Over the years, I have seen people put signs up giving away free dirt, but
now when I want some, I don't know where to find it.
I have a long-term need for free "decent" dirt, and by decent I just mean
not filled with trees, concrete, junk, or whatever.
It does not have to be top soil, which I think is the cream of the crop, and
I doubt that would be free anyway.
It has to be delivered, and they can probably dump 100 to 500 huge trucks
worth, and I would still need more for what I want to do.
It's not a critical project, so it's not worth my paying for.
It's also not in a location where many people travel so a sign won't reach
out very far.
If I put an ad in craigslist, I am not sure what to ask for.
Is just 'free dirt' enough?
Or does the type of dirt I want have a name that the people who need to get
rid of theirs needs to know (I don't want junky dirt, for example).
Ask for "Clean Fill"
If there are any large construction projects in your area, you can stop and talk to the site supervisor and
ask if they need to dispose of any surplus clean fill. Most projects either need clean fill or need to
dispose of it.
A couple of years ago we developed a five acre site we have owned for many years here on the coast. We had to
get rid of 70,000 yards (a lot of dirt), we found a developer who was building a local shopping center and he
needed 100,000 yards. We struck a deal, we split the transportation costs and it worked out well for both
parties. If we hadn't been able to work it out, we would have had to send it to the local dump which would
have cost a fortune.
It is all about timing.
I agree in general. Always keep checking the local construction projects.
They are often looking for a close-by place to dump the fill dirt for free.
Also, go to the "For Sale" section of your local Craigslist website and do a
search for "fill dirt" (without the quotation marks). You will see lots of
ads -- some are free, some want money, some will also deliver for free, etc.
And, keep checking every week because new ads pop up all the time. For
example, one such ad just popped up in my area about a week ago wanting to
deliver free fill dirt on October 24 when they were going to be doing
As far as your Craigslist ad, I would say to just state Fill Dirt Wanted (or
Free Fill Dirt Wanted) in the title along with a town location in the title.
Don't add other words in the title -- just those words and the town
location. Craigslist allows you to put a map location in your ad, so you
could add that along with a marker on the map showing the general location.
And, of course, include in the text of the ad that you want it delivered for
free along with any other info about HOW it can be delivered. For example,
many times the dirt delivery option is via Tri-Axle Truck (as seen in many
of the Craigslist "Fill Dirt" ads). Most Tri-Axle Truck deliverers do not
want to go over curbs or sidewalks etc. to make the delivery because they do
not want the liability for any damage caused by the heavy vehicles. So, if
your delivery of free dirt won't involve them have to worry about that, it
would be a plus.
I don't think I want to pay because it's just that I want to fill in a big
hollow that isn't hurting anything being a hollow, but it could take fifty
of those big trucks and barely make a dent.
So I'll just have it filled in, over time, which will take decades, but my
point is that I can take all the "clean fill" they got. The main problem is
gonna be spreading it around, if a lot of trucks come, as I don't have a
Anyway, if I do end up paying, what's a good rate for clean fill?
(I probably won't pay - but I'm just curious in case it comes up.)
That sounds like a great idea to keep it simple and allow a map to show
where it is since their cost is in the driving, and I live out of the way on
a long 5 mile dead end road.
Oh oh. It's a one-lane windy road. Trucks go up and down all the time, even
big cement trucks, but it's not even painted in the middle with the line,
it's that narrow. Cars have to pull to the side to let a truck go by.
So the tri-axle may be too big. I think a neighbor got 12 cubic feet at a
time though, and that was ok, so is a 12 cubic foot truck big or small as
these things go?
I get that you don't want to pay for the dirt or the delivery. Makes sense
But, as far as the cost anyway, I don't know. It is easy to find out just
by checking your local Craigslist ads and contacting some of them.
I assume that you know that, in most places, there are State and/or Local
regulations about doing land fill. And, at least in my State, it is not
legal to bury large rocks, concrete, etc. as well as organic material such
as tree limbs and tree trucks etc. As someone else mentioned, if you bury
organic material such as tree limbs and trucks etc., it slowly decays and
can cause sink holes etc.
My guess is that where you are locate no one is going to care if you dump
clean fill dirt along the side of the dirt road that you said is along the
hollow. And, even if someone did complain or some governmental agency got
involved, if it was just clean fill dirt they would probably just tell you
to stop and not ask you to remove it. However, if you dump large rocks,
concrete, organic tree stuff, etc. you could end up getting gigged for it
and being told to remove it.
