Contractor’s Guide to Renting a Dumpster for Large Construction or Demolition Jobs

Demolition site dumpster rental

There are several key things to consider before renting roll-off dumpsters for large construction or demolition projects. Some of the key considerations include the type of material(s), the volume of debris, duration of the project, availability of the rental provider’s container stock, and more. Proper planning can easily reduce dumpster rental costs during a large project by 20% or more.

EXAMPLE: A contractor who plans properly during a restaurant demolition project goes with a dumpster rental company that can supply three (3) 40-yard construction dumpsters swapped out when each becomes full, and the total cost comes out to $1,500. Had the contractor gone with a dumpster rental company that could only supply 20 yarders, the contractor would need six containers at a cost of $300 a piece, or $1,800 total. The first scenario represents a 20% savings, even though the total container volume available for debris is the same in both instances.

The example above is completely hypothetical, but it represents a very real possibility that contractors should be aware of when renting construction site dumpsters. A little due diligence can pay off in the end, especially for large construction or demolition projects.

Cost of construction and demolition dumpsters

We offer a complete guide to dumpster rental costs. Here’s a quick glance at nationwide dumpster rental pricing data:

Dumpster Size Average Cost
10 yard dumpster $304
20 yard dumpster $383
30 yard dumpster $441
40 yard dumpster $488

TIP: Ask the dumpster rental company if they offer contractor’s pricing, or if they offer discounts for renting multiple dumpsters. It’s likely that a local hauler will be willing to work out a deal with a contractor willing to rent multiple dumpsters on an ongoing basis.

It’s generally more cost-effective to rent the biggest dumpster(s) available that will work with the type of debris your job site is generating. If going with the larger dumpster saves you from having to rent a second, third, etc. dumpster, that’s several hundred dollars you’ll save on disposal costs.

RELATED: How many dumpsters are needed for a house demolition project?

Estimating the amount of debris

Construction site dumpsters for rent

An accurate estimate is critical in helping to minimize disposal costs. A basic formula used by FEMA can help you estimate the debris generated during a demolition project.

Building Demo:

Length x Width x Height x 0.33 / 27 = Cubic Yards of Debris

Single-Family Home Demo:

Length x Width x S (number of stories) x 0.20 x VCM (vegetative cover multiplier) = Cubic Yards of Debris

*Vegetative cover multiplier = yard waste

One ton of construction and demolition (C&D) debris equals approximately 2 cubic yards

Once you have your debris estimate, it’s much easier and more accurate to determine your roll-off dumpster needs. For the biggest jobs (e.g., industrial buildings), the use of a 50 cubic yard or larger dumpster/trailer may be a viable option.

Many dumpster rental companies do not have this larger dumpster option, so 40-yard containers are generally the highest capacity offering in most areas.

When clean-loading heavy debris, such as shingles or concrete, a 40+ yard dumpster is generally not needed. This type of high-density, low-volume debris is best disposed of in smaller containers, such as 10 or 20 yarders. In fact, some rental companies require the use of smaller containers for heavy materials.

Concrete demo debris disposal

LEARN MORE: Cost of renting a dumpster for concrete debris

Key things to consider when renting construction dumpsters for big jobs

When it comes to debris disposal proper planning and strategy are critical to maintaining a smooth workflow at a construction or demolition job site. As previously mentioned, the total cost of debris disposal is greatly affected through efficient planning, but a sound debris removal strategy is also beneficial in other ways.

Consider the following…

1. Improved worksite efficiency

With proper planning, you can reduce or eliminate delays related to dumpster delivery, pickups, and swap-outs. It’s important to be clear with the dumpster rental company on your disposal needs and schedule. If they can’t meet those needs, choose a different rental provider.

2. Cleaner and safer job site

By disposing of debris immediately in dumpsters—rather than piling it up—you can maintain a safer work site. The fatal injury rate in the construction industry is higher than the national average for all occupations, according to OSHA. As a contractor, make maintaining a clean, safe job site a top priority.

3. Know the needs of the job

What this means is that contractors must estimate the number of total dumpsters needed to finish the job, as well as whether container swap-outs or live-loading is a part of the debris removal strategy. If it is, verify with the dumpster rental company that they can meet those demands before booking the dumpsters. Not all rental companies can accommodate live-loading situations or other special circumstances. Or, they may simply not have the equipment or resources to deliver multiple dumpsters at once or during the day.

How to reduce the cost of construction and demolition dumpster rentals

Construction dumpster rentals for large demolition or construction jobs

In addition to the tips above, here are some useful strategies to help save on dumpster rental costs for larger projects:

  • Work out a deal with a dumpster rental company you plan to use on an ongoing basis. If you provide lots of business for them, they’ll most likely be willing to offer special contractor’s pricing.
  • Similarly, ask the rental provider if they offer discounts for renting multiple dumpsters.
  • Some dumpster rental companies offer discounts for veterans, seniors, or other classifications.
  • When searching for a dumpster rental company, call at least 2 - 3 companies to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Use one price quote as leverage to get a better price from a competitor.
  • Don’t immediately go with a big-name national dumpster rental company, because that doesn’t guarantee a low cost or customized and responsive service. It’s generally better to choose a local hauler to handle your needs, assuming they can accommodate the disposal needs of the job site. They’ll often treat you as a top priority customer and may be more willing to offer discounts.

COST COMPARISON:  Waste Management vs. Local Dumpster Services

We hope these tips help boost efficiency and lower your disposal costs during your next large construction or demolition project.

For more information, visit to see local dumpster rental providers, or check out our blog for more informative articles.

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