There can be a lot of costs involved with running a lawn care business that you may not initially consider. Take for instance this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. If you are called to clean up a property that has an overgrown lawn, you could end up with a lot of grass debris. What should you do with it to complete the job? How much might it cost to dump? Are there alternatives you might not have thought about to better deal with such jobs? Let’s look into this matter further.
One lawn care business owner wrote “I am new to this career and have run into a lot of issues I hadn’t planned on dealing with. The latest situation is this. I have one yard right now that was looking like a jungle. The agreement was for me to cut the lawn and weed eat it. Well of course after mowing the yard twice then raking and then mowing again, I was left with a ton of grass. Well with this customer I knew it wasn’t going to be alright just dumping it in a pile. I guess my question is if I should charge extra to haul that much grass off? Or otherwise, what do you do with it? This is something I have not thought about since I never let my lawn get this high.”
A second lawn care business owner said “the first thing I would do is check with local bulk supply places (mulch/topsoil/etc) to see if they accept lawn debris. Most around me do so, I can just pay them when I need to make a dump and they turn it into compost and such and sell it.
I don’t drop off grass very often, but a truckload (pickup bed filled to top of sides) of brush, hedged clippings, etc only costs me $8.00 to drop off.
Even when I drop off debris in my 5×8 trailer (with about 30″ sides) it’s $8.00. That’s not too bad. There’s another place that charges $12/ton and they weigh you. The thing that’s good about the place I use is that the materials are recycled, so I use that to my advantage in my advertising:
‘Joe’s lawn care does not use a landfill. All organic lawn debris is taken to a recycling center to be made into usable compost.’
That alone has gained me a few clients.”
A third added “this is a great example of the importance of knowing your costs of dumping for cleanups. At $6 to $10 per cubic yard it adds up fast ($36+ per fall cleanup)
I would check around to see if there is somewhere that is not a landfill, leaves and grass should not go in with trash. Lawn waste breaks down fast and is reusable but when put in a dump that never happens. If space is used up in the landfill for lawn waste we will need bigger or more landfills and that will cost us more in the long run.
In some areas landfill are the only place that will take the grass clipping and other items from lawn work. Some will have a separate area that they make mulch in. Using a big tub grinder they can just chew up the branches and every thing else that gets mixed in.
Another option to consider, if you have space, is keep the clippings and turn it into compost to eventually sell back to clients.”
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