How to Rent a Dumpster


If you have never rented a dumpster before, it may seem terrifying to think about the whole process you need to go through. However, there is no need to worry because, in reality, renting a dumpster is easy and hassle-free.

Nowadays, renting a dumpster unit has become more accessible, especially if you have an internet connection and a mobile phone. All the details you need to know about renting a dumpster unit for waste management can be found online—even applying for the rental can be done seamlessly on various online websites.

There are a lot of dumpster rental companies nowadays who will gladly accommodate you and provide you with the best dumpster rental option for your concerns. Check out a dumpster rental company right here in the Houston area—they even offer same-day delivery!

Before you begin your dumpster rental journey, you must equip yourself with the knowledge to make the right decisions along the way.

There are a lot of factors to consider when preparing to rent a dumpster unit. Read on to learn more.

Some Things to Consider Before Renting a Dumpster

You should be prepared with the details before you consult with a dumpster rental company.

Take your time to determine the kind of dumpster you want to use. It would be best to estimate how much waste will go into your dumpster over a specific amount of time. Then, when you know how much debris or garbage you'll be throwing out, you can use that to figure out what dumpster size you will get. Dumpster size varies in different dumpster rental companies.

If you're deciding on this yourself, you must also research if you need specific permits to keep a dumpster unit at your home and where to obtain these permits. Researching permits required before renting a dumpster unit will save you time and money in the long run by helping you avoid legal inconveniences.

Getting quotes beforehand will help you visualize how much your rental will be. The dumpster rental will need details such as your purpose for renting, the dumpster size you need, what kind of materials you'll be throwing in the dumpster, the date and time you need the dumpster delivered, and your contact information.

When looking for an appropriate dumpster rental company for your dumpster needs, ensure that you have checked their reviews. You can also research the company's background, usually available online, or ask people who have had experience with that specific company before. When talking to people who have rented dumpster units before, you can also ask them for dumpster rental recommendations.

Don't forget to confirm the rental period with the dumpster rental company. You should know how long you can rent out a dumpster unit and when the dumpster rental company will pick it up. Having your rental period on a schedule allows you to manage your time when gathering your waste. Usually, the dumpster rental company schedules a date with you to pick up the dumpster unit, and you should have your dumpster unit ready to be transported by that time.

Weight limits are also something you should keep in mind. If your dumpster is too heavy or does not comply with the weight limits set by the dumpster rental company or your local and state laws, you may be charged a certain amount. Weight limits vary depending on the dumpster rental company, so ensure you inquire about this before renting out their dumpster units.

Lastly, you should consider an alternative disposal system if you plan on throwing out hazardous waste. Dumping hazardous waste in a dumpster should ideally not be practiced since these have to be treated to avoid causing harm to people and the environment over time.

Now, let's get into the details.

Dumpster Types

A dumpster's primary purpose is to hold waste or garbage—more trash than a household garbage bin can contain. There are numerous types of dumpsters, apart from the traditional dumpsters you’ve probably observed around your neighborhood, all used to hold trash from different activities.

Here are the other kinds of dumpsters:

Temporary Roll-off Dumpsters

A temporary roll-off dumpster or container usually has a set of swinging doors. The set of doors is located on its side, unlike the standard dumpster, which generally has a covering or door on top. The location of the doors on a temporary roll-off dumpster allows easy hauling of oversized and heavy items. It also has rollers on its bottom to make it easier to move around and transport. Usually, wooden planks are used to prevent damaging your driveway, street, or general floor area. These are delivered via a truck using a large hook and pulley system and placed wherever convenient.

Common Reasons for Renting a Temporary Roll-off Dumpster

In addition to that, here are some common reasons people rent out a temporary roll-off dumpster:

1. Cleaning out the basement, garage, and attic

2. Spring cleaning

3. Moving out or decluttering items

4. Throwing out yard waste

5. Throwing out debris from replacements (roofs, windows, sidings, etc.)

6. Throwing out debris from repairs

7. Getting rid of debris from home remodeling projects

8. Construction projects

Construction Dumpsters

Construction dumpsters are sometimes also known as temporary roll-off dumpsters. They usually hold 10 to 40 cubic yards of waste or debris, typically for large-scale projects or clean-ups—that's why they’re called construction dumpsters. However, unlike the standard roll-off dumpster, the construction dumpsters are much bigger and have an opening on top.

