Last Update Jan 14, 2023 @ 9:05 pm

No matter what type of project you’re planning, a dumpster is one of the most important tools you will end up needing. Without it, trash and waste will pile up quickly, creating a hazardous and unnecessary situation that can easily be avoided. In order to make sure you don’t spend more money than you need to, it’s important to choose the right size dumpster.  

One mistake that is easy to make when it comes to dumpsters is to underestimate the amount of space you will need, which can lead to a dangerous situation where you are trying to shove more and more trash in a space that is too small. If you’re not sure which of two sizes you need, the smartest option is to go with the slightly larger one, as this will be easier and cheaper than having to rent a smaller dumpster twice. For example, it’s more economical to order a 30 cubic yard dumpster once and only fill up 20 yards of it, rather than ordering a 15 yard dumpster twice.

Things to Consider

When you begin planning your project and figuring out which size dumpster you will need, there are a few important things to consider.  

  1. How much trash will you be getting rid of?
  2. What type of trash is it?
  3. Where will the dumpster be located?

While it can be difficult to estimate how much trash you will produce in the end, there are some ways to estimate. For example, let’s take a look at some information about the most common dumpster sizes and the corresponding projects that would work well with them.  

10 cubic yard dumpster

This is, typically, the smallest size of temporary roll-off dumpster that is available. This size is perfect for projects like a room cleanout, yard work, or smaller loads of heavy material like bricks. This size of dumpster can hold about 50-70 standard-sized household trash bags, and it is a great choice for smaller projects that won’t produce extreme amounts of waste. Prices vary, but the average cost for this size of dumpster is around $400 per load.  

15 cubic yard dumpster 

A 15 cubic yard dumpster is perfect for projects like single-room renovation, mid-sized loads of heavy materials, or a backyard project like tearing out a deck. This dumpster will hold 80-100 average household bags of trash, and a typical cost for this size of dumpster will be around $500 per load, although prices vary.  

20 cubic yard dumpster

The 20 yard dumpster is one of the most popular sizes overall, as it falls nicely in between the smaller and larger sizes, and can be used for a vast range of projects. Some of these include roofing jobs, home cleanouts, demolition projects, or a total kitchen/bathroom remodel. This size dumpster holds between 110-130 household-sized trash bags, and a typical cost is about $600 per load.

30 cubic yard dumpster

The 30 yard dumpster is getting into the top tier of sizes and can accommodate almost any home project. These work well for total home or estate cleanouts, room addition jobs, or complete backyard renovations. This size holds between 170-190 trash bags, and a typical cost is about $700 per load.

40 cubic yard dumpster

This is, typically, the largest size dumpster that is commercially available. This massive dumpster can accommodate jobs like commercial building cleanouts, total home renovations, or any type of general construction work. This size dumpster holds between 230-250 trash bags, and an average cost is about $800 per load.  

Location and Pricing

Once you have a rough estimate of what types of waste and how much volume you will be producing, you can begin to select the right size for you. Some variables that can affect the total cost, besides the sizing, are:

  • “Clean loading” with only one type of material or recyclable materials can lower costs.
  • How difficult it is to access the location or the distance from the pickup site.
  • Exceeding the weight limit can raise costs, which is why it’s important to choose the right size and not overfill a size that is too small.
  • Landfill fees or other permit fees in your area, as well as the cost of living where you are located can affect cost.
  • The length of time you will require the dumpster to be on site.  

The last thing to consider when choosing a dumpster is the available space you have for it. There must be an accessible, level area for the dumpster to fit in, which can be easily accessed by a truck. Delivery trucks typically require about 60 feet of space in a straight line, and you’ll need about 11 feet from side to side where the dumpster is located.  

While you might be able to place it in the street, this can require additional permits. If you’re considering renting a dumpster, contact a local company today and they will be happy to help figure out the perfect size for you!

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