What Size Dumpster Do I Need?

Colorful roll off container

Perhaps you’re remodeling a kitchen or you’re embarking on an extensive spring cleaning that accrues piles of furniture items and old clothing a day. Regardless of your reason, you find yourself with too much to throw out than you can easily wrangle into a 13-gallon trash bag. What can you do?

You can rent various types of dumpsters.

A dumpster rental company with waste management services make large projects and commercial waste easier to manage—simply rent a dumpster, deposit your trash, and have it hauled away. If this sounds like the type of solution you need, then there’s one question you have to ask yourself: What size dumpster do I need? The answer will depend on your specific project, but this guide can help you make the right decision.

The Different Sizes of Dumpster

All dumpsters tend to have a similar rectangular shape, but they can vary quite a bit in size and volume. Choosing the right dumpster size comes down to a few factors, but the first is knowing whether the items you need to dispose of will fit. With that in mind, let’s give you a better sense of different dumpster sizes:1

  • 10 cubic yards – A 10 yard dumpster is 10 feet by 8 feet by 3.5 feet. If you’re working on a smaller project or medium-sized project, this dumpster will probably suffice. Its ten-foot length will hold most household items and with a weight capacity of 1 ton (2,000 pounds), it can haul quite a bit. Also, as it’s often the smallest size, it will be a less expensive option.
  • 15 cubic yards – 12 feet by 8 feet by 4 feet. The weight capacity of this dumpster is similar to the 10 cubic yard variety at about 1 ton. The main difference is that you get 2 extra feet of length and half a foot in height so if you have multiple large items, the extra space may be just what you’re looking for.
  • 20 cubic yards – 20 feet by 8 feet by 3.5 feet. Larger projects will call for a larger dumpster and with an extra 10 feet in length over a 10 cubic yard dumpster, this container size delivers. In addition, this 20 cubic yard dumpster has a weight capacity that is double that of the smaller varieties, coming in at around 2 tons (4,000 pounds).
  • 30 cubic yards – 22 feet by 8 feet by 5 feet. Also with a 2-ton weight capacity, this size adds two feet of additional length and 1.5 feet of height over the 20 cubic yard version. This larger dumpster may be good for an extensive remodel and could potentially handle the detritus from your whole house.
  • 40 cubic yards – A 40 yard dumpster is 23 feet by 8 feet by 7 feet. The largest size of a standard dumpster, this can handle 4 tons (8,000 pounds) of weight and should be able to fit just about anything you can throw at it. For the biggest projects, this is the commercial dumpster you need.

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Clean Concrete Dumpsters

For some projects, you’ll have a lot of concrete, tile, brick, or construction debris as opposed to trash. 10 and 20 cubic yard concrete dumpsters are also available to rent and they each have high weight capacities of about 10 tons. They also come at a lower price. However, they are not intended for mixed-use, so everything in them must be the same. This means they’re more of a specialty item.

Factors to Consider

While knowing the sizes of standard dumpsters should help you to decide what’s the right dumpster size for your project, there are a few additional components to consider:2

  • Unforeseen garbage – If you’re executing a spring cleaning, you’ll be able to create an inventory of everything you plan to throw out. However, for a home renovation, the process itself will create garbage. Be sure to factor that “hidden” garbage in when deciding how much you’ll need to dispose of.
  • Weight limits – If you’re throwing out your collection of anvils, it doesn’t matter how many you can fit in the size of a 10 yard dumpster. Once you hit the weight limit, you’re at capacity and anything else will cost you, even if there’s still room in the dumpster.
  • Items that can’t go in a dumpster – Most items are fine to put into a dumpster so long as they fit, but not all items. Anything that is considered hazardous cannot be disposed of using a dumpster. That means you’ll have to check and follow proper disposal protocol when throwing out your leftover, half-full paint cans. You may want to learn how to clean a dumpster before returning it.
  • Where will your dumpster go – You may have enough junk to fill a 40 yard dumpster. But if you don’t have well over 23 feet of space (we recommend at least twice the dumpster size) to put the dumpster, then you shouldn’t be renting it. It may mean you’ll need to dispose of things in separate loads. That said, having enough space to easily fit your desired dumpster size is an absolute necessity. 

Ask the Experts at ASAP Site Services

When it comes to choosing the right dumpster size for the job, we recommend that you evaluate how much commercial or construction waste you expect to produce, as well as consider residual garbage, weight limits, space requirements, and dumpster-unfriendly materials.

At ASAP Site Services, we have roll-off dumpsters available to rent that will fit any project. Take a look at our roll-off dumpster options to decide what’s right for your needs. And, if you still have questions, give us a call. We’ll be happy to talk through your project and give you our recommendation as to the dumpster that will be the perfect fit for you.

Sources: 

  1. ASAP Site Services. What Size Roll-Off Dumpster Do I Need? https://www.asapsiteservices.com/roll-off-dumpster-rentals/what-size-roll-off-dumpster/ 
  2. Moving.com. Dumpster Rental Size Guide: What Size Do You Need? https://www.moving.com/tips/dumpster-rental-size-guide-what-size-do-you-need/  

 

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