Commercial Dumpsters

A lot of businesses use commercial dumpsters. These are permanent dumpsters, unlike the two previous temporary dumpsters discussed above. They are rented for an extended period, and waste is picked up from the business establishment or company on a set schedule.

Commercial dumpsters usually have a lid on top, unlike the construction dumpster, which has none, and the temporary roll-off dumpster, which has a set of doors on one side. The lid on top helps discourage other people from throwing their garbage into a business-rented dumpster unit and prevents other things like animals, pests, snow, and rain from getting inside. A lid also helps keep it sanitary and prevent the spread of odor in the surrounding areas—you don't want your business smelling like garbage!

Dumpster Sizes

Dumpster sizes are diverse, and the variations depend mostly on the dumpster provider or rental company.

The sizing is measured by cubic yards. If you're wondering how that is computed: one yard is three feet or 36 inches. A cubic yard measures the volume of material that can fit in an area that is one yard wide by one yard deep by one yard high, according to Today's (click here to use a cubic yard calculator). Basically, the cubic yard measurement shows the volume of waste or other materials that a dumpster unit can hold.

The most common sizes of dumpsters and their dimensions are the 10-yard dumpster (8 ft x 3.5 ft x 12 ft), 20-yard dumpster (8 ft x 4 ft x 22 ft), 30-yard dumpster (8 ft x 6 ft x 22 ft), and 40-yard dumpster (8 ft x 8 ft x 22 ft).

It is understandably challenging to determine what dumpster size you need until your project is done, so it's always better to opt for a bigger size, if possible. When you choose a slightly bigger dumpster, you won't be inconvenienced by an unanticipated volume of waste or debris since you'll have extra space for it.

The following are top uses for different dumpster sizes to help you determine what dumpster size is best to rent for your project:

10 Yards

The 10-yard (or 8 ft x 3.5 ft x 12 ft) dumpster size can be utilized when you clean out a small basement, attic, or garage. This dumpster size is also good for small room remodeling jobs, 250 sq ft or smaller, deck removal, and can fit 1,500 sq ft of a single layer of roof shingles.

15-20 Yards

For clean-outs of small-to-medium sized basements, attics, or garages, 15-20-yard dumpster sizes are the way to go. You can also use this to hold waste or debris from large-scale carpeting or flooring removal and 300-400 sq ft deck removals. They can also contain between 2,500-3,000 sq ft of roof shingles.

30-40 Yards

Lastly, the 30-40-yard dumpster size is the largest dumpster size available for rent. This is best for major projects like demolitions, home construction and renovations (such as replacements of all the windows or sidings of your home), tear-off of commercial roofs, and office building clean-outs.

Best Value Dumpster Tips

Who wouldn't want to get the best value out of their expenses? Now that you are aware that there are numerous factors to consider when preparing to rent a dumpster unit, know that these are the same factors that determine your final dumpster rental price.


Dumpster rental pricing depends on the dumpster size, the type of waste you'll be disposing of, and the weight limits set by your chosen dumpster rental company. Here are some tips to consider:


If you're in doubt, always size up. It's more expensive to rent two 10-yard dumpsters, especially if you realize you need extra space after the first one has already been delivered to you. Get the 20-yard dumpster unit instead—you'll have extra space for the unforeseen volume of waste, and you'll avoid additional fees!

Type of Waste

Clean load your dumpster, so it can be recycled or reused at your local landfill or recycling facility!

Never heard of the term "Clean Load"? Well, when a dumpster is "clean loaded," it means it contains only one specific type of waste or debris, such as concrete, drywall, wood, and roof shingles, among others.

Inquire with your chosen dumpster rental company to see if they have recycling options. Usually, these companies have direct connections or partnerships with landfills or recycling facilities. You can save more money by segregating your material waste compared to dumping everything in one dumpster unit because it costs less to recycle materials than to dispose of them as a whole. Apart from saving money, you can rest easy knowing you contributed to building future infrastructures with the materials reused from your projects.

Weight Limits

Take note of dumpster weight allowances. There will be extra charges if you exceed your dumpster weight limits. Normally, household junk tends to weigh lighter than the junk you'd acquire from large-scale projects such as construction, reconstruction, or house renovations. Be aware of what you load into your dumpster to avoid additional fees or fines in your area. Your chosen dumpster rental company should be able to assist you in estimating the volume of your waste.