There is also the question about how stable the dirt road is that you said
is along the side of the hollow. I just wonder if it may not be suitable
for heavy trucks to drive on. But, one way to find out is just wait and see
what happens, and what they say when the trucks show up, if you do find some
free fill dirt and free delivery options and ask them to deliver it.
You are entirely correct in *everything* you said.
The neighbors would know, but they would welcome the effort. One even works
for the county in the planning office, so, if she wanted to complain, they'd
be all over me like stink.
I don't forsee anyone complaining and I don't plan on using anything but the
penultimate quality, which is "clean fill" or "Inorganic Clean Fill Dirt"
according to that one listing provided.
Trucks travel the road when they need to, so, I'm not worried about its
stability either. Really, I'm just trying to make a wasteland more useful to
pedestrians, which would walk on the side of the road instead of in the
middle rutted part.
It would be great, in my fantasies, to fill the entire hollow, but that's
never gonna happen, at least not in this million years, so that's why I can
safely say I can take anything they've got. My biggest problem is that I
have to level the humps by hand, so that's my limiting factor.
Yup and those people who "fixed up" the Everglades were just trying to
turn useless swamp land into productive use. I think I would start by
seeing what kind of permits are necessary (and you might be
I am not a big fan of government telling people what to do but the
fact is they do and you might end up being bankrupted over this little
project when some eco group, in conjunction with the EPA, sues you
because you disturbed the habitat of some kind if rare lizard.
It will not be "telling you to stop". It will be telling you to
restore it to the way it was. You do not have to look long to find
some of these horror stories.
Good intentions and no matter how much your neighbors will welcome the
change, check with the proper government agencies or it can be big
trouble. The DEP and the like have lots more money to spend on lawyers
than you do.
Just in our small town if someone wants to fill a few feet on some lands
there is a big uproar from the tree huggers.
On Wed, 26 Oct 2016 13:32:59 -0400, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
I called the SCC county planning office.
The operator said to call "land development", Jess, but he wasn't in when I
called earlier today. So I left a message.
When he gets back to me, I'll let you know what they say.
If it were me, and all I was going to do was gradually add clean fill dirt
along the pedestrian side of the roadway to make it wider and safer for
pedestrians, I don't think that I would call anyone and ask for permission
first. I do know that I should, and presumably that would be the safest
But, I would be concerned that I would be asking a question that I do not
want to know the answer to. I would be concerned that simply by asking I
would then end up being subjected to a whole big permit and approval
process, and constant oversight of the process by regulators over the years
as I gradually had people dumping the clean fill dirt there. I would be
more comfortable in this type of situation just doing what I want to do and
waiting to see if anyone complained or had any issue with what I was doing.
I know that is not what most people here would recommend, but that's what I
would do -- even in California (I live on the opposite coast).
However, if I did call and ask first (as you already did, and for good
reason), I would be sure to phrase it as just adding some clean fill dirt
along the side of the pedestrian side of the roadway to make it wider and
safer for pedestrians. I definitely would not use any terms like "fill in
or partially fill the hollow" etc. I would just keep it as widening the
And, speaking of roadways...., do you own the roadway? Is it your own
private road on only your land? Or, is it some type of common roadway on
county or shared land etc? And, if you don't own the roadway outright and
entirely on your own land, how wide is the roadway or roadway easement or
right of way? If you put clean fill dirt along the side of the existing
roadway, would part of it be going onto the existing right of way etc? I am
just curious and trying to picture what you have right now.
On Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 9:05:48 AM UTC-4, TomR wrote:
OP can do whatever he wants:) but runs the risk of it coming back to bite him:(
They could REQUIRE HIM to remove all the fill and restore the area to its original condition.
so how ill he pay for that?
if the OP EVER wants to sell the land its important its filled properly.'
I havea friend with a excavating business
I called the county again today, speaking to Jess at 299-5734, who told me
that the limit for a "grading permit" is 150 cubic yards, but ...
He says that if it's just one or two truck loads, then they don't expect us
to call them - but if it's a lot of truck loads (unspecified as to what
amount that is) then we should fill out paperwork with them to let them
As you noted, they will come out and do an site inspection, but no "site
plan" is needed. Jess says that protects me if a neighbor calls them up so
they can tell the neighbor that they know all about it.
I'm not sure how much 150 cubic yards is, nor over what period, but I
assumed, from the conversation, that it was 150 cubic yards at any one time.
How much does a typical truck carry?
As with most things, it all depends. A typical tandem dump truck can
carry 18 yd3.
Have you considered how you are going to grade and compact the
material? What about dust abatement and storm water run off control.
California is a bitch about such issues.
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