Your Guide On Different Types of Dumpsters

Different Types of Dumpsters


Like sneakers, refrigerators, and automobiles, waste management doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all model. That’s because dumpsters are used for many different purposes.

Depending on your waste management needs, you may need a roll-off dumpster or a waste receptacle for a one-time job or a commercial dumpster for long-term waste removal. You might even need a specialty dumpster if the job produces large amounts of concrete, tile, or brick.

Knowing the different dumpster types is essential to proper waste management. Read on to learn about the different types of dumpsters, as well as how to select the best one for your waste management needs.

#1 Commercial Dumpster

When most people hear the word “dumpster,” they likely envision a large colored bin hidden behind a business. In other words, they imagine a commercial dumpster.

As its name indicates, a commercial dumpster is for commercial use, not personal use. These dumpsters are smaller than roll-off dumpsters, usually holding between two and eight cubic yards of waste. They’re also rented on a long-term basis with scheduled pickups.

Most commercial dumpsters come in two forms:

  • Front-load dumpster – Smaller and more compact than their back-loaded brethren, front-loaded dumpsters open from the front. As a result, their front ends slant downward, providing users an easy way to toss trash.
  • Back-load dumpster– Back-loaded dumpsters are generally larger than a front-load dumpster, making them ideal for businesses with larger waste needs. That said, a back or rear load dumpster may be a bit more difficult to open. These dumpsters slant downwards from the back and rely on extending poles.

Commercial dumpsters are typically constructed from one of the following materials:1

  • Plastic – Commercial dumpsters made of plastic are lighter than their steel counterparts. As a result, they’re easier to move. They’re also more rust-resistant, making them ideal for locations that experience a lot of precipitation. That said, plastic dumpsters damage easier than steel dumpsters, and they can even crack in cold weather, resulting in spilled contents.
  • Steel – Although steel is largely reserved for roll-off dumpsters, some commercial dumpsters are made of steel, which can be great for your construction dumpster needs. This results in a commercial dumpster that’s built to withstand elemental damage (excluding rust). However, steel commercial dumpsters are much heavier than plastic dumpsters, making them difficult to move.

When deciding on a commercial dumpster, be sure to take into account the dumpster’s construction. Plastic dumpsters offer maneuverability while steel dumpsters offer durability. Be sure to ask your chosen commercial dumpster rental service about these.

When To Use a Commercial Dumpster

Commercial dumpsters are designed for businesses and organizations that have constant waste disposal needs.

Commercial dumpsters can also benefit users who:

  • Dispose of standard-size waste (trash bags and smaller objects)
  • Share space with other businesses
  • Need to keep trash closed off from pests and the weather
  • Have smaller waste needs 

While commercial dumpsters are advantageous for long-term use, roll-off dumpsters are better for short-term jobs with high waste needs.

#2 Roll-Off Dumpster

Roll-off dumpsters are the “whales” of the waste management world. These dumpsters are behemoths, capable of holding between ten and forty cubic yards of waste. As a result, roll-off dumpsters are typically found at construction sites and other areas with high waste needs. 

In addition to their size, roll-off dumpsters are noted for their steel construction, as well as their wheels. These wheels enable the dumpster to be easily hauled away.

When To Use a Roll-Off Dumpster

Roll-off dumpsters aren’t just any regular garbage container. Because roll-off dumpsters are intended for large, impermanent projects, these types of dumpsters are perfect for:

  • Construction projects
  • Home remodeling
  • Large landscaping jobs

Choosing between a commercial dumpster and roll-off dumpster rental ultimately comes down to waste volume and duration of use. 

If you know you’ll be disposing of standard-sized trash in a permanent location, a commercial dumpster will suit you just fine. If you need to haul away large items like concrete, wood, and other bulky materials, a roll-off dumpster is your best bet.

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#3 Specialty Dumpsters

Specialty dumpsters combine the ease of roll-off dumpsters with the size of commercial dumpsters, making them advantageous for short-term, lower-volume jobs. These dumpsters typically hold between ten and twenty-five cubic yards of waste and can be pulled behind a personal truck.2

When To Use a Specialty Dumpster

Given the size and maneuverability of specialty dumpsters, they’re ideal for the following jobs:

  • Small-scale home remodeling
  • Less intensive landscaping
  • Work that requires you to move your dumpster into position

Choosing Your Dumpster

In summation, choosing the dumpster that’s right for you comes down to three main metrics:

  • Duration of use – If you plan on making your dumpster a permanent fixture, a commercial dumpster is right for you. That way, you can schedule routine collections.
  • Waste volume – If you’re wondering, “What size dumpster do I need?” consider the waste volume. High-volume waste requires a high-volume container. If you know you’ll be disposing of more than ten cubic feet of waste at any one time (especially if the waste consists of large objects), it’s best to go with a roll-off dumpster or waste receptacle.
  • Accessibility – While all dumpsters can be accessible depending on where they’re placed, specialty dumpsters are made with accessibility in mind. If you need to place your dumpster in your backyard, for instance, a specialty dumpster is the right move.

Lastly, when it comes to renting a dumpster, you may need to return a clean dumpster to the company you rent from.

ASAP Site Services: If You Have the Need, We Have the Dumpster

Renting the dumpster that best meets your needs is only half the battle. The other half is choosing the right commercial dumpster service or bin rental company.

While some dumpster rental companies only offer commercial or roll-off dumpsters, ASAP Site Services offers both, making choosing the right dumpster easier than opening a front-load bin. 

What’s more, ASAP Site Services provides reliable and local services at the lowest prices available. 

Whether you need a commercial dumpster or a roll- ff unit, we have the bins that win.


  1. Waste Advantage Magazine. Rethinking the Commercial Dumpster.
  2. Eibik. What Are the Different Types of Dumpsters?


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