Junk Removal vs. Dumpster Rental: Which Should You Choose?

Jess Lynk
Written by Jess Lynk
Updated January 11, 2022
Dumpster outside of new home build
Photo: Ungvar / Adobe Stock

When your standard garbage can isn't cutting it, learn whether you should rent a dumpster or hire a junk removal service

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

If you find yourself in the middle of a home improvement project with lots of waste, you may need to look for an outside solution to remove your waste efficiently. You have two main options: junk removal or dumpster rental. Consider the options in this guide to ensure a smooth process when getting rid of large amounts of debris.

Hiring a Junk Removal Service

As their name implies, junk removal services are companies that come to your home and haul waste out for you. Quality junk removal companies can save you the backbreaking work and hassle that comes with clearing your property.

When to Hire a Junk Removal Service

So, when is the right time to hire a junk removal company? This service is ideal for situations where you need assistance removing large quantities of unwanted items or materials, and want the process to be as hands-free as possible. Plus, this disposal method is fast—the pros will haul away your junk within a few hours. 

You should also consider hiring a junk removal service if you need to dispose of bulky or hard-to-remove items, like large furniture items or kitchen appliances.

Best Items for Junk Removal

If you are throwing out large items that can be dangerous to move and dispose of, junk removal companies may be the best option. Companies may have a list of items they will not take. Examples they will take include:

  • Big appliances like refrigerators, washers, and more

  • Old mattresses

  • Sectionals, dining room tables, or other large pieces of furniture

  • Heavy construction materials like bricks or concrete that would be hard to move on your own


  • These companies do all the work from start to finish. Whether that be hauling that old freezer out or getting debris from your basement, they manage all the junk removal themselves.

  • You can schedule your pick-up time. This means you will know when your trash will be out of your home and that it's guaranteed to be out at that time.

  • Junk removal services are pros. They know the proper place to dispose of trash and where and how to recycle old items.


  • The cost can add up quickly and is hard to quote upfront. Whether the service fills up their vehicle multiple times or you find more waste in your home, you’ll likely pay for the junk removal service to come back to your house multiple times. This means added costs to your original budget.

  • Generally, time is limited. Most junk removal services have time restraints, so if they are unable to remove your waste in that window, you may be stuck with unwanted trash.

Cost of a Junk Removal Service

Junk removal men taking a couch away
Photo: Xartproduction / Adobe Stock

Fees for junk removal vary depending on the amount and type of junk, but typically smaller jobs run $50 to $150 and larger jobs run $130 to $360 plus. A junk removal service near you can help you hone in on a price.

Because junk removal companies don’t typically stay for longer than a few hours, a permit is usually not required, as long as they are following street parking laws.

Renting a Dumpster

A dumpster rental allows for flexibility as they deliver a dumpster to your home for an agreed-upon time.

When to Rent a Dumpster

Renting a dumpster is a longer and more hands-on process than hiring a junk removal company. Depending on your agreement, the dumpster rental company will drop off the bin in your driveway, and then return 5 to 10 days later to haul away its contents. 

Dumpster rental is ideal in scenarios when you need several days to remove your unwanted items or materials. Keep in mind that you’re responsible for the physical labor of filling the dumpster, which can be difficult when dealing with heavy or bulky items.

Best Items for Renting a Dumpster

When considering a dumpster rental, think through the items you will be throwing out. If you have a large amount and a variety of items, consider a dumpster. You will need to avoid hazardous materials like paints or oils. Waste items good for dumpsters include:

  • Concrete and construction waste

  • Storm and yard debris

  • Large amounts of furniture

  • Multiple appliances


  • You know the cost upfront. When you research and ultimately rent a dumpster, the cost is a flat-rate price.

  • You keep the dumpster for a period of days, making it ideal for long-term projects. You can slowly fill up the dumpster and adjust your removal timeline if needed.


  • You have to fill the dumpster on your own. You will have to haul out heavy items and large amounts of trash, unless you hire someone to do so, which will add more money to your trash removal total.

  • Some locations limit the size and weight of dumpsters, as well as material. Be sure to do your research before committing to a dumpster.

Cost of Renting a Dumpster

A lot of factors play into the cost of renting a dumpster. The location and weight of the dumpster may require a permit, but most local dumpster companies will help you navigate this process. On average, a dumpster can cost anywhere from $290 to $480, depending on the size needed for the job. Be sure to clarify the weight limit so you are not charged more if you overfill the dumpster. A dumpster rental company near you can provide you with specifics.

Another cost-effective option for a smaller job is a Bagster, which are heavy-duty bags from home improvement stores that hold up to 3,300 pounds. These typically cost around $170.

Dumpster Rental or Junk Removal: Which Should You Pick?

Both a dumpster rental and junk removal service can be good options to consider when removing waste from your home. You will need to weigh out what you are ultimately looking for from a disposal company: more time to throw out large amounts of trash or help removing large items from your home. 

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.