Bagster vs Dumpster: Buy a Dumpster Bag or Rent a Small Dumpster?

dumpster bag vs dumpster

Your remodeling project or household cleanup has left you with a small to moderate amount of debris to get rid of, but more than can be reasonably put in your weekly trash.

Should you buy a dumpster bag and have Waste Management pick it up or rent a small dumpster from a local dumpster service?

To answer the question, we compare buying a 3 cubic yard Bagster from Waste Management with renting a 10 cubic yard dumpster from a local dumpster service.

This is not an apples-to-apples comparison, because a 10 yard roll-off dumpster holds 3x more debris than the Bagster.

However, for many parts of the country, a 10 yard roll-off dumpster is the smallest temporary dumpster available to rent, so this comparison represents the real life options available to most people with smaller disposal needs.

How It Works

How Bagster Works

waste management bagster pick up
Image via Angie's List

The Bagster from Waste Managment is a small, portable, 3 cubic yard bag made of tough, woven material.

It's for single use, and you must first purchase the bag.

The Bagster is available at home improvement stores and online.

After you fill it up, you schedule to have it picked up by Waste Management (WM).

  • First, determine if Bagster pick-up is available in your area
  • Purchase the Bagster from Home Depot, Lowes, or Amazon
  • Set up and fill up your dumpster bag
  • Schedule a collection with WM

How Renting a Dumpster Works

dumpster swing back doors

Renting a temporary dumpster is available nationwide from local dumpster services.

Simply contact a company serving your area and learn their rental policies.

Set up delivery to your location, and call the dumpster company back when you're done to schedule a pick-up.

  • Find the right dumpster service for you
  • Schedule dumpster delivery
  • Load the dumpster
  • Call to have it picked up when you're done

Find a local dumpster rental provider near you


Cost Considerations

3 Cubic Yard Bagster

The Bagster bag itself costs roughly $30, and the purchase price is relatively constant throughout the country.

The larger cost, however, is the cost of pick-up.

Including pick-up, Bagster costs range from $140-$340 in total.

For most areas, the cost of Bagster pick-up ranges from $119 to $199 per pick-up, but costs vary significantly.

New York City is arguably the most expensive, where it costs $307 to pick up your first Bagster ($285.25/bag for each additional bag).

10 Cubic Yard Dumpster

A 10 yard dumpster costs more than the smaller dumpster bag, but it holds 3x more debris.

On average, 10 yard dumpsters cost $150-$500.

Like the prices for Bagster pick-up, dumpster rental prices fluctuate from one town to the next.

Get educated on how dumpster prices work to get the best deal.

The rental period included with the price varies by hauler, but 7 to 14 days is common.

If more days are needed than the hauler's standard period, the dumpster service generally charges a per-day or per-week fee on top of the normal cost.

With such a wide price range across the country, you should get prices specific to your local area.

Calling a couple local haulers is the best way to get an accurate price for your location and debris.

For a general idea, we've surveyed hundreds of dumpster rental costs throughout the United States to give you an idea of what you can expect to pay in your area.

The Bagster is cheaper on paper but is a lot more expensive per cubic yard of debris than a 10 yard dumpster.


Find local dumpster rental providers in your area


Size and Capacity

Bagster Size and Dimensions

The small size of the Bagster is its biggest limitation.

The Bagster is only a good choice if you have 3 cubic yards or less of debris.  

WM's bag is 8 ft. long, 4 ft. wide, and 2 ft. 6 in. tall. It can hold up to 3 cubic yards of waste, or 606 gallons.  

Because the Bagster is only 2 ft. 6 in. high, large bulky materials, like a sofa or other large furniture items, are not going to fit well.

The Bagster is a good choice if you have 3 cubic yards or less of debris and your individual items are not overly bulky.

10 Yard Dumpster

As its name implies, a 10 yarder can hold up to 10 cubic yards of waste.

10 yard dumpster dimensions vary by hauler, but a common size is 12 ft. long x 8 ft. wide x 3.5 ft. tall.

Learn more: The Ultimate Guide to Dumpster Sizes

Weight Limits

Bagster

You can load up to 3,300 lbs. of debris into the Bagster (provided it meets all other size/fill requirements).

