Tips for Making Your Dumpster Rental Stress Free

Unless you are a contractor or in one of the building trades, you probably don’t know the first thing about how to rent a dumpster. While the process is not complicated, having general information on dumpster rental will help you avoid overpaying and eliminate potential problems.

When you rent a dumpster, the dumpster rental company will typically deliver the dumpster to the location you designate. When it is filled or you are finished, you call the dumpster company and they haul it away.

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One of the first things you need to determine is how large a dumpster you are going to need. Dumpsters come in various sizes and, the bigger the dumpster, the more it is going to cost.

There is no need to rent a twenty yard dumpster when all you need is a ten yard dumpster.

What dumpster sizes you get

Dumpster rental companies offer a variety of dumpster sizes. They delineate these sizes by the number of cubic yards of solid waste a dumpster can hold.

If you are not familiar with cubic yards, think of each cubic yard as a box that is 36” on each side. Contractors estimate that a ten cubic yard dumpster will hold about three dump trucks full of debris.

As a general rule of thumb, a ten yard dumpster would be enough for smaller remodeling projects such as re-roofing a small house, replacing household flooring or an outside deck.

A more major remodel would require a twenty yard dumpster. Either of these should be enough for most household remodels. Thirty and forty yard dumpsters are usually utilized for commercial purposes.

In addition to size, you need to think about the type of waste that will be going into the dumpster. Most companies do not allow a mixture of materials and will surcharge you if the dumpster is overweight.

So, for example, you cannot rent the dumpster for a remodel and then throw in some large tree limbs or gravel from a driveway. The best way to avoid unpleasant surprises is to discuss with the dumpster company the type(s) of materials you will be placing in the dumpster.

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You also need to keep in mind that it is illegal to use the dumpster to to dispose of hazardous waste.

This is not an opportunity to clean out the garage and dump old paint, solvents, oil, propane tanks or any flammable liquids.

Once you have determined how big a dumpster you need and what debris will be going into it, you are ready to start making some calls to get prices and terms.


Pricing and terms can vary radically from company to company. That makes it to your benefit to price around. 

Generally it is best to get a flat rate price. Make sure that you ask questions and determine whether there are any additional expenses such as weight overages, tipping fees, late fees, added taxes or surcharges.

Make sure you understand how long the rental is for and when the rental period starts. Lastly, ask if there are any discounts for members of certain organizations, military personnel or senior citizens if that applies.

Once you have rented the dumpster, you need to prepare for its delivery. Make sure that you have the exact dimensions of the dumpster and have cleared out a location for its placement.

Make sure that you are not creating an obstacle for yourself or neighbors in its placement. Make sure the dumpster will not block the view for drivers in your neighborhood.

If you will be loading the dumpster yourself, be aware of the fact that opening is fairly tall.

Make sure that you can lift the debris high enough to dump it in, or arrange for a step up system.

Lastly, once you are finished filling the dumpster, call the company to haul it away. Most companies will not come out until you call them.

Keeping this general information on dumpster rental in mind will hopefully make the process smooth and problem free.

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