The concept of renting a dumpster seems pretty simple. However, you must keep in mind; you are renting someone else's property just like renting a car or anything else. Here are some tips along with some FAQs to help you avoid additional costs and make the rental process as painless as possible.
Dumpsters come in all shapes and sizes and can be delivered by a variety of different trucks. Essentially it’s a flatbed, dump-style truck. Meaning, the dumpster sits on a modified flatbed truck. When the dumpster arrives to be delivered, the bed of the truck rises up into the air and the dumpster, which is secured by a heavy steel cable, is slowly lowered off the truck onto the ground.
It is your responsbility to make sure that there are no hazards like low power lines or tree branches that would prevent the delivery. Remember, the driver has more than likely never been to your house or property and relies on your information to make sure the delivery is possible.
- The beds of the truck will often times require a clearance of 20 feet high or more in order to successfully allow gravity to lower the dumpster and “slide” off the truck.
- Always make sure your driveway or delivery area is clear, wide and long enough for the dumpster.
- It’s always a good idea to measure your area before placing the order for the delivery.
Types of Waste
Organic and Heavy Debris:
The most common sizes offered for roll-off, temporary or construction style dumpsters are 10 yard, 20 yard, 30 yard and 40 yard dumpsters. There are other sizes (12 yard, 15 yard, 25 yard dumpsters) but they are not very common.
Dumpster sizes are typically dictated by your geographic location... what city or market you're in. Certain markets, competitors and sometimes state laws will have an impact on what sizes are commonly available in your area.
Dumpsters can be used for many reasons. The two most popuar uses are for general household materials and for construction debris. Some other uses include the following:
- Yard Cleanup
- Concrete Removal
- Food Waste Only
- Roofing Shingles (Only)
- Dirt Only
- Mixed use compromised of two or more of the previous materials being co-mingled
These materials are extremely heavy and not all dumpster companies will allow these materials in the dumpster due to the weight and potential hazards of hauling this type of debris. There are many companies that do allow these materials however, they may be segmented and treated differently which would mean the cost is different than normal debris and/or there may be restrictions on the size of dumpster allowed and commingling of various materials. Be sure to check with your dumpster provider before placing them in your dumpster.
- Stumps, Logs
- Yard Waste
- Shower Stalls
- Roofing Shingles
These materials are what is used to build a house or structure. Demolition or re-model are most commonly described for construction waste. This may or may not include hot water tanks, furnaces, or carpet.
Appliances are not considered construction waste. Be sure to check with your dumpster provider about these items specifically before placing them in your dumpster.
These are typically any materials that were placed inside the home or property AFTER the home was built.
*Special Note: Electronics, appliances, motor parts, and carpet are usually special considerations and you should be sure to check with your dumpster provider about these items specifically before placing them in your dumpster.
An average rental period is anywhere from 5 days to 14 days or more, included in the quoted price. The rental period is dependent upon several factors but two of the biggest influencers would be the haulers invetory of dumpsters and how busy the hauler is at the time of your call. If you work with a small company that only has a handful of dumpsters, they might want a quick turn around on the dumpster so they can rent it again and again. Dumpsters are the haulers' life-blood and they need to keep them moving in order to make a profit.
- Dry Run or Trip Fee: If a driver attempts to make a delivery or pick up but can't for any reason outside of their control (low wires, low tree branches, locked gates, vehicles blocking access, etc.) you will more than likely have to pay a fee for the drivers time, the fuel, rerouting the schedule, etc. This fee can range from $30 - $150.
- Overweight Fee: If your dumpster has a weight limite and you exceed that limit, you should expect to pay an additional charge. Haulers are often times charged by the ton at the landfill. All states have D.O.T weight limits that must be followed; in addition, the trucks will have weight capacities as well. If you exceed the weight limit of the truck or the legal limit of the roads, your dumpster will not be able to be removed and you will have to off-load materials and pay for the dumpster company to come back out again. Ask your haulers about additional tonnage charges before you rent your dumpster.
- Extension or Rental Fee: as stated, you should expect to pay a daily or weekly fee if you choose to keep your dumpster longer than agreed upon.
- Overloaded or Overfilled Dumpster Fee: This fee is IMPORTANT. Your dumpster should not be filled above the top of the dumpster. Drivers have to haul this dumpster down the road and cannot legally take it away if your stuff if sticking up or hanging out of the dumpster. Make sure all items are inside and level at the top.
Just like any other product or service, dumpster driving is going to be different for every company. Pricing also varies greatly by geographic location nationally. There is a long list of factors that come into play, so here are a few of the main influencers:
- Size of the Dumpster. The bigger, the more expensive
- The Weight of the Contents going into the Dumpster.
Dumpster companies often have to pay the landfill or transfer station based on a price per ton model.
- The type of materials going into the Dumpster. This is one of the biggest influences on cost.
- How far away you are from the company your are renting from or the facility where your dumpster will be emptied. Typically mileage and fuel costs will come into play, so the further away, the more expensive your dumpster can be.
You should always seek to work with a company who offers "flat rate" pricing. A flat rate is one charge for the entire service including, delivery, removal, rental, tonnage, etc (this excludes overweight, trip, and extension fees because they do not apply up-front). It is always best to work with a company that rolls all fees into one rate so it's more understandable for the customer and leaves less opportunity for extra or hidden fees to creep in.
A few examples of these "hidden fees" could be:
A company could charge a delivery fee PLUS a fee per ton PLUS a fee per day PLUS percentage on fuel and enviromental fee PLUS a franchise percentage fee PLUS taxes and sometimes PLUS a removal fee and/or a deposit.
Basically, unless you know how much your materials will weigh and take the time to calculate everything precisely, you won't know how much the dumpster costs until it is time for your invoice.
There are some materials and items that can't go into most dumpsters. The following items are almost universally considered hazardous materials and should not be placed in your dumpster:
- Car tires
- Car batteries
- Infectious Waste
- Railroad ties
- Pain filters
- Oil filters
- Medical Waste
- Flammable or Toxic Liquids
- Contaminated Absorbents
- 55 Gallon drums
*The above list is not comprehensive or complete.
You should check with your hauler for a complete list of items not allowed in the dumpster. Many municipalities have also enacted rules and laws against electronics, mattresses, pallets, appliances, and other items landing them on the prohibited items list.