10 Yard Dumpster

The amount of weight included in the price of renting a 10 yard dumpster varies by hauler, so look closely at the "included weight" when renting a dumpster.

Anywhere from 1 ton to 3 tons of included debris weight is common (2,000 - 6,000 lbs).  

Generally, if you go over the included weight, there is a "price per ton" for the additional weight.

Price per ton for additional weight depends on the disposal fees charged by landfills in your area.

$35-$55 per ton is common in the many parts of the country, with $80 to $100 per ton not uncommon on the coasts.

Placement

Bagster

waste management bagster
Image via Young House Love

Just because the dumpster bag is small and portable doesn't mean you can place the bag anywhere.

If you place the bag in your side yard or backyard, away from truck entrance points, WM won't be able to snag it with their truck and crane.

Bagster placement is generally in your driveway or on your front lawn toward the road.

In order for Waste Management to be able to pick the bag up, there must be a minimum of 18 ft of overhead clearance.

In addition, the crane cannot extend outward beyond 16 ft.

For trucks to fit, alleyways and driveways must be at least 12 ft wide, and trucks cannot turn into a driveway from an alleyway.

Of course, leaving a Bagster on your lawn for days or weeks will kill the grass underneath, so generally a driveway is the best option, if available.

10 Yard Dumpster

Dumpster placement is generally on your driveway, parking lot, or possibly in an alley or on the street.

Some cities prohibit dumpsters on the street or require a permit.

Be sure to ask the dumpster providers you speak to about permitting requirements in your area and whether or not they will handle this for you.

Roll-off dumpsters are generally 8 feet wide, and the trucks that pick up these containers are a similar width.

If available, driveway placement is generally preferred.

If placing near the garage, be sure the hauler leaves enough room for your dumpster door to swing open and your garage to be accessible.

Discuss dumpster placement with your hauler. 

Permitted Debris Types and Prohibited Materials

ALLOWED
NOT ALLOWED
SOMETIMES ALLOWED
Asphalt Aerosol cans Glass
Bathtubs Antifreeze Yard waste
Brick Appliances  
Cabinets Asbestos  
Carpeting Barrels RECYCLABLES ALLOWED
Concrete Batteries Cardboard
Doors Chemicals Files/folders
Drywall Computers Junk mail
Insulation Electronics Magazines
Flooring Fluorescent bulbs Metal cans
Furniture Food waste Milk cartons
Mattresses Fuel Office paper
Packaging Hazardous waste Paper products
Paneling Liquids Pizza boxes
Plaster Medical waste Plastic bottls/jars (#1 & #2)
Plastic Microwave  
Plywood Monitors  
Rock Oil  
Roofing Oil filters  
Sand Paint  
Screens Propane tanks  
Siding Railroad ties  
Sinks Solvents  
Tile Television  
Toilets Tires  
Trim materials    
Windows    

 

Typically, the materials allowed in a Bagster and a dumpster are very similar.

Bagster

Most all types of construction and demolition debris, household junk, and heavy debris, like bricks and cement, are allowed.

With the Bagster, whether yard waste is allowed depends on your location.  

Paint, chemicals, hazardous waste, propane tanks, and appliances are a few of the restricted items that are never allowed in a Bagster.

Check out these bag filling guidelines for a complete list of what is and isn't accepted in a Bagster.

Dumpster

Because the two get dumped in the same place—the landfill—what you can and can't put in a dumpster is very similar to that of a Bagster.

Prohibited materials can vary by hauler, so be sure to check with the dumpster company you choose to see what is and isn't allowed in the dumpster.​

Time to Decide: Bagster or Dumpster?

Which works better for you—buying a 3 yard Bagster or renting a 10 yard dumpster?

The answer really depends on the amount of debris.  

If you're only pitching 3 yards or less, a dumpster bag is a great option.

But 3 yards of capacity fills up quick.

If you're unsure if you'll have more than 3 cubic yards, the safe bet is to rent a dumpster.

Don't be surprised if the things you want to get rid of multiplies after you have the dumpster bag or dumpster.

Getting rid of debris and junk is almost always contagious.

It feels good to cleanse yourself of unneeded stuff, and you'll almost always find more to get rid of than you anticipate.


Find a local dumpster rental provider near you


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