I've been furiously de-cluttering my house in order to ring in 2009 in a clean and tidy house. The area I left until last was my icky (some say creepy) basement. It's dirty (half dirt/half cement floor), dark, dusty, and dank. I have some cans of paint and tools stored down there, but mostly it has been a place where I've tossed empty boxes (from ebaying mostly) and avoided at all possible costs.
This November, however, I got a new furnace (boy has it helped in oil conservation -- I've gone from burning more than a tank a month to about 1/2 a tank a month). So that event spurred the total clean up. I posted ads on Craigslist and Freecycle for the boxes and packing materials and had people take a lot of them. Then the guys who took out the boiler cleaned up the dirt and hauled that and the rest of the empty boxes away for recycling.
I still had a couple of barrels' worth of debris, a whole lot of scrap lumber, miscellaneous odds and ends that I haven't used in seven years (beach umbrella, motor oil, electrical bits and bobs), and a bunch of copper piping. I know that copper has some value, so I posted an ad on Craigslist to see if I could find someone who would clean the rest of the junk out of my basement in exchange for the copper piping. I had a bunch of responses, and went with a very nice (and strong) gent who hauled EVERYTHING out, saying he knew someone who would buy whatever I had to dispose of.
So, the old saw, "one man's trash is another man's treasure" holds true here. If you have stuff that you think is of no value, don't put it in the landfill as the first response -- there may indeed be someone out there who would like to take it off your hands at no cost to you..... even if it's a pile of dirt!