Dumpster rental rates are not written in stone. You can sometimes get a lower-than-advertised price on a single-day dumpster rental if you do a little negotiation upfront. Being that dumpsters cost several hundred dollars to rent, any bit of savings is welcomed by most customers.
When you rent a dumpster for a day, the cost is typically about the same as if you were to rent it for the standard rental period (e.g., one week). We’ll explain the reason for that below. However, despite all that, it’s entirely possible to utilize a few simple strategies and get a better deal when renting by the day.
How are dumpster rental rates determined?
When the goal is to get a discount on a roll-off, it can be helpful to know how rental companies determine their pricing. With this information in hand, you can try to chip away at one or more of the cost factors to save on dumpster rental costs.
Here’s what goes into that quoted price:
- Landfill or transfer station dump fees. This is the biggest portion of the pie. These fees vary based on what your local landfill charges, but it typically ranges from $30 to $100 per ton.
- Fuel costs. This expense is significant, especially when the roll-off truck has a long drive to/from your location.
- Overhead costs. This includes but is not limited to employee wages, equipment maintenance/investment, licensing/government compliance, and general business expenses.
- Profit margin. The portion of the rental fee left over after all business expenses are paid.
So, now you know what goes into that $400 price tag, but how do you go about knocking a few dollars off the sticker price? We’ll get to that in a minute; but first, some important advice…
Be realistic! Rates for daily vs. weekly rentals are usually equal.
Don't expect a 24-hour rental to cost 1/7 the price of a 7-day rental. If you look at the cost factors above, you can see that the rental duration does not make a big difference on the costs incurred by the dumpster rental company.
For example, they’ll still have the same landfill disposal fees, fuel costs to drive to/from your location, employee wages, etc.
A discount of $25 to $50 should be considered more than fair in most markets. Don’t expect a $75 or $100+ discount simply for shortening the rental period.
There may be some circumstances where a single-day rental is more beneficial for the dumpster company, and this could mean a discount for you. For example, if container inventory is limited, the rental company may benefit from a quicker turnaround. This leads us to our first money-saving tip…
Tip #1: Go small
Oftentimes, it’s the “little guy” that can offer you the best rate on a single-day dumpster rental. Smaller, locally-owned dumpster rental providers generally have smaller inventories of containers. It’s beneficial to them if the drop-off/pick-up turnaround is as quick as possible.
Larger waste haulers with massive inventories of containers (e.g. Waste Management) don’t have to worry as much about running low on container selection, so they may not be as willing to dish out a deal on a single-day rental.
At Hometown Dumpster Rental, we work with mostly small-to-medium sized waste haulers, so it’s easy to find several rental providers in your area.
Tip #2: Rent midweek
Rental companies tend to be less busy on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so you may be able to get a deal by renting midweek. Weekends are primetime for dumpster rentals, which also means you’re less likely to score a deal on one.
By booking a Tuesday or Wednesday drop-off—and pick-up the following day—you give the rental company assurance that they’ll have that container back in stock for the weekend rush. It’s beneficial to them, and it could help lower your rates if you mention it when you call.
Tip #3: Leverage your location during negotiation
If you live in close proximity to a landfill or transfer station, it’s a benefit to the dumpster company. It means less driving for them. Fuel costs are a major expense for dumpster rental companies, so anytime you can point out a fuel savings, their ears are sure to perk up.
It’s not uncommon for dumpster companies to offer rates based on proximity to their yard or the nearest landfill. It’s up to you, however, to request this discount when calling for a quote.
Don’t neglect to mention any or all of these tips when calling for quotes. You can’t expect to receive any discount unless you ask for it!
The bottom line in trying to save on dumpster rental costs is to offer some sort of value, whether it be renting midweek instead of the weekend, leveraging your location to point out a fuel savings, or something else. It’s also key to work with a locally owned and operated company, as they’re far more willing to offer discounts.
We recommend calling at least three different companies to get the best rates and accommodations for your particular needs.