Updated February 23, 2023
When space is limited, placing a dumpster on the side of a street is often the only option.
It may also be the best and most convenient option depending on the project.
While most cities across the country allow for placement of dumpsters on city streets, there are rules and some paperwork to complete first.
The dumpster permit, sometimes referred to as a "right of way permit," must be obtained ahead of time.
When contacting the permitting office, have the following information on hand:
- Rental duration period
- Address and exact location the dumpster will be placed
- Dumpster rental company’s info (name, address, phone number, etc.)
Most dumpster permits can be completed online or by phone.
You can also stop by City Hall or your local government office to fill out the paperwork.
Learn more: Do I need a permit to rent a dumpster?
Because the dumpster permit process varies from city to city, it’s important to understand the different rules and regulations for each city you plan to work in to avoid any issues during the rental process.
Common Rules When Placing a Dumpster in the Street
Even with a dumpster permit in hand, there are still rules to follow.
- Traffic cones, reflectors, and/or signs must be used in front of and behind the roll-off container.
- Do not place the dumpster in front of 'no-loading' spaces, bus stops, fire hydrants, valet areas, parking meters, and other restricted areas.
- The roll-off container must be removed from the location by the expiration date on the permit.
- For larger cities, approval from your city's Public Works Department (or similar) must be obtained prior to receiving the right-of-way permit. Philadelphia is an example of one such city.
- You may need to provide a sketch or drawing of the placement location.
- Permit must be visible at the job site
- For contractors, proof of liability insurance and/or workman’s comp may be required.
Follow your city's rules and guidelines to avoid possible fines or problems with the city during your dumpster rental.
- Find and contact a dumpster rental provider near you.
- Discuss your project with the dumpster rental company and determine whether a dumpster permit is required. (The rental provider may or may not help out with obtaining the permit.)
- If a right-of-way permit is required, read through rules and regulations. Obtain anything necessary to abide by these guidelines, like traffic cones, sketch of dumpster placement site, and other requirements. Next, complete the paperwork online, in person, or over the phone.
- If you haven’t already, book the dumpster. Ensure that you’re prepared for dumpster drop-off on the agreed upon date.
- Fill the dumpster, and be sure to have it hauled away prior to the dumpster permit expiration date.
These are the basics to rent a dumpster when placing it on the side of the street, but the same basic principles apply if the dumpster is to be placed anywhere else in the public right of way, like sidewalks, alleyways, commercial spaces, public areas, etc.