What Size Dumpster Should I Rent

What Size Dumpster Should I Rent? Some Answers to a Common Question

Whether for a bit of clean-up or a major home improvement project, renting a dumpster usually makes things easier. Choosing a bin of appropriate size keeps costs down and reduces the risk of overage fees and other hassles.

Companies that rent dumpsters and pick them up when filled generally have at least a few sizes for their customers to choose from. Fortunately, a bit of thinking and planning will normally reveal the best option for any given project.

A Quick Look at the Most Common Dumpster Sizes

It will never be desirable to have an excessively large dumpster taking up space and driving up rental costs. Likewise, renting a bin that is too small for a given job almost always causes headaches.

As such, it will pay to think about how much space will be needed to hold all the trash that will be generated in the course of a project. Dumpsters are normally described in terms of how many cubic yards of refuse they can hold at once. The following is a list of the dumpster sizes most often offered by rental companies and the kinds of projects they are generally used for:

  • 10-yards. As the smallest available type of roll-off dumpster, the 10-yard bin is perfect for many modest projects. Particularly intensive spring cleaning at home could yield enough unneeded junk, for instance, to make the rental of a 10-yard dumpster worthwhile. These compact dumpsters are probably most often rented when garages or basements need to be emptied out. Homeowners resurfacing modestly sized decks or remodelling small bathrooms likewise frequently find them useful.
  • 12-yards. Although less commonly seen than their smaller relatives, 12-yard dumpsters are available from certain rental companies. Adding 20 percent more storage capacity can be just what it takes to finish a project without worrying about an overflowing bin. Because they are not much larger, 12-yard dumpsters also tend to cost only a little more to rent than the more common 10-yard type.
  • 15-yards. 15-yard dumpsters step things up significantly compared to the smaller options while still being relatively compact. As such, people who plan to clean out all the rooms in larger homes often opt for bins of this size. More ambitious remodelling projects can also be accommodated by a 15-yard dumpster.
  • 20-yards. At twice the size of the smallest available model, a 20-yard dumpster often proves perfect if multiple small rooms are being remodelled. The renovation of a spacious kitchen will also frequently merit the rental of a 20-yard dumpster, as could the remodelling of several bathrooms at once. A 20-yard dumpster will also accommodate the waste from most houses re-roofing projects.
  • 30-yards. Dumpsters with 30-yards of capacity or more are most often rented by individuals planning major projects like replacing a home’s siding or putting up an addition. At this scale, commercial uses are more common, but ambitious homeowners can also put 30-yard dumpsters to good use.
  • 40-yards. As the largest of the roll-off dumpster sizes, 40-yards provides a lot of capacity. Commercial construction and demolition sites often feature a number of these giants, but amateurs sometimes find them appropriate, as well. A 40-yard dumpster will normally only be needed when major construction or in-depth work on an especially large home is on the schedule.

Looking at Dumpster Size from a Different Perspective

The use of cubic yards to measure dumpster capacity is well-established and generally informative. Many people, though, find it easier to visualize the size of a dumpster in more concrete terms:

  • 10-yard dumpsters can hold about 90 wheelbarrow loads, 60 full kitchen-size garbage bags, 6 full-size SUV cargo compartments, or 3 to 4 pickup truck loads.
  • 12-yard dumpsters hold around 110 wheelbarrow loads, 75 full garbage bags, 7 SUV compartments, or 5 pickup truck loads.
  • 15-yard dumpsters hold approximately 140 wheelbarrow loads, 90 full garbage bags, 9 to 10 SUV compartments, or 5 to 6 pickup truck loads.
  • 20-yard dumpsters have space for around 180 wheelbarrow loads, 120 full garbage bags, 12 SUV compartments, or 7 pickup truck loads.
  • 30-yard dumpsters will accommodate about 270 wheelbarrow loads, 180 full trash bags, the contents of 18 SUV cargo compartments, or 9 to 10 pickup truck loads.
  • 40-yard dumpsters hold around 360 wheelbarrows loads, 240 full garbage bags, 24 SUV loads, or enough material to fill 12 pickup truck loads.

Still another way to pin down the best dumpster size is to look at the general nature of the project in question and narrow things down from there:

  • One-room-clean-out projects most often merit a 10 or 12-yard dumpster. An overflowing basement or garage could necessitate a 15-yard bin.
  • Remodeling a small room can typically be accomplished with a 15 or 20-yard dumpster, depending on the amount of material to be removed.
  • More involved remodelling will often make a 20-yard or even 30-yard dumpster necessary. Kitchen remodelling projects that include the disposal of major appliances may necessitate a larger bin.
  • Replacing shingles can require a dumpster rated at anywhere from 10 to 30-yards, depending on the size of the home. Fortunately, dumpster rental experts can normally calculate the required capacity quite accurately.
  • Replacing siding will generally require a dumpster with at least 20-yards of capacity. The siding from an especially large home can even require a 40-yard dumpster or larger.

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A Few More Things to Think About When Getting Ready to Rent a Dumpster

Determining the right size of dumpster will often help make an upcoming project easier and more affordable. There are a couple of related issues that homeowners generally do well to keep in mind. One of these is that the footprint and silhouette of a dumpster will depend both on its capacity and its design. Dumpsters with less than 20-yards of capacity tend to be shorter, which can make them easier to accommodate when space is at a premium. Dumpsters of 20, 30, and 40-yards are normally all about the same length, with the walls simply growing higher to add more capacity.

Projects that involve the disposal of particularly dense materials like concrete can require special arrangements. Even a smaller bin that is filled to the brim with concrete or the like can weigh too much to haul away legally or safely.

Fortunately, issues like these and others can always be resolved with a call to a capable dumpster rental company. Most people who put even a bit of effort into determining the most appropriate size of dumpster to rent end up being very satisfied with the service and outcome.


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