Residential Dumpsters Guide

Residential Dumpsters: Your Comprehensive Guide

Everything you need to know before your rent a residential dumpster.

Welcome to QuickDumpsters’ comprehensive guide to residential dumpsters. In this article, we’ll provide an in-depth overview of an essential but often overlooked aspect of home management, renovations, and clean-ups.

Whether you're a homeowner, a renter, or a residential contractor, understanding the ins and outs of residential dumpster rentals can help you easily tackle your projects and simplify the waste management process.

Residential dumpsters come in various sizes and types. Each dumpster is designed to fit specific needs, be it a small home clean-out, garage clean-out, or a large-scale renovation project.

But how do you know which one to choose? What materials can go in a residential dumpster? How much will it cost? What are the local laws and regulations? Do you need a permit?

In this article we aim to answer these questions and many more, serving as a one-stop resource for all things related to residential dumpsters. We’ll answer every aspect you need to consider—from the cost of renting a dumpster, placement, the ordering process, what materials you can and cannot dispose of, and how to choose the right size for your residential project.

This guide will help simplify your decision-making process, giving you the confidence you need to choose the best dumpster rental option for your home project.

How Much Does a Residential Dumpster Cost?

If you’re a contractor, roofer, or work in a profession where you regularly rent residential dumpsters, you likely already have an idea of how to estimate the costs associated with renting a dumpster.

For the rest of us though, it helps to have an understanding of the primary factors that influence the overall cost.

Factors Affecting Cost

Size of the Dumpster

Residential dumpsters come in a variety of sizes. In general, the larger the dumpster the higher the base pricing. Common dumpster sizes include 3-yard, 10-yard, 20-yard, 30-yard, and 40-yard containers.

Additionally, each dumpster has varying weight and volume capacities-with larger dumpsters being able to hold the most weight. Oftentimes each dumpster will be priced with “included tons”.

For example, a 10-yard residential dumpster might be priced at $600 with your first 2 tons of debris disposal included and a fixed rate per additional ton. 

Duration of the Rental

Another significant impact on costs to rent a residential dumpster will be the rental duration. Most dumpster rentals include a standard 7-day or 14-day rental period included in the base cost.

If you need to keep the dumpster for longer than the standard rental period, many companies offer a daily, weekly, or monthly extended rental for additional fees. Be sure to ask about extended rental costs. Oftentimes you can save money by opting for an additional week or month over a daily extended rental.


Longer travel distances may incur additional delivery charges, especially in rural or hard-to-reach areas. If you’re in a major metropolitan area like Los Angeles or Denver, you’ll have access to several dumpster rental companies servicing residential and commercial customers.

Be sure to consider the distance from the rental facility to your residence as longer distances tend to be more expensive.

Residential Dumpsters Debris Types

Types of Materials

Residential dumpster rentals charge for weight on a per-ton basis. The types of materials you’re disposing of will have a significant impact on the overall weight of your dumpster at the landfill.

For example, a home cleanout with miscellaneous junk and debris will likely weigh much less than a residential remodel project which often includes heavier materials like plaster, wood, and other building materials.

Price Ranges

As mentioned above, the price of your dumpster will vary depending on a variety of factors including materials, location, rental period, and size. However, as a general guideline, you can expect the following price ranges:

  • Small residential dumpsters (3-yard, 5-yard, 10-yard): $200 - $500
  • Medium residential dumpsters (15-yard, 20-yard): $500 - $600
  • Large residential dumpsters (30-yard, 40-yard): $600 - $1,000

Additional Fees

It's important to be familiar with the additional fees associated with your dumpster rental - especially in the case when you’re renting for a residential project and don’t have a manager or general contractor handling the rental.

