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Picking Up Trash

Projected Income Around $500-$1,500/month
Costs to Start $100-$300
Time to Start Immediate
Category Home-Related Tasks,

Our Side Hustles Breakdown

Picking up trash is an easy-to-start service that is always in demand and contributes to a cleaner environment. It involves collecting trash from commercial or residential properties, public spaces, or events. Some may be concerned that it is physically demanding, and you may need to dispose of the collected trash properly, involving additional costs.

cons-icon Cons

  • Physically Demanding: Trash picking can be physically demanding, requiring strength and stamina.
  • Disposal Costs: You may need to dispose of the collected trash properly, which may involve additional costs.
  • Dirty Work: Trash picking can be dirty work; you may encounter unpleasant smells and substances.

pros-icon Pros

  • Always in Demand: Trash must be collected regularly, providing consistent earning opportunities.
  • Low Start-Up Costs: Starting a trash-picking side hustle does not require a significant initial investment.
  • Contributes to a Cleaner Environment: You contribute to a cleaner environment by actively picking up trash and helping to keep it sustainable.

Is your income from your main job barely enough to make ends meet? If that’s the case, you’re probably searching for a way to pocket some extra cash.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people share the same sentiment.

This is why we’re here to tell you that picking up trash is a great side hustle to consider starting.

In this guide, we’ll give you the scoop on how you can make up to six figures a year picking up trash.

An Overview of Picking Up Trash: A Primer

There are few services in daily life that people can’t live without, and picking up trash is one of them. As a result, starting a trash pickup side hustle is an excellent idea.

This side business can take several forms.

One way to make money picking up trash is to start a parking lot cleaning service. Alternatively, you can make great money removing customer junk from the streets.

You may wonder how doing so can bring you income. The answer is twofold. You can either sell the junk you collect or you can recycle it at a recycling center. These centers are always looking for aluminum cans, aluminum bottles, and plastic bottles to recycle.

Another option is to handle household hazardous waste, solid waste, and bulky items that property owners want to get rid of.

Here’s a video showcasing the life of a couple who make $3,000 a month collecting and selling trash:

How Much Can Picking Up Trash Earn You?

The amount of money you stand to make picking up trash varies widely depending on the nature and scale of your operation.

The volume of trash you remove is the main factor to consider. The most successful trash pickup businesses can potentially bring in a six-figure annual income.

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Side Hustle Picking Up Trash?

Do you know what’s great about a trash pickup side hustle? It costs virtually nothing to run one.

This is especially true in the early stages, at which you’re likely to be operating the business from home. All you need is a litter collection tool, a broom, and a single to get around.

Once the cleaning jobs start adding up, you may upgrade to an office. In that case, you may want to invest in a computer and a printer to better manage your affairs. You may also need several junk removal trucks.

Where Can You Find Picking Up Trash Gigs?

Before you can start making money by picking up trash, you should first know where to find potential clients who need your services.

You can explore one of two routes: the independent route and the gig economy company route.

Where to Independently Find Picking Up Trash Work

If you want to find jobs picking up trash independently, you should know where to look.

Your best bet is to inquire at strip malls and office buildings with parking lots. These places need daily trash removal and can grow to be your most reliable clients.

Additionally, you can list your services on platforms such as Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Doing so widens your reach beyond your immediate surroundings.

Gig Economy Companies That Offer Picking Up Trash Work

There are many gig economy companies that have websites and apps that allow you to find work picking up trash.

These companies are platforms where you can connect with commercial and residential customers and start building a larger customer base for your services.

Here are some examples:

Why You Should Consider Picking Up Trash As a Side Hustle

Here are some reasons why you should seriously consider making trash pickup your side hustle:

  • You don’t need experience or a certain skill set: A lot of side hustles require past experience in the field or specific skills. This isn’t the case for picking up trash because it’s not a complex job. All you need is a litter collection tool and a positive attitude.
  • You can easily do it next to your main job: Time flexibility is a key component of any great side hustle. You choose your hours when picking up trash. Additionally, it doesn’t take much time. An hour or two a day should suffice.
  • You can start making great money right away: Many side hustles require patience in the initial stages before you start making money. However, you can start raking in cash straight away picking up trash.

Problems With Picking Up Trash

As with any business, picking up trash as a side hustle isn’t without its issues. Here are some of the problems you may face when picking up trash for money:

  • There are many others doing the same thing: One issue with getting your trash removal side hustle up and running is that you’re probably not the only one who’s thought of it. As a result, you’ll compete with others who may already have established clients in the area.
  • You have little control over how much you can charge: A secondary issue of the market being so saturated is that it makes you a price-taker instead of a price-maker. If you decide to charge more, clients will fulfill their trash removal needs elsewhere. 
  • It’s a labor-intensive job: Picking up trash involves a lot of physical activity. In turn, it may not be the best option for you if you suffer from chronic back pain or other physical limitations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions people commonly have about picking up trash as a side hustle:

Is picking up trash a good side hustle?

Yes, picking up trash can be an excellent side hustle. This secondary job has a high income potential if you do it right.

We recommend starting a cleaning business for parking lots. By doing so, you take advantage of the fact that almost every commercial complex will need your services.

Does picking up trash pay well?

Picking up trash can potentially be a major money-maker when you start moving large amounts of trash.

There are many cases where people started with a trash collection tool and a car to get around but have grown their trash removal company to bring in six figures every year.

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