What size dumpster do I need?
Written by Brian Waters

What Size Dumpster Do I Need?

The size of dumpster you need for a small project is usually a 20 yard or less. Large projects require 30, 40, or 50 yard dumpsters.

Rolloff dumpsters are a great resource for both commercial and residential projects.  From cleaning up a landscape to a major remodel there’s a size that fits your project.Choosing the right size dumpster for your project ensures you’ll have the room you need, but not overspend renting a dumpster that’s much larger than necessary.

What Size Dumpster Do I Need?

The size of the dumpster you need will depend on the amount of waste you expect from your project.  There are also sometimes limitations on how large a dumpster you can fit on a job site.  In cases where there’s limited space for the dumpster smaller dumpsters are preferred.

What are your dumpster rental needs?

Before you decide anything, you need to figure out what your project involves. Will you be throwing away light or heavy materials? Are you throwing out house siding, wood or shingles? Dumpster rental services will be able to provide a variety of people such as homeowners, realtors, landlords, businesses and contractors with dumpsters to fit their needs. Below are a few examples of why each one would need a dumpster rental.

  • Landscaping, home siding replacement, roof removal, constructing a home, and demolishing a home or building.
  • Tearing down walls, gutting rooms, removing patio decking, cleaning the garage, renovating the bathroom/basement/kitchen.
  • Building remodeling, office clean outs and waste disposal.
  • Landscaping upgrades, home improvements, home upgrades, and cleaning out abandoned homes.
  • Large home or building repairs, remodeling, clean outs, building or home demolition.

Whatever the needs are, you will have to specify with the maximum amount of detail. This allows the dumpster rental company to pick the most effective dumpster for you. There are a lot of dumpster sizes out there and the bigger that the project is, the larger the dumpster will need to be when you rent it.

Determine the Size Of Dumpster

The next step in this process is to pick the dumpster size. All of the dumpster sizes will be determined by cubic yards. For instance, a 5-yard dumpster will hold up to 5 cubic yards of junk and debris, a 10-yard dumpster will hold 10 cubic yards of junk or debris, and so on.

There are some roll offs that will have swinging doors that will open on one side, which make it much easier to throw heavy junk into it, but many are just the normal open top dumpsters. Below are some descriptions and measurements of the dumpster sizes.

5-yard Dumpster

The 5-yard dumpster will be best for small to tiny jobs like shed and garage clean outs. This dumpster size rental may also be used for a small bathroom renovation as well. There are a lot of projects that a 5-yard dumpster can handle, and it’s quite versatile because of the size and being lightweight. You won’t need to worry about any damage to your driveway. Some of the common projects are listed below:

  • Shed, basement, and garage clean outs
  • Spring clean outs
  • Small kitchen or bathroom renovations

10-Yard Dumpster

The 10-yard dumpster rental is the most commonly rented dumpsters because it fits the needs of basically any project. Being able to hold up to 10 cubic yards of materials, this dumpster will challenge you to be able to fill it up. When you contact your local dumpster rental service company, talk to them about your project and they can help you to figure out if this dumpster will fit your needs. Below are the normal projects for a 10-yard dumpster:

  • Dirt removal
  • Concrete or driveway tear outs
  • 1500 square feet of single layered roof shingle removal
  • 200 to 300 square foot deck removal
  • Small basement or garage clean out

15-Yard Dumpster

The 15-yard dumpster is the favorite choice for contractors, homeowners, and businesses. This roll off container will hold 15 cubic yards of materials and it is 5 feet high, 7 feet wide, and 12 feet long. Call your local dumpster rental company to learn if this dumpster size is big enough for your project. The normal uses for the 15-yard dumpster are:

  • Medium kitchen remodeling
  • Medium basement remodeling
  • Medium sized garage clean outs
  • Large yard clean up

20-yard Dumpster

The 20-yard dumpster is the most popular sized dumpster. It is small enough to fit in your driveway, but large enough to handle those big projects such as large landscaping jobs, large demolitions, and home/building construction. Below are the common jobs for the 20-yard dumpster:

  • Large kitchen or bathroom remodel
  • Up to 3000 square feet of single layered roof shingles removal
  • 300 to 400 square feet deck removal
  • Floor and carpet removal for a large house
  • Large attic, basement, and garage clean out