Here’s a breakdown of the additional fees you should consider:

  • Weight overage charges: if your dumpster exceeds the allotted weight included in the base price of the rental. For example, you rent a 40-yard residential dumpster with 3 tons included but you fill it with 5 tons of debris. In this instance, you’ll be charged for the additional 2-tons.
  • Late fees: If you fail to return your dumpster within the allotted standard rental period (for example 7-days or 14-days) you may incur late fees. These fees generally range anywhere from $10/day - $50/day depending on your area.
  • Material disposal fees: Certain items like mattresses and appliances can incur a per-item fee at the landfill. Make sure you mention any items like these beforehand so you can take the per-item cost into consideration.

Tips for Saving Money

We’ve outlined the costs associated with renting a residential dumpster. But, how about some tips on saving money and how to make the most cost-effective decision? 

Here are a few considerations to help save you some hard-earned cash:

Short-term vs. Long-term Rental

As mentioned above, most companies offer standard 7-day or 14-day rental periods. However, there are companies that offer short-term daily rentals if you have a project that only takes a day or so to complete (like a garage clean-out for example).

Additionally, if you know beforehand that you’ll need the dumpster for an extended period, many companies offer monthly rental rates that are much cheaper than paying a daily extended rate. Always inquire before you book your rental to see what options are available and suit your project.

Off-Season Discounts

Like most businesses, the dumpster rental business experiences seasonality. Many residential customers for example remodel homes, landscape their yards, and tackle Spring cleaning projects in the Summer and Spring seasons.

In Winter months, business tends to slow down, and to accommodate for the lighter workload companies may offer a discount to their customers.

3-Yard Dumpster Rentals

Rent a 3-Yard Residential Dumpster

Call 1-800-674-8227

How Close Can a Dumpster Be to a Residence?

As a homeowner, your city likely provides you with weekly trash and recycling services to dispose of your household waste. Each week you place your trash cans curbside and the waste services provider empties the cans. Residential dumpsters however aren’t always as simple. 

Some cities have legal restrictions, require permits, or even have certain waste management companies they’ve contracted that you’re supposed to work with.

Legal Restrictions

In contrast to your weekly curbside trash pickup, residential dumpsters, and roll-off dumpsters may be subject to state and local laws dictating how close they can be placed to a residence, roadway, or other structures such as office buildings and commercial space.

If you plan on placing your dumpster in a public right of way such as a street or alleyway you may be required to obtain a dumpster rental permit. HOAs (Home Owner Associations) may also have their own rules and regulations regarding where dumpsters can be placed in residential areas.

Oftentimes these rules are in place in order to keep the disturbance to a minimum for your neighbors! It's always a good idea to check with your local HOA or public works department to see what requirements need to be met in order to have your dumpster delivered to your residential property.

Practical Considerations

Ease of Access for Loading and Unloading

Once you’ve combed through any legal restrictions and understand the local code pertaining to dumpster rentals, you’ll want to choose a convenient location for your dumpster. This is an essential step that makes the delivery, loading, and pickup of the dumpster go smoothly. 

Here are a few considerations for loading and uploading your dumpster:

  • Make sure the area is easily accessible for the driver to deliver and pick up the dumpster. If you’re planning on having it delivered in an alleyway, one-way street, garage, or area where parking is limited, you’ll want to notify the driver beforehand so they can prepare in advance.
  • Clear enough room for larger residential dumpsters with doors to open and close. 30-yard and 40-yard dumpsters are often 4-6 feet in height. For this reason, there are doors on one end of the dumpster to make it easy to walk in heavy items like couches or appliances. Be sure there is room on your property for the doors to open.

Consider Your Neighbors

Construction projects are usually accompanied by a large amount of debris and noise. Adding a large dumpster in front of your home can be an additional eye-sore for the neighbors.

Be sure to communicate with them beforehand!

Let your neighbors know that you plan on renting a dumpster and how long you plan on keeping it there. This will help avoid complaints and potential conflicts that would otherwise impede your project.

Safety Concerns

While you certainly want to consider placing the dumpster in an easily accessible location, you should also consider it a potential safety issue.

