How to Choose a Rental Dumpster Size Based On Your Needs

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Waste disposal is the least fun, but most necessary part of every home improvement project. Whether you are a homeowner looking to carry out a small scale home renovation, or a construction crew on a bigger job, the project isn’t complete until all waste has been removed. 

The EPA found that in 2017, 569 million tons of construction and demolition debris was generated by roads, buildings, and bridges in the United States.

Not everyone has the same waste disposal needs. It will vary based on the type of project, size of the project, and type of waste. Dumpsters range in size, some of the more popular ones being between 10 and 25 cubic yards. There are both smaller and larger options, but this range is a good place to start shopping.

If you are having trouble figuring out what your options are and how to choose between them, don’t worry. Read the guide below for a thorough explanation of different dumpster sizes and their advantages.

Dumpster Size: 10 Yards

The exact dimensions of your dumpster will vary depending on which company you contract with. But if your dumpster is 10 cubic yards, some pretty typical dimensions would be 13 feet long by 7 feet wide by 3 feet high.

Are you having trouble visualizing that? It would be the same as 4 loads in a standard size pickup truck. Alternatively, it would be 50-70 standard size trash bags!

This dumpster size would be great for you if are doing small scale home cleanouts. This dumpster is great for landscape debris like fallen branches, or home debris like roof shingles. Consider this dumpster size if you are a homeowner or working on a small project.

Dumpster Size: 15 Yards

Typical dimensions for a 15 cubic yard dumpster might be 14 feet long by 8 feet wide by 4 feet high. Think 80-100 standard size trash bags. Consider this dumpster for medium to large scale home cleanouts.

In addition to home and landscape debris, this dumpster size is ideal if you need to remove furniture like mattresses or couches. Additionally, this dumpster is for you if you need to do an integral home renovation. For example, this dumpster size is recommended for restoration after a flood or fire.

Dumpster Size: 20 Yards

Typical dimensions for a 20 cubic yard dumpster could be 14 feet long by 8 feet wide by 5 feet high. That’s comparable to 110-130 standard size trash bags.

This size dumpster is good for large amounts of furniture, debris, or other low-density material. Remember that toxic or highly flammable material is never allowed in a rental dumpster! These are things like old oil drums or anything with gasoline on it. 

Dumpster Size: 25 Yards

Typical dimensions for a 25 cubic yard dumpster are 14 feet long by 8 feet wide by 6 feet high. That is like 170-190 standard size trash bags!

This size dumpster is typically used by construction crews. It has the space to contain waste from large scale home cleanouts as well as major construction. Most homeowners will contract out to a construction company for services like these.

Now What?

Now that you have an idea of which dumpster size will fit your needs, here are some other logistical facts about how and where to get a dumpster. These tips will help you maximize the value of your dumpster. They will also assist you in making your final dumpster size decision.

When considering what size dumpster to get, always take into account:

  • Expected weight of your waste
  • The expected volume of your waste
  • Towing costs
  • Length of time you need it for

Weight of Waste

It is important to consider how much weight you are going to add to your dumpster. Think about this before you choose which size to rent! Most dumpster service prices will include a certain weight for each dumpster size. But if you exceed that target weight, you will have to pay extra.

So if you are disposing of low-density materials like roof shingles, you might not have to worry very much about weight. But certain higher density materials could ultimately end up affecting the price tag. If that is the case, you might be better off choosing a larger size.

Volume of Waste

This seems like an obvious one because you’re choosing your dumpster size based on the expected volume. But when making your estimate, you should try to be as exact as possible.

If you aren’t sure, always overestimate. If you fill your dumpster over the designated fill line, you can be charged extra. Better to pay for a slightly larger dumpster and ensure that all of your waste will be taken away!

Towing Costs

Most dumpster rental companies will drop off and pick up your dumpster for you. Just make sure to note whether these towing costs are included in the initial price or if they get added on later. Also, be sure to note if the towing price changes based on dumpster size! If they do, this may impact your dumpster size choice.

Length of Rental Time

Most dumpster rental companies will ask you two things. First, what size you need (hopefully you are starting to have an idea of that answer). And secondly, how long you need it. 

Why does this matter when choosing the size? It is most significant for ongoing projects. If you are going to have a large amount of waste in total, but won’t have it all at once, maybe you don’t need the largest size option. 

Some small scale homeowner projects only need a dumpster for a day or two. Larger construction projects will need dumpster access on an ongoing basis. Ask your dumpster rental company about their rates per day, week, or month. 

What Dumpster Size is Right for You?

Hopefully, now you have a better idea of what dumpster size is right for your needs. Home improvement and construction projects can be transformative and gratifying. But it is hard to appreciate the job well done until all of the debris is carted away.

Don’t wait around with waste on your hands or in your yard. Get started on renting the right size dumpster for you.

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