April 12, 2018

The Incredible Bagster

There have been a lot of renovation projects happening in my neighborhood in the last year or so. Basement and garage clean outs, bathroom renovations, piles of old carpet – such are the things I notice when walking the dog. Along with renovations comes a lot of unwanted debris and, in turn, the problem of disposing of it all.

There are different ways to deal with the mess and my neighbors have pretty much hit them all. Hiring a junk hauler is perhaps the easiest way but it’s far from the cheapest. You can rent a dumpster for about $400 (last time I looked) but that often provides you with more space than you need. Alternatively, you can purchase a Bagster.

Are you familiar with the mighty Bagster? I’ve seen a lot of them around recently  and they have always seemed like a great solution to a medium size mess. So, last fall, when the time came to update our Maplewood room we decided to give the Bagster a shot. It turned out to be the perfect solution.

There are rules for Bagster pick up that you need to be aware of prior to loading it up. You can’t put hazardous materials in it – think paint or batteries. They don’t accept appliances and this includes smaller items like microwaves. Most important, it must sit in a spot where the large truck can reach it. The collection truck is basically a garbage truck without the bucket on the back… It’s big.  So the Bagster either needs to be placed within 16 feet of the street (so that the crane arm can grab it) or on a driveway that the truck will be able to drive on. If you are unsure about this, just picture a garbage truck trying to get down your narrow driveway. If it makes you cringe, you should consider alternate locations for it! If you don’t meet these requirements they simply can’t pick it up and you will be faced with a pile of debris that won’t be going anywhere until you move it. Having to unload a full Bagster so that you can move it within range would be a BUMMER.

We placed ours on the front yard in a spot unhindered by overhanging tree limbs. As we gutted our space we hauled all of the debris outside in garbage cans. Between the old insulation, the dropped ceiling and the plaster and lathe that couldn’t be salvaged, we ended up with a lot of junk. But in the end we were able to fit almost all of it into the Bagster. What wouldn’t fit we just bagged up and put on the curb for bulk pickup but after watching the truck come and collect it, we realized that we could’ve fit a lot more into it. Because it was our first experience with a Bagster, we didn’t want to make the crane operator cranky by packing it too full. He was a genial guy though and, if we get another one this spring, I am confident we can pack it to the gills without worry.

Have you used a Bagster before? Have you been considering one for an upcoming project?

Related Post: Five Ways to Minimize Renovation FatigueCreating Space: The Coveted Basement Playroom