If you have kids, or pets or loading the dumpster with construction debris there are some hazards you should be aware of:

  • Fire Hazard: Residential dumpsters filled with construction debris can be potential fire hazards. Especially during the dry and hot summer months, make sure your dumpster is a safe distance from your home to avoid the risk of a dumpster fire.
  • Toxic Materials: While most dumpsters don’t allow for toxic chemicals explicitly, there may be traces of these substances on the discarded materials. 
  • Surface Damage: A fully filled dumpster can weigh in excess of 10 tons causing damage to your driveway or lawn. Do your best to clear a hard and flat surface for the dumpster and if necessary place some plywood or wood planks beneath the wheels to help prevent indents and other unwanted damage to the property.

How to Get a Dumpster at My House

Now that we’ve gone through all the legal and pricing considerations for your dumpster rental, you’re probably wondering “How do I get a dumpster to my house?”. Next, we’ll break down the research and delivery process so you can prepare to have the dumpster delivered to your house.

Research Phase

Types of Dumpsters Available

Residential dumpsters typically come in different sizes, ranging from 3 cubic yards, designed for smaller clean-ups, up to 40 cubic yards, designed for larger home renovations.

As mentioned above, each size comes with its associated costs, so it's important to properly estimate your waste output in order to choose the proper dumpster.

Recommended Companies

When choosing your dumpster rental company there are a few things you should consider:

  • Transparent pricing: Avoid unexpected costs like delivery charges, environmental fees, and fuel costs by asking for pricing upfront. Make sure the price you get is the “all in” price. Some dumpster rental companies will give you a rate over the phone and tack on additional fees when it's time to sign the contract.
  • Customer service: Make sure you have a direct contact at the company you’re renting from. If there are any issues with the dumpster, the delivery date, etc. you’ll want to have someone you can reach out to directly to make any necessary arrangements.

Ordering Process

Online vs. Phone Orders

Most dumpster rental companies have updated technology that allows customers to order their dumpster rentals directly online.

While this is convenient, you may have special instructions or additional concerns that would be better addressed to a customer service representative who can customize your request. In some cases, it might make reasonable sense to call the company directly versus placing your order online.

Information You’ll Need to Provide

Prepare to book your dumpster in advance by having the following information handy:

  • Size of the Dumpster: As determined by your research.
  • Rental Duration: How long do you need it? Will you need to extend your rental?
  • Delivery Address: Exact location, noting any access issues or restrictions such as limited parking, narrow driveway, etc. Also, note whether you want curbside or driveway placement.
  • Type of Waste: Especially if you have special or hazardous waste items. Learn more about different types of waste.

Delivery and Pickup

What to Expect on Delivery and Pickup Days

The day has come! Here is what you can expect on delivery and pickup days:

  • Service Window: Typically you’ll be provided with an expected delivery or pickup window. Most companies start their service early in the morning (sometimes as early as 5 AM). 
  • Dumpster Placement: Be sure the predetermined location for the dumpster to be placed is clear of any obstructions. If you need to, block off a section of the street with cones to ensure the area is accessible to the driver and dumpster.
  • Inform Your Neighbors: If parking is limited, inform your neighbors you have a dumpster being delivered and do not park their vehicles in the designated area.
  • Have Your Phone Handy: Occasionally, the driver may have difficulty locating your address or accessing the designated area. Be sure to have your phone handy in case the driver needs to get a hold of you for assistance.

What Can You Put in a Residential Dumpster?

At the time you book your dumpster rental, you likely communicate the types of debris you expect to dispose of. But oftentimes, there are a few items you’re not sure you can throw away.

Don’t worry; in this section, we’ll go through what items are generally permitted in residential dumpsters and some special considerations you should be aware of.

