Whether you’ve just renovated your backyard or cleared your old landscaping for a new start, you’re likely wondering how to get rid of all the extra landscaping rocks you’ve accumulated.
It seems like a bit of a waste to just throw them away, especially if you have a lot of them. Luckily, there are a lot of methods to get rid of these rocks other than just leaving them to rot in a landfill.
This article will show you how to dispose of landscaping rocks properly and effectively. We’ll also show you how to recycle them!
7 Methods of Disposing Landscaping Rocks
Here are some ideas to help you dispose of excess landscaping rocks:
1 – Rent a Dumpster
If you’ve got a lot of landscaping rocks to dispose of, contact a waste management company that offers roll-off dumpsters for rent.
Roll-off dumpsters are heavy-duty, open-top containers with wheels, allowing you to quickly move them from one place to another.
They’re used to dispose of large amounts of unwanted trash from a property in a neat and responsible manner.
Standard roll-off dumpsters are 7.5 feet wide and between 14 to 22 feet long, with a weight capacity of up to 10 tons.
This means they’re large enough to hold dozens of landscaping rocks at a time.
And since they have wheels, you can put the dumpster directly in your yard, saving you the time of going back and forth to the dumpster outside your home.
Some dumpster companies offer short, three-day rental periods, while others offer up to 14 days, giving you plenty of time to fill it.
Depending on your location, demand, and availability, roll-off dumpsters can be quite costly.
The weekly rental fee of a 10-yard dumpster costs between $150 to $1000, and the price only goes up from there.
If you’re not keen on spending that much, proceed with our next option.
2 – Give Them Away for Free
Instead of throwing the rocks away, why not donate them? That way, other people will put them to good use. Another man’s junk is another man’s treasure, after all!
Offer the landscaping rocks to your close friends, family, and neighbors first. If they need them, they’ll be able to quickly take them away.
You can also offer them during a neighborhood event or a community gathering.
That way, you’ll not only gain points from your local community, but you’ll likely find a lot of people who are interested in taking the rocks off your hands.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of asking around, make a sign that says “Free Landscaping Rocks – Contact for Details!”
Place the sign in an area where passersby and drivers can easily find it.
You can also just place the rocks underneath the sign so you don’t have to wait for people to contact you. They can just grab the rocks and be on their way.
Alternatively, you can place an ad online announcing you’re giving away your landscaping rocks.
Post the ad on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or Freecycle; DIYers regularly visit these sites for free yard items!
3 – Make a Bit of Profit by Selling Them Online
Landscaping rocks aren’t cheap, so there’s no shame in making a bit of profit by selling them online.
You’ll be surprised by how many people are searching for inexpensive pre-owned landscaping rocks—especially contractors and DIY homeowners.
The best way to sell these rocks is to post an ad on Craigslist, eBay, or Facebook Marketplace. You can also check the “Wanted” list on these pages and offer them a price.
In the ad, set expectations by describing the landscaping rocks as accurately as possible.
It’s also worth mentioning the aproximate quantity of these rocks, so those interested will know whether the rocks are worth picking up. Include pictures in the listing, too.
Aside from these websites, you can also contact companies that are willing to pay for landscaping rocks, like gardening companies and outdoor landscaping companies.
They probably won’t pay you a lot, but it’s better than nothing. Plus, they’ll take the rocks off your hands. It’s a win-win no matter how you look at it.
4 – Hire a Professional Junk Removal Company
Instead of coordinating with a dumpster rental service and sorting out fees, permits, and making sure you reach the rental deadline, save yourself the hassle and hire a professional junk removal company.
Junk removal companies save you the time and stress of manually removing the rocks yourself.
This service is especially helpful if you have a ton of items you want to dispose of, not just landscaping rocks.
The company will send out several people to your location and estimate the removal cost.
Then, they’ll dispose of the rocks promptly and safely, saving you from injury and having to deal with unwanted emergency situations and gas fees.
5 – Dispose of the Rocks Yourself
If you have a bit of time on your hands and don’t mind a bit of heavy lifting, you can easily dispose of the rocks yourself.
Load the land spacing rocks in the trunk of your car or truck, and drive to the most accessible place to dump the rocks, like a county landfill or a dumpster.
You might get charged for each load of rocks you dispose of, so make sure to contact management before you make your way there.
You don’t usually have to pay for rock disposal; many outlets will take them off your hands for free. But it’s still worth double-checking.
Also, make sure it’s open to the public and not just specific companies.
This is a good option if you don’t have many rocks to dispose of.
It certainly beats paying hundreds of dollars renting a roll-off dumpster or hiring a removal service.
6 – Donate Them to a Landscaper or a Landscaping Company
If you have large quantities of rocks, contact a private landscaper or a landscaping company in your area and ask them if they need them.
If you have rare, ornamental stones or large, boulder-style rocks, even better! You may be able to get the landscaper to purchase the rocks instead of taking them away for free.
