are great finds on the streets. There is an Instagram site StoopingNYC that posts items and locations. Many cities have the same or Facebook Buy Nothing groups. Another tip- if you live near a university, at the end of term and after graduation there is always lots of stuff students are getting rid of!

  4. jayray

    I have a big plastic patio storage container I found on the curb across the street when we moved here 13 years ago. Still use it today and love it. I’ve found furniture on our street and the next one over that I then sold on Craigslist. Got $50 for a simple pine chest of drawers and $75 for 3 large bookshelves that a couple drove an hour for to use as build ins. The extra cash came in handy both times. And yes, living in a university town, there’s a lot on the curbs late spring. But my favorite of all is when oak trees are cut down in the area. We load up the big stump pieces, and split them for firewood!

  5. Tricia

    I still have my nightstand I snagged from the trash 20 yrs ago. Best quality I’ve ever had lol

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      So funny, Tricia! My husband scored his nightstand the same way about 10 years ago! 😆 It’s real wood, so definitely a great find, as it can be stained/painted/etc. to match decor. Glad to hear your “trash” find is still holding up well! 🙌💕

      • Tricia

        Haha that is funny! One man’s trash is definitely another’s treasure!

        • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

          Definitely! 🥰

  6. Julia Meehan Howard

    I love my local Buy Nothing Facebook group, a lot of items that would normally go out for trash are given away instead. Also if people do see stuff out they’ll post a curb alert in case others may be interested.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      That sounds like an amazing group to be a part of, Julia! Thanks for sharing! ❤️

  7. Casey

    My husband always reminds me those old CRT tvs are GOLD to retro gamers. They buy them like hotcakes. Just gotta find your market!

    • Chris

      Yep, my nephew has two for gaming, and I get it – the older games and game systems just don’t look right on a high-def flat screen. The lower resolution and scan lines of CRTs really hid a lot of limitations that are obvious and distracting on a high-def TV.

  8. Christie

    I side “dumpster Dive” All the time! Great finds! Yesterday I picked up a huge bottle of Fantastic and several gallons of Green cleaner. 😀

    • Lynn R

      Where do you go?

      • Christie

        My apartment complex in an ATL suburb.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Woohoo! Awesome finds, Christie! 🎉

      • Christie

        Thanks Jessica! 😀 I have also scored a beautiful solid queen cherry sleigh bed, small freezer, pictures for the wall, and some nice clothes. Also scored a pretty candle holder and I bought 5 Dollar Tree candles. I am sure there are more but I can’t think of anything else ATM. Wish I could upload pics!

        Also, check FB for local groups. I am in Marietta, GA and I know of two groups that post amazing local freebies/events for my county. There are also many frugal groups/deal sites on FB as well. ND is also a great resource. Sorry I hate the word frugal as I consider myself fiscally savvy! LOL 😀

        • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

          WOW! Sounds like you’ve scored some awesome goodies! 🎉 Thanks so much for sharing your tips on how you’ve found items in your area! Loving the phrase “fiscally savvy!” 🙌❤️

  9. Lori

    We refer to this as “take your s*** to the curb week and also as redneck Christmas shopping. I love it!

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