30-yard Dumpster

A 30-yard dumpster will hold about 10 to 12 pick-up loads and it can hold up to 4 tons. A 30-yard dumpster is able to hold 30 cubic yards. When the 20-yard dumpster is too small, you can go for the 30-yard dumpster for your big projects. The most common uses for 30-yard dumpsters:

  • Large area landscaping
  • Commercial roof tear offs
  • Building and home demolition or construction
  • Major home editions

40-Yard & 50 Yard Dumpster

For your larger construction and clean up projects the 40 yard dumpster and 50 yard dumpster are the best options.  They offer maximum disposal area whether you have large items or just a large volume to dispose of.

  • Large construction projects
  • In depth remodeling
  • Large landscaping changes

Understanding Dumpster Rental Costs and Fees 

Before you decide to rent a dumpster, it is vital to understand any extra fees which can happen. Some of these are a very good reason to rent from a different dumpster rental company.

Dumpster roll off rental companies will have various ways that they may add fees. It may because the landfills charge more, or they may charge by weight, or they could charge for days you have the dumpster or fuel costs. Whatever the fees are, the businesses have a lot of reasons to charge them and it won’t break or make the bank, but it is nice to be aware of potential fees whenever you are purchasing anything.

Base Rate

This is the flat rate cost of your dumpster rental. The price of the rate is the biggest part of your cost that you pay for. The base rates may not change much and you will find that these prices are on their websites or call them directly for pricing if it is not provided online.

Tonnage Fee

The tonnage fee is the amount over the weight limit that was designated for this dumpster. If the load limit for a 20-yard dumpster is 4 tons, and you throw away more than 4 tons of materials, then you will be charged a fee or flat rate and it will depend on the dumpster rental service that you use.

Tipping Fee

The tipping fees are fees that the landfill charges the rental company every time that they take their materials to the landfill area. These fees will vary state by state.

Late Return Fee

There are times that a project will take longer and because of that you have to keep the rental longer than the agreed time frame. Late charges are per day or week and will cost between (please call) a day you keep the rental over the time frame.

Refill Fee

This fee will depend on the company. Some will offer a 1 dumpster refill and others will charge each time it is refilled. Check with your dumpster rental company to find out more.

Hazardous Waste Fee

This could become expensive so take responsibility and don’t throw away hazardous materials in to the dumpster. Hazardous waste can be the following:

  • Batteries
  • Cleaning agents
  • Electronics
  • Pesticides
  • Antifreeze or motor oil
  • Solvents and paints

Miscellaneous Fees

Sometimes you will need to have a permit from your local area to park a dumpster on a cul-de-sac or public street. Talk to your city for more information.

Extra Charge to Throw these materials away:

  • Mattresses
  • Appliances
  • Tires

Comparing Dumpster Rental Companies

Once you have found your project needs, dumpster size and you know the costs, you can then compare the local dumpster rental companies. Comparing dumpster rental services by price is a great way to pick a company, but don’t overlook the characteristics of a good company and the potential of a great experience.

Featured services

The featured services are essential for dumpster rentals to be able to separate themselves from the competition. The services may include:

  • Locations
  • No late rental fees
  • Longer rental periods
  • Flat rate fee
  • No tonnage fees
  • Same day deliver and pick up
  • Free dumpster refill(s)
  • Discounts for cash

If the dumpster rental company is close to use, it could be cheaper. It may be cheaper because of less gas used to drive it out, and less labor costs for not being on the road as long. You may not get the cheapest rate, but it doesn’t hurt to tell the company that you will go with them if they can work on the price because you live close.

Besides location and featured services, make sure that they have the dumpster size that you need. Dumpster rental companies not the same, and won’t carry similar dumpster sizes. You may need to know if they have the dumpster size you need in stock before you rent it.

Order A Dumpster

If you’ve got a project coming up and need a dumpster give us a call.  We can help you choose the size of dumpster that will best fit your project.  Our team will also schedule delivery of your dumpster so it’s ready for when you are. We offer better pricing, better service, and simply an easier dumpster rental service.

Call (480) 941-5800 or Contact Us

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