A Definitive Guide to Renting A Roll-Off Dumpster
Updated: Aug 19
What do spring cleaning, home renovations and construction projects all have in common?
They makeup enough trash to fill up your garbage can twenty times over.
We all know that these projects bring about a lot of trash that nobody wants to deal with, and dumpster rentals might seem like they can bring about a headache, but it can be very helpful knowing the right information.
This guide will walk you step by step on how to properly rent a dumpster, we will go over:
The goal of this post is to help inform you on how to properly rent a dumpster and so you can make the best decisions when it comes time to order one.
1) Know the details of your project:
Roll-off dumpsters are useful for a variety of projects when it comes to home renovations, landscaping projects or even just cleaning out your garage, so it's useful to plan ahead of time and know what waste you will be dealing with.
First, ask yourself what the goal of your project is.
Are you renovating the upstairs bathroom, cutting down an old tree in the back yard, or cleaning out the garage?
Next, think about what and how much you are throwing away.
It's important to know what kind of material you will be throwing away, since some companies will not allow you to throw away certain trash such as old TV's or mattresses. It's recommended to check with the rental company in advance to make sure what you can and cannot dispose of.
Finally, think about the time frame for your project.
Depending on the details of your project, you might want to schedule the dumpster drop off at different times.
If you are just cleaning out the garage, you might be better off ordering the dumpster on the day of the project. On the other hand, if you are renovating your bathroom, you might want to order the dumpster when you are finished stripping the tiling, sink, toilet and bath so you don't waste time for the rental.
2) Know what dumpster size is best for you:
Dumpster sizes are based on how much area there is within the given container, so a 20 yard dumpster can hold 20 cubic yards of material.
It's industry practice for rental companies to offer a variety of dumpster sizes ranging from smaller containers such as 5, 10 and 15 yards to bigger containers such as 20, 30, and even 40 yards.
For those of us that are first time renters, these numbers might be a little confusing, so here is an analogy I like to use for first time renters.
Picture a standard size sedan car such as a Ford Fusion, and picture a box with the same width and length as that car.
- A 5 yard box will reach up to the top of the car tires.
- A 10 yard box will reach up to the window of the car.
- A 15 yard box could easily fit the car in there.
- A 20 yard box could fit an SUV in the container.
- A 30 yard box is roughly the size of a mini-van, like a Mercedes-Benz Metris.
- A 40 yard box is the same height as the 30 yard, but its a few feet longer.
Here is a graphic to help visualize the sizes:
Now that we have a reference point for each box size, visualize all the material you plan on throwing away, and think about which size container could fit all of it.
If you are debating between two sizes of dumpsters, it is recommended to go with the larger option since state laws prohibit overfilling dumpsters and it would be cheaper getting the larger size rather than having to order to smaller container twice.
If you are still struggling to decide what size container is best for your project, call the dumpster company to ask for a professional opinion on what size would be good for you.
3) Order Your Dumpster:
Now that you know the details of your project and have a rough idea on what size container suits your needs, it's time to shop around for vendors.
Feel free to call various dumpster companies to get a quote on the rental and to ask questions such as:
- How much do you charge for a x-size dumpster?
- What size dumpster do you recommend for my project?
- What am I not allowed to throw away?
- How long is the rental period?
- Are there any additional fees I'm not aware of?
It's always helpful to call the vendor ahead of time to make sure you have a spot, since these companies are usually booked during the busy seasons in spring and summer.
4) Get ready for drop-off day:
Once you found the right rental company and placed the order, now it's time to get prepared for drop-off day.
Make sure that you have a space to fit the dumpster such as a spot on the driveway or a plot of land on your yard. Depending on your town and the vendor, you might be able to drop it on the street, but make sure to check with your town to see if it's possible and get the proper permits.
After you cleared the area, make sure to communicate with the drive on where they can drop it.
The driver will make sure to place planks under the wheels of the dumpster to prevent damaging your driveway.
5) Packing your dumpster:
Now that you have the dumpster to throw away your trash, make sure you are packing it correctly. It is important to pack your dumpster properly in order to make most of your money.
Think about packing a dumpster like the popular game Tetris, so that you don't have any gaps on the bottom. Here are a few tips on packing:
- Any carboard boxes should be flattened and placed on the bottom.
- Smaller broken debris should be placed next and filled with any smaller waste that can fit in the gaps.
- Break down any old furniture to maximize the space.
- Any objects that can't be broken down should be placed on top.
Make sure that you don't overfill the dumpster because the driver won't be able to take any containers that have waste above the given line.
6) Get ready for pick up day:
Once you've finished packing your dumpster and throwing away all your waste, it's time to call the dumpster company and request a pick up.
Even if you don't plan on being present when the driver comes to pick up the dumpster, do not worry. Just make sure that there there is nothing in the way of the driver being able to safely pick up the dumpster. If the driver is not able to safely retrieve the dumpster on pick up day, you might be charged with an additional fine for the wasted time the driver spent. So always make room around the dumpster so you won't have to pay more for your dumpster!
In the picture shown above, the client failed to provide a clear area around the dumpster to enable a secure pick up, so the driver had to come back another day. Not only do you face extra charges, but you also keep that bulky container on your property for longer then you need.
Now that you're done reading this guide, you can now confidently order your dumpster knowing all the do's and don'ts of the business.
Here at TrashBox, our goal is to help relieve the stress of your garbage disposal needs, whether you're cleaning out your garage or renovating your house. We are here to answer any of your concerns and deliver your dumpster in a timely and safe manner.
Call us at (630)-450-3960 and our team will guide you on what dumpster is best fit for your project!