How much is a dumpster rental?
Renting a dumpster may cost anywhere from $423 to $1,026
Are you moving, doing a home renovation project or finally tackling a major garage cleanout? Then you might need to rent a dumpster for your debris, trash or just plain junk. How much you’ll shell out for a dumpster rental comes down to a few variables: the size of the dumpster, the length of time you need it, what you’ll be putting in it and the company you choose to work with.
While prices for a dumpster rental vary depending on these factors, you can expect to spend anywhere from $423 for a 10-yard dumpster up to $1,026 for a 40-yard dumpster. Prices are based on a survey of companies on the East Coast and West Coast and in the North, South and Midwest for a one-week rental.
Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about the cost of a dumpster rental and what affects the overall cost.
- Renting a dumpster is a good option if you're getting rid of trash and debris or completing a remodeling project.
- The cost of renting a dumpster comes down to size, length of rental time and what you’re putting in the dumpster.
- Try not to rent a dumpster in the summer, when demand is greater and prices are higher.
- Most dumpster rental companies send a rep to your home to advise you on what size dumpster you need and to ensure you have room for it.
Dumpster rental costs
Below are the average prices for a one-week dumpster rental in various parts of the country. The prices include delivery, pickup and local dump fees. Note that some areas, such as Minneapolis, are more expensive due to waste management facility fees for recycling. In general, dumpster fees heavily depend on how far the landfill is and how full it is — sometimes dumpsters need to be driven outside your local dump area.
|St. Louis, Mo.||$463||$517||$557||$639||$722|
|San Diego, Calif.||$453||$515||$576||$679||$782|
A word of caution from Alexandre, a reviewer on our site from Phoenix: “I prepaid for 40-yard dumpster where all charges were supposed to be included. Paid $620. A few weeks later I received an invoice for another $219. I understand should the waste weigh more than 5 tons I'd be charged more. However, the weight on the dumpster was slightly above 2 tons.”
The lesson: Make sure to ask about any additional fees when you receive a quote for a dumpster rental.
Types of dumpsters you can rent
There are a few different dumpster rental options — these vary in size, function and materials.
Roll-off dumpster (also called a construction dumpster)
A roll-off dumpster rolls off the back of a flatbed and onto the ground. Roll-off dumpsters are rectangular and come in a variety of sizes, from 10 cubic yards to 40 cubic yards (to visualize a cubic yard, picture two standard washing machines side by side, or about six 13-gallon trash bags).
A roll-off dumpster is open at the top so you can easily throw things in. Most roll-off dumpsters also have a wide “door” at the end (essentially the short end of the rectangle) that you can swing open. This lets you walk inside the dumpster when you first start filling it to ensure you use the space efficiently.
Roll-off dumpsters, specialty dumpsters and dumpster bags are the three best options for residential cleanup.
If you have a large, ongoing project — think a remodel, construction or landscaping — a large roll-off dumpster is a good option. Basically, you can keep filling it over days or weeks until it needs to be emptied.
You’re likely to pay anywhere from $423 for a 10-yard dumpster up to $1,026 for a 40-yard dumpster. Prices are based on a weekly rental price.
If you need a dumpster in a hard-to-reach part of a property or on a fragile driveway, you’ll need a specialty dumpster. Specialty dumpsters have rubber wheels and range in size from 10 to 25 cubic yards.
Ask about container sizes when calling around for quotes so you can choose the right size for your job. Specialty dumpsters usually cost about the same as roll-off dumpsters of a similar size.
You’ve likely seen these heavy-duty giant-size bags in a neighbor’s yard. You can buy these bags in a home improvement center and then fill them at home at your own pace. Bags sizes vary, but they’re commonly 8 feet long by 4 feet wide by 2.6 feet high. These hold three cubic yards of debris and have a 3,300-pound weight limit.
The exact cost of a dumpster bag depends on where you live, because the ease of pickup and dump fees vary by town. A typical bag starts around $100 to $200, though you can get a lower price if you buy two bags or more. The price includes pickup as long as you adhere to weight guidelines and you place the bag within 18 feet of the street so the truck can properly lift it. Note that your bags must be picked up at the same time at the same location to qualify for a price reduction.
Front-load dumpsters are the receptacles you see behind fast-food restaurants or in apartment complexes. Ensure you don’t order one of these by mistake — they’re not meant for residential cleanup.
What affects dumpster rental costs?
“Dumpster rental prices are based on how much space is used within the dumpster, with the bare minimum price being the fee for dropoff and pickup,” according to Lisa Merry, president of Junk King, a national junk removal company. But there are several factors that influence the cost of a dumpster rental — here’s a breakdown:
Dumpster size: The larger the dumpster, the more it’ll cost to rent, so try not to rent a dumpster larger than you need. Even if you don’t fill it up all the way, you’ll still pay for the entire volume.
Length of rental: The number of days you rent your dumpster for will influence the price. It’s a good idea to rent a dumpster as briefly as possible, so it might make sense to choose a day or week when you have plenty of time to get the container filled.
Type of trash: Whether you’re remodeling your bathroom or cleaning out junk in the basement, whatever materials you’re dumping — and where you’re dumping them — will affect the price. For instance, old tile has to go in a landfill, while cardboard can be recycled.