You can also contact the same landscaper you purchased the rocks from.
Ornamental rocks are expensive elsewhere, so they’ll likely resell them to their clients at a higher price anyway.
These companies have access to multiple clients that are willing to buy the rocks immediately.
7 – Store Them Away for Future Projects
You never know what the future holds; you might actually need those rocks in a future project or two!
In the meantime, store them in an out-of-place storage spot like under the deck, the basement, a shed, or a hidden corner of your property.
You can even bury them underneath dirt—just make sure you don’t forget about them!
Recycling Tips for Unwanted Landscaping Rocks
Why dispose of your rocks when you can recycle or repurpose them? There are a ton of uses for landscaping rocks, all it takes is a bit of inspiration, some DIY knowledge, and a bit of time!
Here are some ideas that may help you recycle the rocks:
Build a Backyard Firepit
Yes, you can make a firepit with just rocks!
To make it, first select a site with open ground and create a four-inch circle with a depth of at least 12 inches.
Spread a layer of gravel at the bottom of the pit to prevent puddles of wood ash and rainwater.
Then, surround the pit with large, rectangular-shaped rocks, stacking them atop each other until you create a stone wall.
Make sure the stones fit perfectly together so they won’t easily topple over.
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
- Built the pit at least 20 feet away from flammable materials, such as trees, bushes, and brush piles.
- Cover the surrounding ground with a layer of pea gravel to protect the land from wayward embers and sparks.
- Place a steel ring around the fire pit to protect the walls from high head exposure.
- Don’t burn construction materials such as composite wood or plywood, as they can release toxic fumes when burned. Instead, use wood that’s been seasoned for at least six months.
Use Landscaping Rocks On Your Walkway
If you have a lot of excess rocks, create a stone walkway or a garden path with loose stones.
For best results, use wide, flat stones that are about two to three inches thick.
Don’t use polished stones as they can be extremely slippery when wet. Instead, choose stones that have a natural surface.
Use small rocks, crushed gravel, or crushed limestone to fill in the cracks or small spaces.
Keep these tips in mind when making a stone walkway with landscaping rocks:
- Cover the land underneath the walkway with landscape fabric to prevent weeds and avoid filling material from mixing with the soil.
- Steel or aluminum edging landscape edging is more expensive than plastic edging, but it gives the path a neat, modern appearance.
- Remove the sod before placing the walkway.
- For stepping stone paths, arrange the stones at a distance of 10 to 14 inches.
Place the Rocks Around Water
Place the landscaping rocks around your fountains, ponds, pools, water gardens, and any other place with water.
This will make manmade water formations look more natural. Strategically placed stones can make pools look like natural lagoons and natural springs.
Use Them Around Your Flower Beds
Improve the look of your flower beds by surrounding them with landscaping rocks to create a neat retaining wall.
Stack them up on top of each other, organizing the stones roughly by size and shape.
Use the largest, flattest stones for the base, and the smoothest, widest, and best-looking ones for the top.
The odd-shaped stones can be mixed with regular stones to maintain consistency and balance.
Here are some tips to follow during this project:
- To start, dig a trench of about 12 inches deep and 24 inches wide. Then, add overlapping landscape fabric to allow water and moisture to reach the soil.
- Create a more natural or “aged” look by adding bits of flowers and plants in various holes in the wall. You can also place them along the wall.
- Eliminate the need to cut pavers by building circular beds.
Surround the Base of a Tree
Instead of using mulch, surround the base of your trees with small landscaping stones.
The stones prevent weeds from popping out of the ground. They also insulate the roots and conserve moisture.
Plus, they add to the aesthetic design of your backyard!
Turn Them Into a Focal Point
If you’ve got ornamental rocks or large boulders, turn them into a decorative feature or an eye-catching focal point.
Combine it with elements such as a mixture of small stones, ornamental plants, and potted flowers to further enhance the appeal of the yard.
You can also put the rocks in areas with non-plantable soil.
Cover the soil with oversized boulders and surround it with small stones. Add in some decorative hand-to-kill plants for a more natural look.
How to Clean Old or Dirty Landscaping Stones
If your stones look a bit old and dirty, caked in soil and/or mud, you can easily prep them for repurposing by giving them a quick clean.
To do this, you’ll first need to separate the rocks by type, size, or purpose.
Place the large, boulder-like rocks in one corner and small, ornamental rocks in another.
Then, wash the rocks with warm water to remove mud, dirt, dust, and insect debris. Use the garden hose on high for best results.
Take off stubborn, caked mud/soil with a bristled brush or a broom. Use vinegar to remove moss and algae from rocks.
We hope our guide on how to dispose of landscaping rocks helped you with your backyard clean-up!
If you don’t want to throw the rocks away, you can sell, donate, or store them away for future projects.
You can also place them around your backyard to create a natural, live-in aesthetic in the area.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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