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How Much to Tip Garbage Man?

A money-savvy individual who likes to keep an efficient eye over their finances and write about ways to optimise their resources.


Garbage is, by its own name and explanation, horrible. It smells awful, it looks ghastly, and it can be hugely off-putting. It is just as well, then, that we have people called garbage collectors who come around regularly to pick up your trash. If your garbage builds up for too long it not only creates an awful smell, but it can lead to things like rats and other vermin hanging around the place. You want to avoid that as much as you can, which is why you should rely upon your local garbage disposal team heavily.

However, if you know anything about the refuse collection industry it is that the workers are not well-paid. For that reason, many people like to pop out in the morning to give the garbage men a little bit more on top. They are doing a dirty but essential job, and giving them a little bit of something on top can be just what you are looking for to help them feel more rewarded for the hard work that they do.

Though, with that being said, you might also not be sure how much to tip garbage man. The simple answer is that there is no cut and dried amount, but we will try to give you some better ideas to think about here. A garbage collection team rely upon tips to help make up their meagre salary, so it is ethical and recommended to think about tipping here.

Why Should You Tip the Garbage Collectors?

As mentioned above, these are people who are literally dealing with all of your waste for a living. They are dealing with everything from dirty diapers to old food, rotten items, and generally things you want to see the back of. This can be a hazardous, dangerous job. So, too, can be dealing with all of the usual challenges involved in collecting refuse from each property and getting rid of it.

Garbage staff are hard worked and tend to be the kind of people who turn up early for their job. Respecting how hard their job is would be something that we highly recommend. Being able to simply give them a bit of extra help and support is a good thing to do. They are making your life cleaner, healthier, and easier; a few dollars out of your wallet or purse each time they collect should not be too much to ask.

The main thing about these staff is that they are also very lowly paid compared to other similar industries. As such, they take on a lot of risk to get the job done with a fraction of the pay that you might have expected. Despite being absolutely essential to the well-being of our communities and the country at large, garbage staff are paid a relative pittance.

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Being able to offer them a little bit of extra on top can be the difference between a good work day and a poor one.

How Much to Tip Garbage Man?

Of course, since garbage is such a hard thing to quantity in terms of cost it is hard to know what to tip. This is not like heading to a restaurant where you are given a clear fee at the end for the service and goods you have ordered. For that reason, you should absolutely look to talk to a garbage man and find out what they tend to look to be tipped.

If you would rather just give them something on top, though, you should look to give them something in the region of $15 to $20 to your garbage staff. However, please make sure that this is allowed where you live as some places in the USA do not allow for people to tip their garbage staff. Garbage, we know, but it is a law in some places and you should avoid putting the garbage staff in an awkward spot by asking them to take the tip.

Another way to tip your garbage staff is to leave them a little something. If you happen to be around in them morning then you should swing out and give them a little cash. If you aren’t though you should consider leaving something like a crate of some beers or some sodas on top of the garbage can. Leave a note saying it is for the garbage guys as a thank you. It’s something – just make sure that the garbage guys actually got it, and not someone in your street deciding to help themselves!

Alternatives to Tipping

Keep in mind though there are a lot more alternatives out there to just tipping with your hard-earned dollar, you can show your appreciation to garbage collections in all kinds of ways. Whether that's simply sharing a mince pie with them (especially if it is around the festive periods, which is when you most commonly tip garbage men), offering them a hot beverage, getting them some of their favourite drink of choice or even just giving an unwanted gift card there way. They are going to be appreciative over whatever you offer them, as at the end of the day, it's the thought that counts here and certainly, not everyone will be tipping them.

Alternatively, remember that you are under no obligation to actually have to provide a tip to your garbage man if you don't want to, it's only a recommendation, especially around Christmas and the festive season. If they have let you down or even been rude to you in the past, that's all the reason to not tip them, especially if it is not justified. However, if you are looking to get on their good side and have a good relationship with them, then it's not a bad tactic and even more so if they are actually deserving of the tip. It's up to you at the end of the day.

We'd be really interested to hear your experiences with tipping garbage collectors. Is it something that you do all year round or just during the festive period? If so, how much and why? If not, why not? Please leave your comments down in the comments section just below, we read every single one.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Russel Garret

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