Weight of trash: Many dumps charge by the ton, and each dumpster size comes with its own weight limit. You’ll be charged extra if you exceed the weight limit.
Demand: People often move in the summer months, making dumpster demand — and prices — higher. You’ll pay less if you can rent a dumpster in the offseason.
How to save money on a dumpster rental
Whether you’re moving or remodeling, you’re likely dealing with a bunch of other project costs — but there are some ways to save money on your dumpster rental.
1. Work with a known dumpster rental company
The top priority in your quest to save money on a dumpster rental is to find and work with a reputable dumpster rental company. A good company employs trained professionals who can advise you on the most cost-efficient dumpster for your project.
When you get a quote, make sure the price includes not only dumpster delivery and pickup charges, but also the rental period and weight limit.
2. Rent the right size — and don’t overfill the dumpster
You don’t want to rent a dumpster larger than you need (you’ll be paying for wasted space), but you also don’t want to end up with one that’s just slightly too small — this could mean having to rent a whole new dumpster. Making a list of everything you want to dump will help a professional advise you on the perfect dumpster size. Many dumpster rental companies will also send a representative to your home to survey your project before you commit to a dumpster size.
Also, avoid extra fees by making sure items in your dumpster don’t peek out over the wall of your dumpster.
3. Don’t rent a dumpster you don’t have space for
You don’t want to pay for a dumpster only to find you have no place to put it, so ensure you have enough space for the dumpster you rent. You’ll need a flat spot free from overhead obstructions.
4. Obtain permits (if needed)
If you can’t place a dumpster on your property, you might be able to place it on the street, though you usually need a permit to do this. Paying extra for a permit may set you back a few dollars, but it’s better than paying a fine (and possibly having the dumpster removed) if you don’t have the proper paperwork. Always visit or call your local municipality to see what paperwork you’ll need for a dumpster, if any.
5. Know the dumpster’s weight limit
You may think you can fill your dumpster to the rim without care, but note that most dumpsters have weight limits. If your dumpster surpasses weight limits, making it difficult to haul away, you’ll face additional charges.
6. Rent for the shortest time possible
You can rent dumpsters by the day, week or month. The longer you rent, the more you’ll pay. If you know you have a big project on your hands, make sure to talk to several companies to compare their time limits and charges by the day.
7. Get your trash ready
If you have boxes to recycle, break them down before the dumpster arrives. Chop wooden furniture into smaller pieces. Basically, any larger items you can make smaller will help you save on space (just make sure not to surpass any weight limits). The aim is to have as much room in your dumpster as possible to fill it efficiently and not have to order another one down the line.
8. Don’t dump anything hazardous
If you throw away prohibited items in your dumpster, you may risk having to fish them out and unload them or paying more in disposal fees. Make sure you know what’s allowed and what’s not.
9. Keep an eye out for neighbors with junk
Dumpsters attract people with their own bulky trash to throw away. Watch for neighbors and others passing by trying to sneak debris into your dumpster. You’ll have to deal with the bill if it ends up too heavy or full.
10. Aim for a “clean load”
You may be able to get a reduced rate on a dumpster if you have what’s known as a “clean load.” A clean load is one that doesn’t need to be sorted at the dump. A dumpster completely full of cedar siding or wood flooring, for instance, would meet the criteria for a clean load.
How do you rent a dumpster?
If you have trash and debris you can’t easily throw away at home, a dumpster rental company may be the answer. You can find a dumpster rental company online or by asking friends and neighbors for recommendations. Once you find a few companies, you can call to get quotes (or fill out online forms to get estimates). Remember: It’s always good to speak with a professional on the phone or in person to make sure you’re renting the right dumpster for your needs.
What are common dumpster sizes?
The most common dumpster sizes are the following:
- 10-yard dumpster: If you have a small attic or garage to clean out, a 10-yard dumpster is a good candidate for the job. This size dumpster is also good for a small remodel and yard debris.
- 15-yard dumpster: If you have a larger project that requires the removal of heavy, bulky debris, consider a 15-yard dumpster. A dumpster this size can fit anywhere from 80 to 100 33-gallon trash bags, or 2,000 to 4,000 pounds. If you’re replacing a roof, doing a large home cleanout or taking on a bigger construction project, a 15-yard dumpster might be a good choice.
- 20-yard dumpster: If you have a big junk removal project and want to be on the safe side, this size dumpster could make sense for you.
- 30- to 40-yard dumpster: These are large dumpsters suited for full-home renovations.
How much does it cost to rent a dumpster for a day?
The cost of renting a dumpster for a day comes down to the type and size of the dumpster and how easy it is to drop off and haul away. On average, you can expect to pay $80 to $100 for a day.
Do I need to clean a dumpster before returning it?
No, you do not have to clean a dumpster before returning it. The dumpster rental company takes the dumpster away to empty it once you’re finished.
When choosing a dumpster, you need to consider what kind of garbage you’re getting rid of. Are you doing a home remodel or chucking boxes from your move? This will help you determine what size dumpster you need and for how long.
Remember that you may incur extra fees if you’re disposing of items that need extra handling at a waste management facility (think electronics, recyclables, appliances and heavy construction debris). Start your dumpster rental search by getting recommendations from friends and searching online for companies with solid reviews.
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