Snow Disposal - Off Site????


Senior Member
Chicago, IL.
Just wondering if anyone had ideas of common locations or methods of research that a private contractor can take to find a space to dump/dispose of snow in lets say in the Chicago an example.

Currently researching semi-services that charge $120- $140 hour for semi cartage including disposal of snow. Trying to figure benefit of owning my own semi - then dumping snow for a fee.

Any replies appreciated.



Junior Member
I have a friend that somehow hooked up with a company that lets him use dumpsters. He calls them when he has a load and haul to do; they drop off one dumpster. The driver then goes and gets another dumpster, returns to pick up the first, drop off the second. THis goes on until he is done. He won't tell me the details but it sounds slick if you are nt a large company.

guido Veteran
A few options.......

I know first hand that you have to be very careful about dumping by any water sources. When I worked with my Uncle who does a lot of state work, we used to dump at a boat loading ramp at a small lake and push the snow down with loaders. The EPA frowns on that because of the high salt and oil contact in the road debris that is mixed in with the snow.

What we ended up doing for the smaller accounts was loading the tri-axles as full as we could, and parking them inside of the Garage where they melted and went into the floor drain. Anything you parked in there at night would melt by the morning. That was just to save the last trip to the dump point every day.

He had enough space to stock pile most of the snow in his equiment yard, and during a big rain or sunny day we would go out with the loaders and spread it out some to melt.

There is also an ice melting unit that burns the snow down and can be easily loaded with a bobcat or backhoe. Not sure about the price tag on these units though, sorry.

Somerville MA.
You might just try contacting local contractors (large ones) because they usually have some snow dumps already setup
for themselves and for a per dump fee will "rent space" to you.
Another method is to contact buisness' in your area who may not be fully occupied and will have space available in their lots. These places are easy to spot, if they have empty lots during the working day chances are they will have some room.

As a side note I 'll say illegal dumping after a large storm is rampant around here. Space in this city is at a premium, so people get desperate and you can see a lot of midnite dumping operations going on.

thelawnguy Addict
Central CT
30 years ago you could dump from the dike into the river. No more. Now they dump the snow into the empty stadium parking lot and at the town parks out on the soccer fields.


Western CT
Last year I filled up my backyard with a two condo's piles. The wife was not happy at losing her view. I have a couple other areas this year that I can use if I have to.

GeoffD Veteran
That big open area near the shop works for us. Last year he had to haul off a few times. We just broke out the dozer, plowed a road to an open field we own. Then started building a mountain, which worked pretty well. The good thing about haulin snow is the ground is always frozen in january.

As far as getting the snow there. I don't think useing a 1-ton sized truck is cost effective except for hauling accross site. Some sites we just move the snow to back of the site. I find that guys that sell firewood, generally are slow after a storm, and often have big trucks that work well for haulin snow. If the trucks can stay running. The other option is to higher tri axels from trucking co, which works well too, if you can find the trucks.



Senior Member
Chicago, IL.
Thank you for the incredible feedback on the Trecan snow melter line!

What do you guys think?????

I e-mailed for more information on the 20 ton/per hour "towable" unit. Looks like it would solve the challenge at hand....that is to provide timely, cost effective snow removal. But- at what cost?

Has anyone ever used a Trecan snow melter?

Thank you for your help.



Stamford, CT
Check with your local Public works/ parks department. I know here in my area, the city allows ( with certain guidelines) contractors to dump in city park parking lots.

They don't let everyone do this, but I know that because we haul snow from a hospital, that they allow us to haul to certain parks that they designate.

Check with them first though, you may need to get an empty weight on your trucks first and get each load weighed . Be aware, they may also want to charge you a nominal fee per ton to dump. if they do, check the local ordinances. if they do not mention tipping fees for snow specifically, its an illegal tipping fee.

