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Weight Limits for 10, 20, 30, and 40-yard Dumpsters

Weight Limits for 10, 20, 30, and 40-yard Dumpsters

dumpster weight limits

When it comes to estimating how much debris you can fit into a 10, 20, 30, or 40-yard dumpster, the answer isn't black and white. Each dumpster provider has different weight limits, and the specific type of debris you have plays a huge role. Keep reading to find out how much "stuff" can fit into the most common dumpster sizes and weight limits.

An empty dumpster weighs between 3,750 and 6,500 lbs., but the weight of an empty dumpster doesn't matter. It's the weight of the debris inside that counts.


Different sizes have different “weight limits.”

10, 20, 30, and 40-yard dumpsters all hold different amounts of debris and have different weight limits. In the dumpster community, the term “weight limit” can carry two meanings.

In some cases, “weight limit” refers to the actual limit of the dumpster truck’s abilities. Hoists on the trucks responsible for picking up and dropping off dumpsters are designed to handle different levels of weight, so this is why the dumpsters they pick up have weight limits.

In most situations, “weight limit” is actually used to refer to the amount of weight that’s included for the price that the company quoted you.

The proper way to think of "weight limit" is the amount of weight included in the price they gave you. If you go over the weight limit included in your dumpster quote, you'll have to pay for that extra weight. 

 

For example, if you rent a 10-yard dumpster with a 2-ton weight limit and your dumpster weighs in at 3 tons at the landfill, you'll have to pay a per-ton overage fee that can range anywhere from $25 to more than $100—it all depends on your local landfill's disposal fees.


How much debris can fit into a dumpster without exceeding common weight limits?

Let's look at some of the most commonly disposed debris types to see how much of each can be thrown in various dumpster sizes without exceeding common weight limits...

 

10 yard container dimensions and weight limit

How much debris fits inside a 10-yard dumpster?

Type of Debris Amount
Roofing 1,600 - 2,400 sq. ft.
(16 - 24 squares or 48 - 72 bundles)
Concrete/Asphalt 65 - 90 sq. ft.
of 10-inch thick concrete/asphalt
Household junk 270 - 405 sq. ft. of general junk
like clothes, furniture, trash, etc.
Drywall 1,600 - 2,250 sq. ft.
of 1/2-inch - 5/8-inch thick drywall
Carpeting 2,500 - 3,500 sq. ft.
Yard waste 36 - 46 sq. ft.

 

20 yard container dimensions and weight limit

How much debris fits inside a 20-yard dumpster?

Type of Debris Amount
Roofing 2,000 - 2,800 sq. ft.
(20 - 28 squares or 68 - 84 bundles)
Concrete/Asphalt 80 - 110 sq. ft.
of 10-inch thick concrete/asphalt
Household junk 335 - 475 sq. ft. of general junk
like clothes, furniture, trash, etc.
Drywall 1,950 - 2,650 sq. ft.
of 1/2-inch - 5/8-inch thick drywall
Carpeting 3,000 - 4,200 sq. ft.
Yard waste 10 - 14 sq. ft.

 

30 yard container dimensions and weight limit

How much debris fits inside a 30-yard dumpster?

Type of Debris Amount
Roofing 2,800 - 4,000 sq. ft.
(28 - 40 squares or 84 - 120 bundles)
Concrete/Asphalt 110 - 155 sq. ft.
of 10-inch thick concrete/asphalt
Household junk 475 - 680 sq. ft. of general junk
like clothes, furniture, trash, etc.
Drywall 2,650 - 3,840 sq. ft.
of 1/2-inch - 5/8-inch thick drywall
Carpeting 4,200 - 6,000 sq. ft.
Yard waste 14 - 20 sq. ft.

 

40 yard container dimensions and weight limit

How much debris fits inside a 40-yard dumpster?

Type of Debris Amount
Roofing 4,800 - 6,400 sq. ft.
(48 - 64 squares or 144 - 192 bundles)
Concrete/Asphalt 190 - 250 sq. ft.
of 10-inch thick concrete/asphalt
Household junk 810 - 1,085 sq. ft. of general junk
like clothes, furniture, trash, etc.
Drywall 4,600 - 6,000 sq. ft.
of 1/2-inch - 5/8-inch thick drywall
Carpeting 7,200 - 9,600 sq. ft.
Yard waste 24 - 32 sq. ft.
Be aware that some companies don't include any weight in their quotes, and instead, you pay a pro-rated amount based on the exact weight of debris you have. This is most common on the east coast or in large cities, like New York City, where landfill fees are inflated and weight plays such a huge role in cost.
 

Average weights for common debris

To get a more accurate estimation of how much your debris will weigh, refer to the chart below to find out how heavy one cubic yard of various debris types is.

Material Lbs./Cubic yard Notes
Burned debris/ash 800 - 1,000
1,500 - 1,800
2,300
Loose/dry
Wet for dust suppression
Wet mixed with soil
Concrete
Asphalt
4,050
3,960
 
Wood, un-compacted 400 Increase up to 100% if compacted
Metals, un-compacted 600 Ex. appliances, metal siding
Earth 2,100
3,000
Loose/dry
Excavated/wet
Gravel or crushed stone 2,600 Increase 20% if wet
Standard red clay bricks 3,400  
Asphalt shingles
Slate shingles
2,500
9,500
1,000 sq. ft. (10 squares, 30 bundles)
General household junk 300 - 350
400 - 800
Un-compacted
Compacted
Yard waste 670
400
500
1,500
1,350
Glass clippings
Leaves
Brush
Unfinished compost
Finished compost
Drywall 340
420
1/2-inch thick drywall
5/8-inch thick drywall

READ MORE: Easy Ways to Estimate Shingle Weight and Save on Roof Disposal, Debris Removal: The Complete Guide to Getting Rid of Everything

Here’s how the weight of your debris is measured...

1. When your dumpster is ready to be picked up, the dumpster company grabs the dumpster from your debris site and drives it to the landfill.

2. There, the truck and dumpster drive onto a scale at the front of the landfill. The total weight of the dumpster, truck, and debris is measured.

3. The truck then empties the dumpster.

4. As the truck goes to leave the landfill, it drives over another scale and learns how much the truck and dumpster weigh without the debris.

5. This reveals how much the debris weighed and is what you will get billed for. If the weight of your debris is more than the "weight limit" included in your quote, you will have to pay an overage fee, too.

NOTE: Be aware that some companies won't pick up concrete or extremely heavy debris because of the risks involved, while others will take concrete but give you very specific instructions (i.e., only fill halfway; if you exceed the halfway mark, you will have to remove debris before they'll pick it up, and you'll get charged for both trips).
 

Learn more about dumpster weight limits, sizes, pricing, and more: