In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about renting a dumpster, but you might also be interested in some of these related topics:
- If you’re looking for a free moving quote, check out our moving cost calculator.
- Hire a reliable mover from our list of the best interstate movers.
- Are you looking for a container rather than a dumpster? We have you covered with the best moving container companies companies.
- Looking for someone to haul your junk for you? Consider professional junk removal.
How Much Does It Cost to Have a Dumpster at Your House?
Dumpster rental prices can vary significantly. But the average cost to have an empty dumpster delivered to your home then picked up and hauled off when it’s full costs between $150 and $600.
That said, there are tons of variables, including –
- The size of the dumpster
- The total weight of the items you put inside
- How long you’ll need it at your home, apartment, or business (rental period)
- Whether the items will be going to a landfill, charity donation facility, or recycling center
- What time of the year you’ll need it
- Where you live
The only way to get accurate dumpster rental costs when renting a dumpster is by contacting individual dumpster rental companies.
Before signing a contract, ask about extra fees for deliveries, pick-ups, and fuel surcharges.
How do Dumpster Rental Services Work?
Once you’ve determined what size dumpster to order (more on that shortly) and how long you’ll need it, it’s usually just a matter of giving the company a call or schedule delivery online.
You can request that the dumpster be left on-site for a predetermined time (like 3 days) or sign an open-ended contract that’ll allow you to keep it as long as necessary.
Just remember, you’ll pay for every day you have it, so working as quickly and efficiently as possible will keep costs to a minimum.
Standard Dumpster Sizes
Though they come in various sizes, from relatively tiny flip-top units to huge industrial behemoths, most roll-off dumpster rentals available to renters and homeowners usually fall into the following categories –
Small – 4 cubic yard “bins”
4-yard bins are typically about 6 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 4.5 feet high and can hold about 1,000 pounds of yard waste, discarded furniture, and construction debris like drywall and roofing materials.
Medium – 10 and 20-yard dumpsters
This category usually includes 15 yard dumpsters generally between 12 and 17 feet long, about 8 feet wide, and 4 and 6 feet high.
They’re great for pre-move downsizing, junk removal, landscaping projects, and cleaning out a home before putting it on the market.
The weight limit can top 10,000 pounds, but you’ll want to ask each prospective company for specific restrictions and limitations.
Large – 20 and 30-yard dumpsters
Large dumpsters are good options for owners of multi-bedroom homes with attics and garages interested in donating, discarding, and recycling little-used items before move day.
They come in multiple sizes between 18 and 25 feet long, the most heavy-duty of which can hold between 12,000 and 20,000+ pounds of refuse.
Jumbo – 40-yard dumpsters and larger
Due to their sheer bulk, jumbo dumpsters are usually only used by builders, home improvement contractors, and commercial landscapers.
However, in some cases assisting a hoarder or cleaning out a large home after the death of a loved one may come in handy.
How to Select the Correct Dumpster Size for Your Project
It’s not an exact science, but determining the right size dumpster for your project is similar to calculating the correct truck size on a DIY move.
Finding out at the end of a long day that your dumpster won’t hold everything it was supposed to isn’t fun, so when in doubt, err on the high side.
Renting a larger unit will cost a little more, but it’ll be money well spent.
Consider the following tips when determining which dumpster size makes the most sense for your situation.
1. What Will You Use the Dumpster For?
Renovating a 4-floor Victorian mansion may require the largest dumpster available.
On the other hand, if you’re just downsizing the contents of a 1-bedroom apartment or cleaning out a small attic, a 4-yard bin may suffice.
You’ll also want to consider your budget and schedule, the weight of the items you’ll put inside, and whether there’s enough space for the dumpster in your driveway, on the street, or your front lawn.
2. Take an Inventory of Items You’ll Be Getting Rid Of
There’s no better way to figure out what size dumpster you need than by taking an inventory.
Set aside an hour to walk through your home and make a list of items that’ll be gotten rid of, like appliances, furniture, sofas, and boxes.
Using an inventory app will help determine the estimated weight and volume in cubic feet, which will help you order the right dumpster size.
You may “throw” unwanted items into the dumpster instead of loading them neatly like you would in a moving truck. This eats up space quickly, so consider ordering the next size up.
3. Request a Professional on-Site Estimate
People with years of experience in the dumpster business are much better at estimating what size unit you’ll need than you are.
When screening prospective companies, ask if they’ll send someone to your home to take a look around and assess your needs.
Not all will, and even if they do, there’s no guarantee that you won’t need a bigger unit if you add things later on.
4. Ask Friends and Family for Help
If someone you know recently rented a dumpster, ask them for tips on which company they used. Ask what size unit they ordered, how long they kept it, and whether they loaded it themselves or had extra help.
My Dumpster Is Too Small! – Now What?
Remember that time you thought you could make do with a tiny carry-on bag for that 3-week trip to Europe?
Renting a dumpster that’s too small is similar, only more of a pain in the neck.
Of course, if you find yourself in this situation, you could always order another unit – and pay double – but it’s cheaper and easier to get the next larger model on the front end.
And remember, you’ll probably be subject to weight (tonnage) restrictions. If your sending discarded items to a municipal landfill, you might need to pay additional fees (like dump fees, landfill fees, or disposal fees) on top of the charges from the dumpster company.
What Can’t You Throw Away in a Dumpster?
There are just as many restrictions on things that you can’t put in a dumpster as there are with moving companies.
This is especially true of dangerous and hazardous waste that you can’t put in landfills and city dumps.
Here we’re talking about –
- Paint, thinner and other solvents
- Explosives and flammables like gasoline, fireworks, dynamite, and ammunition
- Automotive liquids like oil, brake fluid, and coolant
- Harmful construction materials like asbestos and lead
Disclaimer – This isn’t a complete list.
Always ask the companies you’re considering for a written list of items they won’t haul, and check online for restrictions in your particular state or county.
Other Important Dumpster Tips
Have the Movers Load the Dumpster
If you’re moving locally and paying a full-service mover by the hour, their crew may be able to put unwanted items into the dumpster for you.
Of course, you’ll pay for their time. Just be sure to address it upfront during the pre-move phase, so there aren’t any surprises on move day.
Since charges depend on weight and distance on interstate moves, your movers probably won’t load items into a dumpster for you if you’re moving out of state.
If they do, you’ll pay for “extra labor” for the additional time spent, which can add up quickly.
Did You Know?
Some movers may not load items into dumpsters for liability reasons, so don’t assume yours will.
Consider Junk Haulers Instead
Need a dumpster, but don’t want to load it yourself and have it parked in front of your house for three days?
If so, consider full-service junk removal as a convenient and cost-effective alternative.
Junk removal service companies are like professional movers, except instead of moving your items to a new home or apartment, they recycle, dispose of or donate them.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Bagster is a service offered by Waste Management where customers can buy refuse bags from retailers like Home Depot and Amazon, fill them with up to 3,000 pounds of waste then schedule a home pick-up.
What’s the national average dumpster rental price?
The average price for renting a dumpster is approximately $350.
Should I go with a local dumpster provider or a national company?
There are pros and cons of each, including coverage area, services offered, and pricing.
What are smaller dumpsters good for?
Renting a small dumpster is excellent for spring cleanouts, apartment moves, and light remodels, but not heavy debris like bricks and scrap metal.
Will my final cost vary?
Multiple factors go into calculating final costs. Your final price will vary depending on the weight of your items and where they’re going.
Can I get flat-rate pricing for a dumpster?
You may be able to get a flat rate for a dumpster, but in the event of weight overages and additional services, you’ll still pay more or an overage fee.
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