8 Things to Know About Renting a Dumpster

Paige Bennett
Written by Paige Bennett
Updated August 11, 2021
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From permits to weight limits, avoid hidden fees with these dumpster rental tips

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When you’re working on a large DIY project, you might end up with a lot of waste that won’t fit in your regular garbage bins. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a temporary dumpster rental to throw out the waste and have it hauled away? Here’s how to rent a dumpster, from determining the size you need to securing permits and more.

1. Determine Amount of Waste

Before you rent a dumpster, you’ll want to make sure you know how much waste you’ll be tossing. If you haven’t started demolishing those old kitchen cabinets, estimate the amount of waste you’ll have afterward.

If you’ve already started ripping up the old floors in the bathroom, gather all the waste in one spot to see how much you have. Plus, you could save money and hassle if you have only a few heavier items by opting for junk removal versus a dumpster rental.

2. Choose Dumpster Size

Once you know how much garbage you need to get rid of, you can appropriately choose the correct dumpster size. Sizes can range from company to company, but options can include anywhere from 10 cubic yards (which will hold about 50 trash bags’ worth of waste) to 40 cubic yards (up to 250 trash bags’ worth).

Choosing the correct size is important—too small, and you’ll need to rent an additional dumpster. Too large, and you’ll have spent unnecessary money on wasted space.

3. Get Permits

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Yes, you might need a permit to rent a dumpster. It all comes down to where that dumpster will be placed during use. If you can keep it in your driveway or elsewhere on your own property, you likely will not require a permit. But if you have to place the dumpster in the street or other public space, you’ll likely need a permit.

To request a permit, visit your city’s website and search for a dumpster permit request form, or call to inquire about the process to obtain a permit. Fill out the necessary forms and submit them for approval.

It’s best to look into this permitting process ahead of time, as some city departments could take as much as two weeks to process the permit request. That’s a long time to wait with a pile of waste taking over your home or garage.

4. Get Quotes

Search for local dumpster rental companies and call around for quotes. The previously gathered information, like amount of waste, size of dumpster, and necessary permits, will help you track down the best quotes suited to your needs. Prices typically range anywhere from $290 to $500, depending on the size of the dumpster and the rental period.

5. Check Reviews

While you’re exploring how to rent a dumpster, don’t forget to check reviews. While the dumpster rental process is pretty straightforward, you’ll want to make sure you’re not hit with unexpected or hidden costs. You’ll also want to make sure the rental company has excellent communication and offers timely pickups and deliveries.

6. Find Out the Rental Period

You can expect to pay the same price for a dumpster rental, whether you need it for one day or a week. But after one week, you might have the option to rent for up to a month at a time. Alternatively, companies might charge $10 per day after one week has passed, in addition to the first week’s fee.

The final cost depends on the company. Charges can vary widely based on the amount of time you need the dumpster. Be sure to closely review the rental periods and associated costs to choose the dumpster rental that works best for you.

7. Consider Weight Limits

Dumpsters have weight limits. The 10-cubic-yard dumpster can typically hold a maximum of 1 or 2 tons of waste, while the 40-cubic-yard dumpster will hold up to 6 tons of waste

Tossing heavier items, like broken concrete or bricks, could require a special, heavy-duty dumpster. Plus, the weight of the waste will incur dump fees, which are set by your city. You’ll likely spend $20 to $100 per ton of waste.

8. Avoid Dumping Hazardous Waste

You can’t just dump anything into a dumpster rental. Items like household paints, old appliances, chemical cleaners, motor oil, and tires cannot go into a dumpster. You will need to consult with the dumpster rental company and your municipality to determine how to properly dispose of hazardous waste.

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