Explore Your Options

Reach out to three or more dumpster rental companies. You can list the pros and cons of various companies and ultimately decide which company offers the best services for your needs.

Terms and Conditions

Ask questions about your rental terms and conditions. It's better to be aware of such details beforehand to avoid unexpected fees or charges.

Some essential subjects to discuss with your contractor are: What is the weight limit for a certain price? What kinds of debris are allowed or prohibited inside the dumpster? Can pick-up be arranged before the end of the rental period? Will protection, such as wooden planks under the dumpster, be provided for my property or driveway?

Sometimes, you will fill up your dumpster way before your rental period ends, so it would be convenient if you could coordinate with your dumpster provider regarding pick-up.

Additional fees will sometimes be charged if you mix a certain kind of debris with common household junk, for example. Clarify what things are allowed or not inside your rented dumpster unit. Read on to learn about the general rules regarding this.

General Rules on Dumpster Content

Please do not overlook the Terms and Conditions of your chosen dumpster rental company because, in essence, their rules hold over the common or general rules on dumpster content.

Provided in the following are what is generally accepted in terms of what you dump in your rented container:

What Kind of Waste Is Allowed in the Dumpsters?

General waste is allowed in dumpsters. This pertains to materials such as paper, cardboard, clothing, household junk, furniture, and inorganic waste (glass, aluminum cans, and plastic, to name a few).

For bigger projects, sometimes materials are required to be "clean loaded." For example, materials such as roof shingles, drywall, wood, rocks, and concrete should be dumped in separate dumpsters so they can be recycled. Sending these materials to recycling helps in lessening your disposal costs.

What Kind of Waste Is NOT Allowed in the Dumpsters?

Never put hazardous waste in dumpsters. Hazardous materials and waste undergo a much more complicated and longer process to dispose of properly. Inquire with your chosen dumpster provider or in your local area on the proper way to dispose of items such as liquids, food, batteries, paints, solvents, and appliances.

The General Dumpster Rental Process

You are now ready to begin your dumpster rental journey. The dumpster rental process is simple enough. After researching and deciding on the dumpster rental company you want, you can take the following steps to ensure that everything goes smoothly throughout your rental period.

Schedule the Dumpster Delivery

Coordinate a date and time with your chosen dumpster rental company. Let them know when you need the dumpster unit and your purpose for using it.

Specify where you want the dumpster to be dropped off—whether on your driveway or somewhere else on your property. Take steps to prepare the area where the dumpster will be placed.

Double check if the dumpster size is fit for your project, and schedule the delivery at least a day before you start it.

Don't be afraid to back out if the dumpster rental company cannot provide your dumpster on the date that you need it because you can always call another company that is willing to deliver.

Fill up Your Dumpster

You can begin loading your waste into the dumpster once it has been placed where you wanted it. Plan out how you throw your debris or garbage—segregate your materials, clean load them, if you can, and never mix in hazardous wastes.

Schedule the Dumpster Pick-Up

When you have filled up your dumpster, or you're done with your project and no longer need it, you can contact your chosen dumpster rental company to schedule pick-up.

Don't worry if it is before the end of your rental period. It's better to have your junk hauled off as soon as possible so you can start cleaning up your area and they can begin the disposal process.

Their pick-up team should arrive promptly, place a hook on your dumpster, and load it onto their truck. You may be charged for any delays in the pick-up, so make sure your dumpster is accessible. Return your dumpster on time and ensure it is in good condition.

Again, be mindful of your dumpster weight limits to avoid additional charges. Adhering to the weight limit also guarantees the successful pick-up of your rented dumpster unit.


If it's your first time dealing with dumpster rentals, you'll find that it's generally easy to book one and manage its use as long as you have all the details and schedules laid out.

Ensure you have done enough research on the numerous dumpster rental companies and get quotes from them to help you choose the most fitting service and dumpster unit for your project. Also, clarify delivery and pick-up schedules and processes, so you can use your dumpster rental unit when you need it.

Be mindful of the terms and conditions set by your chosen dumpster rental company regarding pricing and rules on what is allowed or not in your dumpster unit. Remember that there are additional costs and charges if you do not adhere to these.

Make sure you return your dumpster unit in good condition and that it is easily accessible upon pickup to avoid delays and other fees.

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