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How to Dispose of Dirt

Two piles of dirt sitting on the ground.

Dirt Disposal Options for Any Yard Project

How do you throw away dirt you don’t need? There are many ways to get rid of dirt, like giving it away to a community garden or talking to a local landscaping company. Each method has advantages and disadvantages, so you can decide what’s best for you. What if your soil is contaminated? Find the solution below. From backyard remodels to worksite excavations, learn how to properly dispose of dirt that mutually benefits you and the environment.


6 Ways to Get Rid of Dirt

Two piles of dirt sitting on the ground.

Dirt Donation Tips

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Pro Tip

Tossing other yard debris? Our yard waste disposal guide is a convenient way to learn how to get rid of it quickly and efficiently.

Leftover dirt from underground pool.

2. Repurpose It

Repurposing dirt is great if you’re tackling other outdoor projects at your home or business. If you have a lot of dirt from an underground pool you’re installing, for example, use it to create a new multi-level garden or update existing garden beds and potted plants. Designate a foundation to build a playground area for your kids or lay out a driveway with the leftover dirt from your porch remodel. The possibilities are endless, and the best part — there’s no stress in planning how to get it off your property.

3. Contact a Landscaping Company

Contact a local landscaping company or garden center to get quotes for dirt removal. They may even come pick it up for free, depending on the quality, amount you have and its accessibility. Alternatively, you can reach out to new builders to see if they’ll take dirt. Just keep in mind they only use clean soil (to properly support a foundation), so costly testing may be required by your state in order to unload it at a worksite.

Compact excavator removing dirt.
Junk removal service truck parked on the street.

4. Hire a Junk Removal Service

There are some junk removal companies that haul dirt away. However, this can be a costly alternative to other options and you risk not getting your money’s worth if you don’t have enough dirt to fill up a truck. On average, dirt removal costs $140 to $180 per ton. The cost to remove fill dirt is $140 to $230 per cubic yard. Overall, the cost to haul off dirt is approximately $1,400 to $2,300 per truckload, plus labor fees.

5. Rent a Dumpster

A roll off dumpster rental is one of the most practical and cost-efficient dirt disposal options available. Often less expensive per pound than other methods, the national average cost for a 10 yard container is $391. That's our upfront cost with all delivery and disposal fees included. You can typically rent the dumpster for a 7-10 day period, but if you need it longer, you can request additional days for a low daily rate. Simply load the bin as you work and, once you’re finished, reach out and have it hauled away for you.

A roll-off dumpster being unloaded on a customer's driveway.
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A landfill with birds flying over at sunset.

6. Take It to a Landfill

Transporting dirt to a local landfill is an option if you have the equipment, like a trailer or open-bed truck, and the time to make several trips. However, not all landfills accept soil so always call ahead to confirm that they do before you drive over. Also ask them if they’ll charge you. The average cost to dump dirt yourself at a landfill is $30 to $50 per ton, and some landfills have minimum fees.

Contaminated Soil: What It Is and How to Dispose of It

Contaminated soil is when any substance in the soil that exceeds normal, natural levels and poses human health risks or environmental hazards. Urban soil and leftover dirt from an industrial site are the most likely to be contaminated. Common contaminants in soils include:

  • Lead
  • Radon
  • Asbestos
  • Arsenate
  • Creosote
  • Pesticides
  • Chromated copper
  • Petroleum products

For this reason, soil testing may be required to be sure it's safe before disposing of or moving. Check with your city on regulation requirements or hire a geotechnical engineer to test your soil if you know it has to be tested.

Who Can Test My Soil?

You can order soil tests online or at a local hardware store. You can also contact local soil testing labs or a local university. Go one step further and hire a soil engineer to ensure your soil tests are completed according to local rules and regulations, especially if you’re repurposing dirt for a building foundation.

Who Can Take Contaminated Soil?

Soil remediation or recycling companies can sometimes take contaminated soil. Reach out to your local recycler for more information.

How Much Does Contaminated Soil Disposal Cost?

Contaminated soil removal and soil remediation costs are $140 to $450 per ton on average if dumping in a RCRA-permitted landfill for hazardous waste. Soil remediation may involve decontamination and reuse of soil rather than disposal.

A soil test costs $25 to $200 to confirm the extent of contamination.

An underground oil tank removal costs $800 to $3,400 to prevent soil contamination from stored oil.

More Dirt Disposal FAQs

How much does dirt weigh?

Can I throw away dirt and rocks together?

Who will take dirt for free?

What is the difference between topsoil and fill dirt?

Other Sources

Noel, Sarah. Dirt Removal Cost. (2023, April 5). Retrieved from Homeguide.com
How Much Does Dirt Weight | in Cubic Feet. (2022, March 17). Retrieved from DreamCivil.com.

More Landscaping Project Resources

Getting rid of more than just dirt? We’ll walk you through the disposal process for all your outdoor debris and indoor junk. Check out our disposal guides, helpful articles and blog posts to learn more.