Plow Babe

Senior Member
Dillon, Colorado
We just checked into the Trecan melters. They sure seem like a great idea, but we found out they are a bit out of our price league at this time. $10,000 to $11,000 per month to rent one, minimum 4 month rental. For the two smaller units, the 20 ton-per hour was about $135,000 to buy and the 40 tph about $190,000.

OK, here's a wild idea that's kind of out there, but go ahead and give us your two cents worth . . .;)

We have noticed some of the really ritzy homes put in heated driveways so the snow just melts. It is run off of its own boiler system, with hot water circulating through copper tubing in the concrete. We have to get with a mechanical contractor to do some more homework on the capabilities of a system like this, but our idea is, for a large commercial lot, pick a far corner and put in one of these systems in a section where the snow could be piled from each storm, then let it melt down. Of course this raises a lot of questions: Would a system like this work on a big stack of snow instead of just regular snow accumulation? What would it cost to operate the boiler, and would this be less expensive than trucking the snow? (Of course the theoretical assumption would be that this would save the customer money in the long run, since it would eliminate hauling snow off-site year after year.) Would the customer and the local building department allow something like this to be installed?

Like I said, this is just a wild idea, but sometimes the best stuff gets invented because someone had a crazy thought and built on it.

Chuck Smith

2000 Club Member
While I do not think it is a crazy idea.... I do not think it will work. Those heating systems do not get hot enough to melt a pile. And as far as those snow melters, you would be amazed at how much fuel they burn. Most guys that use the portable ones have a tanker right next to the unit, either directly hooked up, or right there to keep filling it. I am not certain, but somewhere around 100 gallons an hour comes to mind. I know a SIMA Member who used one a few years back, and between the rental, the clean up of the run off, and fuel, he just barely profited from the job.

This year he has a blower on a loader, I mean a BIG one. (The kind that eats shopping carts, cinder blocks, and even tire chains) Now he just blows the snow into the woods on site. No piles anywhere to deal with. They sometimes haul snow on site, to the rear, and then the blower mkes it vanish into the woods.

DaveK, who has ben absent this year, used to have a quote I liked in his signature. "The future belongs to those who see the possibilities before they become obvious". So keep thinking of those "crazy" ideas!

I used to work at a large boiler plant, and we burned 24,000 gallons of #6 oil in a 24 hour period, and not even running at 'full steam'. You get a lot more BTU's out of #6 oil, compared to #2 (diesel). Investigate how much fuel you would burn when you add up the rental costs.


John Allin Addict
Erie, PA
My understanding of what the problem is with dumping in lakes, streams, rivers is that the concern is the amount of garbage that gets collected with the snowpiles, and not the salt. We've had talks with several EPA folks and this is what we've been told.
Chuck is correct,most of the heated driveway systems will not melt piled snow.We used to do several apartment complexes that had heated ramps for the underground parking.They would melt off any fallen snow,but would not melt off the windrows from plowing for several days.

We share dump sites among local contrators.It's usually a new plaza or industrial complex which isn't finished yet,or has a large overflow parking area.As long as we clear it with the contractors first,we can dump there no charge.

In the big Jan 99 storm,the city actually plowed a road into a large farm field,and dumped all the snow there.Local contractors we allowed to use it if they paid a small fee.

As far as hauling it,there are usually plenty of private dump truck operators,with big dumps,who will gladly haul it to the dump site quite cheap,as they are slow in the winter anyways.

I have seen those big snow melters in action,as Toronto is 20 mins from us.Quite the piece of machinery.


Stamford, CT
This winter we hauled.....

300 Triaxle dump truckloads (filled way up over the strike boards) out of our two sites over a two night period right after the President's day blizzard.

:eek: :eek: :eek:
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Senior Member
Ditto what Chuck S. said. I looked into smaller snowmelting machines a couple of years ago, and came to the same conclusion. It takes alot of fuel to keep the machine melting snow. I would stick with hauling or stacking.

Also, when I talked to the village in my area regarding the run-off, they had some issues with the snow going into their sewer systems. They were concerned with overflowing, icing, etc., due to overloading a particular system!

Chuck B.