Complete Guide To Renting A Dumpster

Get Free Quote

If this is your first time renting a dumpster, then you're on the right page!

We'll help guide you through what questions to ask, how dumpster rental pricing works, and determining what size dumpster you'll need for your project.

Step 1

Identify Your Project Details

The first thing you'll want to do before you call a local dumpster rental company is to identify all the details of your project. Specifically, you'll need to know timeframes, debris types, approximate volume and size of the debris, and any coordination that needs to take place with potential third parties (for example contractors and laborers).

  • Timeframe: what date will you need the dumpster delivered and how long will you need to keep it? Most dumpster rental durations are between 7-14 days. If you need to keep it longer than that, you'll want to know what the pricing is for additional days.

  • Debris types: what materials will be going in the dumpster? If you're throwing away household junk, yard waste, or construction debris, you should have no issues renting a standard roll-off dumpster. However, if you're getting rid of inert materials like dirt or concrete, you'll need to communicate that to the dumpster rental company as these require special dumpsters called lowboys.

  • Coordination: if you need a dumpster on a specific date and are working with contractors, it's a good idea to have the dumpster delivered a day early. Most dumpster rental companies have multiple deliveries to handle daily and can't guarantee delivery times. That means your contractors or laborers could end up waiting on site for an entire day waiting for the dumpster to arrive. Plan ahead so you can be sure you have the dumpster when your proejct begins.

Step 2

Decide Where To Put The Dumpster

If you're renting a smaller dumpster like a 3-yard dumpster, you should have no issues with placement. The smaller dumpsters typically have wheels and can be easily maneuvered around your property. However, roll-off dumpsters are much different. Once the roll-off dumpster is dropped, you won't be able to move locations so it's important that you have a flat and secure surface with plenty of room for the roll-off truck to deliver it.

  • Driveways: most residential projects will have the dumpster delivered in the driveway. This helps workers load the dumpster quickly if they're working on your house and helps prevent strangers from loading your dumpster with their own debris.

  • Curbside: if you don't have a driveway or have minimal driveway space, another option is to have the dumpster placed on the street curbside. Some cities require dumpster rental permits so you'll want to confirm if your city falls into that category before you rent the dumpster.

  • Avoid Tight Spaces: keep in mind your dumpster will be delivered on a large roll-off truck. If you need your dumpster delivered in an alleyway or commercial garage, you'll need to communicate that to the rental company. If the truck is on-site and unable to fit in the tight space, you could incur dry-run costs (fees for being undeliverable).

  • Gate Codes: some residential and commercial properties require gate code access. If you're not planning on being on-site for delivery, you'll want to be sure you've given the dumpster rental company any gate codes so they can access the property.

Step 3

Gather Dumpster Rental Pricing & Sizes

Once you've identified your project details and decided where you want the dumpster placed, it's time to start gathering pricing information.

Be cautious with companies offering the cheapest prices as you may incur added fees for things like "extended service area" or "service fees".

Most pricing is offered as a "Base Rental Fee" which includes delivery and pickup of the dumpster, a specified rental period, and included tonnage.

Many people assume that dumpster rentals are a flat rate. However, most base fees will include a specified tonnage (ie. "3-tons included"). This means you'll be able to fill your dumpster with the included tonnage, but incur additional per ton fees for anything over what is included.

Select your dumpster size: after gathering the pricing information you'll select the dumpster size that suits your project needs. Most rental companies offer multiple sizes ranging from 3-yards to 40-yards.

Dumpster sizes:

Step 4

Load The Dumpster

Once your dumpster has been delivered, you'll want to start loading it as soon as possible to ensure you're job is complete within the given rental period.

  • Condense: if you're getting rid of cardboard boxes, wood pieces, or other debris that can be condensed, be sure to do so before you load it into the dumpster. Do NOT overload your dumpster. Most dumpsters will have a fill line, but if not, be sure not to have any debris that extends beyond the top line of the dumpster. This can result in overload fees or refusal to pick up the dumpster until it is properly loaded. 

  • Avoid hazardous materials & restricted items: DO NOT load the dumpster with paints, oils, batteries, electronics, and other hazardous materials. This can result in substantial fees. If you have questionable items like mattresses or tires, be sure to notify the dumpster rental company prior! Most companies will provide a comprehensive list of prohibited items. However, if you still have questions, be sure to confirm what you can and cannot throw away in your dumpster with the company you're working with.

Step 5

Pickup & Final Billing

Once you're done with the dumpster, it's time to schedule your pickup. There are generally a few options available for pickup depending on the dumpster rental company you're working with.

  • Preschedule: if you know what date you need the dumpster picked up in advance, you can usually communicate that when you're booking the dumpster.

  • Call for pickup: many companies simply request that you give them a call when you're ready for pickup. Be sure when you're done you make the initial call - otherwise, the company may assume you're still using the dumpster and charge for additional days.

  • Online scheduling: some companies provide customers with online options for scheduling pickups. Confirm which methods are available to you prior to scheduling your rental.

  • Final weight & fees: once your dumpster is picked up it can take a few days for the final dump fees and weight to be calculated and processed from the landfill. If you have questions, you can always reach out to the dumpster rental company to request the final weight and charges that will be processed.

Get a Free Quote.

Use our online booking tool to book your dumpster online.

Takes less than a minute!

Get Free Quote