Permitted Materials

  • Household Trash: General waste from your home like packaging, paper, and food waste (if the rental company allows it) is usually fine.
  • Furniture: Old sofas, chairs, tables, and other furniture are commonly accepted. Read more about how to dispose of old furniture.
  • Construction Debris: If you're renovating or doing a home improvement project, materials like wood, drywall, and metal are usually permitted.
  • Yard Waste: Leaves, grass clippings, and small branches can typically go into the dumpster.

Restricted Items Not Permitted

While dumpsters can handle a wide variety of waste, there are some things that are typically off-limits due to environmental, health, and hazard reasons. The following are materials that you can NOT put in a residential dumpster:

  • Hazardous Waste: Chemicals, oils, batteries, and other hazardous materials usually cannot be disposed of in a residential dumpster.
  • Flammable Materials: Items like gasoline, propane tanks, and certain cleaning agents are generally not allowed.
  • Certain Electronics: Many companies prohibit or restrict items like TVs, computer monitors, and refrigerators due to the chemicals inside them that can leak into the soil of the landfill and contaminate the air.

Special Considerations

Some materials and items such as mattresses or large appliances may be allowed in the dumpster, but they come with additional fees.

Be sure to ask upfront what the associated costs are with putting these items in the dumpster as most companies will charge a “per-item” fee:

  • Appliances: Many companies will accept appliances but may charge an additional fee due to the Freon or other chemicals they contain.
  • Tires: Some services allow tire disposal but generally charge an additional fee.
  • Mattresses: These can sometimes be disposed of in dumpsters but might incur an extra charge.
  • Heavy Materials: Concrete, bricks, and large volumes of dirt usually have special requirements due to their weight. If you have inert materials like dirt or concrete, there is a special dumpster called a lowboy dumpster that can safely handle the added weight.

If you’re not sure whether or not certain materials or items can go in your dumpster you should always ask! Doing so will save you time and money and ensure the pickup of your dumpster goes smoothly.

Apartment Dumpster Size

As opposed to a typical homeowner’s property, apartment complexes come with their own set of challenges and considerations. With usually limited parking and curbside space, it's important to know the varying dumpster sizes and take these challenges into consideration.

Different Sizes Available

The most common dumpster size for apartment complexes is the 3-yard dumpster. This dumpster is about 5ft * 4ft* 6ft and comes with wheels and a lid.

The 3-yard dumpster is ideal for apartment complexes because it's easily maneuverable and can be placed in tight spaces like garages or parking structures that allow for easy access for tenants.

Factors to Consider for Apartment Dumpsters

Space Availability

As we noted, most apartment complexes have limited space and accessibility. If you need to rent a dumpster to clean out your apartment for a move or get rid of your junk, be sure to notify your landlord in advance so they can make necessary arrangements and notify other tenant

Types and Volume of Waste

For permanent service and weekly waste disposal, usually, a 3-yard dumpster is suitable and can be emptied on a regular predetermined basis. 

Tips for Apartment Renters

Sharing Dumpsters

With multiple tenants, it can be cost-effective to share your dumpster with a neighbor. Whether they’re moving or cleaning out junk, coordinating with your neighbor in advance can help save space at the apartment complex and save you money!

Coordinating With Property Management

Whether you’re renting a 3-yard dumpster or a roll-off, your landlord won’t be happy if they have a dumpster taking up valuable space at the apartment complex.

Make sure to notify them in advance so they can provide you with special instructions, dumpster placement, etc. to avoid potential issues.

While renting an apartment dumpster is similar to renting a dumpster for homeowners, there are certainly more logistical complexities that need to be navigated beforehand. With these tips in mind, you'll be better prepared to make an informed decision.

Additional Resources

Here are a few helpful resources that you can access online:


We’ve covered in depth all the necessary considerations required to rent a residential dumpster for your home or apartment.

From estimating costs, legal and local regulations, safety, and acceptable materials, you should be better prepared to make an informed decision.

If you have any questions about a residential dumpster rental, we’re here to help!

For questions call 1-800-674-8227.