Best Dumpster Sizes for Shingle Roof Replacements

best dumpster size for roof removal or replacement

Updated January 19, 2023

Dumpsters come in a wide range of sizes, ranging from around 3 cubic yards to 50 cubic yards.

Roll-off dumpsters and trailers are an excellent means for disposing of roof shingle debris.

This short guide will help you choose the right dumpster size based on the size of your roofing project.

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best dumpster sizes for roof replacement infographic

Calculate the Weight of Shingle Debris

It can be tricky to estimate the right dumpster size for your roof removal project without a rough idea of how much the debris will weigh.

When it comes to the cost of roofing shingles disposal, weight is of particular importance.

Shingle debris is heavy, and if you don't plan properly, disposal costs can be quite significant.

One square of shingles (100 sq ft; 10 ft x 10 ft) typically weighs 250-400 lbs depending on the type of shingle (3-tab vs architectural shingle).

The average home's roof size is 1,500-2,000 sq ft, or 15-20 square.

That means that the average roof weighs 3,750-8,000 lbs, or roughly 2-4 tons.

When calculating your roof's weight, we also recommend factoring in an extra 50-100 lbs per square to cover the weight of any damaged plywood, felt, or other debris removed during a roof tear-off.

It’s common for a 10 yard dumpster to come standard with a 4,000-6,000 lb weight allowance (2-3 tons).

While this may be enough to accommodate a 1,500-2,000 sq ft roof in some cases, in others, it may not.

Luckily, dumpster rental companies are experts at estimating the weight of your debris and recommending the right dumpster size for your project.

Reach out to multiple dumpster providers for quotes to get their opinion on which dumpster size you would need, how much it costs, and how much weight is included in the price.


A customer has a 1,500 sq ft (15 square) roof with two layers of 3-tab shingles that need to be removed.

15 square x 250 lbs x 2 layers + 750 lbs = 8,250 lbs

In this example, the weight of their roof comes out to 8,250 lbs or a little over 4 tons.

This customer should rent a dumpster with at least a 5-ton weight allowance, but preferably a larger 6-ton limit to allow the extra cushion and avoid overage fees.

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Choose the Right Dumpster Size

As previously mentioned, the weight of debris is a major consideration when choosing the right dumpster size for a roof tear-off.

A 10 yard dumpster is physically big enough to accommodate a large roof tear-off, but it rarely can accommodate the weight.

As with other heavy debris, like dirt or concrete, proper planning is the best way to avoid overpaying for the dumpster.

Overage costs can be as high as $120 per ton in some areas ($50-$80 per ton is typical), and that can add up quickly with heavy debris.

Estimate the weight of the debris first, then choose the dumpster size.

Common dumpster sizes for roofing debris include 10 yard, 15 yard, 20 yard, and 30 yard dumpsters.

The chart below is quick reference when determining the right dumpster size for your roofing project.

Dumpster Sizes for Roof Removal Projects

Size of Roof
(3 Tab Shingles)

Estimated Weight of Debris

Dumpster Size

15 square

3,750-6,000 lbs

10 yard

20 square

5,000-8,000 lbs

20 yard

25 square

6,250-10,000 lbs

20 yard

30 square

7,500-12,000 lbs

30 yard

40 square

10,000-16,000 lbs

40 yard

50 square

12,500-20,000 lbs

2+ 30 yards

60 square

15,000-24,000 lbs

2+ 30 yards


For large roof tear-offs, multiple roll-off containers are likely necessary.

The trucks used by dumpster rental companies can only lift and haul a certain amount of weight based on the capacity of the equipment and by local hauling laws.

So if your roofing project is large, it's reasonable to expect the need for two dumpster trips.

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Rent from the Right Dumpster Company

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Now that you have an idea of how to estimate the weight of shingle debris and which dumpster works best for that amount, we recommend reaching out to several local dumpster providers to find the right roll-off container size to accommodate your project.

Compare each quote you get to ensure you rent from the right company for the right price.

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