17 Junk Removal Industry Statistics, Trends & Analysis

The junk removal industry focuses on removing items that are unwanted from a property. Pricing within the industry is dependent upon the types of material being removed and the cost to haul it away for proper disposal. Junk removal professionals work with local landfills, recycling centers, thrift stores, and similar community businesses.

The struggle of this industry is that many firms operate as a sole proprietor. It’s just one guy (it’s almost always a guy) and his truck. If you call to make an appointment, you’ll often reach his partner or spouse. Owners like this can charge whatever they want for each job, which reduces the overall quality and consistency the industry provides.

Consumers face a lot of risk with this setup. What happens if the truck they hire illegally dumps the items they were hired to pick-up?

Several companies have stepped in to create a new industry that is focused on providing clean trucks, licensed and bonded crews, and fair pricing to make junk removal a straight-forward experience.

Fascinating Junk Removal Industry Statistics

#1. The waste industry in the United States is valued at $75 billion annually. The junk removal segment of the industry has a value of $10 billion annually. (Grid Waste)

#2. There are currently more than 20,000 firms operating within the waste industry right now. The top 8 companies, including Republic Services and Waste Management, account for about half of the total revenues generated by the industry each year. (Grid Waste)

#3. 55% of the revenues collected by the waste industry are for the collection of unwanted items. 20% of revenues are for the treatment and disposal of waste, while the remainder is generated by remediation. (Grid Waste)

#4. Since 2013, the junk removal industry has experienced an average annualized growth rate of 1.8%. About 11,000 firms are currently active in the U.S. within this industry, providing direct employment opportunities for over 200,000 people. (IBIS World)

#5. There are currently about 1,9000 municipal waste landfills operating in the United States right now, accepting liquids, solids, gases, and sludges under different levels of hazard. (Statista)

#6. The average hourly earnings for all employees working in the waste industry, as of March 2018, was $26.14 per hours. Employees work an average of 41.8 hours per week within the industry. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

#7. Public companies account for 57% of the revenues generated within the waste management industry each year. Municipal contracts account for another 20% of industry revenues. (Waste Business Journal)

#8. Private companies have expanded their share of revenues in the industry over the past 20 years. In 1996, they brought in 16% of industry revenues. In 2016, they brought in 23% of industry revenues. (Waste Business Journal)

#9. Just 0.2% of the private companies which are contracted to handle solid waste removal are publicly-traded companies. These companies own 12% of the facilities that process junk in the United States today. (Waste Business Journal)

#10. Private companies within the waste management and junk removal sectors make up about 40% of the total operational capacity of the industry. Despite this, they are also responsible for 3 out of every 4 direct employment opportunities created by the industry. (Waste Business Journal)

#11. The total payroll generated by the waste management and junk removal sectors in the United States exceeds $10 billion annually. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

#12. In the United States, more than 250 million tons of trash are created every year. More than 85 million tons of this trash is either recyclable or compostable material. The recycling rate in the United States is currently a little over 34%. (U.S. Geological Survey)

#13. The average person in the United States generates almost 4.5 pounds of waste every day. About one-third of this waste can be either recycled or composted. (U.S. Geological Survey)

#14. 34% of the waste generated in the United States each year is from paper and cardboard products. This is followed by yard waste (13%), food scraps (12%), and plastics (12%). (U.S. Geological Survey)

#15. Since 1960, the amount of trash generated in the United States each year has risen from 88 million tons to 250 million tons. At the same time, the per capita amount of trash generated each day, by each person, has risen from 2.68 pounds to 4.43 pounds. (U.S. Geological Survey)

#16. The number of households participating in recycling programs rose from 40% in 2013 to 46% in 2015. (DEPA)

#17. The quantities of demolition waste and construction waste increased by 13% from 2013-2015. At the same time, residues from incineration activities have decreased by 30%. (DEPA)

Junk Removal Industry Trends and Analysis

Many cities in the United States are beginning to embrace the concept of zero waste. Many communities have set zero-waste goals to achieve by 2030, if not before. That will cause the waste industry to transition towards more junk removal and reuse as more recycling programs are implemented and energy resources are developed from waste products.

By 2021, the waste industry is expected to top the $80 billion mark for the first time.

The junk removal segment of the waste industry certainly covers a small niche. Most of the customers of a junk removal company tend to be current homeowners, which means the industry is somewhat seasonal. Sales also tend to be cyclical in this industry, with a constant need to market the services offered in person.

There will always be junk. That means there will always be a need to remove that junk. The industry fulfills a core need in many communities. There may not always be much room for growth within this niche, but there is consistency, and that can be equally important.